Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Australian Short Haul Domestic Business Comparison : Part 3 - Virgin Australia (Sydney to Melbourne)

After arriving from Brisbane I headed to the Virgin Australia lounge which is conveniently located airside within the terminal. I stayed in the downstairs section. It was around 6pm so people were having dinner. I ended up with some fairly tasty nachos and a glass of white wine.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Australian Short Haul Domestic Business Comparison : Part 3 - Virgin Australia (Brisbane to Sydney)

Following on from my first two articles detailing Qantas' short haul domestic business class offering, let's have a look now at what the competition is doing. Virgin Australia only went 'premium' a few years ago and I was yet to try their offering in business class on short haul. With that in mind I booked an award ticket Brisbane to Melbourne (via Sydney). This article covers the first sector, flight VA960, the 3.30pm service from Brisbane to Sydney on a Boeing 737-800.

I arrived at the airport a little after 2pm and headed to the kiosk to print my boarding pass, I had pre-selected seat 1F, a bulkhead window in the first row. Virgin Australia only offer 8 business seats on the B737, 2 rows of 4. This compares to Qantas who offer 3 rows of 4 totaling 12 seats.  Both Qantas and Virgin seats are quite similar in terms of width and pitch, however Virgin do not offer a foot/leg rest. We will look at the seat later but for now it was off through security and to the Virgin lounge.

The fairly attrative Brisbane Domestic Terminal Entry

Monday, April 13, 2015

Australian Short Haul Domestic Business Comparison : Part 2 - Qantas (Sydney to Gold Coast)

After arriving in Sydney from Melbourne I headed to the Business Class / Platinum Lounge upstairs in T3. I flashed my boarding pass for the next sector QF864 to the Gold Coast and found a nice window seat. There is a reasonable view of the Qantas domestic ramp and when runway 16R is in use you can see aircraft landing. I went to the bar and ordered a cappuccino and checked out the buffet. There was a staff member making fresh chicken rolls so I grabbed a couple, and they were pretty tasty!


Afternoon tea - chicken bread rolls with lettuce and mayonaise
 I was watching the gate whilst I ate and noticed the aircraft operating my service arrive from it's previous sector:


Friday, April 10, 2015

Australian Short Haul Domestic Business Comparison : Part 1 - Qantas (Melbourne to Sydney)

Recently over a period of a couple of days had the opportunity to try 2 short haul Qantas business class flights, followed by 2 short haul Virgin Australia business class flights.  I thought I  would do a bit of a comparison  series of articles on both products.

First up I flew on Qantas from Melbourne to Sydney and then on to the Gold Coast. Flight QF438 from Melbourne to Sydney is the 2pm departure and currently an A330-200 service on most days of the week.

I arrived at the terminal and proceeded straight through security, making use of the Qantas business class dedicated priority security queue. Once through there I had lunch in the Business/Platinum lounge with good views of the tarmac. I grabbed my boarding pass at the customer service desk and headed in. A hot beef pie was on offer along with various salads, soups, sandwiches etc, I took the pie and I had a white wine with it (yes, I know it's not a good match!).


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Jetstar Business Class : JQ7 Melbourne to Singapore on the A330


FLIGHT
JQ7
AIRLINE
Jetstar
ROUTE
Melbourne to Singapore
GATE DEPARTURE
12.00 (Scheduled) / 12.32 (Actual)
GATE ARRIVAL
16.45 (Scheduled) / 17.31 (Actual)
FLIGHT TIME
7 hours 30 minutes airborne
AIRCRAFT
Airbus A330-200 (8 years old)
I recently needed a fairly last minute flight out of Melbourne to S.E Asia and as it was the beginning of Easter school holidays in Melbourne, the flights were quite heavily booked. However Jetstar still had a reasonable offer of $399 one way in economy class on their Singapore route which I decided to purchase. I normally try to avoid LCC's in economy on flights more than about 4 hours but on this occasion I was fairly price conscious and using points for business class on a major carrier was not an option either. 

Fortunately 7 days before the flight came an email offering an upgrade for $180 to business class, or for $230 to business max (which includes Qantas frequent flyer points and status credits, plus lounge access if you don't have that already). I snapped it up pretty quickly and my partner and I ended up in 4J and 4K at the front of the bus, instead of up the back. I was excited to try Jetstar business class as I had read online that despite the poor seat the service had been significantly upgraded since I last flew on this product when it was called 'Starclass'.

With a noon departure scheduled I arrived at the airport at 10am and was checked  in quickly at the priority counter by a woman who whilst not really rude, was fairly nonchalant. Unfortunately no priority security/customs pass was provided, but luckily I have a supply of them in my passport wallet so I used an old Qantas one and managed to avoid the queues. By 10.25am I was in the luxurious surrounds of the Qantas First Class Lounge  - a perk that Qantas frequent flyers get to enjoy when flying with Jetstar, the LCC subsidiary of Qantas.


The wonderful Qantas First lounge at Melbourne