Report on switch from QF to VA for domestic travel

6 replies

BrisHamish

Member since 24 Sep 2017

Total posts 7

Have been trying VA these last 3 weeks, at my usual flight times, and in 8 flights with VA in that 3 weeks not a single one has been delayed. These are just facts.

And how much better is that!!!

I have no status with Virgin (although the current 'matching offer' from VA may assist a bit with that, as I am currently QF Plat which I earned through actual (domestic) flights in the past 12 months), so no lounges and no priority boarding etc. However the fact that my flights were all on time more than makes up for it IMHO.

Just my opinion, but for me, if you are flying every single week then all the QF lounges and status credits in the world dont make up for it if every single flight you are on is delayed, week after week after week...

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 163

I presume being a regular business traveller you wouldn’t be having checked luggage, but other readers might want to share their experience where VA luggage is concerned: priority fulfilment, delay, not on the same plane, missing etc

Considering the QF apology announcement in effect penalised loyal QFF paying premium for non service, while non-flying QFF can still retain their status, I am only waiting for all my existing QF bookings to run out while keeping an eye on VA and ZL offerings

BrisHamish

Member since 24 Sep 2017

Total posts 7

That is correct XWu, I dont have checked baggage each week, so I have been able to avoid the whole 'baggage fiasco' fortunately.

Sibelius

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Aug 2017

Total posts 154

As a Velocity Gold (very recently upgraded to Platinum) who flies primarily between Melbourne and Sydney, I can report the following:

  • I have checked baggage more often than not, and in many years of flying Virgin, my luggage has not been lost (or put onto a different plane) once.
  • The “priority” luggage system isn’t foolproof, but it works far more often than not.
  • Waiting time for luggage to appear on the carousel is pretty good in Sydney, and abysmal in Melbourne.

greg959

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 May 2019

Total posts 50

Thanks very much for this report. It is good to hear. I tried virgin earlier in the year and it wasn’t great. I do enough domestic and international travel to maintain platinum on both QF and VA but hadn’t taken a VA flight in a few years.

My sense is that if they reopened premium entry in Sydney and returned to a priority security arrangements in other major east coast cities they would be pinching heaps of market share from Qantas, particularly at the front end of the plane. I don’t know a Qantas plat who isn’t itching to ditch Qantas at the moment. The main obstacle is the absence of a vaguely comparable premium option at the security screening/check in phase.

I’ll definitely keep trying though. May have just caught sydney security at a bad time. I’m prepared to accept a worse product if flight time reliability is better or comparable to Qantas. It’s also basically the big tobacco of Australian companies at the moment!

andyf

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 07 Dec 2014

Total posts 54

Originally Posted by greg959

Thanks very much for this report. It is good to hear. I tried virgin earlier in the year and it wasn’t great. I do enough domestic and international travel to maintain platinum on both QF and VA but hadn’t taken a VA flight in a few years.

My sense is that if they reopened premium entry in Sydney and returned to a priority security arrangements in other major east coast cities they would be pinching heaps of market share from Qantas, particularly at the front end of the plane. I don’t know a Qantas plat who isn’t itching to ditch Qantas at the moment. The main obstacle is the absence of a vaguely comparable premium option at the security screening/check in phase.

I’ll definitely keep trying though. May have just caught sydney security at a bad time. I’m prepared to accept a worse product if flight time reliability is better or comparable to Qantas. It’s also basically the big tobacco of Australian companies at the moment!

Does Qantas enforce premium screening at its terminals? I'm not a big Qantas flyer, but did Sydney-Canberra with them last week. In Sydney it seemed like an honour system on which line to use, and no such option in Canberra at all that I can recall. And the new scanners seem to take 3x as long as they previously did in Sydney still.

Also, the Qantas club in Canberra closed at 7pm, so I was sent to the Business lounge instead (no complaints from me); except it didn't seem like that much of a difference?

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 163

Originally Posted by andyf

Originally Posted by greg959

Thanks very much for this report. It is good to hear. I tried virgin earlier in the year and it wasn't great. I do enough domestic and international travel to maintain platinum on both QF and VA but hadn't taken a VA flight in a few years.

My sense is that if they reopened premium entry in Sydney and returned to a priority security arrangements in other major east coast cities they would be pinching heaps of market share from Qantas, particularly at the front end of the plane. I don't know a Qantas plat who isn't itching to ditch Qantas at the moment. The main obstacle is the absence of a vaguely comparable premium option at the security screening/check in phase.

I'll definitely keep trying though. May have just caught sydney security at a bad time. I'm prepared to accept a worse product if flight time reliability is better or comparable to Qantas. It's also basically the big tobacco of Australian companies at the moment!

Does Qantas enforce premium screening at its terminals? I'm not a big Qantas flyer, but did Sydney-Canberra with them last week. In Sydney it seemed like an honour system on which line to use, and no such option in Canberra at all that I can recall. And the new scanners seem to take 3x as long as they previously did in Sydney still.

Also, the Qantas club in Canberra closed at 7pm, so I was sent to the Business lounge instead (no complaints from me); except it didn't seem like that much of a difference?

QF doesn't appear to enforce premium screening in Sydney T3. No premium queue for screening in ADL, CBR, and BNE (BNE does have separate premium entry from unsecured area direct into their lounge and includes seperate screening personnel and machine, which feeds directly into the lounge, hence a different kind of experience to SYD T3 but nowadays doesn't appear to open in critical time early morning and evenings when the crowds make it matters for business travellers)

In the old days, the carryon X-ray screening is slower than body scanner, but nowadays the new body scanner is more sensitive (for some reason) and the additional positioning-and-don't-move definitely take more time even for the “match-fit” seasoned traveller than the new “leave your iPad and laptop in your bag” X-ray screening; some irony there and you hope no one accidentally take your stuff with the amount of bags waiting to be collected at the other end

And yes even in the old days pre 2020, CBR QF business lounge is pretty unimpressive when the QF club lounge is closed at year ends between Xmas-Aus day…. I actually much prefer the QF club lounge for some reason


Last edited by XWu at Sep 25, 10.00 AM.
Last editedby XWu at Sep 25, 2022, 10:21 AM.

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