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Mixed messages by Virgin Australia? Food no longer included in Economy, but impressive new menu included in Business.

March 26, 2021 Aviation, Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

Virgin Australia appears to have sent out mixed messages to the market recently, with on the one hand it has for me cemented its low cost carrier model in Economy Class, by cutting out any free food with the formerly included snacks replaced by a new “buy onboard” offering, initially very limited indeed, featuring what they admittedly say is a limited range of the most popular snack and beverage items.

On the other hand, up at the pointy end of the aircraft in Business Class, Virgin Australia has launched a rather impressive new Business Class menu described as heralding a new era of flying for the relaunched Virgin Australia, offering a range of hot meals, salads and Australian classics served with crockery, glassware and cutlery and it gets even better, with the Virgin Australia Business Class refresh said to have included crew retrained in new hospitality standards focused on customer engagement, with more time in the cabin with guests.

Regarding the chopping of food in Economy Class, Virgin Australia says that following significant time spent with consumers and Virgin Australia team members, the airline has found that travellers would prefer to choose their own food and beverage in a buy onboard model on domestic flights, instead of receiving a predetermined snack.

They also say that the new Economy buy onboard menu is designed to give travellers greater value, taking the previously included snack out of the ticket price, to provide great value fares every day.  They added that initially, the menu will feature the most popular snack and beverage items, including cheese and crackers and Australian wine, which appears to be a very limited choice, before a greater range of menu items are introduced later in the year when travel demand is expected to resume to near pre-COVID levels.

There is some good news though for the low cost carrier’s Economy Class travellers, rather than the pointy end Business Class travellers in that Virgin Australia says “As part of the Economy experience, Virgin Australia will continue to serve complimentary tea, coffee and water on every flight!

I would stick with the complimentary tea, coffee and water on every flight, as it appears to me that Virgin Australia’s prices on board in Economy Class seem pretty salty and of course I may be out of touch, but let me give you some examples: –

  • Grant Burge Chardonnay: $12.00
  • Grant Burge Shiraz: $12.00
  • Yarr Burn Premium Cuvee: $12.00
  • Balter XPA: $11.00
  • Mountain Goat Lager: $10.00
  • Great Northern Super Crisp Lager: $9.00
  • Pre mixed Gordon’s Pink Gin and Tonic: $12.00
  • Johnnie Walker Black Whisky: $10.00
  • Morish Premium Savoury Nibbles, macadamias, cashews, almonds and pretzels: $7.50 [pictured]
  • Mainland Cheese and Crackers: $5.00
  • Kettle chips: $5.00
  • Soft Drinks: $3.50
  • Hot Chocolate: $3.50

Meanwhile in Business Class the following are included in the price, with guests offered two menu choices on every flight, appropriate to the time of day and length of the flight.

Breakfast

  • Smashed avocado and crumbled feta on sourdough, served alongside Greek yoghurt with mango coulis, seasonal fresh fruit and a Danish pastry;
  • Ham and scrambled egg brioche roll with tomato relish, served alongside Greek yoghurt with mango coulis and seasonal fresh fruit;
  • Bircher muesli with cherry compote, served with a Danish pastry.

Lunch

  • Pumpkin and prosciutto salad served with cheese and crackers and chocolate delight cake
  • Turkey, brie and fig jam sourdough melt served with cheese and crackers
  • Haloumi and quinoa salad served with cheese and crackers

Dinner

  • Lamb and rosemary pie with a pumpkin and feta smash, served alongside an antipasto plate with prosciutto, cheese and crackers and a chocolate delight cake
  • Pumpkin and prosciutto salad served with cheese and biscuits
  • Haloumi and quinoa salad served alongside an antipasto plate with marinated vegetables, cheese and crackers and a chocolate delight cake [pictured]

Beverages

  • Australian white and red wines including Grant Burge NV Sparkling
  • Australian craft beers including Green Beacon Tropical Pale Ale
  • Selection of popular spirits including vodka, gin, scotch, bourbon and rum.
  • Gordons Gin
  • Jim Beam Bourbon White Label
  • Bundaberg Rum
  • Johnnie Walker Scotch Red Label
  • Smirnoff Vodka
  • Premium tea, coffee, juice and sparkling water

Yes, all included!

I don’t know about you but there seems to be a rather massive gap or even a chasm between the very basic and at cost, Economy Class and the all inclusive Business Class offerings, which seems rather incongruous and very strange!

Don’t worry in economy though, I imagine you will be able to smell these impressive delicacies from the pointy end as the smells waft backwards, and after all you will be able to buy a bag of chips!

An opinion and report by John Alwyn-Jones

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. gnits says:

    …jees… don’t have noodle cups at least…

  2. Peter Anderson says:

    Welcome to Jetstar. I am guessing this is only the start for cut back services both inside and outside the cabin.

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