Big change for Virgin Australia flights
THESE days the words "air travel" have become almost synonymous with cutbacks and misery.
Airlines continue to find ways to slash costs - often at the expense of passenger comfort. That's why Virgin Australia's announcement today has raised some eyebrows - for the right reasons.
They're bringing freebies back to their trans-Tasman routes to make those visits to our Kiwi neighbour more enjoyable. That includes becoming the only carrier to offer Wi-Fi for all flights from Australia to Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and Dunedin, from October 28.
Even better, is that instead of having to fork out for an in-flight meal, passengers will now be given a "substantial meal and drink" for free.
Another change is the addition of at least 23kg of baggage in every fare type.
Virgin Australia Airlines group executive Rob Sharp said: "Last year, 1.5 million Australians flew to New Zealand and we're looking forward to making their trip across the ditch even more enjoyable with a meal and drink as well as Wi-Fi so they can keep connected while in the sky."
Mr Sharp said the route was of prime importance for the airline.
"We're committed to expanding our presence in New Zealand with new services including flights from Sydney to Wellington; Melbourne to Queenstown; and Newcastle to Auckland as well as extra flights to Auckland, all of which commence in the next couple of months."
There will also be new benefits for Velocity Frequent Flyers on short haul destinations such as New Zealand, Bali, Fiji and Samoa, and increased Status Credits earning potential.
"For the first time, Velocity members will earn points per dollar spent for short haul international destinations, rather than based on the distance travelled," Velocity Frequent Flyer CEO Karl Schuster said.
From October 28, Velocity members will now be awarded a minimum of five points per dollar spent on fares from New Zealand. Platinum, Gold and Silver members will continue to earn a Points Bonus meaning that Platinum Velocity members will now receive up to 10 points per dollar spent.
"Members will earn more Velocity Points when travelling to these destinations and we believe our points offer for New Zealand flights is one of the best," Mr Schuster said.
Virgin Australia today also announced a codeshare arrangement with Singapore Airlines on flights between Melbourne and Wellington, for travel from October 28. The flights, operated by Singapore Airlines, will operate four times per week.