Virgin Australia Relaunched Business Class Complete Review - 4 flights, 4 lounges, 4 meals
Hello and welcome to one of my other flight reviews I’m now in Adelaide it’s gonna be a really long day! Today I’m going to fly in Virgin Australia business class from Adelaide to Melbourne to Sydney to Gold Coast and back to Sydney! Hopefully by the end of the day I’ll be able to have a comprehensive review of Virgin Australia's lounges and its meals onboard. Let's go!! On 3 March I flew in Virgin Australia’s business class from Sydney to Melbourne, the experience wasn’t really great. Virgin relaunched its business class on 25 March, with improved business class menu, I decided to give them another go today! At Adelaide Airport, Virgin has a priority check-in lane for business class passengers, Virgin Australia’s check-in opens 90 mins before the first flight departs, at 4:34am, the staff arrived at the counter.
Morning How are you? Where are you travelling to? I have four flights today, the last one is to Sydney. So first one is Sydney? The last one is Sydney. Where are you travelling to first? Melbourne. So you going Adelaide Melbourne, Melbourne Sydney? Yeah then Sydney Gold Coast, Gold Coast Sydney. Wow really? That's a long journey! After dropping off my bag I headed straight to the lounge.
The Adelaide lounge is located opposite to gate 15, the lounge opens one hour before the first Virgin Australia flight departs, so there’s a half an hour gap between check-in and lounge opening. How did I and most other people spend this half an hour? Well by standing and waiting. At 5 o’clock sharp, the lounge finally opened its door.
This new Virgin Australia lounge was opened on 23 February, the lounge has 283-seat facility mixing large social benches with smaller tables for solo or duo dinning. The lounge has very beautiful decoration, this fresh new design could be rolled out to the airlines’ other lounges in the future. To order food and beverages, simply scan the QR code on the table. The lounge offers a really good range of coffee and tea.
Breakfast options include danish, cereal, fruit salad, protein bowl with toast, and yogurt muesli pot. As you can see these meals are pretty light, if you want a full English breakfasted I’m afraid you have to cook it at home. Since it’s still very early in the morning, I ordered a cappuccino to keep myself awake, the ordering system allows you to customise the sweetness and the milk to be used for your coffee. Once you made up your mind, simply put in your first name and submit your order! The staff will bring your choices to you when ready. Tada! Food arrived 2 mins after I put in my order! I ordered two drinks and three breakfast items to check out the quality of the food here. First, apricot danish, the danish was warm and it looked very fresh.
Second, fruit salad, there were so many different fruit in the bowl including watermelon, orange, rock melon, kiwi and grapes. I believe they were cut fresh this morning, but to be honest, other than the grapes none of the fruit tasted sweet. Now the muesli yogurt, fresh muesli and fresh yogurt, you can’t get this wrong! I like it! The coffee, I ordered a cup of cappuccino, this morning it was served in a takeaway cup.
When I was a barista, cappuccino was my favourite coffee to make, it is fun to make and it’s the best way to judge a coffee shop. The ratio of cappuccino is generally one part espresso one part steamed milk to one part foam. Let’s have a look at this coffee, the layer of the foam is wet and thick which is good, the ratio is correct, temperature perfect, and the coffee still has a recognisable espresso taste, I can confirm that they make really good coffee here! Moving on to the apple juice, unfortunately it wasn’t as good as the coffee, the juice was not freshly squeezed, it tasted like bottled apple juice, like those ones that does not require refrigerating before opening. I prefer fresh apple juice therefore I do not recommend this juice. Virgin Australia guests travelling to Melbourne on flight VA204 we now welcome business class guests, platinum, gold members of Velocity travelling to Melbourne on flight VA204 to board now through gate 13. Thank you.
Hi How are you today? Welcome to business class just row 2 on your right today. The aircraft that Virgin uses for this flight is a Boeing 737-800 with 2 rows of business class seats in a 2-2 configuration located at the front of the cabin. The seat has a width of 19.5 inches and a pitch of 37 inches.
The recline is only 5 inches which isn’t much for a business class seat. There’s an extendable cocktail table between the seats and below the table are two power plugs. Unfortunately on this flight the plugs were either broken or not turned on. My phone did not charge after plugging it in. In the armrest is a retractable tray table. It can be extended to reach the cocktail table to make it more stable.
Virgin has introduced a buy onboard menu for passengers travelling in economy class. Here’s the menu, for business class it’s a good guide to see what beverages I can order with my meal. Welcome drink has returned to Virgin’s business class, however the onboard leader of this flight only offered us chilled water.
At 6 o’clock the Rex flight to Melbourne pushed back on time. For us, I’m not so sure. While waiting for the remaining passengers to board the plane, the onboard leader came to take my breakfast order. There was only one option this morning: Welcome to business, I'll be looking after you today, Would you like to have some bircher muesli this morning with a pastry? Sure.
We finally began our push back after being half an hour behind schedule, apparently there were long queues at security screening this morning, hence it took a long time to get everyone board the plane. Despite being in a 2-2 configuration, the overhead control panel still has three reading lights and three air vents. The lights are adjustable so you can make the reading light in the middle to point at you if you want.
The aircraft is fitted with mood lighting which is supposed to give passengers a more relaxing environment. Soon after take off, breakfast was served, from the presentation, this is such a big improvement compare to the dreadful snack box that Virgin served until 25 March. Each meal in business class is now plated and is served in a single tray using fresh ingredients. The only breakfast option I got this morning was Bircher Muesli with raisins, dried pumpkin seeds and shaved coconut. Along with the main, there was a danish side dish and a cup of white tea as I requested. Napkin and stainless Steele cutlery have returned to business class.
The Bircher muesli was cold, the first few bites tasted ok but after that the sourness of the raisins and also possibly the lime juice in the dish overpowered the muesli, which made the dish tasted a bit strange. Of course this could be personal preference, some people might like it, I’m just letting you know what I think. Now to the danish, it was served warm, it tasted ok. In terms of the tea, I assume they’d give me a packet of sugar on the side just like they’d provide salt and pepper, but it didn’t happen. So make sure you ask for sugar when they take your order if you want it in your beverages.
A quick conclusion to the breakfast, it’s definitely a huge upgrade to what Virgin served in March, however I was a little bit disappointed with having only 1 meal option on this flight. I believe the Bircher muesli is very healthy, but I’m not really a fan of the sour taste so I’d give it a 6/10. Welcome to Melbourne Ladies and gentlemen, where the local time is 8:20am, and it is a lovely 12 degrees outside. We landed at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport 30 minutes behind schedule, looks like we are parking next to VH-YFR, the 100th Boeing 737 delivered to Virgin.
In the last 6 times that I flew with Virgin, 4/6 were on this aircraft, it would be funny if my next flight to Sydney is gonna be on this aircraft again!! Anyway, welcome to Melbourne! Virgin uses terminal 3 at Melbourne Airport. At the moment Virgin’s lounge in Melbourne is undergoing a renovation, from December 2020 Virgin opened The Club Lounge to all passengers who were qualify for regular Virgin Australia lounge access. As a result The Club lounge got very crowded, to solve this problem, from 3 May, Virgin opened a pop up lounge for Velocity gold and Virgin lounge members, the Club lounge is now reserved for Velocity platinum and business class passengers only. This video was filmed on 27 April, you will see how busy the lounge was even during off peak hours.
In pre-pandemic days the club lounge was an invitation-only, super premium lounge, reserved for the airlines’ most highly valued passengers including high-ranking government officials, business leaders and A-list celebrities. Although catering in the club is now the same as other virgin lounges, It gives most travellers a rare glimpse inside what was once a haven for the elite. What impressed me the most about the Club lounge is the decoration, it’s just wow!! Same as the Adelaide lounge, you can order your food and beverages by scanning the QR code on the table. The beverage options are similar to what they offer in Adelaide, in terms of the breakfast options, I wasn’t hungry at all but I saw in description that their muffins were freshly baked so I decided to try one. I also ordered a cup of green and jasmine tea with honey.
I really liked this tea, especially with honey, I highly recommend it. Now the muffin, I thought fresh baked means it’s baked in-house, not outsourced? I don’t know is my understanding wrong? I mean I don’t mind their muffin to be pre-packaged but please don’t call it fresh-baked if it’s not fresh-baked! Anyway there’s one more thing I’d like to show you at this lounge, it’s the bathroom! Again I absolutely love the deco, Virgin must have thrown so much money in order to build this lounge! There are six bathrooms, three for male three for female, the two at the end have shower facility! The shower however is not available due to covid restrictions. My footages don’t truly reflect how beautiful this lounge is so it’s better for you to come and have a look yourself! It’s time to head to the gate. The club lounge is located outside the security screening area so make sure you give yourself enough time to walk to the gate. Let’s find out the aircraft that’ll fly me to Sydney.
Guess what! It is VH-YFR again. I mean, personally I have no problem with this aircraft except I know that the power plugs on this plane do not work! For this flight I picked seat 1A, this is such a good seat number, I had never sat in seat 1A in my life before. The other reason for me to pick row 1 is to check out the legroom.
The space between my knees and the bulkhead is actually greater than the space between seat 1A and 2A. However, I can not fully stretch my legs in seat 1A. All business class seats offer the same amount of recline, the tray table is also in the armrest, and just as I expected the power plugs did not work on this plane! Due to the bulkhead, you cannot place any bag in front of you during take off and landing. But you can put your belongings in the pocket attached to the bulkhead. It is actually quite big, I was able to put my camcorder, go pro suction cup, my power bank, my cable, and also my phone in there! A welcome drink was offered upon boarding this time I could choose between water and orange juice! The onboard leader of this flight took my lunch order shortly take off, I got two options: He also showed me the sample picture of the salmon salad and Turkish sandwich. I’m not usually a fan of salad but after evaluating the presentation of the dishes I picked salmon salad! Again the meal was plated and was served in a single tray.
The salad consisted of oats, rocket, tomatoes, carrots and smoked salmon. In terms of the beverages, I asked for a can of lemonade, and a glass of water. Oh look, I got a glass full of ice without having to ask for it! Finally! The side dish was cheese and crackers.
Let’s dig in! I’m a fan of smoked salmon so I know I would like this dish. The smoked salmon tasted exactly the same as the one that I usually buy from the supermarket, oh don’t get me wrong, I really like it. There was no seasoning on the rocket, the carrots tomatoes or oats salad, the flavour mainly came from the salmon. This dish is simple but was very delicious. Virgin offered Italian dressing for this salad, I didn’t realise until I finished the meal. You can tell I really enjoyed this salad even without the dressing.
The onboard leader quickly cleared my tray after I finished my food and he asked if I wanted a cup of tea or coffee. This was the first time I learnt that Virgin offers two types of black tea in business: English breakfast or earl grey, other onboard leaders that I met never told me that I got two choices. As we are getting close to Sydney, you can see the smoke from hazard reduction burns has caused poor air quality across the city.
A quick summary of this flight: I really loved the salmon salad I would highly recommend to everyone who were offered this option, this is the best meal I’ve had on Virgin so far. If this dish isn’t 10/10 it’s definitely a solid 9/10 from me. I also really enjoyed the service on this flight.
The onboard leader Yoey is the most professional and attentive crew I’ve met on Virgin so far. Welcome to Sydney! I have roughly 3.5hrs till my next flight so I went outside the terminal to see if Virgin’s lounge premium entry has reopened in Sydney. It hasn’t. Virgin uses terminal 2 at Sydney airport, to access the lounge, you now have to go through security screening, then on the same level you’ll see the entry to the lounge.
Virgin Australia’s Sydney lounge occupies two levels, with the upper level offering some good views across the airport, however the upper level has not yet reopened. The lounge has plenty of seating space in different arrangements. But this lounge still can get pretty crowded during afternoon peak hours. Along with the new onboard menu, Virgin also introduced freshly made sandwiches, salad, wraps and healthy snacks in its Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide lounges. This lounge doesn’t offer QR code ordering and table service, so you have to go to the buffet and get your own food. Because the manager at this lounge didn’t want me to film the bar and the buffet due to security concerns the last time I was here so I cannot show you what it looks like.
On the menu today, there were salad, toasties, fruit salad, sandwiches, wraps, cheese and chips. I got a glass of coke, a can of Green Beacon 7 Bells Gose, a pack of chips and one of its two salads: the Thai beef noodles salad! While enjoying lunch at the lounge, I also allowed my cameras to relax and being charged. The Thai beef salad, what can I say, I liked the beef but the dressing of the salad was very sour and a little spicy, I liked the beef but the dressing of the salad was very sour and a little spicy, if you don’t mind the sourness you’d probably find this salad refreshing, but I’m not a fan, sorry! Virgin starts offering alcoholic beverages after midday, it’s now quarter past so I got myself a beer. Overall, the food options at this lounge have improved compare to my last visit in early March. After spending enough time at the lounge, I went to gate 53 to do some plane spotting.
There was an Altas b747 freighter taxiing to the bay, a Cathay Pacific A350-1000 taxiing to runway 16R, and look here, a Royal Australian Air Force Special Purpose aircraft Boeing Business Jet just touched down after a short flight from Canberra. That is such a smooth landing. Followed by the BBJ is a Skytraders Airbus A319, this plane has no markings on its tail except a small Australian flag. Good afternoon, we now welcome our business class guests, platinum and gold members of Velocity, travelling through to the Gold Coast on flight VA527 to board now through gate lounge 40 thank you. I picked seat 2A, because for flights to Southeast Queensland, no matter which runway the plane takes off from, you always get to see the Sydney Harbour on take off if you sit on the left side of the plane.
Let’s check the power plugs, really??? 3/3 flights today don’t have working power plugs! To prove that they aren't working, here’s me plugging-in my phone and it didn’t work. When I flew with Virgin about a week ago, the power plugs were turned-on and functioning, so were the other two flights that I flew 3 days ago. Am I just really unlucky today or do half of Virgin’s fleet have broken power plugs? I don’t know. How are you going today? Good thanks. Just a still water and a sparkling wine please. Okay. The welcome drink on this flight had the extra option of sparkling wine! Yeah Hooray Virgin has reintroduced the sparkling.
Take a look at this aircraft adjacent to us, VH-VOO. Anything special? For this late afternoon flight, I was offered the similar meal options as lunch: I don’t mind having the salmon salad again but for comparison’s sake I opted for the roast vegetable Turkish bread panini. This vegetarian dish was the first hot meal I had on virgin today! The bread was warm and crispy, there were quite a few layers of vegetable and cheese on top of the bread. Once again the dish was very healthy. The side dish was cheese and crackers, and for the drinks I asked for a cup of hot chocolate.
Overall I’d give this meal an 8/10, I still prefer the salmon salad, but this Turkish bread is also an excellent option. After finishing my meal, it was already time to land. Approaching into Gold Coast can be rough sometimes but the view is usually very rewarding. Do you know what you’ll see when sunlight and rain combined in a specific way? The rainbow! How extraordinary! Good afternoon welcome to the Gold Coast the local time is 4:33pm On behalf of your entire onboard team I would like to thank you for choosing to fly with Virgin Australia today, Enjoy the rest of your afternoon and the remainder of the week ahead, thank you and Good afternoon! Hello Gold Coast, hello Queensland! Unfortunately I don’t have time to go to Surfers Paradise or the Movie World today, but I’ll come back to Gold Coast in June. For the time being let’s head back to the airport! This is the shortest Queensland trip I’ve ever had.
One friendly reminder, at Gold Coast Airport, Virgin Australia’s check-in and bag drop only opens 90mins before each flight, so don’t come to the airport too early unless you wanna waste your time waiting and checking your watch every few minutes. Virgin Australia’s lounge at this airport is located above Hungry Jacks, the entry is located behind Hungry Jacks. My first impression of this lounge is that it looks like a smaller version of the Sydney lounge, I mean they probably have the same tables seats, as well as the buffet table. The lounge offers an excellent view of the Apron.
There’s no QR code on each table therefore you have to order your food from the buffet. These are today’s beverage and food options. The aircraft that’ll be flying me back to Sydney is VH-VOO! Did you remember seeing this aircraft earlier in Sydney? Yeah what are the odds! Boarding commenced really early tonight at 35 minutes before take off! Welcome to Business Class, thank you! Second row by the window. VH-VOO is one of the older Boeing 737-800s that Virgin operates. You can see the overhead control panel is different to the newer ones, and the cabin does not have mood lighting. Do you know what else they don’t have? The power plugs! Ugh 4/4 flights today had no functioning power plugs! For the welcome drink I asked for a glass of orange juice.
It tasted like the same orange juice as I had at Maccas. Do you know how hard it is to have a steady shot of the planet that’s 384,000km away on a moving aircraft? So please appreciate my effort! On this last flight of the day, let me show you the inflight entertainment, to access, you have to download the Virgin entertainment app before take off, and connect to Virgin’s local area network in your wifi settings. Virgin now constantly updates its movie collections in its app which is good, and its moving map feature shows you the location, the speed, the altitude of the plane and the estimated time of arrival. Another good thing about the app is that it remembers the movie that you last watched. I watched this movie on my last flight, and I was able to continuing watching it on this flight. For dinner, the options were vegetarian mushroom ravioli, and the famous meat pie! Of course I would pick the meat pie! The meat in the pie was beef brisket, served with mashed potato and tomato chutney.
I think the pie is the only hot non-vegetarian dish that Virgin offers in its business class at the moment! I’m very excited to try it! The pie is slightly larger than the pies you get in a bakery and according to its shape, I reckon it’s made for you to eat with knife and fork. Technically it’s a beef mince pie with finely chopped mushrooms, onions, and carrots. Compare to the other three healthy meals I had earlier, this dish is a bit salty. The tomato chutney worked perfectly with the pie, and the mash was delisious too, however I do wish that they could put more mash on the plate next time. Overall it was another 8/10 dish, but salmon salad is still my favourite! After the meal, it was almost time to land again. You may have noticed that no matter what time it is the crew always calls the meal a light meal.
I mean it is true, most of the dishes I had were either cold or vegetarian, I think Virgin’s strategy is to put simple ingredients on a fancy plate to compete against Qantas and Rex’s hot meal service. Of course I wish to have steak or roast chicken for my main meal but consider how much cheaper Virgin’s business class is compare to Qantas I’m quite happy with Virgin’s new business class menu. Along with the extensive beverage options, the inflight entertainment, the lounge, and the frequent flyer program, Virgin now offers a better business class product than Rex Airlines. In terms of the service, it really depends on the onboard leader, the four that I met today were quite nice and friendly, some pay more attention to detail than others but I can see that they have definitely gone through some sort of training, and they now provide a more personalised service than what I received in early March.
In conclusion, Virgin Australia is now back in the game, offering a truly competitive domestic business class product. I’m more than happy to fly with them again in the future. Thank you so much for watching this video! I know I made it very long again, I promise my next video will be much shorter.
Please hit the like button if you find it interesting or helpful and please subscribe to my channel if you’d like to watch more trains, flights and hotel reviews in the future. Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Sydney where the local time here is 8:30pm. For everyone's safety please keep your seatbelt fastened remain in your seat until the seatbelt sign has been switched off. Ladies and gentlemen thank you for choosing to fly Virgin Australia it's been our pleasure to look after you. On behalf of your crew we wish you a safe onward journey and we'd like to see you onboard again soon. have a lovely evening! And thank you so much for helping me reaching 5k subscribers I believe I’m now well on tracking in reaching 10k before my birthday! Thanks again and I’ll see you guys in my next video!