Why do you choose to fly VA (domestic)

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Daggs01

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This is not designed to be an argument about QF v VA.

The question is on my mind as to why you choose to fly VA.

I am trying to look for the positive aspects of each airlines offering.

Work travel would allow me to maintain WP with both by flying ex SYD on VA and return on QF and am able to use hotels and rental cars which credit points to either.

I am slightly inclined to consolidate points on the one program as opposed to share between the two, however I can see the advantages of either.
 

pat25d

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I fly them because their staff seem to be younger and more engaged, and they have THE best domestic J fit-out in the world on their A330s.
 

mella2007

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I fly them because they initially offered me a good line of communication and needs for my business. The team are usually very friendly, the award redemptions where I need to go are of a good standard and usually available and the prices (as all self funded) are good.
 

ataline

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Better business class product for the routes I fly (PER-SYD/MEL).
Easier to obtain and retain status.
 

Jousams

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I fly them because their staff seem to be younger and more engaged, and they have THE best domestic J fit-out in the world on their A330s.

" " " "


+premium entry at Sydney!
 

tuapekastar

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Had not set foot on them prior to Plat status match in latish 2011. Since then I've flown 24 flights domestically with them versus 11 on QF and 3 on JQ (these were JQi tag legs between MEL and SYD). I'm not an overly frequent flyer compared with many here.

I seriously wanted to give them a go after the match (return the favour), and given their stated intent to provide serious opposition to QF.

Early flights were great.

I really like the 4 comp plat upgrades from flexi to J. I have a lot of friends in PER and have utilised these upgrades for flights there and back (as opposed to QF JASA). Service on the first couple of return transcons in J was brilliant, but with very lightly loaded cabins. Next time, we had a J cabin with ~16 people (still quite a way from full) and the FAs appeared under a lot of pressure and many small mistakes were made...I hope that's just part of a learning curve and they have got better (am trans-conning again in a few weeks so may get the chance to find out). All staff in both classes (and at the lounges) were very enthusiastic in the early days and really appeared to be wanting to be there doing their job. Could not have faulted them. Some cracks have appeared in recent times, and it'll be interesting to see whether it gets better.

I love the way they get PB right, where QF seemingly cannot, or just will not (at least not consistently).

Pricing generally good, and points redemptions have been quite competitive.

On the negative side I do not like buy on board (acknowledging that QF charges domestically for alcohol - with exceptions). As long as VA maintain that then I won't be happy, hopefully in future they will not. I can cope with not having a meal or a snack or whatever on shorter flights, I just don't like having to get my wallet out on board.

I hate how many IVR menu levels I have to go through to speak to someone at VA.

One or two of VA's lounges are quite nice (specifically BNE and OOL), but in general I prefer QF's lounges.

VA not being part of an alliance is a potential bugbear. It doesn't affect domestic flying per se, but could well influence whether I fly with them domestically.

Being self-funded leisure travel, maintaining status in both is difficult (I've only had VA for 2 years with some help from the airline) and I suspect in the short term I'll plump for QF. But I may be able to maintain VA Gold rather than Plat. Who knows?
 

Simo

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I will fly on VA but flight time has to suit me and the destination has to be serviced by them.

Price again is not the deciding factor.
 

oz_mark

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I am going to have to make entries in both this and the competing QF thread, as my answer depends.

Better business class product for the routes I fly (PER-SYD/MEL).
Easier to obtain and retain status.

I'm just gonna put it out there and say that on the mentioned trans-cons, the economy product on the VA A330s is just as good as the Qantas service. If I always got one of the new A330s then I'd say better, but the older A330s (with loop IFE) got them knocked down a notch or two.

Also, when flying from PER-MEL, the VA flight gets in at 10:30 PM, while the QF flight gets in at 11:40pm. The 10:30pm flight suits me much better!
 

serfty

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No brainer for an NZ elite.....
I have lounge access with both QF and VA, the latter through both VA SG and NZ GE (although the latter does not provide the good seat selection it was supposed to).

Most of my domestic flight these days are on VA business, simply because the awards are cheaper (Although I did travel on QF earlier this month on an $88 special to OOL).

This weekend I'm on VA all the way.
 
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JohnK

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- Used to fly them only when Qantas airfares were ridiculously expensive and even after status match did not fly them that much more
- Cheap airfares OOL-SYD when Qantas announced return, complimentary upgrades and I will retain Gold for another year

At this stage I feel I will reduce my VA travel again as in my opinion the airline is not professional enough, questionable customer service, has an inferior frequent flyer program, further dilution of Gold benefits is not what I am looking for in an airline.
 

medhead

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As per the other thread: price and they suit my needs.

No point paying for a meal I don't want.
 
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PDog

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- Used to fly them only when Qantas airfares were ridiculously expensive and even after status match did not fly them that much more
- Cheap airfares OOL-SYD when Qantas announced return, complimentary upgrades and I will retain Gold for another year

At this stage I feel I will reduce my VA travel again as in my opinion the airline is not professional enough, questionable customer service, has an inferior frequent flyer program, further dilution of Gold benefits is not what I am looking for in an airline.

what are/is the dilution of gold benefits on VA? I think I've missed something!
 

RooFlyer

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For purely domestic travel, I usually fly VA domestic Y mainly based on price; I think they have their price/product balance pretty right. Their J, while good, isn't worth the cost for me.

I'll also fly VA for non 1W international connections.

VA lack lounges at a few of my 'main' airports (eg HBA ) and this is off-putting, as is their phone service (endless menu). If I have significant connection or 'at airport' times I may choose QF even if its a bit more expensive. Haven't tried VA's new booking engine yet, but hope its an improvement on the previous version.

I am concerned abut VA trending to 'full service' and making Tiger their LCC, if the deal is approved. If VA's prices go up with the better service (and it is improving), and Tiger is the cheaper option, then its straight back over to QF for me. Jet* will remain my 'airline of last resort' whilst Tiger is my 'airline to avoid at all costs'.
 

PDog

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They are seated behind the platinums in the new booking system.

Ah, thanks. Although I guess from a Plat side in an improvement!

I fly with VA as my company has a BFOTD policy, and I don't fly enough to maintain decent status on two programs. I fly Mel, Syd, Bris so am fortunate they suit my needs.
 

eastwest101

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I often don't get to choose but I am very happy that they are simply there, to provide much needed competition to QF and to impede Qantas management from JQ-izing more of QF's network.
 

Ausbt

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I moved over to VA during the status match and I'm going to stick. To me, VA have a contemporary and modern feel versus Q's getting-raggy-around-the-edges vibe. I think of Q as the older brother/sister (let's not be sexist here!) - you know, not as attractive, not as appealing. I'm sure it's not really the case but Q's lounges seem to be filled more with older, less-attractive people who look like they just stepped in dog doo. VA's lounges, while argueably a touch more bogan, don't bother me as much (telling, I suppose).

Additionally, I believe VA's on-time performance has been better. I prefer 737s to the ancient 767s Q often flies, and loading/unloading is clearly quicker at VA. Plus up to this point I always sit in row 3 compared to wherever on Q. So after this year, I'm happy to drop my SG with Q and just concentrate on maintaining Plat with VA.
 

Fruitcake

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I used to fly DJ purely because of cost, but a couple of years ago I was in a position of gaining status with an airline for the first time. After a substantial work trip with QF I had enough SCs for QF Gold but was short on sectors. However, DJ at that time became VA and after a couple of domestic flights with them, I found that the giggling teenage FAs had somehow morphed into adults who were keen and willing to give very good service (even if a little raw in the execution). Add in the changes to Velocity (especially family pooling) and the addition of business class as a "carrot" for the odd upgrade and I decided to do a status run with Virgin and haven't looked back. Relative fare levels are moving closer to QF but I still feel I'm getting value. Personally, I would now pay slightly more for a VA flight than a QF flight at the same time.

(Being the recipient of QF's famous Australian service was a significant factor in not wanting to pursue gold with QF. Of course I regretted that when, just after my QF review date passed, VA announced the second round of status matches, which meant that flying one sector on QF would have saved me doing a VA status run...!).

I find that VA also seems to give staff a bit more latitude to deliver service than QF does. But it's difficult to tell if that's the influence of status, or whether it's like that for everyone.
 
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