2 years and 5 months ago, Virgin Australia ended direct Melbourne – Los Angeles services as there wasn’t enough demand on the route. However, that changed last year when Virgin announced that they will bring the Melbourne – Los Angeles service back to life. The announcement was extremely positive and many people were happy to see it come back.
As I explained a few days ago, I hadn’t even planned to be on the flight but at the last minute I decided to jump onboard, and I’m glad I did. It was a phenomenal flight!
The day started with a press conference held by Virgin Australia Group Executive John Thomas. There was a heap of celebration and festivities including a marching band. VIP guest Dannii Minogue made an appearance and was also on the flight.
The marching band is pretty damn impressive!
Passengers in Business Class, as well as Platinum and Gold guests can access the beautiful Etihad lounge. The lounge has a great breakfast buffet setup and the staff are fantastic, it’s a great place to relax before your flight to the U.S.
Boarding started on time and the excitement was clear from passengers. I’ve reviewed ‘The Business’ twice now from Sydney to Los Angeles & Brisbane to Perth, It’s my favourite Business Class product I’ve reviewed so I was really excited to fly it again.
Virgin’s 777 features 37 B/E Super Diamond suites configured in a reverse herringbone 1-2-1 layout. The aircraft’s Business Class cabin is split into 2, there are 24 seats in the first section and 13 in the rear section behind the bar.
Each suite reclines to 180 degrees which if fully flat, has a width of 23” and a pitch of 76-80”.
For this flight, I was surprised I was able to get a window seat considering how late I booked. I selected 9A which is in the second section of the Business cabin.
As you’re seated the crew will come and introduce themselves. They also handed out Pyjamas, Amenity Kits, Menus and offered a pre-takeoff beverage of either Champagne, Orange Juice or Still/Sparkling water.
I just had a spring water.
The weather in Melbourne was fantastic and it was a great day for flying!
We quickly climbed to our cruising altitude of 31,000 feet and the cabin slowly got darker. Many passengers will have a quick breakfast/lunch then go straight to sleep.
The 777 has a much better bar than it previously did. The new is much better for socialising with other passengers and has extra seating. It’s also easier for the crew to work at.
It’s quite a spacious area and the lighting especially on the roof looks awesome.
The seats at the back of the bar have a selection of reading materials, chocolates and bottles of water.
It’s worth mentioning that the bar isn’t self-serve. If you want to get a drink and there’s no staff member at the bar, there’s a service button on the left side which alerts the crew and they will come and help you.
The 777’s also feature new Nespresso machines which make fantastic coffee.
The bar obviously has a good range of liquors, wines and beers available.
Here is the menus on the Melbourne – Los Angeles service:
To start with I had the Australian Prawns with Soba Noodles, It was full of flavour and nice and fresh.
And for my main, I had the Chicken and Chorizo Paella which was sized perfectly and full of flavour.
And for dessert, I had the Belgian White Chocolate ice-cream. It was a great way to finish the meal service.
The flight had some small American food items onboard to celebrate the service, one of them was the Pumpkin Pie:
As it was the inaugural flight to Los Angeles there were quite a few members of the media onboard. It was great to socialise and chat. Everyone was enjoying the beverage options onboard while I had a sparkling water 😉
A few hours later I was starting to feel quite tired as I hadn’t slept the night before. Virgin’s mattresses are some of the best I’ve experienced in the air.
The airline also has some great pillows onboard, something I find very important to have a good sleep.
Each seat was also given a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar which was a nice touch.
The bed is extremely comfortable and I was able to get about 6 or 7 hours of solid deep sleep.
Another thing I love about flying Virgin Australia is the mood lighting, it’s so nice to look at when waking up.
Shortly after waking up I was offered breakfast. At the time I was chatting to cabin crew member Corey at the bar so I decided to have it at the bar and continued socialising.
For breakfast, I had the scrambled eggs, bacon, a coconut muffin, fresh fruit and orange juice.
There are 3 lavatories for Business Class guests. 2 are located at the front of the cabin and the last 1 is right of the bar.
The bathrooms feature REN amenities
Sadly after 12 hours, it was time to start descending into Los Angeles.
The suite has an abundance of storage options. There are 2 compartments on the left side and they’re quite deep and can hold quite a few things like phones, passport etc.
In the first compartment is the where the IFE controller is located:
As well as the In-seat Power:
And the Headphone jack and USB powerpoint are also found in there.
The second compartment is smaller but can still hold a number of objects.
There’s also a compartment where the reading articles are found. It’s also a storage space for a tablet like device.
In the right of the suite, you’ll find the armrest. This has to be lowered to takeoff and landing but once up In the air, it can be raised for a little extra privacy.
In the armrest is where the bottle of water and noise cancelling headphones are found.
The footwell is spacious and quite wide. There isn’t any storage for bags under there but you can put shoes, slippers and other small items there.
This is my 6th time flying ‘The Business’ and I still believe it’s one of the best Business Class products on the market. Between the actual hard product, crew, everyone at the bar and the soft product it was definitely one of the best flight’s I’ve had in a long time.
Redeeming for ‘The Business’ is much easier than what most people think. For 45,000 Virgin America miles or 95,000 Velocity points, it’s pretty fantastic value as paid fares can be Very expensive. If you’re wanting to know how to book ‘The Business’ I wrote a post dedicated to the subject, it can be found here.
‘The Business’ is definitely the best Business Class product flying directly to the United States, I’m also confident that it could give First Class products on other airlines on the route a run for their money.
Congrats to Virgin Australia for re-launching Melbourne – Los Angeles services!