I was up at the crack of dawn (actually earlier) to get out to SYD for the 8am departure. It has been a while since I actually had a flight out of Terminal 3 – so made sure I was there with plenty of time to find my gate. Just as well I did cause traffic was heavier than expected and I was at the gate only about 5 mins before boarding. I was the only person in the premium queue at boarding and onboard it became obvious why – with only three of us in the 24 seat business class cabin.
At this point things started to go wrong. We boarded on time, but we sat at the gate for about 15 minutes and then the front door was reopened. The crew were good in giving us information about what was going on – but the delay dragged on to the point where I had to call my colleague in Perth twice to push back the meeting. We were there that long I actually managed to watch the first film on RED before we even left the gate.
The inflight service was great. As was my experience in premium economy on VA – the FA on my side of the cabin (in this case my personal flight attendant) came and introduced themselves personally and took my drink/meal orders. This is one touch I really like on Virgin – the lack of a trolley in the aisle really does make things work smoother for the passenger. It will be interesting to see what that service is like with a full cabin – but it was pretty fantastic on this flight.
The other particularly nice touch is the amenity kits. Even on the relatively short leg we get a kit complete with Grown Vanilla and Orange Peel Hand Cream and Vitamin and Watermelon Lip Balm. They also have Grown products in the toilets. Nice touch (and a good marketing deal for Grown who give you a voucher for a free Facial Serum ‘as a valued Virgin Australia guest’ if you order from them.
The particularly aircraft was one of the new refitted A330 with same regional lie flat (not horizontal) beds that SIA use. Mid-flight I found myself checking out all of the settings. I can’t say they are supremely comfortable – but compared to the standard economy seat on DJ one would not complain.
Anyway we finally made it to PER and by this stage I had watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Haywire, Swerve, Safe House and The Rum Diary. A little overkill. Later at the hotel I watched John Carter.
Busy busy day.