V Australia Business Class…Stacks up?

So my new friends are V Australia, the international arm of Virgin Australia the “second” mainline Aussie carrier (Qantas being the first). I have now flown in all three V Australia classes between Australia and Los Angeles on their beautiful Boeing 777-300ERs (I really do like V Australia!). Check out my trip report about International Premium Economy Class .

I have now flown with V Australia to LA out of all three of their Australian ports: Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. They have been consistently excellent at all of them.
Today’s Trip was actually several months ago. Like this blog post, the flight was significantly delayed! The flight ended up leaving seven hours late. This was due to a V Australia 777 shredding an engine while taking off in LA. The knock on effect of one aircraft out of action had a significant effect on their operations. V made up for the delay by arranging a hotel room, meal vouchers and transportation. Their communication about the delay and options was very good unlike the first time I ever flew out of Brisbane with Virgin Blue in 2000 when the plane was delayed ten hours! (check out post)

Los Angeles
11,546  km
15:43  h
V Australia
VA 7
Boeing 777

Check in at the business line was fast, friendly and fun. A great start to a great trip. Security line and immigration using express line was very zippy.
V uses Air New Zealand’s Koru Lounge at Brisbane. Air New Zealand have some of the best lounges in the world so its always great to get inside them!
On arrival at the gate, I found they had already started boarding. A flash of my Boarding pass and the V Australia staff halted the economy line and pushed me up front. Kind of embarrassing and kind of fun. My friend Andy says the best bit about flying in business is enjoying the envious look of economy passengers! (seeing I spend more of my time down the back than the front I know what that envy feels and looks like!). If he is in business he likes to get there early so that people can see him sitting up front!

On boarding the aircraft, I was invited to turn right which surprised me. I thought I would be going left. I then discovered that V Australia has five rows in Business class. The cabin is split between four rows in front of the main door and one row between that door and the Premium Economy Bar. This Row 5 was where I was spending my flight.  And it has to be the best place on the whole plane. After take off the area is screened off so that you are effectively in your own 7 passenger cabin!

V Australia’s International Business class has a 2-3-2 configuration with fully horizontal flat beds that are 188 cm (6’2″) long and seat pitch of 77″.  This is more than double that of their economy cabin.

The welcome aboard was the best I have ever had on any business class on any airline. The welcome was thorough with a good explanation about the cabin, the seat, bed, entertainment, meals and lavatories.  Business Class have access to three lavatories – one of which is a women’s only lavatory (although I was shown inside it when I got a cabin tour!). There are also the two Premium Economy toilets close to hand. Compare that to the seven available in Economy!

There is a personal workstation with laptop power, USB slot and reading light. Business Class In-Flight entertainment has a 30.7cm (12.1 inches)  touchscreen Personal TV with a Panasonic Audio and Video on demand (AVOD)  system called RED. I have discussed V’s system before.

The 777 has groovy mood lighting that changes from purple to pink to orange over the trip. I love the lighting. In the middle of the night, they even have little stars twinkling overhead! The only disadvantage of it is that every picture of me was too dark so I can’t show you me in my snug seat! I have seen the same lighting on Virgin America. I think Etihad have it. Anyone else?

Now dinner! One word: yum. You can order and eat at any time you want or enjoy meals at the airline’s timing. I chose the airline’s timing.

The serving of the meals was of the same standard as Air New Zealand and Qantas who do this superbly. One of the cute features is that the salt and pepper shakers are in the shape of the Sydney Opera House’s sails!

Ice cream biscuity dessert– very yum

After dessert, determined to switch to US time as soon as possible (one of my tricks for avoiding jetlag), I asked the staff to make my bed up while I changed into the V Australia pyjamas. Unlike Qantas, you  cannot keep the PJs and V take them back to be washed for a future flight. One friend thought the idea of sharing pyjamas was a bit gross! The amenity kit was very nice and came in an amazing mini suitcase I used to carry my laptop into a few meetings! Sleep came quickly and I slept through the night.

Breakfast was magnificent with a good range of fresh choices.

Unlike my first V Australia flight which pulled up in the middle of nowhere at LAX, this flight rolled into a gate.

We were farewelled by the amazing crew and I was genuinely sorry to leave their friendly company and the comfortable plane- even after 15hours!

My rating: 100% Yes even with the delay – 100%. They nudged ahead of Qantas and Air New Zealand*

Got an opportunity to fly V Australia? Do it! They stack up in every class! Tomorrow I compare the business class offerrings on the Pacific sector.

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