Date: 09. February 2017.
Flight time: 1 hour.
Seat: 2F, window on the starboard of the aircraft.
I step off Qatar’s Airbus A 350 and make my way to immigration, which is deserted. From what I can tell, ours is the only international flight to arrive around this time. The guy at customs seems a bit surprised to see me travelling such a long way with only a small carry-on suitcase, but eventually he lets me pass anyway.
If you are catching a domestic connection, simply exit customs and then turn left. There is an escalator that takes you one floor up to the departures level.
Counters: Virgin Australia have their own dedicated check-in area and there is a separate counter for Business Class passengers.
It had not been possible to check me in for this flight already in Frankfurt or in Doha.
Location: Opposite immigration for international departures.
Name of Lounge: Virgin Airlines lounge.
Access: As you exit the security checkpoint, turn left.
Toilets & showers: Available in the lounge.
Food & Beverages: The food selection in the lounge is limited to junk food and toast. Drinks are ordered at the counter.
Connectivity: Complimentary wifi is available. The password is given to you at check-in.
Priority Boarding: Business Class passengers and frequent flyers are invited to board first.
CABIN & SEAT
Configuration: 2 + 2.
Seat Layout: There are two rows of seats, making a total of eight seats in Business Class. The aircraft has a dedicated, proper Business Class cabin and seat.
Pitch: 38 inches.
Width: 19.5 inches.
AC Power: Not available.
Audio and Video: Virgin offers wireless inflight entertainment that you can watch on your own handheld device. But you need to download their app for that first.
SERVICE & CREW
The crew seem friendly enough. They work efficiently to get the service through in just one hour, but without making it feel rushed.
Taking off over Glenelg.
Welcome drink on the ground: Sparkling water.
Choice: There is a choice of either chicken or a salad with beetroot.
Delivery: Individual tray service.
Type of meal: Dinner.
Main course: Chicken breast with creamed corn and tomatoes.
Dessert: A really very tasty carrot cake.
Cheese: A plate of camembert with fig chutney and rice crackers.
Beverages: Coke Zero.
Bread: One bun, served with butter.
Coming from Europe, it is quite amazing to be offered a hot meal on a flight of only one hour and to have a proper Business Class seat at your disposal. I am certainly impressed!
We arrive in Melbourne more or less on time. Virgin Australia have their own terminal in Melbourne.
From arrivals it takes me about five minutes to walk the short distance to the Holiday Inn hotel, where I will be staying for just the one night.
In summary, I rather like Virgin Australia and I am very glad to say that their service is still as good as I remember it from when I travelled with them last back in 2013.