Virgin Australia review: Melbourne to Sydney
What can you expect when flying economy on this popular domestic route?
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
As well as being a popular business route, Melbourne to Sydney flights often connect travellers to other regional destinations. In my case, this includes Coffs Harbour, which is the closest airport to my hometown and my family.
There aren’t many direct flights from Melbourne to Coffs (Tigerair is your best bet there), which usually means I fly from Melbourne to Sydney first. I’m currently a Silver Velocity member and was able to book Virgin Australia flights during a bonus point promotion. Originally, I was booked on an earlier flight but, due to scheduling changes to my connecting flight, I requested a later departure from Melbourne (to avoid spending five hours at Sydney airport).
Route: Melbourne to Sydney
Flight duration: 1 hour 25 minutes
Dates travelled: 2 August 2018
Class: Economy (Elevate fare)
Aircraft type: Boeing 737-800
Flight Number: VA837
Frequent Flyer Program: Velocity
Points earned: 1,528 points
My verdict (in short)
- Off-peak flight time (Tuesday at 11am) meant it was such an empty flight I had a spare seat to myself
- Speedy flight, despite a slight delay
- Amazing in-flight service, particularly for families
- Lack of announcements at Melbourne Airport meant I was unaware of my flight delay before arriving at the terminal
- Boring safety demo, try to keep your eyes open!
What did I like?
- Scheduled departure time. My departure time was 11am, which meant I missed the morning rush – and also avoided a plane packed full of passengers. While the flight was still busy, there was a seat between me and the other person in my row, which meant a bit more space for both of us.
- Flight time. A flight delay meant that boarding didn’t start until 11:05am. However, we landed in Sydney at 12:20pm and were off the plane at 12:35pm – just 10 minutes after the original arrival time. This means the flight was faster than the original estimate of 1 hour and 25 minutes.
- Service. The staff on this flight have mastered efficiency with a smile, running a swift in-flight service that included complimentary snacks, tea, coffee and a selection of cold drinks. I also saw them going out of their way to help a couple of families that were travelling with small children, which I thought was worth noting for other travellers.
What didn’t I like?
- Lack of airport announcements. My boarding pass said to go to the gate at 10:30am, so when I arrived and saw that the plane hadn’t landed yet, I suspected we’d be late. Despite that, I didn’t hear an announcement about the change in departure until just before we boarded. This could have been frustrating for other travellers who didn’t realise what was going on.
- Boring safety demonstration. I appreciate the need for safety demonstrations but got the sense that staff were just going through the motions, which didn’t exactly make me want to pay attention. I don’t really have a suggestion on how Virgin Australia could improve, but maybe it’s something the airline could explore, considering other airlines I’ve travelled with have found ways to make the safety demonstration interesting (e.g. by using jokes or videos).
Would I use Virgin Australia again?
Yes, especially for this route as I find Virgin Australia’s flights between Melbourne and Sydney more consistently on time than the ones I’ve taken with budget airlines. In fact, this analysis by finder's Angus Kidman in April 2018 showed that Virgin Australia was also the most punctual of any domestic airline flying this route.
Bonus tip: Sign up to the Velocity Frequent Flyer program for free
Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program is free to join and gives you a way to earn points when you fly with the airline as well as with many other partners. You can also get points for any flights you’ve taken 30 days before joining the program by submitting a missing points claim.
Take off with Virgin Australia for less with these flight sales and deals:
More guides on Finder
Haval launches GT version of H6 SUV
Halal's H6 is out-selling more established rivals, prompting the Chinese brand to unveil a new body style to tempt even more buyers.
Results are in for ASX companies: Who are the winners and losers?
Find out how your shares are going this reporting season.
RAT shortage: When will more rapid antigen tests be available in Australia?
Rapid antigen tests have been nearly impossible to buy in Australia. But we may have to wait until Mid-February to see supply normalise.
Health insurance premiums are rising by 2.7% in 2022 (but that’s good, kind of)
When will those price rises happen, and does it affect all health insurance policies? And why is 2.7% considered "good news?"
This is how much a rapid antigen test should actually cost
The ACCC has significant concerns about the cost of rapid antigen tests and is referring matters to both the TGA and AFP.
Why has the Rio Tinto share price stumbled today?
Shares in mining giant Rio Tinto are down 10% in the last 6 months.
Today’s ASX top stocks: BrainChip Holdings (BRN ↑13.5%), Data#3 (DTL ↑12.4%)
Here are the 10 biggest movers on the ASX for Tuesday 18 January 2022.
Where to buy N95 masks in Perth
Mask rules are back in Western Australia – here are the best places to buy durable N95 masks quickly.
Rent gone up? Here’s how to buy your first home sooner
Figures show that rents are rising, but Australians are still prioritising buying or saving for a home in 2022.
Unattainable wealth aspirations: Average Aussie needs $330,000 to feel rich
The average Aussie says they would need to earn a far higher salary than the average wage to feel rich, according to new research from Finder.
Ask an Expert