I'm sticking with Virgin J (vs Qantas)

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Plutonus

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After reading all the fanfare about Qantas domestic J over Virgin, coupled with Virgin's website woes a few months ago I booked my first Qantas J flight, OOL-SYD, which I flew yesterday.

I'm on mobile so I'll be brief, but here's why I'm sticking with Virgin:
- Qantas Club at OOL. Sure other lounges might be better but the Virgin lounge at OOL in comparison is bliss.
- The seats. Obviously I was not on a new BSI plane I've heard all about. Seats were worn and in both seats I sat in the head rest part was broken, moved around and was stuck at an angle, despite many attempts to fix.
- On this theme, overall cabin ambience and aesthetics. Old plane? Looked drab and dreary in comparison to Virgin colours. Maybe I just like modern styling.
- IFE inserts that seemed to be one continuous ad about how great Qantas is. Blergh.
- Priority baggage. Lets just rename this to baggage and be done.
- Food. Was okay, but definitely not better than Virgin. To be fair, I feel Virgin has improved recently in this area. As a side, if I'm nitpicking, why do I get so many glasses if I'm not using them? Hardly any room on the tray and I'm a messy eater.

To their credit, the crew, particularly CSM, were fantastic and this certainly was a plus.

With fare differences usually $100+, actually even if the fares were the same, I'll be sticking with Virgin for now.

Over to everyone for comments and discussion ;-)
 
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Very much each to their own Plutonus and as is often said elsewhere it just means you are one less person to contend with when booking QF J seats.

I look at a bigger picture than just 1 lounge or 1 flight. Sure there will be some poorer flights along the way but QF tick all the boxes for me and I can look past the minor glitches (but may still have a moan). I'm by no means a big flier in the AFF world but have never had a QF experience that made me consider turning to the dark side.
 

deejo77

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On just one flight its not great to compare - let me know if you do a second one :p
 

lovestotravel

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I look at a bigger picture than just 1 lounge or 1 flight. Sure there will be some poorer flights along the way but QF tick all the boxes for me and I can look past the minor glitches (but may still have a moan). I'm by no means a big flier in the AFF world but have never had a QF experience that made me consider turning to the dark side.

Exactly right!

For me:
QF F lounges
QF J lounges
Food in the J lounges and even the QPs
Consistent service
Great crew
IFE on every flight (737/767/A330) if I don't want to stuff around with my own netbook/tablet/mobile etc

That being said I am not hoarding too many QF points as I fear their FF program is due for a big enhancement any month/year now and it's far easier to earn Velocity points than QF for me

I do agree that the older QF 737's do feel very old and the Virgin 737's feel much nicer/modern, but then it's all the small things that let VA down for me.

I do have a few VA flights over the next few months, 2 in J and 1 in Y, so I'll be interested to see what has changed on VA in close to 9 months since I stopped flying them, to be honest I am expecting not much to have improved but I'll see how it goes.
 

Plutonus

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Very much each to their own Plutonus and as is often said elsewhere it just means you are one less person to contend with when booking QF J seats.

I look at a bigger picture than just 1 lounge or 1 flight.

Very valid point. I never got the 'one less person to contend with' line that other people use. Seems like a defensive response when I'm not trying to convert anyone or analyse someone else's choices :). I'm just interested in other experiences whilst sharing my own.
My view is if you're trying to win business you need to make an impression every flight. Does Virgin do this for me? Nope. But on a clear majority they do. How many chances should I give Qantas?

Edit: sorry for poor layout. Mobile resets my paragraphs :(
 
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For me:
QF F lounges
QF J lounges
Food in the J lounges and even the QPs
Consistent service
Great crew
IFE on every flight (737/767/A330) if I don't want to stuff around with my own netbook/tablet/mobile etc

Add to that OW partners and now Emirates.

Between SWMBO and myself we have close family in Newcastle (UK), Kaohsiung and Chicago not to name various cities across Australia so we do not have to look long and hard for our travel plans to fall into place and they are all with carriers with regular and convenient connection times. The J/F lounges between flights are great and make the journey's so much easier and bearable.
 

Plutonus

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Add to that OW partners and now Emirates.

Between SWMBO and myself we have close family in Newcastle (UK), Kaohsiung and Chicago not to name various cities across Australia so we do not have to look long and hard for our travel plans to fall into place and they are all with carriers with regular and convenient connection times. The J/F lounges between flights are great and make the journey's so much easier and bearable.

Fair enough, but some of the benefits you and lovestotravel refer to are more frequent flyer things rather than a domestic business class thing, which is where I was hoping to contain things ;)
 

AaronBradford

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To be honest, neither QF nor VA succeed at all with priority baggage IMHO. It's a shambles on both.
 
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Fair enough, but some of the benefits you and lovestotravel refer to are more frequent flyer things rather than a domestic business class thing, which is where I was hoping to contain things ;)

Fair call. In terms of Business travel, just done SYD-MEL-PER rtn over the long weekend. My only gripe was priority boarding in PER over the whole trip which I griped about elsewhere.

J lounges in SYD and MEL were good as usual, especially the Potato Rosti's in SYD on Good Friday!

Seating was good on all flights and got an angled lie flat 330 on the MEL-PER. Tried 1A/B, 1J/K, 2A/B and 2J/K after mixed reviews. I'm 6ft 2in and was happy in Row 1, the recline into Row 2 annoyed me so know better for future.

No IFE issues, watched a couple of TV documentaries and Argo. Looked a good selection of movies, saved some for upcoming flights.

Food was great on the 2 long flights, omelette for breakfast outbound and chicken and polenta on the return. Maggie beer ice cream and cheese on the return also went down like a treat, as did the Shiraz and Muscat.

767's on the SYD-MEL were tired but we know these will depart the fleet soon enough. Still far more comfortable and roomy that a 737 IMO and we had the flexibility to avoid them so happy.

Cabin crew were good on all legs with nothing to complain about, best of them all would have been the PER-MEL as our glasses were never empty! :)

We only checked baggage on the return due to the 18 bottles of wine from Margaret River we were carrying (another 30 being shipped). Our bags were almost first off the carousel in SYD. I cannot be exact as there was still a lot of bags from QF458 ex MEL (15 minutes ahead of us) going around when we got ours which in my opinion speaks for itself, priority baggage worked that day.

Taxi in SYD, waited 5 minutes in a queue of about 50. Taxi driver commented the queue at T2 was about 500 long. I know that's not directly related to Business class but is just another reason for me to stay away from T2 or the 'Peasant Terminal' as SWMBO commonly refers to it. As a SYD based flyer, it is important to me.

Looking at some of the 'Virgin Blue' that are still to be seen knocking around, I fear your views would be a little different if you were on those regularly. Whilst some of the 737's and 767's will be off to a grave soon, I'd rather stick with them!

Hope that got it back on track for you Plutonus, I will let others provide their verdicts now.
 

BAM1748

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Jul 22, 2008
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6,125
Good on you for sticking to your beliefs and voting with your wallet and Virgin.

Personally I prefer QF and will be sticking with them as that's my preference.

Matt
 

dk4

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'swondeful... let me start by saying all my flights to and from PER (& east coast) are now exclusively on VA A330s, QF is just so far behind the eight ball, that I doubt they will be able to catch up.

The minimum Qantas seat pitch that one could "score" on their wide body aircraft is 37" (or 35" if you believe Seat Guru) and the minimum possible on a Virgin wide body is 60". THAT'S 23 (to 25) INCHES MORE PERSONAL SPACE ON VA, even before I consider the vastly superior in-flight experience on VA - champagne on the ground, nuts in bowl, choice of entree, side salad with mains, Cointreau with dessert, jacket in a bag...

When it comes to B737s, it's much of a muchness, but IME, a VA CS with only two rows (a max of 8 pax) to serve, manages far more prompt & personalised service than a QF CSM with three rows (max 12 pax) to serve. Plus the price on VA is so much better, especially with VA's dual pricing structure in Business (a non-flexible VA discount J fare, combined with "fly ahead" = perfect for me).

And QF doesn't even bother to compete in the Regional Jet market, so Virgin wins with 1x2 in J on an E90 versus 2x3 on a QantasLink B717 (economy only).

However, I think that Qantas still wins in the tropics, where I refuse to fly on an airline without a private departure lounge. Thank goodness for domestic one way fare structures!
 

lovestotravel

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If I was flying to/from PER from MEL I would be on Virgin simply for the A330 product which is far ahead of QF

However when/if QF upgrade the A330s to a SkyBedII.....
 

Ausbt

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Apr 21, 2012
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The same rules apply:

If you are older, more conversative and snobbier - you fly QF
If you are younger, hipper and ...whatever - you fly Virgin

...I'm none of those things, but I know whose hosties I'd prefer to stare at :)
 

moa999

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Jun 23, 2003
Posts
12,056
Ignoring the East-West routes where Virgin J wins hands down

The other big thing is points earn.
Lets say the fare is $600 (probably about normal for golden triangle eg. SYD-MEL or SYD-BNE)

QF - 1,250 (Min points earn <500 miles despite any cabin or status bonuses)
VA Plat - 6,000
VA Red - 3,000
 

albatross710

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May 15, 2004
Posts
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Mrs Albatross and I flew VA J BNE-MEL-BNE over the Easter break. Our general feelings compared to our QF J experiences on the same sector was that the cabin staff on QF J are more senior and just create a better experience for us as middle aged wannabes.

The QF J lounges also give that extra feeling in preparation of the experience.







.
 

AstroDamo

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Jan 9, 2011
Posts
219
Fair call. In terms of Business travel, just done SYD-MEL-PER rtn over the long weekend. My only gripe was priority boarding in PER over the whole trip which I griped about elsewhere.

J lounges in SYD and MEL were good as usual, especially the Potato Rosti's in SYD on Good Friday!

Seating was good on all flights and got an angled lie flat 330 on the MEL-PER. Tried 1A/B, 1J/K, 2A/B and 2J/K after mixed reviews. I'm 6ft 2in and was happy in Row 1, the recline into Row 2 annoyed me so know better for future.

You were probably on the same flight as I on Friday, Flying in 1A on QF447 and QF481 (Loved the lie flat beds). We had an excellent crew onboard I felt. Loved the experience went on it as a JASA run so my partner could get QF Gold before the year expired at the end of March with DSC promo.
 
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