Virgin Australia clamps down on complimentary business class snacks

Virgin Australia will ask business class passengers to pay for extra meals, snacks and drinks ordered off the economy retail menu.

By David Flynn, October 1 2019

For many years, Virgin Australia has treated its business class passengers on domestic and short-range international flights (including New Zealand) to a free selection of meals, snacks and drinks from the ‘buy on board’ retail menu offered in economy class.

This comes on top of the standard meal service and pantry in business class, and is a handy option on longer domestic flights such as the trans-continental ‘coast to coast’ routes.

Although not a widely-known perk, it’s one that’s long been enjoyed by many of Virgin’s regular passengers in the pointy end. The same courtesy has been extended to members of Virgin’s invitation-only The Club, if they are travelling in economy.

Virgin Australia has excellent inflight catering in business class, but one little perk is about to be withdrawn.
Virgin Australia has excellent inflight catering in business class, but one little perk is about to be withdrawn.

That all comes to an end on October 9, when the ‘buy on board’ menu will be rolled out in business class, and those passengers – along with members of The Club – will be asked to pull out their credit card for extras that were formerly free.

According to an instruction circulated to Virgin Australia cabin crew on September 26, and sighted by Executive Traveller, “effective 9 October, complimentary offering of retail items to Business and VIP guests will not be permitted.”

Business class passengers feeling a little peckish will have to buy menu items such as a salad wrap.
Business class passengers feeling a little peckish will have to buy menu items such as a salad wrap.

The airline says the move “is due to the high levels of retail items being supplied free of charge, impacting revenue opportunities which exceeds $780,000 in annual lost revenue.”

“Retail items will be available for purchase, should the guest prefer additional options. Retail menus will be loaded in business class seat pockets and crew should introduce the retail menu when taking meal orders after take-off.”

The gin & tonic has been a hit with business class passengers.
The gin & tonic has been a hit with business class passengers.

Virgin’s retail menu includes a wide variety of items from snacks such as chips, chocolates, biscuits and nuts to cheese platters, wraps, toasted sandwiches and pies.

Especially popular among high flyers have been recent new items such as an Espresso Martini  (priced at $12 in economy), and an Ink gin with Fevertree tonic ($16).

Also popular as a free off-menu order in business class: this espresso martini.
Also popular as a free off-menu order in business class: this espresso martini.

Virgin Australia confirmed the forthcoming changes to business class meal options, with a spokesperson telling Executive Traveller it would introduce “the retail cart to the Business Class cabin for our guests to purchase from in addition to the current offering. We have some fantastic new products on the retail cart, which is regularly updated to ensure our guests have plenty of choice.”

The spokesperson added “we’ll be introducing new items to the pantry in Business Class that our guests have told us they love,” while “the Business Class menu will be rotated more frequently to ensure our regular travellers have more options.”

The cabin crew instruction also notes that last-minute upgrades, which are often categorised as ‘catering not assured’, “are entitled to the standard economy offering’ but suggest that crew should “where possible, offer residual business class meals or the pantry, with retail items  available for purchase.”

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

jubbing

jubbing

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 219

Yea that's fair. They're not in a financially great place so I don't fault them for doing this - it's not like they're cutting down normal Business service.

vitorsyd

vitorsyd

04 Jun 2018

Total posts 11

Do pantry purchases accrue velocity points ?

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

The Pantry is the complementary offering for Business Class passengers, so no.

tommygun

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 88

$780k p.a. is really penny pinching in the context of what it costs to run an airline. If VA have to resort to doing this they must be in a lot more trouble than was thought. Stand by for a raft of other "poverty pack" announcements I'd say.

deanr

deanr

04 May 2015

Total posts 231

Agreed, especially when they refer to the amount as a "revenue opportunity", not a cost. It hasn't cost them $780,000 to offer these items for free: that's just what they would have otherwise charged if people were to buy them. When it comes to food, the true cost of the item compared to the price an establishment sells it for is generally in the region of 20-30%, and for beverage, cost prices are typically even lower at around 10-20%.

Let's say VA's cost of goods sold (COGS) for the retail menu runs at an average of 20% compared to the price charged. On a $780,000 "revenue opportunity", the cost to the business would be somewhere in the region of $156,000 on those items, or in other words, a mere decimal change on their financial results which are reported in millions.

On the other hand, they're showing just how cheap their business can be. It's still unbelievable that VA charges fares on-par with Qantas but then expects you to whip out a credit card if you want something as basic as a soft drink on most flights, and VA is showing not only that their constant approach to nickel and diming will continue rather than moving in the opposite direction, they've also decided to apply the same "squeeze every penny" approach to even their VIP flyers.

What's it really going to cost them if the CEO of a major company travelling economy (the typical VIP type flyer, who by nature, would already be cost conscious given they didn't book business class) is offered a can of soft drink for free to keep them happy? About 25-40 cents.

But what's it going to cost them if that VIP, who is probably in charge of a multimillion dollar travel contract, gets annoyed by that nickel and diming and takes their business to an airline that appreciates it enough to not charge them an extra couple of bucks just for the sake of it? My bet, it's far more than the decimal saving they're hoping to achieve.

Ceejay

Ceejay

28 Feb 2018

Total posts 14

Agree about the size and context and the COGS model. But I think for a company trying to turn itself around it might be apart of a larger initiative. For example, Scurrah has identified 'X' in cost savings and 'Y' in revenue enhancements by 2020 FY end. From here it would usually be divided into sub areas/divisions which might seem small when looking individually, however could add up to contribute to overall target.

Headcount reductions, increased business meal and drinks revenue, fleet & network enhancements, ancill revenue focuses which have all be announced (and sure more to come) will all somewhat contribute to the airline turning itself around.

travelgourmet

travelgourmet

24 Mar 2017

Total posts 1

Deanr

As others have commented here, the food and beverage product in Virgins business class is still good and my bet is that almost all the extra items business guests are requesting belong to the premium alcohol range.

Your forgetting the value of the loss of sale opportunity. An item given away for free can't be sold to a paying guest. Also it's not just a simple case of adding more items to the trolleys, they are restricted in terms of space and weight (of which whole business cases by airline have been modelled on reducing fuel burn by simply reducing or removing items from the cabin).

Maybe that's Virgins real cost saving opportunity, but sorry if you feel that not having an extra choice of snack or premium brand alcohol available (on top of the Business Class meal & complimentary bar) is going to drive you to the competition.

God help Australia if VA do go out of business and only viable option is QF, do you really think they are going to play nice with the fares with a virtual monopoly?

DanKennard

DanKennard

26 Nov 2017

Total posts 2

daft policy, must be desperate!

alan-aa1981

alan-aa1981

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

27 Sep 2017

Total posts 21

Couldn't agree more. If you purchased a Business class fare that costs you at minimum $1,000 one way especially Coast to Coast where it can be upwards of $2,500 one way, I can't imagine how this is conducive to anything that may be deemed as positive. Why bother with Business class if that's the case?

MELflyer

MELflyer

03 Nov 2015

Total posts 10

This has been a great 'perk' for business class passengers, sometimes when I am flying outside of 'main meal' serving hours I will select a few things from the economy retail menu. I just hope that VA hasn't found passengers abusing this. I can understand the financial reasons behind it, Virgin needs to save all the money it can wherever it can, but the rationale that this is "$780,000 in annual lost revenue" is mistaken because it's not as if business class passengers or The Club members will now buy what has been previously free. They probably won't.

AsiaBizTraveller

AsiaBizTraveller

20 Nov 2015

Total posts 71

This is a bit of penny-pinching when you look at how much you pay to fly in business class. If the freebies were being abused maybe Virgin should limit the number or value of items from the buy on board menu, or hand our vouchers or something.

paulf

paulf

16 Sep 2017

Total posts 6

It would help if the business class menu was changed more frequently.

AsiaBizTraveller

AsiaBizTraveller

20 Nov 2015

Total posts 71

Read the article. Second last paragraph, VA spokesperson says "the Business Class menu will be rotated more frequently to ensure our regular travellers have more options.”

infrequentff

infrequentff

04 Dec 2015

Total posts 4

In the last 6 months on numerous flights I have taken, I have eaten been offered a choice of 4 of the same meals on rotation over the 5 routes I commonly fly. Apart from the quantity and quality dropping, the beverage options seem quite cheap. Furthermore, there is no option for people to preselect dietary meals, which often means that these people turn to the cart for their meals. Considering these facts and the minimal price difference from Qantas business, why would you choose Virgin over Qantas?

Jazzop

Jazzop

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 84

Two years ago I decided to surprise my wife with a trip to NYC. I was going for work so thought she could fly over, and we would stay for an extra week. I purchased a flex ticket just in case, and sure enough, my plans changed. So we cancelled. Despite it being flexi and refundable, I had to incur a $500 fee. I challenged them, and the took me through all the conditions etc. All very cryptic and at the end of the day, I couldn't get them to change their minds.

I was then, and had been for 5 years, a double platinum ff. I hadn't flown Qantas for years. But... they really P****d me off. I felt misled and taken advantage of. So, I started flying Qantas. and now I have QFFF Platinum and VA Platinum. I still prefer flying VA, but now I fly as much with QF as I do with VA. That equates to around $20k a year in lost revenue for VA.

I share this because, businesses talk about the importance of their loyal passengers. But actions matter. This decision is very small minded. Are you really going to ask someone to pay $4 for something off the trolley? It smacks of someone one in finance thinking they grow bottom line revenue through this simple change. But it won't deliver the outcome they think it will and I'm sure it will push passengers to QF. Then when the numbers decline the boffins in finance will just blame some other part of the business and come up with another innovative idea to drive savings or revenue.

jbark117

jbark117

01 Oct 2019

Total posts 2

Considering that free drinks and snacks are provided with compliments on many airlines in 'economy class' such as Singapore airlines, Emirates, Qantas and Air New Zealand, this is rubbish! May as well just call it premium economy!!!

Flyer86

Flyer86

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2018

Total posts 3

Air Nz are more no frills then Va on short haul flights with only hot drinks and water free not even snacks unless you have the correct fare.

deanbear12

deanbear12

02 Oct 2019

Total posts 2

If you read the article carefully, they are only making extra snacks off the menu paid. The meals that already come with the flight are still included.

djtech

djtech

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Sep 2018

Total posts 107

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will continue to be complementary. You can still get snacks for free from the pantry. The only times you'd have to pay are for wines or cocktails not on the wine list and snacks only available in the BOB menu.

UpUpAndAway

UpUpAndAway

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 295

I've been waiting for all the doom from the new man, all I've seen is common sense. I know and have seen people raid the cart, flying on a $90 fare.

Sparksy

Sparksy

09 Aug 2015

Total posts 16

Yes, so far Scurrah is making sensible decisions. Friends who work at Virgin have a very high opinion of him, he is invariably described as being very warm and genuine, and I have the feeling that Virgin is in the right hands here. People raiding the cart on a $90 fare, they would have been in economy so maybe they were The Club members? If so, shameful and sad.

OWF

OWF

06 Oct 2018

Total posts 7

Time to support Virgin in order to keep at least the domestic market competitive. Being a QF P member, the previous a few trips with the Roos, the ground service encountered at MEL were shocking to say the least (in-flight services were still up to the standard). I want to write Alan a letter with a thumb-nail dipped in tar, but I doubt much would improve as the Roos are getting cockier.

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

There seems to be a few people who either haven't read the article or don't understand it completely. VA aren't making Business Class passengers pay for anything they shouldn't be. They'll still get a meal and drinks included, plus snacks from The Pantry.

But if J class passenger wants something additional which is only on the Buy On Board menu, then they have to pay for it. Yes the perk of getting it for free was a great perk, but if it's costing VA almost $800k a year in lost revenue, then who can blame them for scaling it back?

Sparksy

Sparksy

09 Aug 2015

Total posts 16

Exactly, I think the article makes it very clear. You will still get the normal meal, drinks and Pantry snacks in business class, all that's changed is that you won't also be able to order items from the retail economy menu such as the espresso martini, the wrap or cheese platter and get those for free. If you want those you will have to pay for them.

kimshep

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 492

I'd be prepared to bet that the REAL culprit here is the AUD$16.00 Ink Gin and the AUD12.00 Expresso Martini. Both would eat into profits quite quickly and the novelty of the product is such that many would be sufficiently interested to try it ~ multiple times, particularly on coast to coast flights.

The model / mistake that Virgin is making is following the Etihad model of offering prestige products to Y passengers on long-haul / international flights. But the Virgin model is offering this 'perk' free of charge to J passengers (now to be chargeable). It is - and always has been - chargeable in Y.

It is fine to offer a superior product to the Y passenger, as they well may buy it - given the novelty factor or the 'hey, I've never tried it' decision. But to offer a product such as this, which is superior to your 'normal' gin or martini in a Business Class cabin, is inviting trouble. Take the Ink Gin and the Expresso Martini ($16 and $12 respectively) out of the J Class equation and the BOB food cost from the menu for J would be minimal.

IMO, Scurrah is entirely correct here in his approach to costs and marketing. If you are going to offer a 'high end' / expensive product on board (as AA / UA have done over previous years), then the marketing of such needs to be clearer for premium passengers. It's either one free for each J passenger or it's chargeable as a 'special'. But not 'open slather'.

kimshep

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 492

I'd be prepared to bet that the REAL culprit here is the AUD$16.00 Ink Gin and the AUD$12.00 Expresso Martini. That would eat into profits quite quickly and the novelty of the product is such that many would be sufficiently interested to try it ~ multiple times, particularly on coast to coast flights.

The model / mistake that Virgin is making is following the Etihad international model of offering prestige products to Y passengers on long-haul / international flights. Whilst the Y passengers may well buy it due to the novelty or 'I haven't tried it' factor, offering a product in domestic Virgin J Class which is superior to your normal J Class gin or martini is guaranteed to be asking for trouble. Particularly where J Class passengers may be inclined to have more than one of these, on longer or a coast to coast flight.

Take the two expensive cocktails out of the equation and the cost of BOB Y cart items would be minimal. The problem here is how a unique or 'special' product has been marketed to J Class. If it is free, it will be abused or unlimited.

Virgin could continue to offer this product to J (and Y) Class passengers as a 'special'. But it needs to be clearly defined for J passengers. That could include one complimentary offering (if they are feeling generous) or alternatively, a chargeable item for both classes.

IMHO, Scurrah is correct in addressing this anomaly. It is a correction of a costly and badly implemented marketing issue.

Howdy1956

Howdy1956

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Dec 2016

Total posts 10

Critics of this move are been petty they are removing something that all are not aware of or entitled to.

Try getting anything like this from Allan's lot

Lmc

Lmc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 58

Way to p!ss off your most profitable and loyal customers. These are the customers that come back time after time..... not a good move for such a small amount of money.

What will they cut next??

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

Circa $800k is not a small amount of money. And making customers paying for things that are on a buy on board menu is unlikely to stop people flying VA.

Lmc

Lmc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 58

Thats 800k in ”lost” revenue, not cost.

The value of each of those business class customers and the club customers would be much much more than a few dollars each flight for a snack.

OttoV

OttoV

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 48

Regrettably, it is all about perception. I honestly cannot comment about VA , never having flown them. However, not withstanding the constant criticism about alleged Qantas ‘ shortcomings, in the last twenty years of travels with many different airlines, it has been Qantas' ground and FA who have made the difference. Consequently, it will be the VA flight attendants who will receive the brunt of the complaints of business travellers, which simply is not fair. If VA wants to make an impression or VA travellers in J get realistic..grin and bear it and support your choice of travel........any Ansett past travellers still smarting about the loss of their accumulated benefits ?

IanK

IanK

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Apr 2015

Total posts 2

If VA passengers want food from the pantry / trolley they will need to fly Economy, that is not difficult to understand. Typically there will always those that abuse what has been on offer hence VA's decision in this matter.

I respect the fact that they are running a business.

I am both a Platinum FF with both VA and Qantas

Yaf

Yaf

02 Nov 2012

Total posts 34

Virgin Australia business class is already inferior to Qantas on domestic routes, no pillows, no blankets, no foot rests on 737, less found quantity, Ipads phased out, less tea selection and unrelated but no lifetime status

cavemanzk

cavemanzk

NZ

13 Aug 2016

Total posts 39

What I disagree with the most is; asking the crew to up sell passengers the retail menu while taking orders for the meal, it's just going to be plan cheap and nasty.

While not many other airlines offered that service, it made VA's pretty average J product seen just that little better off.

So no more IFE tables, no more feee buy on board product, what's next? Removing the glass devider between J and Y?

If VA needs to cost cut this much, it makes you wonder if the plane is going to turn up for your next flight.

oliver_adl

oliver_adl

18 Jul 2018

Total posts 6

VA plat and I never even knew of these other snacks/drink options. Seriously with AU domestic routes (especially the busiest ones) being around 2 hours max who actually has time to drink or eat other snacks aside from the meals already provided? Are people that hungry? :-)

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

I always have a little snack after the meal. And those are still available.

Falcon124

Falcon124

01 Oct 2019

Total posts 1

Interesting development. I was surprised when VA stopped giving options for free beers in Economy during happy hour as of a few months ago. The free one offered is crap so if you want the better one you have to pay, even in Economy+.

That said, VA domestic short haul business is, for me, better than QF. The seats in QF won't hold upright (6 out of 6 so far that keep slipping back a few degrees) & in one case the seat had a lean on it to one side. Makes it feel old & run down. I never use the foot rest so don't care about that bit when travelling biz on VA :)

Change is required at VA but hopefully they don't make a QF style mistake of focusing on the bottom line & pissing off the pax in the process.

Tyler

Tyler

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 7

Understand they have to cut costs & do hope they're a viable business to continue providing competition within Oz.

Although as a 30 year Vegan, its somewhat frustrating to Fly VA especially Coast to Coast where no substantial vegan meal is an option in both Y & J when compared to Qantas who allow the option to pre-select dietary option across all routes, be treated to being served first & have a variety of suitable meals.

Also if you like to drink healthy as is the growing trend, I would expect to see more premium options on the J menu, hopefully the kombucha can be included with only the $1 difference.

Expectations can be at least be understood when it comes to flying Jetstar where you know there is generally the option of a healthy salad or tasty noodles.

Years ago upon arrival at Perth Pier, the A330 bridge was broken for 30 mins, the cabin manager kindly continued with J cabin service including complimentary Morish Nuts, hard to believe that would happen now on a budget...

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

That could still happen, nuts are on The Pantry menu.

parishiltons

parishiltons

18 Sep 2015

Total posts 62

I understand why VA don't do special meals the cost of providing on-board non-standard meals customised to individual passengers would surely cost those airline who do it a lot of money - probably more then $780k p.a.

My experience in VA's business class is that you are quite well fed and watered with the normal Business class offerings, and I'm sure (hope) they would not consider trying to charge me for a mini packet of airline nuts to accompany a G&T.

Merak

Merak

02 Oct 2019

Total posts 1

Virgin Australia is a good airline. It lost its way when John Bonetti took it out of its low cost flying for the family icon and tried to take on a full legacy airline like Qantas. And to be fair he did achieve a level of success by stealing some of QF's business pax.

But the Flying Kangaroo was in a better position to meet challenges and soVA is struggling today, not entirely sure where it sits in the market.

Maybe someone has realised this and this is the first step toward identifying where VA sits. There is no doubt that Australia needs an airline, with a strong identity to counter balance the Qantas Group. (QF and JETSTAR)

Sorting the in flight menus and costingsmay be a tiny step toward a rethink of who the airline is and what it does. One can only wish it the best, cos we need it.

jbark117

jbark117

01 Oct 2019

Total posts 2

No wonder why Air New Zealand ended the partnership! Air New Zealand is doing so much better!

tommygun

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 88

Not sure about this on domestic (NZ) and Tasman. Air NZ never offered much in the first place, and still doesn't. LCC in legacy carrier guise.

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

Only if you're on an NZ widebody in Business. If you're on a narrowbody you're in Economy, so in those cases VA wins.

coastflyer Banned

coastflyer Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Jul 2019

Total posts 5

As with most rule changes would have been a few bogan pigs who abused this and now the rest of us suffer. Cant blame VA most people have basic decency but the usual suspects who misbehave have caused it.

bigjsl

bigjsl

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Feb 2014

Total posts 2

There are two situations when I've been given items from the pain menu while in business: when on a last hour "catering not assured" upgrade when the food has run out and extra snacks when it's been a long flight like Syd-Per or Adl-Bne. This is nasty nickel&diming and it isn't going to win friends from the all important business segment. But hey, I don't really care. I eat too much already. I've hardly ever seen anyone get an item from the back of the plane and I fly up the front often. Hell, I rarely see anyone buy an item from the menu when I'm sitting in the exit row either. Be less popular with business travellers VA, please. More upgrade seats available for me...

Yaf

Yaf

02 Nov 2012

Total posts 34

True, when I fly Qantas business is 99% of the time full, when I fly Virgin there are usually empty seats in business. With Qantas when I requested a bottle of water I was given 2 bottles of water. With Virgin in J when I requested a bottle of water I was politely offered the cap for the existing bottle which was half empty

cavemanzk

cavemanzk

NZ

13 Aug 2016

Total posts 39

Next month Virgin will likely ask you for your credit card.

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

VA are already card only for Buy on Board items.

guesswho2000

guesswho2000

27 Mar 2019

Total posts 9

There was the same uproar and outrage when BA started buy on board a few years ago (previously drinks etc. even in SH Y had all been free).

That said, J pax should be given free drinks for the duration. Food outside of the main meal service I don't think is unreasonable to charge for on SH/TT, they're hardly long flights (with maybe some exceptions, west coast to NZ is pretty far).

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

J pax are given and will continue to receive free drinks and food. And you can still get complimentary food after or instead of the meal, you can have whatever is on The Pantry menu.

OzDino

OzDino

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 May 2015

Total posts 30

Hmm, I wondered why my new FF card is also a credit card.

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

It's not a credit card, it's a travel money card. And you can request a FF card without the Global Currency feature.

deanbear12

deanbear12

02 Oct 2019

Total posts 2

You know the travel money card on your FF card has been there for years? Same with Qantas as well. You don't even need to activate it or use it.

JPMasters

JPMasters

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Dec 2012

Total posts 40

Whilst my preferred airline is VA, domestically they are often hopeless for Gluten Free pax, and the buy on board menu has a number of gluten free products, so they have sometimes given that to me, I hope I won't have to pay for gluten free items in J class moving forward.

mancho90

mancho90

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 76

I haven't flown VA yet, but it seems a bit confusing, are they offering a basic food/snack on business class? or, is the offer only things available form purchase menu?, or, Are the snacks and drinks also offered for free in addition to a meal and drinks? Well, if they are "extra" to the basic meal / snack (depending of the length of the flight) they should be extra... because people in Economy have only option to buy from menu and not other food is offered. If the Menu for purchase is the ONLY food menu available for business class...well, we have a problem because it shouldn't be charged after you paid or upgraded to Business class... Upgrades are also costly with mile or money or both. Now I Understand why I never tried VA... and remain loyal to QF... SERVICE without pulling my wallet in Economy or Business. VA/DL/VS are becoming cheap and not so great, well I could talk about DL that I dislike so much and VS is becoming like DL... forget about the former glamour in VS , it's not like "James Bond" anymore, it's more like "Agent 23" style, just a regular one.

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

VA are charging everyone on the plane for items from the Buy On Board menu. J class still get the service they've always had with meals and drinks, nothing has changed there.

This one relatively minor change is being blown out of proportion so much, resulting in comments like yours where people are confused by what the change actually is. VA J had an advantage over QF with this unwritten perk, now they're on par.

mancho90

mancho90

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 76

Well.. Thank you for your detailed explanation. I never complaint about QF because their food has been good and good portions... no need to ask more from other's menu and only once asked if there was some left to repeat a snack and there were plenty to offer me.

PJ29B

PJ29B

02 Oct 2019

Total posts 1

1st world problems I know but, Virgin's Domestic 'Business Class' is no more than Premium Economy at best. The only real Business Class in Oz is on the A320. This new idea of paying for a snack in BC is an absolute joke. Having flown over 100 times a year with Virgin over the past 5 Years, most of the time I don't have a meal as such, but opt for Olives/Cheese/Crackers/Nuts. Does that mean I should ask for a refund if I don't have the Meal, or how about when they fail to arrive on time - for the umpteenth time? Next we'll be paying for Drinks, and then they'll up the Upgrade Points requirement. Stupid logic I know, but as I have spent over $150K on flights with Virgin over the past 3 years, you'd reckon they could squeeze out a few packets of nuts! Makes you want to look back to dust off the Qantas Platinum Card and give it a start next time, just on principle. Wake Up Virgin, and Richard B, give an uppercut to the clown who suggested this tight fisted move to get rid of the complimentary snacks. Qantas are the same walking distance from the carpark.....

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

You haven't read the article have you? You can still get olives/nuts/chips/cheese in J (from The Pantry) if you want them. This inflated outrage about this minor change is getting old.

guesswho2000

guesswho2000

27 Mar 2019

Total posts 9

[quote]The only real Business Class in Oz is on the A320.[/quote]

*A330

phil798

phil798

01 Jun 2018

Total posts 2

You pay over $ 500 to fly to NZ in business or pay $ 500 to fly from Brisbane & Melbourne to Sydney or pay $ 1500+ from Brisbane , Sydney , Melbourne to Perth then they want more money or food & drinks off the menu what a Joke you all ready pay a high price for business

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

Incorrect. Read the article.

AADFW

AADFW

28 Sep 2017

Total posts 7

This is like stopping a clock to save time. Someone who pays that much for a ticket isn't getting "free" anything on board. If you're running an airline in financial trouble, it seems to me the LAST thing you'd want to do is ostracize those precious few customers willing to shell out more than $1,000 for a short-haul ticket. If I was a competitor, I'd be shouting from the rooftops that my airline was happy to give endless "complimentary" drinks and snacks to such passengers. Morons!

Journeyman

Journeyman

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

11 Sep 2015

Total posts 22

More signs that Virgin is in a downward albeit gradual spiral downwards. Cutting routes, launching a pathetic lounge offering in Brisbane International, turning an award-winning inflight magazine into an also runs with low coast airlines desparately hunting the cheap ads revenue, and now this. Petty and a pity.

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

1. Which routes have been cut? 2. It's not VA's lounge. 3. The magazine isn't full of ads. 4. How is charging for buy on board items petty?


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