Reflections of a high status QF FF on first ever flight on Virgin

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DTM1

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As a long time elite QFF member, I never thought I would fly Virgin. I have no shortage of QF miles and have been P1 for some time now.

However, Virgin recently did a deal with my work to offer frequent flyers gold virgin status. Sure, it's not a complete status match, which would have made more sense, but it was better than nothing in terms of points earn. That, combined with the recent AMEX credit card deal I signed up for which gave me 100,000 velocity points, made me at least consider virgin (as I now have plenty of miles to tfr over to SQ).

I wouldn't bother switching for any east coast flights, but I frequently fly from the east coast to Perth (all in J), so thought it would be a good chance to try out the Virgin business suite, particularly given the very average QF trans-continental hard product (noting that since QF put some upgraded A330s on the same route, I have flown it 7 times and never had the new QF business pod).

Upshot of my experience:

Hard product - outstanding for a domestic flight. Herringbone style works well
Lounge/check-in - reasonable, but not nearly as nice/convenient as the QF J lounge
In flight food - possibly better than QF, but serves are a lot smaller
In flight service - good, but no better than QF (in fact, QF is probably slightly better in J and seems to manage a much better pax:staff ratio, at least during service times).

If Virgin did a true status match, I might consider using them more, but otherwise would only be likely to use them for transcontinental and only when I had re-qualified my QF status each year.

However, once I re-qualify WP (maybe not even bother with P1 going fwd), would definitely consider Virgin J for Perth legs, although would not use them for other travel unless true status match/benefits.

I think QF will really see some revenue leakage east/west unless they do something about the hard product (and quickly), as I am a perfect example of someone who would never have otherwise given any of my substantial travel revenue to Virgin.

cheers
 

Mattg

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Interesting to read your comments.

Luckily Qantas is doing something about those A330s flying between Perth and the East Coast. Roughly half of the fleet have already been refurbished with the new Business suites (which IMHO are fantastic, but I haven't tried Virgin to Perth yet) and the rest of the refurbishments will be completed by sometime next year.

When flying QF, are you able to choose your flights so that you're picking flights scheduled to be operated by a refurbished A330?
 

serfty

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Interesting observations.

I presume you have something like "Pilot Gold" rarher than a psuedo status match.

I work to maintain WP with both VA and QF as I can leverage maximum cost/benefit in the Oz, trans Tasman and in the USA.

I suspect with the travel you do, it would be able to maintain high status in both programmes quite easily.
 
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