This could make the decision on what airline to fly with a smidgen easier.
In a bid to cut into the market share currently held by Qantas, and as a means of further solidifying their move into being a full-service carrier, Virgin Australia has announced they will start offering free food, as well as including checked baggage on fares as standard, across their entire domestic network.
Currently the airline does offer free food, but that’s largely been limited to flights between the major east coast centres of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. From today on, that changes to incorporate their entire domestic network – which includes all regional arms. This compliments the pre-existing complimentary tea, coffee, water and juice service that it has in place on all flights, as well as the beer, wine and soft drink services it offers on flights that take place between 5pm and 7pm Monday through Friday.
Virgin stated that the free meals would be tailored to the time of day and duration of the flight, with food options reportedly ranging from a muffin and yoghurt to a sandwich and a drink.
The inclusion of checked baggage as a standard feature of all fares is also a move designed to help the airline compete with Qantas, who similarly offers baggage at no extra cost.
Virgin’s head of customer service, Mark Hassall, stated that “We’re delighted to announce that the Virgin Australia product offering now includes complimentary food and drink, checked baggage on all flights as well as entertainment across our domestic network.”
“The roll out of free food and checked baggage, to complement our wireless in-flight entertainment, is an important part of our ability to deliver a consistent, premium service across our network.”
Virgin’s progress into being a full-service carrier to rival Qantas has been on-going over the past five years. Their purchase of Tigerair Australia serves as a safeguard measure to protect their share of the budget airline market, and to stand as a rival to Qantas’ Jetstar services.
The new services will be moved into operation from today onwards.
Photo: Graham Denholm via Getty Images.