From time to time, we may come across something a company has done that makes us decide to stop doing business with them. It may have been a poor experience, a policy change or just the realisation that they were no longer a company that meet your expectations. This week’s trip report is about one such experience, and how giving something one last go can sometimes have a surprising outcome.

I am a very proud Australian – and an even prouder Victorian – and I intended on taking a stand as in my eyes Virgin Australia were treating potential Victorian customers as 2nd class citizens in expecting them to route through Sydney or Brisbane to get to Los Angeles – just not good enough IMHO…So it was with great interest I was looking forward to what I believed was going to be my last ever Virgin Australia flight – Business Class Los Angeles to Melbourne on Sept 23.

As our traveller explains, the flight had been booked over a year ago. The upcoming demise of the route for Virgin Australia was only announced recently, thanks to the Brisbane service going to a daily schedule. With only 5 aircraft in their 777 fleet, despite the success of the route, Virgin simply did not have enough planes to keep it going. So it was a case of one last hurrah, for Virgin and our traveller, on the LA to Melbourne route.

The journey starts off with a visit to the new Star Alliance Lounge at LAX. Operated by Air New Zealand it has been receiving very favourable reviews compared to its predecessor. After a sufficient shower, refuge is soon sought in a glass of sparkling wine, in this case a local variety from the Napa Valley. Soon it is time for boarding, and a look at some of the things that make the Virgin Business Class experience quite unique.

Cruiserettes first time in VA Business – her first impression as we enter cabin is WOW – how cool is this. We find seats 3K / K and park ourselves. She is so stoked we can actually sit side by side and enjoy the fight together. I go to change, first thing you notice is front toilets much bigger that Qantas First – plenty room to change – and they still have the Ladies Only toilet – what a great idea – ladies you know what I am talking about. Next thing you notice is they hand you a complete suit cover for your clothes – never seen that before.

Unlike the lounge, onboard champagne is served as the sparkling wine, and once again it’s not at a temperature suitable for our traveller. A problem noted also on a past trip. With 16 odd hours of travel ahead, what sort of experience awaits our intrepid traveller, will more past mistakes rear their ugly heads? And what will happen to possibly change our travellers mind about flying again with Virgin Australia? Join the journey HERE.


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