Departing daily from Los Angeles, Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777 service to Brisbane offers an excellent Business Class product for travellers wanting to cross the Pacific. The flight is an overnight flight, departing Los Angeles at 10:30 pm and arriving into Brisbane around 5:30 am. Guests booked in the pointy end can look forward to lie flat seats with direct isle access for all, an onboard bar and a fairly good selection of food options. The only slightly disappointing aspect is the entertainment variety not being as extensive as some of the competition. Overall, I rate this as one of the best international Business Class products available.
Virgin Australia operates from the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angles International Airport (LAX). Business Class passengers along with Velocity Gold and Platinum members can use the Emirates Lounge prior to departure.
The Emirates Lounge at TBIT is a fairly standard offering from Emirates, which definitely isn’t a bad thing. I generally find Emirates lounges to be very consistent around the world and usually offer excellent tasting meals and drinks. This particular lounge has an internal balcony with some great views of the terminal. The only downside I could identify with the lounge was the limited number of shower cubicles available, which meant I had to wait. The staff did a good job though of managing the queue and alerting me when it was my time. We had flown in from Mexico City in the morning so it was great to be able to have a shower and freshen up at the airport.
Overall, I think the Emirates Lounge is an excellent lounge choice for Virgin Australia and the only thing that would top it is if there was a First Class Lounge for Velocity Platinum members.
Priority boarding is available for Business Class passengers, and passengers with Velocity Gold and Platinum status. Virgin Australia generally does a great job with priority boarding, both domestically and internationally and this flight was no exception.
The only area where I find Virgin Australia lacking when it comes to boarding is on the technology side. I love airlines that offer app push notifications for when boarding commences (or delays) and having the option of an electronic boarding pass.
Cabin Features 4.5/5
Virgin Australia’s long haul fleet consists exclusively of Boeing 777 aircraft. The aircraft are young with modern, spacious and up to date cabins. I love the use of Virgin’s purple ascent lighting in the cabin.
A unique feature on Virgin’s 777 aircraft is an inflight bar. We stopped by the bar about an hour or so into our flight and found it to be fantastic. The staff were very enthusiastic and friendly and poured us some drinks and provided snacks. They also generously assisted with helping us take a series of photos to remember our ‘sky bar’ experience.
The Business Class cabin on Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777 aircraft is arranged in a 1-2-1 layout with all seats offering direct access to the isle and the option to recline to a fully lie flat bed.
For this flight I was seated in 3G – in the middle section – which is excellent choice for those travelling with a companion. I found the seat to offer an excellent amount of space and privacy. Plenty of storage and desk space is also provided. Unlimited recline is available, so moving from sitting position to sleeping position is just a matter of reclining the seat. The bed was excellent for someone that is 6 foot 1 and I had a very relaxing sleep on this overnight flight.
Comfortable PJs and a class-leading amenity kit are also provided to passengers. I was blown away by the size and quality of the items within the amenity kit – definitely one of the best Business Class amenity kits I’ve received.
Overall, I think this is one of the best Business Class seats available, and is very difficult to fault.
Dining on this overnight flight consisted of a dinner, with the option for an express single-tray service, followed by a breakfast closer to arrival. I opted for a full dinner service and pre-ordered my breakfast.
The staff did a great job with the meal service. The food’s presentation and quality was to a high standard. Whilst I was perfectly satisfied with my meal, I would love to see some simpler options available on the menu – for example, the chicken schnitzel sandwich I had recently on another flight has been one of my favourite inflight meals to date. Also, the ability to pre-select a meal prior to the flight from a larger online menu is not available with Virgin Australia. Having this choice could help to satisfy the full spectrum of simple to complex taste preferences of passengers.
No complaints about breakfast, with great onboard coffee and a delicious fruit smoothie to match.
Onboard service was efficient and attentive. Aside from the wonderful bar experience, none of the other service stood out was being particularly outstanding, but it couldn’t be faulted either. Given it was an overnight flight, I had less interactions with staff than I would’ve during a daytime flight. Overall, the service was what you would expect from being in Business Class on a long haul flight.
Onboard entertainment is delivered via a high definition 18 inch touch screen – which is excellent. The screen is about the perfect size with very responsive touch controls. Unfortunately, the amount of content available to watch is not as extensive as many other competing airlines. Noise cancelling headphones are provided for those in Business Class, which I found to be good.
Virgin Australia’s flights to and from the USA are fitted with inflight Wi-Fi. It’s excellent to see Wi-Fi available from Australian carriers on long haul flights. Given that it was an overnight flight, I didn’t use the Wi-Fi on this trip.
Virgin Australia offers an excellent Business Class service between Los Angeles and Australia (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne). A comfortable and spacious seat, paired with top amenities and dining on a modern aircraft provides a great experience across the Pacific. The inflight bar is a unique and fun addition to the flight, which I highly recommend. It would be great to see some additional entertainment content added in future, along with some simpler dining options for those who prefer, but these are fairly small gripes in an otherwise excellent product.
Overall, I rate Virgin Australia’s 777 long haul Business Class 4.3 out of 5.