TRAVEL | Virgin Australia operates daily flights between Denpasar and Melbourne. The Boeing 737-800 (“737”) is currently used on the route, and travellers can choose between Economy and Business Class. The average flight time on this route is 5 hours and 40 minutes.
Online check-in is not available for international short haul Virgin Australia flights to or from Australia. Unfortunately the only option is to line up at the check in counter and wait for a staff member to check you in, even if you only have carry on luggage. The process at the counter itself is straight forward, but with everyone on the flight having to join the one line, many of whom have bags to check in, it can take a while to move through.
Checked luggage is included with all Virgin Australia Economy tickets when flying international short haul. You can check-in one bag up to 23kg (on Choice and Flex fares, Lite fares do not include checked luggage), and up to two carry-on bags with a combined weight of no greater than 7kg. There is no option to purchase additional carry-on luggage, however you can purchase additional checked luggage.
Service is the typical Virgin Australia service that I’ve experienced over the years. Friendly staff who are find the right balance between being cheerful, talkative and fun without sacrificing professionalism and efficiency.
The Virgin Australia Economy cabin on the 737 that flies from Denpasar to Melbourne features 168 seats, in a 3-3 layout. There are enough flight attendants around so getting the attention of someone should you need assistance isn’t an issue. Colour wise it’s white, grey and purple, keeping in line with Virgin’s branding. When it comes to cleanliness, everything nice and clean.
The leather seat has dimensions of about 76cm x 43cm, on the smaller end of the scale for a full service airline, but in line with what you find on most low cost airlines flying this sort of distance. Like any economy seat, it doesn’t recline that far back. There’s an adjustable cushioned headrest which is handy when you want to get some sleep.
There are small armrests, and a leather pocket sleeve and secondary mesh sleeve at the back of the seat in front to place a few things. There’s not much space to get work done with the tray down if you’ve got a laptop, but for a tablet sized device it’s possible to get some productive stuff done.
There’s a USB port for charging devices, but do be aware that it’s a slower, USB-A type port.
If you want extra legroom and a larger seat, you can upgrade to an ‘Economy X’ seat, for a fee.
There are no screens on the back of the seats, and tablets are not included. If you want access to Virgin Australia’s in-flight entertainment, you will need to bring your own Wi-Fi enabled device, one that has a modern web browser installed. You’ll also need your own headphones, lest you risk the wrath of annoying those around you while playing audio through your speakers.
Connecting to the in-flight entertainment is simple, however it can drop out from time to time. On it, you’ll find a general selection of the latest movies and TV shows, plus music and a few radio stations and podcasts.
Food isn’t included with Virgin Australia’s Economy tickets, but you can purchase from the on-board menu. Food options include things like sandwiches, noodle bowls and a variety of snacks and drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Purchases can be made by Visa and Mastercard credit & debit cards or American Express. Be sure to bring your physical payment card, as mobile payment options are not accepted.
No amenities are included with a Virgin Economy ticket.
I flew Virgin Australia international quite a lot pre-COVID, before they went into administrations. This is the first time that I’ve flown them internationally post COVID, and the experience is quite different than it was, on short haul international at least. While the service, cleanliness, and general “Virgin Australia” vibe are the same, there’s no doubting that the offering is a more budget one than the Virgin of old.
Think of it as being partway between Jetstar, and what Virgin was. Measured against that new benchmark, it does well, and I’d happily fly this route again. Just don’t expect the full service experience that you used to get.