Virgin vs Qantas domestic business class experience!

14 replies

msport2012

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

Member since 14 Apr 2013

Total posts 295

Virgin vs Qantas domestic business class experience

I have flown both QF and VA domestic business and I must say that QF (in my opinion) has a more premium and class leading product and experience. What are others thoughts?

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

I can tell you that QF J SYD-MEL and SYD-BNE stomps over MH J CGK-KUL; both are on 738s.

henrus

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Oct 2013

Total posts 768

It really depends on the route and the aircraft

For example Capital Cities BNE,SYD and MEL have a similar service on 737's but when QF puts a 330 on a BNE-SYD then it is better then VA with the little 737's

In regional ports QF seems to have a greater service like TSV-BNE with a Qantas Club included

It would not happen but at Airports which QF has a lounge and VA dosen't it would nice if VA did a deal with QF to allow on Business Class Pax in the lounge 

Karlsalins

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Oct 2014

Total posts 5

QF and VA sharing is like putting kids in a candy shop with no limit,only the sweets are actualy nightshade

brinkers

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jun 2011

Total posts 226

My own feel is that on the 737, QF just seem a little more polished. On the A330 VA sneaks ahead - it will be interesting to see how that goes when they both have their new configs going

msport2012

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

Member since 14 Apr 2013

Total posts 295

Fully Agree with the above. My company has changed its policy to ensure that all senior management flys in J. We can choose with QF or VA. Its funny, I like VA but the fact that they have not such a good spread food and drink wise in the lounge disappoints me but when flying they leave QF for dead. I wish that both airlines look deeper into one another and fix the small things to make the competion hadder than it already is :-)

Doubleplatinum Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

Member since 07 Feb 2013

Total posts 431

+1 the food in the virgin lounges is shocking, targeted to the average bogan

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

If this thread moves into discussing the lounge experience, VA have leagues to make up! I don't think anyone is expecting fine dining but the food choices aren't even on par with what's available in the food court!

Take Sydney for example, you have MoVida's diffusion brand cafe serving some great cafe style options at standard airport premium rates - nothing excessive. I know when I'm hungry, I keep walking down that escelator!

gippsflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jan 2013

Total posts 162

If an airline wants to elevate food service to MEL/SYD Qantas First Lounge standards (for us non-CL types, and even they get a cut-down version), I'm all for that! Imagine, food equal to that of a decent cafe or bistro. Sadly, we'll be waiting a long time I think. I've yet to be offered something cooked to order in a domestic lounge (despite plenty of visits to Qantas Domestic Business lounges) but I did get a sandwich made for me once at the MEL VA lounge (does that count? lol).

I certainly agree with you Riley, the food options outside the lounge doors far surpasses anything found within. It's really just convenience that we eat in a lounge (it's there and it's already been paid for). At least a coffee is getting decent, so that's something.

gippsflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jan 2013

Total posts 162

As a Platinum with both Qantas and Virgin Australia, who only flies J when travelling domestically (and the bulk of my flights are domestic), I've spent plenty of time with both carriers on revenue fares. I'm glad both exist to spur performance and quality (would we have the long haul product on Coast to Coast otherwise? Not likely) on with each other.

On both, a smaller J cabin can lead to a more personalised service experience (whereas on dual aisle, you can be lost in the crowd). That said, dual aisle has great product on VA and Qantas is bringing intense competition with it's A330-200 refurb.

J cabin domestic service on VA tends to lead that on Qantas in my experience - they offer more personal assistance, control access to the J cabin, are more likely to be happy, and never am I offered only a cheese box or soup for a meal. The Qantas Domestic Business Lounge can do better than Virgin Australia Lounge from time to time, but it's not a huge jump (and frankly there is nearly always superior food out in the terminal available). That said, Qantas seems to be turning a corner at the moment (after a few rough years), so there may not be much in it soon.

The advantages with Qantas are more regional lounges (if your travels take you that way), OneWorld tier accrual (although not a direct domestic benefit), and lifetime status accruals. 

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

I wrote to Velocity asking them to consider a lifetime status scheme. I believe once you hit gold with VA, you find yourself directing flights into other programs. How many people are gold or better with multiple airlines? Many companies have a bets fare policy so people like to hedge their bets for fear of being trapped in the outer!

Qantas lifetime SC is an incentive to always push flights Qantas' direction. VA lacking this means as soon as I hit my 400 SCs, I'm pushing Qantas rather than blowing a further 600 SC's to hit platinum whcih has zero benefits for my situation.

gippsflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jan 2013

Total posts 162

If you only fly domestically, I agree it's best to attain Gold and rest. If you fly internationally on VA and it's partners, then it's worth going for Platinum (although you do have to do a little more research over lounge arrangements than OneWorld). 

QFF Lifetime Silver and Gold certainly help encourage travelling on QF coded flights (damn shame they wrecked the OneWorld credits though), but have the double edge in that having obtained Lifetime Gold you are more likely not to credit in future (and a lot do go to AAdvantage, Marco Polo, or BA after that, or some other scheme, because redemption rates are just so much more better on other OneWorld schemes and you get less OneWorld discrimination - Qantas did get a boost with EK recognition though, so at least that is a plus).

I travel Business or better for 99% of my flights, so I'm only in the status game for First Class lounge access when flying internationally (because a lot of Business lounges are sub-par) - hence Platinum status is always my goal.

But I wouldn't exclude VA eventually doing lifetime, I just don't see it in the short-term. Given they almost always backdate status credit earn, perhaps the almost 3,000 status credit points I got with VA Velocity last membership year might be very rewarding (at least I got to gift an elite tier to a friend from all that activity). I had practically the same with Qantas last membership year too, sadly not enough for P1 (that's a huge grind! And I'm not sure it's worth going out of one's way for), but it has put me in spitting distance of Lifetime Gold.

But ultimately all frequent flyer program are elaborate sets of golden handcuffs, because they encourage irrational behaviour. If they didn't exist, you'd always choose the airline offering the best product and service on the route you are looking at, or the best bang for buck one (depending on your motivation/needs), but with frequent flyer schemes we will often accept less than top tier product or service or value for benefits in a scheme that are far outweighed the costs required to attain them (which is why the best status attainment is always through something you would have done anyway). Still, we love reaching for those shiny cards :-)

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

You gifted plat to a friend? Let me know next time you're in Sydney, we can hang out for a beer!

Well summarised. It drives irrational behaviour from some of the most pragmatic thinkers I know!

gippsflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jan 2013

Total posts 162

I can't always say I don't succumb to the irrational stays credit chasing game myself - because "shiny!" Lol - but I try to increase the wisdom as the years go by.

Gifting status makes for jolly good surprises, although I must admit I took the bonus points on the Qantas election instead (value wise much less, but I had a First redemption I wanted to hit). 

patullose

Member since 08 Jul 2015

Total posts 2

Question... Is QF worth the extra $300+ then what VA are charging for the exact same route? 

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Virgin vs Qantas domestic business class experience!

Attach Files