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Business Class: Phuket - Brisbane on V Australia

Business Class: Phuket - Brisbane on V Australia

Old Dec 3, 09, 10:06 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Business Class: Phuket - Brisbane on V Australia

You may want to read the Brisbane - Phuket trip report (which was premium economy) here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...m-economy.html

So....

....one substantial night of partying in Patong on the night before departure left my partner and I feeling fairly average. Hangovers abound, the thought of flying back in to Australia in premium economy was not the best headache cure, so we decided to look at upgrading at the airport. Money well spent now I am home! Below are some thoughts of mine regarding the flight, along with a few photos I'd taken (I didn't go photo crazy as I was tired and the J product has had a few reviews previously).

Check-in

We went up to the Service Desk where we enquired about getting an upgrade from premium economy to business - as this is a relatively new service to Phuket the staff were somewhat unsure how to go about putting through a paid upgrade. The entire process took around 45 mins and involved a number of phone calls to the VA reservations team. In the end, the cost was $500 each for the upgrade, which was the cost in switching fares. I was hoping there would have been a set upgrade fee, such as $200 or something similar - no such luck for us, although we were happy to pay the $500.

Lounge

VA passengers use the Thai Royal Orchid Lounge in Phuket - looks great from the outside, but once your in it's a pretty average & basic lounge that certainly failed to impress. Drinks options include one brand of beer (Singha or something) and a few soft drinks. Food options were poor also. The internet speed was OK and there was a decent selection of newspapers should one wish to read.







Boarding

Boarding was delayed for about 30 minutes due to the late arrival of the aircraft. After another security check, we made our way onto the aircraft. The loads were light for this flight (we were told that there were about 100 passengers, including 9 in business) so boarding was over and done with reasonably quickly. Champagne (Moet Grand Vintage) was handed out in some really funky champagne glasses:



Another delay, this time with the aircraft (we were told that it was something to do with the loading of the freight/baggage) - so we were about 60mins late in departure. This was offset but the flowing champagne, that seemed to always be forthcoming from the great crew looking after the J cabin. We were seated in Row 5 (See: http://www.vaustralia.com.au/in-flig...five/index.htm) which was behind the bar and in front of the Y+ cabin.

Flight & Service

After the delay we departed and had an uneventful takeoff - before we knew it we were up in the air and heading home. Service consisted of a dinner shortly after takeoff and a breakfast just prior to arrival. I'm happy to scan the menu if anyone is interested.





Thai style glass noodles with seafood - was quite nice!



Beef filet with green peppercorn sauce, roasted capsicum an zucchini with potato gratin - also very nice, the recommended Cab Sav was a great combination



Creme caramel with a chocolate baton & Cheeses



Let me gripe about the amenity packs. Although we still received PJ's (which we didn't use btw) the amenity packs were very basic. I was expecting a much better quality amenity pack after hearing about the Bvlgari packs that are handed out on the LA VA routes. It seems that the Phuket flights have a watered down version - not to sure why, its still a 8 1/2 hour flight. Even the premium economy amenity pack had mouthwash, but the J packs didn't even have mouthwash?? Odd. I feel slightly ripped off, I wanted the Bvlgari aftershave! The pack also contained these funny toe socks, eyeshades, Bvlgari lipgloss, toothpaste & toothbrush and ear plugs. Thats it

Legroom and bizarre "toe" socks (??)


A pretty cityscape - someplace south of KL in Malaysia



Row 5 on VA have curtains surrounding the three groups of seats - below are two pics that show the curtain drawn around our two seats - this was a great feature and certainly gave the seats a "suite" style feeling that you really only find in first class on other airlines.





Bed-mode. The bed was ultra comfortable and I slept for about 5 hours (which is unheard of with me!)



We arrived into Brisbane about an hour late, so our onward connection to Sydney was shifted to another flight.

Summary
Overall I am very happy with the J experience on VA. Sure, I didn't get the glitzy amenity pack, but the rest of the product and service were top notch. The crew were amazing and were always willing to assist - at one point, a FA came through the curtains and put a duvet on my partner who had long been asleep - its those small touches that make the difference between a good flight and a great flight. I have no hesitation in flying VA in J in future and will certainly look at flying with these guys to the US if the need arises.
The gap between Y+ and J in terms of product offering is quite substantial - I won't be rushing back to fly in Y+ in a hurry, but J - definitely.
haydensydney is offline  
Old Dec 4, 09, 1:25 pm
  #2  
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Nice report, thanks
elitetraveler is offline  
Old Dec 4, 09, 4:26 pm
  #3  
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Great report. Looks like a good product.
MatthewLAX is online now  
Old Dec 4, 09, 9:58 pm
  #4  
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Thanks for the report haydensydney
Kiwi Flyer is offline  
Old Dec 5, 09, 11:11 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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nice report, thanks for taking the time to write it
UCBeau is offline  
Old Dec 5, 09, 8:15 pm
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Good stuff. Really looks like a good product. Look forward to giving it a try myself one of thee days.
MilesDependent is offline  

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