How does Virgin Australia compare to the other airlines that are running between Los Angeles in Sydney?
This is the only international long-haul route that Virgin Australia currently operates (their main Business focus being the direct competitor to Qantas in the Australian domestic market). They also call codeshared with Delta on the same route, which has been rumoured to not be as high-quality as the Virgin Australia equivalent.
Virgin Australia operates a Boeing 777 for this route, with three classes business, premium economy, and standard economy. The economy class itself has a special seat configuration called the economy X, that provides extra legroom. Premium economy is in a 2-4-2 configuration.
The seat has the following features, Generous 41” seat pitch and 9” recline, 10.6” Seatback In-flight entertainment screen and noise cancelling headset. In-seat electrical power and USB connectivity are also included.
Premium economy was invited to board after the business class passengers, which did not take long as there were not many in that class. I was pleased to find that I had no other passengers on my row, which was excellent for the overnight trip to Sydney. As per normal, I took the window seat.
I was given a pillow, blanket, amenity kit and surprisingly, noise cancelling headphones. There was actually so much free stuff on the seat that it took some time to move it over to an adjacent row so I could sit down. It would be hard to imagine this would make an easy boarding process if this flight had been full. As LAX is such a busy airport it took us approximately 45 minutes from boarding to takeoff. We were informed that additional fuel was included to make up the time.
Upon boarding, we were given a commentary beverage before takeoff.
90 minutes after take-off we were served dinner service, this was a choice of a chicken pasta, beef stirfry or a vegetarian option. It also came with a bread roll, cheese and salad. There was no dessert. There was nothing exceptional about the meal, but asking for additional serving resulted in a tray full of bread rolls, beef and cheese. A+ for service.
Onboard entertainment was plentiful, with an abundance of movies and TV shows from the last few months. With such a large screen and the included noise-cancelling headphones, the experience was fantastic.
After dinner, the cabin lights were dimmed for sleeping.
One hour before landing we were served a hot breakfast, composed of a mushroom omelette, a beverage and a fruit salad.
We landed in Sydney airport 15 minutes before the expected arrival time and were able to quickly disembark from the plane. It took a very long time for the baggage, but that’s on Sydney airport, not Virgin.
The experience was exactly what I was looking for when travelling on the night flight from Los Angeles to Sydney. The entertainment units were top-notch, the food could’ve been improved, but the service was immaculate. It’ll be interesting to see how It compares to its codeshare partner Delta and its rival Qantas.