Virgin Australia: real difference from Qantas – no Free snacks or soft drinks in Economy
At last, there is a tangible difference between Australia’s two major airlines. One will give you a free snack and a soft drink/alcoholic beverage in Economy, and one will not – after Thursday.
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On Qantas, you will get a pre-packaged snack with your choice of water, soft drink, tea/coffee or beer/wine – depending on the time of day. On Virgin Australia as of this Thursday (25 March 2021) – you will get no snack, and only water or tea/coffee unless you are prepared to part with money – actually make that a credit card.
So, yes, for those who remember, Virgin Australia is going back-to-the-future – to where it was pre-John Borghetti and his drive to bring Virgin Blue into the full-service – competitor-to-Qantas age of Virgin Australia.
New Business Class Service
And this is timed to be implemented (if you are already booked with Virgin in Economy, expect an email explaining how to score the snack and beverage you thought you were getting. You have to ask.) on the same day that Virgin is announcing its new Business class service, which until now has been totally underwhelming.
If you are planning trans-Tasman or international travel in the next 12 months – and who isn’t? – then this is a great way to earn Gold with Air New Zealand, and for getting gold recognition on 26 Star Alliance members from Singapore Airlines and Thai to Asiana, ANA and Lufthansa.
Air New Zealand fares appear significantly lower than Qantas at the moment, in most classes, so why not save some money, and match your status? You will also travel on either their 787 or brand new A321neo’s compared to Qantas A330’s where you might have to endure the flying kangaroo’s business suite product (ironic yuk!)
It seems like it’s status match nirvana at the moment.
Onboard catering for domestic flights – given that most flights are under 2 hours – does not play a huge part in determining most people’s choice of airline. However, if you are a road warrior, then that time spent on board, might be your only chance to grab a snack, or have a post-work cleansing ale in a frantic day of meetings and travel.
After price and schedule, catering is probably the next most important consideration for the business flyer, which could make this change significant.
Mind you, if I have status related access to a lounge, and my fare will be AU$20 to AU$50 cheaper per leg on Virgin – stuff the free snack and drink!