I have been a loyal Qantas girl for most of my life and I try to book the majority of our flights in Australia and around the world flying with my favourite airline. However late last year when I was booking our flights to Phuket in Thailand for our wedding, the need for a direct flight with no stopovers became much more important than any airline loyalties. The logical preference was to fly with Virgin Australia. Virgin operate direct flights to Phuket from Perth arriving on the sunny island in less than 7 hours.
My experiences with Virgin airlines have always been very positive and for an allegedly budget airline they run circles around their competitors. Last month I was on a flight from Melbourne to Perth escorting THE dress from Luci Di Bella back home and the pure sight of a dress in a white suit bag brought an air of delight among all the cabin crew. Unbeknownst to me I had purchased a Flexifare ticket which includes a cooked meal in the fare. Being totally unaware of this beforehand I had failed to notify them of my gluten free meal requirement. Amazingly our flight attendant proceeded to go to great lengths to try find me something to eat culminating in her raiding fellow staff members meals for some fresh fruit. I was astonished at this level of customer service.
Fast forward to the present and as we board our flight to Phuket the air hostesses all grin excitedly upon seeing my white dress bag. They kindly made a point of ensuring to treat this very special cargo with the utmost of care. This flight didn’t include any meals and unfortunately there were very limited gluten free options available on the menu. After my previous experience of minimal in flight food, I planned ahead and had purchased a couple of very sad looking items from the cafeteria inside the departure lounge back in Perth.
As I sat munching my tired looking salad our flight attendant came round with the service cart. The Boy and I were obviously both very keen to kick off our celebrations and ordered ourselves some drinks. The Boy also ordered a gourmet beef pie with tomato relish. To our complete surprise, our lovely air hostess told us drinks and food are “on the house”. I love how some people get so excited about weddings even if they are for people they don’t even know! It shows such a beautiful side to a person’s character.
After all the stress and running around in the lead up to our departure I found myself agreeing with the Boy that one drink most certainly wasn’t enough. We were both in a slight state of disbelief that this was really happening! Years of dreaming, planning and organising ….. and now this is it! As we placed our order for more drinks, we reached for some money presuming that this second round would have to be paid for like the rest of the passengers on the flight. Once again, our hostess with the mostess beamed back to us with pure joy and refused to take any money. What an absolute sweetie! I guess this is a once in a lifetime celebration; you only get married once! Well, at least you hope so!
Virgin Australia airlines fly four times a week from Perth to Phuket direct.