Virgin Australia review: Melbourne to Sydney
What can you expect when flying economy on this popular domestic route?
We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder .
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
Virgin Australia’s sale is flying you across the country from $69
Calling all holidaymakers! It's time to see what's up Down Under.
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo review
Centrally located, packed full of local critters and perfect for families, WILD LIFE Sydney offers a few fun hours out.
How to watch 2020 A-League grand final Sydney FC vs Melbourne City live and free in Australia
The standout teams from the A-League season square off when Sydney FC meet Melbourne City in this year’s grand final.
Ask Finder: What’s happening with my Virgin Australia travel credits?
When do you have to use them by? Will your credits disappear as Virgin restructures? Your questions answered.
Jetstar flight review: What’s flying like during the pandemic?
The flight was cheap. The Queensland border was still open. What happened?
Score Virgin Australia domestic fares from $103 on sale now
EXPIRED: Discovering Australia's hidden gems just got cheaper.
PSA: Virgin Australia’s Happy Hour is back from $69
EXPIRED: 125,000 seats are on sale to Sydney, Melbourne, Hamilton Island, Alice Springs and more.
Bain buys Virgin Australia: What does it mean for passengers?
What's happening with travel credits, frequent flyer bookings and routes?
South Australia travel restrictions: What can I do in October 2020?
Here's everything you need to know on the current South Australia travel restrictions.
Virgin Australia resumes Velocity Rewards Seat redemptions
Cash in those points and get ready to fly from 1 September.
Ask an Expert