Unfortunately, my trip wasn’t to LA or Hong Kong, but just a quick leg from Sydney to Melbourne on route to Launceston, with an A330 servicing the route on Melbourne Cup day.
Noticing the additional seats on check-in I asked for an upgrade using points at the lounge front desk, parting with just 10,000 for the pleasure. With the sun barely peaking above the horizon, the cabin’s dark seats and moody purple lights made for a relaxing start to the day as I kicked my feet up, drowned a sparkling wine and grabbed a moment of shut-eye before take off.
With just myself and two others taking advantage of the rare A330 Business Class seat, the cabin was the most tranquil I’ve ever experienced, and the service was immaculate – attentive but restrained, exactly how it should be.
While taking off I explored the various storage options, lighting and entertainment options, impressed with each of the individual offerings and the nifty iPad compartment.
I didn’t watch any video on the 16inch touch screen (the 777 seat features an 18 inch) but found it easy to use and hosting more than enough content for a trip to Perth, Hong Kong or LAX. The screens are fixed in place which is great for taxing and taking off, as in they don’t need to be stowed like on Cathay Pacific Business Class, but as someone who doesn’t mind reclining with a knee raised, I’d be keen to experience the fixed screen on a lounger journey.
I didn’t use the headphones as I have my own, but they certainly looked the part in their case which tucked neatly into the compartment down beside the seat.
Due to my last minute upgrade I wasn’t promised a meal but lucked out when the cabin manager came to inform me one of the guests had chosen to sleep instead of eat. I was served a spectacular concoction of mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and danish fetta on assorted grains – easily the best breakfast dish I’ve eaten on a plane.
I think it’s worth noting that I’ve upgraded domestically in the lounge a number of times and never been so warmly welcomed by a cabin crew. Sometimes the staff seem thrown by your last minute inclusion and project that, as if you’ve put them out. I’m disappointed I don’t recall the fellows name but his service throughout the flight was impeccable.
After breakfast I reclined the seat and removed my silk eye mask for a quick power nap. I won’t comment at too much length about a 15 min rest however the width and length of the seat is excellent, as is the provided pillow.
If you are planning to make the trip from the East to West coast and have an arsenal of points up your sleeve, there’s really no better way to spend them than in Virgin The Business class. If that trip isn’t on your radar, and you’re flexible on dates and times next time you travel to Melbourne, it’s definitely worth diving further into what aircrafts are servicing the route because there may be an A330 on it’s way to HK or, during peak periods, Fiji and experiencing the best Virgin has to offer is as good as business gets.