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Virgin Australia vs Qantas

We put two top Australian airlines head-to-head to see which airline is the one that you should be flying with.

We looked at every aspect of airline travel to determine which Australian airline, Virgin Australia or Qantas, came out on top. From comfort to food, inflight entertainment, price, travel with pets, destinations offered and more, we know which airline wins each round after a comparison.

There’s no need to look further than this page to determine which is the right airline for you to fly with based on you personal needs, wants and budget.

Virgin Australia vs Qantas

Feature Virgin Australia Qantas Verdict
Where does it fly to? 220+ destinations in these regions:
  • Africa
  • Asia and the Pacific
  • Europe
  • The Americas
  • The Middle East
70+ destinations in these regions:
  • Africa
  • Asia and the Pacific
  • Europe
  • The Americas
  • The Middle East
Virgin Australia flies to more destinations.
What star rating is it? 4-star 4-star Both airlines are rated the same.
What classes are available? Business, “The Business”, premium and economy classes are available. First class, business class, premium economy and economy classes. Both airlines offer the same amount of classes.
What is the baggage allowance? Economy allows one 7kg carry-on. A minimum of one 23kg checked bag is allowed on economy domestic and long-haul international flights. Short-haul international flights do not include checked baggage for the cheapest fare option. Economy allows one 7kg carry-on and one 30kg checked bag. Qantas allows the same carry-on allowance but more checked bag allowance for all flights.
Where does it fly from in Australia?
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney
  • Plus 39 other destinations
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney
  • Plus 31 other destinations
Virgin Australia flies to and from more destinations in Australia.
What's the in-flight entertainment like? Virgin Australia offers an in-flight entertainment app to use on your own device, or on iPads that are provided. Movies, TV shows, music and games are available. Qantas offers movies, TV, entertainment app, the Qantas magazine, radio and more. Both airlines offer similar entertainment options, however Qantas provides screens on their aircrafts.
Can I make changes/cancellations? Yes, on most tickets, though fees apply and some tickets are non-refundable. Yes, on most tickets, though fees apply and not all ticket types receive a refund. Both airlines offer flight cancellations and changes but fee prices and refunds depend on the ticket type.
What type of plane will I fly on?
  • A320
  • A330-200
  • ATR72
  • B737-700
  • B777
  • Embraer 190
  • Fokker 100
  • A330
  • A380
  • B787
  • B747-400
  • B737-800
  • B717
Virgin Australia flies more plane types but only Qantas flies an A380.
Which frequent flyer programs is it with? Velocity Frequent Flyer Qantas Frequent Flyer Virgin Australia’s frequent flyer program is more flexible when it comes to collecting points, point expiry and sharing points.
Is there Wi-Fi? Virgin Australia is in the process of rolling out Wi-Fi on both domestic and international flights. Qantas is in the process of rolling out Wi-Fi on select planes and domestic flights. Both airlines are starting to offer Wi-Fi but it will be available on more Virgin Australia flights.
Can I price match? Yes. If a lower price for the same flight is found on another website, Virgin Australia will match the price and Velocity Frequent Flyer members will receive 500 points per booking. Yes. If the same flight on another site is cheaper, Qantas will refund you the difference and Qantas frequent flyers will receive 1,000 Qantas points. Both airlines offer the same price matching but Qantas offers more points as a bonus for their members.
Does it serve alcohol? Yes, on domestic and international flights. Only complimentary on long-haul international flights or domestic flights between 5pm and 7pm Monday to Friday. Yes. On international flights a welcome drink is also served. Qantas offers complimentary drinks on more flights than Virgin Australia.
Is there online chat? Contact is available by phone and email. Contact is available by email and phone. Both airlines offer the same contact services.
Does it charge for infants? Infants travel for free on domestic flights if they are under 2 and do not occupy a seat. On international flights 10% of the adult fare is charged. Infants under two years are charged 10% of the adult fare when they are accompanied by an adult and sitting on the adult’s lap. Virgin Australia allows infants to travel for free on domestic flights. Both airlines offer the same charge for international flights.
Does it fly pets? Yes, though all animals must travel as cargo unless they are an authorised assistance dog. Yes. Service dogs are permitted in the main cabin. All other animals must travel as cargo. Both airlines offer the same restrictions for travelling with pets.
What are my payment options?
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Diners Club
  • American Express
  • Travel Bank
  • POLi
  • PayPal
  • Credit Voucher
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Diners Club
  • American Express
  • JCB
  • UATP
  • Qantas Cash
  • Qantas Points
  • POLi
  • BPAY
  • Credit Voucher
Qantas offers more payment options.
Can I book round the world fares? Yes Yes Both airlines offer round the world fares.
Can I book multi-city fares? Yes Yes Both airlines offer multi-city bookings but Virgin Australia allows up to 11 segments whereas Qantas only allows 6.
Any features to find the best price? Virgin Australia offers Best Fares and Happy Hour fares every Thursday from 4pm to 11pm. Qantas offers Flight Deals. Both airlines offer flight deals.

Who offers the best price?

Both airlines are flexible with times of day to fly and different class options, such as a saver options for budget flyers. We compared flights on both airlines from Sydney to Los Angeles round-trip for the exact same dates to see which airline came out cheaper.

Virgin Australia:

Virgin Australia Syd-LA

Qantas:

Qantas Sydney-LA

The verdict?

Virgin Australia wins this round, beating the Qantas flight prices by $148. Though this isn't an overwhelming difference, we love to know when you can save a little for extra spending on your trip.


Is it a good airline to fly with?

Based on Skytrax reviews, Qantas has a higher rating and leads with a 7/10 while Virgin Australia is just a step behind with 6/10.

The verdict?

Qantas pulls ahead in this round as their above-average ratings for inflight entertainment, seat comfort, staff service and value for money are rated 4 out of 5 stars. Virgin Australia ranks with only average ratings of 3 out of 5 stars for all categories.


What are the deals like?

Virgin Australia and Qantas have flight deals for destinations around Australia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East. Virgin Australia also offers Happy Hour on flights, holiday packages, car hire and more, only on Thursdays from 4pm to 11pm. Qantas has Fly Away sales, though this isn’t as regular or consistent.

The verdict?

It’s a draw. Depending on what destination you want to fly to, one airline offers better deals than the other. For example, Virgin Australia has better deals for flights within Australia while Qantas offers the best prices for flights to Europe. We recommend taking a look at both flight deal pages to find the best price.


Top flight deals with Qantas and Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia - Deals Virgin Australia - Deals

10% off select domestic and international flights

Valid on select flights booked with Virgin Australia. Simply enter the code to redeem offer. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code expires

Virgin Australia - Deals Virgin Australia - Deals

Australia-wide flights from $89 each way

Valid for travel from 12 August - 20 September 2018, 17 October - 12 December 2018 and 30 January - 27 June 2019. Sample fare is Ballina-Sydney.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires

Virgin Australia - Deals Virgin Australia - Deals

3-months of Netflix FREE when you connect to Virgin Australia Wi-Fi

Connect to Virgin Australia's in-flight Wi-Fi next time you travel and treat yourself to a free three-month subscription of Netflix.

Last verified

Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Asia flights from $579 return with Qantas

Valid for travel from 10 October - 15 November 2018 and 1 February - 15 June 2019. Destinations include Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Phuket and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Hong Kong.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires


Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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