The Business – Seat 3A
Virgin Australia have their own check-in desks in zone J with a dedicated Business – Premium – Economy and Online Bag drop queues. No one waiting and I was on my way in less than 5 minutes with Express Pass for priority security line.
This used to be the ever over crowded Air New Zealand, however this changed to the Etihad Lounge close to the departure gate. This was smaller than I thought but bright and offered the usual services – food options were more than adequate for the time of day. Given Etihad operate an A380 I would imagine the lounge gets very busy!
The flight was announced, Priority Boarding was a breeze and within 5 minutes, I was sipping a cool glass of bubbles as I settled into the rather comfy seat. Like many airlines (Cathay, American, Air Canada) seating is 1 – 2 – 1…. See picture and offers a cocoon style seat turning in a 6ft+ bed – very comfy! The staff seemed to really welcoming with clients onboard. Its not just a formality, but enthusiastically asking whether we had flown with them before and if not, showing guests how the seat worked and the service for the flight. PJ’s, amenity kit, menu and US customs forms delivered and it was time for take-off…
After departure it was a hive of activity with the bar being set up, breakfast wake-up cards being collected and dinner orders taken… Drinks and nibbles arrived soon after and it was time to explore the inflight entertainment system… This is the only fault I can voice with the VA service. If you travel regularly domestic to Perth or Internationally you may notice that the films barely change and a limited choice, no comparison to competitors.
Dinner was served by course and the menu offered a great selection, accompanied by some great wines and finished with a powerful espresso. After a couple of movies I ventured to the bar (an awesome space) and enjoyed 2 hours of Bloody Mary’s and gossip with fellow guests and crew before changing into PJ’s and heading back to my freshly prepared bed…
2 hours before landing awoke to a cabin in sunrise mode, the smell of bacon and coffee. Following a freshen-up we were in full landing mode over LAX – easily 30 mins early!
VA001 is now one of the first international flights into LAX Tom Bradley Terminal and I was the 3rd person to enter the immigration hall and was through in less than 10 minutes! Without getting political it was pleasing to note that LAX still has no pictures of President Trump on arrival…
AWT Flight Score:
An impressive 9 /10… flying internationally as much as we do the staff on Virgin Australia to LA are a huge factor in making the journey enjoyable – they sincerely want to be there, help and have a sense of humour!
On the return we had a similar fantastic service BUT a warning – Check-in is now with Delta Airlines in Terminal 2 which is a good 15 minutes given luggage, building works and other lost travellers from the International Tom Bradley Terminal! I gather this is a overcrowding issue and eventually check-in desks maybe sourced bit leave a little extra time given the busy departure time. NOTE: If arriving by cab make sure you are dropped off here as Virgin Australia is clearly identified outside Tom Bradley and NOT Terminal 2.