Sunday, 25 March 2018

Why Virgin Australia badly needs to lift its game

I have several issues with the levels of service offered by Virgin Australia - and am well placed to comment as a regular flyer with Platinum status (the airline's top level).


Business class delights last night
My main gripe concerns the lack of a Velocity Lounge in Hobart six years after it was promised by CEO John Borghetti. Check out https://www.ausbt.com.au/hobart-to-get-more-virgin-australia-flights-priority-boarding-for-velocity-platinum-and-gold-and-a-lounge-as-well  

Despite Hobart Airport recording record numbers a Virgin spokesperson told me: "Unfortunately since the announcement there just hasn’t been the demand in Hobart to justify the build."

I think the 20 grams of biscuit or muesli served as "a snack" on short-haul economy flights an insult. Seriously, why bother? 

I've also found the introduction of the ecomonyX fare means flyers can pay a few dollars more to dislodge frequent flyers from the extra leg room seats they are promised at the front of the plane. Again, so much for loyalty.

Throw in terms and conditions that make it difficult access any of the Platinum benefits and a call centre in Manila where the staff are unintelligible and I've now abandoned by loyalty to Virgin and fly with whichever airline is the most convenient. 

Last night, however, heaped insult onto insult. 

I had upgraded to business from economy and the air crew was so ditsy that no one even bothered to take my coat to hang up and no newspapers were offered despite there being a supply in the overhead baggage. 

I then chose a delicious sounding "Moroccan lamb jaffle" for dinner. Unfortunately, consultant chef Luke Mangan has completely taken his eye off the ball with this one (pictured above). 

Not only was the half a jaffle lukewarm, it was soggy on the inside and tasted like cardboard around the edges. The filling was the texture of soup and it came with a bread roll. Who serves a bread roll as a side dish to half a sandwich? 

I know these are all first world problems, but Virgin needs to improve quick smart before it loses the business flyers it has attracted over from Qantas. Particularly when guests are paying good money for "superior service" in business class. 
       

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