VA suspends MEL LAX to support increased BNE services

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Clivem

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Just also consider that you could also reluctantly sample the most underwhelming & often crowded NZ lounge flying VA from BNE.. :shock:

So should we take it you're not a great fan of the mid 90's, post apocalyptic influenced, school of interior design them ???

IMG_0938.jpg
 

jetlagger

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Just also consider that you could also reluctantly sample the most underwhelming & often crowded NZ lounge flying VA from BNE.. :shock:
So should we take it you're not a great fan of the mid 90's, post apocalyptic influenced, school of interior design them ???

Just to keep up with the times & increased volumes of passengers in BNE for one valid reason to expand the lounge to cater & improve the very average existing catering & service levels.
I have submitted my thoughts & ideas on those feedback cards in the lounge. ;)
FWIW: The NZ lounge in AKL is a pleasant respite with tasteful ambience.
 
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serfty

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FWIW: The NZ lounge in AKL is a pleasant respite with tasteful ambience.
Ha! muchly the only thing going for it these days is a chance at some reasonable Kiwi Beer (although that's been cut back) ... oh ... the showers are excellent.
 

jetlagger

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Ha! muchly the only thing going for it these days is a chance at some reasonable Kiwi Beer (although that's been cut back) ... oh ... the showers are excellent.

Agreed! Both the cold beer & warm showers are fantastic in AKL in any order. :D
 

anat0l

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Ha! muchly the only thing going for it these days is a chance at some reasonable Kiwi Beer (although that's been cut back) ... oh ... the showers are excellent.

Oh well...the said airline is ~$300M profit strong with a firm stake in VA and highly respected reputation....can't be doing bad in that sense!
 

rtyuiop

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Word of warning for anyone who doesn't habitually fly into BNE and is thinking about using it on a tight connection - until the new runway opens (not soon), you can pretty reliably expect a delayed arrival into BNE due to ATC delays, at anything remotely resembling peak hours...
 

MelUser

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Yes - I think even QF has issues with its staff, the airport and airport management in BNE. Hopefully VA has sorted all this out. Also, hope there are no horror stories for connecting passengers turning up at the domestic terminal with a boarding pass to their connecting flight only to be denied boarding.

There have been a few stories on here of overzelous VA gate agents in Brisbane turning away connecting passengers after forming the view that they wouldn't have made the dash from international to domestic and giving away their seats.
 

Cool Cat Phil

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@travel_daily: Virgin Australia to suspend Melbourne-Los Angeles service on 25 Oct in order to ramp up Brisbane-LA flights to daily on 26 Oct.

Hardly Surprising that VA will dump MEL > LAX with UA about to offer a far superior product 6 times per week ( going to daily next year) on the 787 Dreamliner! VA would lose money badly in they continued on this route.
But certainly good news for BNE residents with increased capacity.
 
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robd

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Hardly Surprising that VA will dump MEL > LAX with UA about to offer a far superior product 6 times per week ( going to daily next year) on the 787 Dreamliner! VA would lose money badly in they continued on this route.
But certainly good news for BNE residents with increased capacity.

If VA would only join *A…..
 

Bolthead

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Hardly Surprising that VA will dump MEL > LAX with UA about to offer a far superior product 6 times per week ( going to daily next year) on the 787 Dreamliner! VA would lose money badly in they continued on this route.
But certainly good news for BNE residents with increased capacity.

It may be a superior product, however it is UA and in my experience they have the worst service in the air and on the ground I have experienced. I hate UA with a passion and they are always my last choice when I travel to LOTFAP.
 

jetlagger

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It may be a superior product, however it is UA and in my experience they have the worst service in the air and on the ground I have experienced. I hate UA with a passion and they are always my last choice when I travel to LOTFAP.

I share the same sentiment about UA.
Flying with UA is similar to shopping at a Walmart outlet. :eek:
 

ozbeachbabe

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'Mad rush' is going to be the right term fairly often I'd think for anyone from MEL going to LAX on VA via BNE who do not elect to 'over-night' in BNE. On current time tables the first MEL -BNE flight, VA303, departs MEL at 06:00 and gets into BNE @ 08:10 all things going perfectly ......them allow time for de-plane (satellite-gate) ...get from the DOM to INT terminal ....encounter the odd bottle neck along the way and it could be a little tight.

But with the VA7 777 service usually starting to board just a tad after 09:30 for a 10:15 push back there is not a whole lot of wiggle room to play with. Throw in a bit of fog .... a bit of morning congestion with holds into BNE or any other delay and I'd think there will be a few punters missing their connections with such a tight spacing. No thanks.

I was just looking at the Domain Serviced Apartments which are in an excellent location of at 110 Racecourse Road Ascot QLD 4007 near cafes, restaurants & supermarkets. The have studio, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments so ideal for families with more than 2 kids. The 2brm condo takes 5 pax & the 3brm up to 7.

A much better choice than staying in some of those other places on Kingsford Smith Drive or at the overpriced (airport hotel not at the airport) Novotel that doesn't provide airport transfers.

Does anyone know if the VA website displays an afternoon or evening MEL/BNE flight the day prior to the BNE/LAX as connecting flights as it would be under 24 hours so not considered a stopover?

Ascot is also convenients to the Eat Street Markets on Friday & Saturday nights at Portside Hamilton on the Brisbane River next to the cruise ship terminal.

eat street markets
 
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Jurahn

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Does anyone know if the VA website displays an afternoon or evening MEL/BNE flight the day prior to the BNE/LAX as connecting flights as it would be under 24 hours so not considered a stopover?

I doubt it - they've never offered it as an option for connecting flights from PER, it's always been the red-eye flight out to BNE, SYD or MEL, or the 5.30am flight out that morning to SYD to connect with VA1 in the afternoon (which will no longer be an option when VA1 commences the earlier departure time from late October). As catching the red-eye, hanging around the airport for anywhere between 6-8 hours and then getting on the long haul flight was such a killer, for our current trip we wondered whether we could do what you suggested - catch an afternoon flight from PER to the east coast, stay overnight and connect to the LAX flight the next day. As you mentioned it's less than 24 hours so wouldn't (shouldn't!) be classed as a stopover. I contacted VA and was told that we couldn't opt for an earlier flight as a "connecting" flight, what we wanted to do would be considered a multi-city booking and would have to be done through the GCC.

Maybe they might consider it for MEL though as you don't have the "overnight" flights we have from PER.
 

Clivem

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.......Does anyone know if the VA website displays an afternoon or evening MEL/BNE flight the day prior to the BNE/LAX as connecting flights as it would be under 24 hours so not considered a stopover?.......

The VA website does not offer what would be effectively a +1 day arrival into LAX from MEL, it only throws up options for same day second leg travel out of BNE on VA7, or SYD on VA1, plus a later Delta option that I think departs around 1pm from SYD.

Currently going through BNE it is do-able, you just need the planets to be in friendly alignment as it is a bit tight - nothing new there but.

I was on VA7 yesterday and a fellow AFF member kicked off from MEL - VA303 was out of MEL on time at 06:00 and got into the BNE Dom terminal gate 45 @ about 08:05. Over at the Int. terminal VA7 started to board at just a tad after 09:30 and was 15 mins late departing from it's home at gate 81 at 10:30 ish. It arrived into LAX 10 minutes late around 06:40. On the current times it could be a tight connection through BNE if anything goes pear shape.

That said, I think the out look does get a lot better once day light saving kicks in - VA303 then gets in to BNE at 07:10 if on time, and for a forward November booking I have I note VA7 drops back to a 11:15 departure.
That then provides a whole lot more wiggle room for all concerned and connections should be easy. So on those times MEL - BNE - LAX is a viable option with minimal stress.


You can also add me to the group with UA at the bottom of their transpac preference list, regardless of how shiny and new their aircraft are on the route.
 
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Mattg

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Remember the outrage when QF dropped its 3x weekly PER-HKG service to bump up its 4x weekly BNE-HKG service to daily? Isn't this more or less the same thing?
 

Cool Cat Phil

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Remember the outrage when QF dropped its 3x weekly PER-HKG service to bump up its 4x weekly BNE-HKG service to daily? Isn't this more or less the same thing?

Exactly. VA have crunched the numbers & realised that from MEL with only 3 departures weekly, this will become unattractive & unprofitable in the very near future, whilst in BNE , they can easily ramp up their roster to Daily as they can compete strongly on this market ( let's remember QF is the only competitor on the BNE > LAX route & they do not use their highly sought after A380's on this route either) so this makes their focus on BNE, where the market opportunities are strongest for them worthy of pursuing.
 

ozbeachbabe

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I doubt it - they've never offered it as an option for connecting flights from PER, it's always been the red-eye flight out to BNE, SYD or MEL, or the 5.30am flight out that morning to SYD to connect with VA1 in the afternoon (which will no longer be an option when VA1 commences the earlier departure time from late October).

As catching the red-eye, hanging around the airport for anywhere between 6-8 hours and then getting on the long haul flight was such a killer, for our current trip we wondered whether we could do what you suggested - catch an afternoon flight from PER to the east coast, stay overnight and connect to the LAX flight the next day.

As you mentioned it's less than 24 hours so wouldn't (shouldn't!) be classed as a stopover. I contacted VA and was told that we couldn't opt for an earlier flight as a "connecting" flight, what we wanted to do would be considered a multi-city booking and would have to be done through the GCC.

Maybe they might consider it for MEL though as you don't have the "overnight" flights we have from PER.

What's the difference in fare between one ticket PER/LAX/PER vs two tickets PER/BNE/PER + BNE/LAX/BNE?

The VA website does not offer what would be effectively a +1 day arrival into LAX from MEL, it only throws up options for same day second leg travel out of BNE on VA7, or SYD on VA1, plus a later Delta option that I think departs around 1pm from SYD.

Currently going through BNE it is do-able, you just need the planets to be in friendly alignment as it is a bit tight - nothing new there but.

Can you book open jaw itins on the VA site or is it strictly 'meat & three veg' one way or round trip stuff?

If not, it would be interesting to find out what the GCC would charge for an open jaw ticket BNE/LAX/PER & you book PER/BNE separately or them booking the entire thing PER/BNE/LAX/PER.
 

Jurahn

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What's the difference in fare between one ticket PER/LAX/PER vs two tickets PER/BNE/PER + BNE/LAX/BNE?

For us it would have been a considerable difference. The PE sale fare PER-LAX-PER was only about $400 more all up than an East-Coast (BNE/SYD/MEL) to LAX return fare at the time - very surprising, as the PE fares out of PER used to be anything up to $1000 more (per person) than PE fares from the East Coast. If we'd booked them separately, in order to be able to upgrade the domestic sectors with points and the two remaining complimentary upgrades I had, we would have had to book Flexi fares PER-BNE(or SYD or MEL)-PER. The Flexi fares PER-BNE and vice versa for the dates we needed were $529 each way per person, so that would have been an extra $1000 EACH on top of the East Coast-LAX fare, so a $1600 difference all up. Those figures are based on us booking these as two separate itineraries on the VA website, as you can't book multi-city/open jaw via the website. We possibly would have been able to get better prices going through the GCC, but decided just to go ahead and book the PE sale fare as there was upgrade availability on 3 of the 4 sectors at that time and we wanted to get those while we could!

We're going out via SYD, so it's actually been a bonus for us that VA1's departure time has been moved forward by 3 hours.
 

Denali

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Re: Virgin Australia - Daily BNE/LAX from October 2014, MEL/LAX suspended

Am I correct in assuming BNE airport as an express path for security/immigration and I can ask for the passes when we arrive at Brissy airport?

thanks,
 
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