Qantas vs Virgin Australia Economy

An Independent Review

 Source: Qantas

Source: Qantas

Flight No: Qantas Airways

QF565  Sydney/Perth

Aircraft type: Airbus A330-200

Class: Economy

Seat: 29K (click for seat map)

Fare: Red e-deal

Lounge: No

Departure: 0625

Actual: 0625

Arrival: Early

Scheduled Arrival: 0820

Actual Arrival: 0757

THE QANTAS EXPERIENCE



CHECK-IN

 Sydney T3 Check in area

Sydney T3 Check in area

 Qantas Check-in Kiosk

Qantas Check-in Kiosk

The Check in kiosk was quick and efficient. I received my boarding pass in just  under a minute. 

BOARDING

 Does my flight have streaming today? Just check the departure board to find out.

Does my flight have streaming today? Just check the departure board to find out.

THE SEAT

 I am 5'8"

I am 5'8"

This was the old domestic A330 configuration. Qantas have re-fitted some A330s with new economy seating.  Being somewhat short, legroom was not an issue however I did find that I was getting uncomfortable in the last hour of the journey as the padding on my seat was waring thin.

The Seat Stats

31" Seat pitch

17.5" Wide

265 Seats

THE CABIN AMBIENCE

This early morning departure was not full and was made up mostly of business people and miners travelling to Perth for work. Aircraft clean.

THE INFLIGHT MEALS

 FlySpy

FlySpy

I was sceptical of what I had heard about 'boxed meal offering' however in my honest opinion I think that the hot breakfast was one of the most impressive economy class meals that I have had in some time. The breakfast was more on the warm side and not that hot but still very good.
  Economy Breakfast. Sydney to Perth  Source: FlySpy

 Economy Breakfast. Sydney to Perth

Source: FlySpy

There was also a cereal offering to chose from and we would like to see some bakery items return to the breakfast meal.  Crew offered juice with the meal  Due to the light passenger load the crew came through swiftly with tea and coffee whilst the other crew kept handing out meals.  A very small sweet snack was delivered 45 minutes prior to landing, again with a choice of a hot beverage or juice. 

The Cabin Crew came through the cabin with jugs of water on a regular basis

 FlySpy: A very light refreshment before landing

FlySpy: A very light refreshment before landing

 The Qantas Inflight Magazine 'Qantas'

The Qantas Inflight Magazine 'Qantas'

THE CABIN CREW

The cabin crew were experienced, helpful and relatively friendly with adhoc service requests met with efficiency. Nice to see the crew talk to their customers.

DISEMBARKATION

No Delays

BAGGAGE

We travelled with Cabin baggage only

FLYSPY RATING

We liked: That Coffee can be brought on during boarding

We didn't like: The seat, it was pretty uncomfortable. We didn't have the new reconfigured A330. Business class customers should know if their flight is operated with the new Business Class product (as Virgin does!)

FlySpy Rating  7/10

 

 

 

 

 




 Virgin Australia Economy Class - A330

Virgin Australia Economy Class - A330

Flight No: Virgin Australia

VA 562 Perth/Sydney

Aircraft type: Airbus A330-200 

Class: Economy

Seat: 40A (click for seat map)

Fare: Saver 

Lounge: Yes

Departure: 1520

Actual: 1522

Arrival: 13 Minutes after schedule

Scheduled Arrival: 2230

 Actual Arrival  2243

THE VIRGIN AUSTRALIA EXPERIENCE



CHECK-IN

The checkin process at the new Perth terminal was hassle free.  I checked in online using the kiosk and only took moments.

 Perth T2 Check in area

Perth T2 Check in area

BOARDING

The boarding process was easy. No congestion on the aerobridge.

THE SEAT

 Virgin Australia Seat. I am 5'8"

Virgin Australia Seat. I am 5'8"

The Seat Stats

31" Seat pitch

17.4" Wide

255 Seats

THE CABIN AMBIENCE

A small number of seats were unoccupied. The flight (at the rear of the plane)  was made up by what looked to be  mostly leisure travellers. Most business travellers will be found in the forward economy zones.

THE INFLIGHT MEALS

Virgin Australia offers its 'guests' in the main cabin a bar service followed by a meal service on lunch and dinner services.  I notice that tea and coffee are absent after the meal service nor are the customary ice-creams offered by their competitor (Qantas) on similar flights.  

 FlySpy: The Virgin Bar offering before main meal

FlySpy: The Virgin Bar offering before main meal

 FlySpy: The Virgin Australia inflight meal

FlySpy: The Virgin Australia inflight meal

Some time after the main meal offering the crew came through with a jug of water and plastic cups.

Pillows and blankets are not available for economy class customers. The crew member told me that they were available on other airlines (meaning Qantas) and rolled her eyes as she discussed this with the other crew member, pulling the cart back to the galley.

 

THE CABIN CREW

 Source: Virgin Australia

Source: Virgin Australia

The welcome on board was a promising indication that the flight would be pleasant. However, I soon changed my mind as the flight attendant in my zone could only be described as overly officious and lacking a sense of general enthusiasm.  She doted as one would expect over parents with small infants and rearranged half the cabin to accomodate them.  The crew advised the customer seated  next to me that she couldn't move as they may require those seats in case a customer becomes ill (never heard that one before!) The other cabin crew on the flight seemed to be very friendly and helpful to the customers in their zone.  In fact, I would go as far as saying that the other crew were delightful, it was just that I happened to be on the wrong side of the aircraft that day. Shame.

Virgin Australia need to have a signature offering on Perth flights especially if they are not offering tea/coffee or ice-cream as Qantas currently do on these flights.

DISEMBARKATION

Disembarkation was reasonably quick despite the almost full passenger load. 

BAGGAGE

We travelled with cabin baggage only

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

The experience was good but there is room for improvement.  Rating the comfort of the airline seat, the cleanliness of the aircraft, the in flight entertainment options, one could suggest it is of an acceptable standard. What let the my experience down was the miserable flight attendant in my zone and no offering of a hot beverage on a 4 hour flight.  Virgin Australia have a little bit of work to do on their economy class product offering to compete properly with Qantas on this route (in the main cabin that is!) however I wouldn't hesitate flying with them.

The new Perth terminal is excellent and provides all of the modern conveniences of their competition. It is excellent for customers transferring from/to international flights. 

Tips: Get a seat at the front of the main cabin

FLYSPY RATING

We liked: The new Perth Domestic terminal

We didn't like: No ice-creams and no tea or coffee after the meal. We didn't like that Virgin Australia don't have pillows and blankets available on Coast to Coast flights

FlySpy Rating  6/10