SHE jumped at the invitation to join the inaugural VAustralia flight from Melbourne to Phuket early in December. (Phone call: wanna come? Oh wait…let me think about it for a minute, I’ll just check my diary…gosh I’m free! Count me in!)
A glass of bubbles with Neil from Virgin, & Helen Batt-Rawden (travelling buddy & editor of Micenet magazine)
SHE joined fellow event managers and industry colleagues all terriby excited about the concept of flying to Phuket (8 and a bit hours), staying in a fabulous hotel, then flying home the next afternoon. Hilarious! Our mates think we’re mad (just before they mutter yet again – ‘that’s not a job’). The party started in the Lounge – nice – and always good to start a trip with my old favourite – a Bloody Mary.
We boarded the shiny new plane like a group of excited teenagers (what’s that about…we travel all the time but we still love it!) and the party began in earnest as we were greeted with our first glass of bubbles (mmm…Moet)! Time check: 9am Melbourne time.
Lots and lots of space at the front of the plane – SHE was very spoilt! The wonderful crew were typically Virgin – hip, young and funky, just the right amount of chat and banter accompanied by great, attentive service.
The girls & Jodie from VAustralia (pin up girl - she's gorgeous!)
Jodie and the crew gave us an introduction to our seats – hey seat – how you doing? SHE hates that bit when you’d love to touch every button, open and close everything, and try all the settings on your seat but you’re pretending to look cool! Bugger that! It’s so nice to know how the sneaky telly gets out of its hiding place. And as for that bar in the sky…fabulous is the only word I have for it! A perfect little party for 6. (safety requirements folks…there is a serious side to the flight!). Stocked to the eyeballs with all that is top shelf in vodka, scotch, bubbles…
There was much anticipation and high expectations of my very comfy seat turning into a very comfy bed. Step aside crew…I’ll be the judge of this ‘lie flat’ bed business. (Note to cynics …SHE can tell you…it was FLAT. All snuggled into a lovely warm doona with PJs).
Gary makes my bed while I visit the ladies only loo!
SHE was very happy to meet the man flying us to Phuket – here’s Captain Matt!
Captain Matt flies us to Phuket and back
We’re pretty sure he had help – he was ‘stretching his legs’ on a fairly regular basis (SHE was paying attention ladies), doing his rounds and checking on his charges (I think around 230 of us on that lovely shiny plane?) – so we did double check he had a wingman – or 2… “Roger that Maverick – Goose taking charge on the flight deck.”
I digress…terribly actually – sorry about that! The Ladies Only Toilet is Fabulous! Thank you VAustralia for being bold enough to dedicate a loo on a plane just for us – SHE loves you. No toilet seat left up, nice clean & dry floor (sigh), lovely lighting that doesn’t make us look 30 years older than we are. There’s a nifty fold down thingy that goes over the toilet seat (that might be something like a baby change table except I don’t have babies so I’m only guessing) so we can sit and reapply if we need to (and we all know that reapplying is most important – especially if Captain Matt is flying your plane). SHE went to the loo even when SHE didn’t need to – it was lovely!
And look where we had lunch the next day!
Nai Yang Beach Phuket
Definitely worth flying 8 and a bit hours for! SHE was fortunate to stay at the Indigo Pearl Resort and this is the beautiful Nai Yang Beach – a short wander from the resort. Sit with your feet in the sand, eat fresh fish caught off the beach that morning washed down with a sneaky Aussie Sauvignon Blanc you brought with you Duty Free (the restaurant staff happily shove it in an ice bucket for you). Heaven.
So if you believe it’s not the destination but the journey that really matters – get on board VAustralia. Treat yourself to a seat at the front of the plane – Business Class is anything but Business (SHE had a ball). or if it makes you feel better to save a few $$ then go Premium Economy – you won’t be disappointed.