Virgin Australia Offers Economy Passengers Free Meals and Drinks

29th Apr 2013

Competition among Australian major air carriers continues to heat up as Virgin Australia debuted its on-board meals and drinks for its economy passengers, effectively matching the in-flight service commonly found among full-service airlines.

Virgin?s decision to offer this brand of service aboard its domestic flights of more than 2 hours is meant to lure passengers away from its rival airline Qantas which offers similar service as is common to full-service carrier.

The free on-board meals and refreshment will be offered in most of the airline's flights across the continent, even on heavily-discounted airfares.

Virgin Australia will start offering the service initially on regional flights to Denpasar and Phuket. The airline will offer the same service progressively on all other flights lasting more than 2 hours and 45 minutes. According to its spokesperson, it will cover all flights within this year as planned.

Passengers will get to enjoy a choice between two hot meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner, to be complemented by a handful of side dishes such as a salad, dessert or bread roll. The buy-on-board meal service will now become snack-based only.

For the record, the airline has been offering the same service aboard transcontinental flights between Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to Perth.

A large number of Virgin's domestic flights, however, is found on the 'golden triangle' corridor of the continent which are Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. These routes take less than 2 hours and 45 minutes, so passengers along these routes would have to buy their meals or refreshment on board if so desired.

When queried about how the airline came up with the time as a base for free meals, a spokesperson said that it is a key flight time when guests ask for such service while on flight.