07 Mar Virgin Australia Business Class to Bali
Amazing food on the way to an island paradise.
Bali gets mixed reviews from Australian travellers. I don’t care what anyone says; Bali is one of the cheapest and most relaxed short haul getaways from Australia. Virgin Australia business class to Bali is an enjoyable way to get to the island paradise.
Virgin Australia flies direct to Denpasar, Bali, from Brisbane and Sydney – (and soon Darwin) with a mix of daytime and evening flights. Velocity points flights to Bali have pretty good availability from both Brisbane & Sydney, in both business class and economy.
We paid $1,598 each return for business class from Sydney to Denpasar, which is about as cheap as paid tickets get. Because we booked these flights prior to 1 August 2018, we received 160 status credits and 15,802 velocity points. (Bookings now would give you 240 status credits – a big jump and status credit opportunity!)
‘The House’ Lounge, Sydney International Airport
Virgin Australia has previously used either the Air NZ lounge, and more recently the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge for their flights to Bali. But now business class and Velocity Gold & Platinum members can use the newly branded ‘The House’ lounge. Is was the Etihad lounge, which has had some minor tweaks (making it look less premium in my opinion), to cater for the larger volume than the space was originally intended.
Cabin and Seat
Virgin Australia flies their domestic Boeing 737-800 aircraft between Australia and Bali. The business class cabin is arranged in 2 rows of 4 seats, which is more than comfortable for the ~6 hour flight from Sydney. The seats don’t have much recline, and no footrests, making them ok but not amazing for the overnight return flight.
The first row gives more leg room and space than row 2, so if you’re on the window, it’s much easier to get past the person next to you to get to the bathroom. Row 2 is a bit more private, but the seats in row 2 don’t recline as much as row 1. My seat choice is 1A; window seat, I can get up to the bathroom easily, and it’s on the side where the curtain buttons. Which makes it more sheltered from the galley.
Virgin Australia offers their in flight wifi entertainment on your own device; just download it onto your Android or Apple device before boarding. Business class guests are offered an Android tablet, in case you’re wanting to conserve power, or just not use your own!
Business class seats have 2 x Australian power outlets between the 2 seats, so you and your seatmate can both charge devices at the same time.
Our aircraft was fitted with WiFi; AUD $8.99 for a 1 hour pass, or AUD $19.99 for the full flight. It’s a simple payment form, with the option of having an invoice emailed to you. I tested the speed and found download speeds ranging from 13.3 to 35.1 Mbps, and upload speeds ranging from 0.22 to 1.68 Mbps. Not lightning fast, but more than enough to browse my socials and email, and message a few people to remind them that I was on holidays!
Food and Drink Service
The crew offered sparkling wine, juice and water for pre departure drinks – I obliged with a glass of Croser sparkling from Adelaide Hills. After take-off the crew took orders for another drink, as well as our lunch orders. I ordered a bloody mary which came with a small bowl of delicious warmed olives and warm, smoked almonds. The bloody mary was exactly what I wanted – just a nice simple pick me up.
There were 2 options for the starter; a mushroom soup, and a pear salad. The mushroom soup was really, really tasty, my only complaint is that like all microwaved/reheated foods, it didn’t seem to say hot/warm for long. Or maybe I’m just a slow eater! I had this with a glass of Grant Burge Chardonnay, from the Barossa Valley.
The pear salad was a good size and felt healthy and fresh, although there was a bit too much balsamic on it. Having these types of foods plated on the plane makes it taste so much fresher than normal pre-packed plane food.
Mushroom & Cumin Soup with Chives
Jamon Serrano with Caramelised Pear Goat’s Curd Basil & Balsamic
And there was 2 options for main on this Virgin Australia business class to Bali; a braised beef curry and a tabbouleh salad – which you could add shredded chicken to.
The braised beef was tender and lean, and there was just enough curry sauce to give some extra flavour without drowning it. And the chilli and coriander on top kept it fresh (for the coriander haters, no doubt you could ask them to keep it off).
The tabbouleh salad was fresh and zesty, exactly what you would expect from a salad like this. I cannot fault it and it was exactly what I was wanting; something light and simple (so that I could save myself for a delicious dinner in Seminyak).
Braised Beef Curry with Lemongrass Rice
Tabbouleh with Heirloom Tomatoes, Baba Ghanoush, Pistachio & Pomegranate plus Shredded Chicken
Then there was a cheese plate or a sour cherry brownie for dessert – I opted for the brownie. I love cherries but I’m not a fan of anything that is ‘cherry flavoured’. Luckily it just tasted like chocolate, so it was delicious. I treated myself to a glass of Grant Burge Aged Tawny Port with the brownie, which was yum.
Sour Cherry Brownie with Crème Fraîche
So what do we think of Virgin Australia business class to Bali?
It’s hard to fault this Virgin Australia business class flight. Although it is a domestic aircraft, the seat is comfortable, the entertainment is ample, and the food is fresh and tasty. You get a friendly Australian crew and a great selection of wines, spirits, and a couple of liqueurs.
The only challenges I find on this flight is where to put your iPad/entertainment tablet while eating – sitting in 1A, I just balanced it between the tray table and the side of the cabin.