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VA short-haul international (Pacific Islands - non-TT) - any status benefits?

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smit0847

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I've just booked a trip to Samoa using some VA points. One of the flights is SYD-APW operated by Virgin Australia NZ for Virgin Samoa (whatever the hell that means).

What should I expect? I'll be VA SG travelling Y at the time. I know there's no J, only their weird Y+. Is there priority check-in, boarding and baggage? If the flight is lightly loaded (there were about 6 seats blocked on the whole flight when I did seat selection - 3A was not a problem) would they blocked the two seats next to me or is status irrelevant for this flight?

I was clearly told that there would be no lounge access in SYD (why there's lounge access when travelling TT but not to pacific islands is beyond me - either do it properly or don't do it at all). Is there anyway to gain lounge access except pay for it? I assume no-one on my flight will have lounge access?

I was also told it would be impossible for them to give me my boarding pass in MEL (Im connecting MEL-SYD-APW) for the SYD-APW flight and I would need to physically check-in at SYD intl in order to get my boarding pass (making an annoying terminal transfer + no lounge access much more annoying). Is this true? If I can get my boarding pass in MEL I'll use arrivals access in the SYD dom lounge and just kill some time before making my way over to intl.

I could have booked flights on NZ metal which I'm guessing would allow me to have priority everything as I have both VA SG and *A SG but the flight times are not as good as the VZNZ4VASWTF flights.

Perhaps this will be a piece of cake but it already seems like it will highlight once again the confusing and frustrating arrangement VA has with its partners. VA has trumpeted since day 1 how great the 'virtual alliance' is but it is confusing for its customers with all the exceptions to the exceptions to the exceptions to the rules. For all QFs faults, the OW benefits are pretty clearly explained.

Anyone had any experience or am I going to be the only status pax on the flight?!
 

smit0847

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EDIT: just checked the VA lounge access page and it seems I do have access to NZ lounge in SYD:

Virgin Australia and Virgin Samoa operated International flights - ex Brisbane, Sydney & MelbourneAir New Zealand Koru LoungeYou and a guest on presentation of membership card and boarding pass for same day departure with Virgin Australia.

Platinum members are entitled to 3 guests when travelling on Trans-Tasman services.
Brisbane

Sydney

Melbourne
 
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notzac

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..you should also get all boarding cards at MEL; international flights used to operate from a separate reservation system, so boarding cards for itineraries with both domestic and international flights couldn't be generated all at one time. No longer the case, thankfully.
 

cavemanzk

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I've just booked a trip to Samoa using some VA points. One of the flights is SYD-APW operated by Virgin Australia NZ for Virgin Samoa (whatever the hell that means).

Virgin Samoa is an joint venture between Virgin Australia and the Samoan Government, Virgin Samoa is an New Zealand based holding company. That Contracts Virgin Australia (NZ) limited to operate its flights on behalf of it. Virgin Australia (NZ) limited is the New Zealand based division, that used to be known as Pacific Blue. Who currently operate 9x 737-800 in an PE/Y config, and all there aircarft are registered in New Zealand with AKL/CHC based crew.
 
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