Virgin Australia: free checked baggage for all domestic travellers

By Chris Chamberlin , March 6 2015
Virgin Australia: free checked baggage for all domestic travellers

Paying for checked baggage on Virgin Australia domestic flights will soon be a thing of the past with the airline to afford every economy class passenger at least one 23kg bag at no charge.

‘Saver Lite’ economy tickets, the only remaining domestic fare type without an inclusive baggage allowance, will be ditched from March 17 – after which all of the cheapest tickets will be sold in the ‘Saver’ category, with free checked baggage as standard.

A Virgin Australia spokesperson confirmed the changes to Australian Business Traveller, adding that the tweaks “had been made as a result of strong customer feedback”.

There's concern from some frequent flyers that axing Saver Lite tickets could cause Virgin Australia's entry-level fare prices to increase, although this remains to be seen.

Passengers who have already booked Saver Lite tickets for travel beyond March 17 will still be stung for checked baggage at the airport, but with these fares soon disappearing from the roster, VA’s basic economy baggage allowance aligns with the same at Qantas.

For frequent flyers, the changes boost the minimum allowance from 1x23kg for Silver and Gold members to 2x23kg, and from 2x23kg to 3x23kg for Platinum members on entry-level fares:

That’s particularly useful on deep-discount Happy Hour tickets, all of which will now be Saver fares and include checked baggage for every traveller when booked after March 17.

Saver Lite tickets which exclude checked baggage will continue to be sold on VA trans-Tasman flights and on codeshare services with Air New Zealand, with the Kiwi carrier doing likewise with its separate ‘Seat’ and ‘Seat + Bag’ ticket types.

All Virgin Australia passengers travelling to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi already receive a complimentary checked baggage allowance.

Also read: New Virgin Australia lounges for Brisbane, Perth in 2015

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

Well done VA! This is great news and a win win for everyone!

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 197

Unsure how this is good news - Saver fares won't go down to the old Saver Lite price. 

AV
AV

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

16 Apr 2013

Total posts 40

Great work VA!  The competition with Qantas is becoming increasingly fierce.  Just provide snacks to all guests in all fare classes on all routes and that will be the cherry on top.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

How will they compete with Qantas if they "just provide snacks to all guests"? Qantas last year upgraded their breakfast and dinner boxes.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

100% Agree Snack and Drink and why not go one futrher and add Alcholic Drinks anytime on all route (After 10am of course)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

Ah, those blissful few moments between rejoicing in the return to standard check baggage and realising this will result in fewer cheap fares.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 335

"Saver Lite tickets which exclude checked baggage will continue to be sold on VA trans-Tasman flights"... just to add to the inconsistant Virgin product

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 255

You can blame NZ for that, they still offer Seat only fares across the tasman and islands.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 335

Virgin don't codeshare with Air NZ on the flights to the islands or to Bali/Phuket. Yet Virgin still charge for bags on those

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 335

Whoops, I was incorrect ^ 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Dec 2014

Total posts 26

Now Qantas needs to stop charging stupid fees for Long Haul seating!

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

How is forcing you to pay for something whether you want it or not considered free?

The change means that every passenger can check a bag without paying a separate charge on top of the ticket price, thus, 'free'.

I'd say the same of Qantas – each passenger can check a bag for 'free'.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Yes but not everyone does check a bag on QF

On some BNE-SYD QF flights there are less than 30 bags

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

17 Nov 2014

Total posts 96

It's a great news to travllers and one more step ahead for Virgin to be on par with Qantas.

However, I believe Virgin Australia should now focus on upgrading its inflight meals to make it:
1. free for all customers
2. increase the portion of food from snacks to meal on short haul flights during designated meal times.


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