To begin my journey from Australia to Japan, I took a quick flight from Melbourne to Brisbane in Virgin Australia 737 business class.
Having previously experienced the airline’s A330 business class product before its discontinuation in 2019, I decided to review the Boeing 737 business class cabin to see how it compares.
Virgin Australia 737 Business Class – Booking
A few days before my departure, I found a great deal on flights from Melbourne to Sapporo with last-minute award availability.
I booked this flight using 65,000 Aeroplan points as part of an overall journey from Melbourne to Sapporo. To get there, I started with Virgin Australia business class to Brisbane before heading onwards to Taipei and then Japan with EVA Air.
Virgin Australia 737 Business Class – Ground Experience
Before boarding my flight to Brisbane, I had enjoyed a leisurely visit to the Virgin Australia Lounge in Melbourne.
Following a comprehensive refurbishment, the lounge reopened with a contemporary and fresh look, complete with ample seating and diverse dining options.
In addition to all-day dining, the lounge features an unmistakably Melbourne barista-run coffee bar, a wine bar, a relaxation zone, and designated workspaces.
The lounge proved to be an excellent location to pass the time prior to my flight. While it may not be the most extravagant of lounges, its distinct character and unique offerings certainly set it apart.
Virgin Australia 737 Business Class – Cabin
Shortly thereafter, I found myself stepping into Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737 business class cabin.
In response to the challenges posed by the pandemic, Virgin Australia made a number of strategic decisions that included phasing out its Airbus A330 fleet, which was previously the only aircraft that featured lie-flat business class seats.
Because of this downsizing effort, the airline has now streamlined its operations to solely feature the Boeing 737 aircraft – with its standard recliner business class seats – across its domestic and international network.
Within these aircraft, you’ll find a total of eight business class seats, arranged in a 2-2 configuration spread across two rows.
The cabin has been outfitted with revamped interiors, complemented by leather upholstery.
Virgin Australia’s colour palette has transformed over the years, and now features black and silver accents, as well as subtle purple touches for a more contemporary aesthetic.
In the business class cabin, Virgin Australia’s logo is emblazoned into the soft leather seats
Virgin Australia 737 Business Class – Seat
As I settled into my seat, I noted that these business class seats are equipped with fairly standard features.
Interestingly, the business class and economy cabins are simply separated by a plastic screen and a removable rope placed across the aisle.
There’s no entertainment monitor in front of the seat; instead, a seat back pocket holds a selection of reading materials.
In the middle of the seats, a shared surface area provides a convenient space to place a beverage, while just below it, a small pull-out shelf can be accessed as needed.
The outer armrest holds the retractable tray table, which may be rotated outwards from its housing and then folded into place for use.
Positioned between the two seats are universal power outlets.
Virgin Australia 737 Business Class – Meal Service
Prior to take-off, I was offered sparkling wine or water as a pre-departure beverage.
Meal service began shortly after reaching altitude, and it was a rather simple and quick affair.
I opted for the Thai-style green chicken curry, which had a tantalizing blend of tender chicken, creamy coconut milk, and spicy notes. The flavour of the dish certainly far exceeded the dish’s initial presentation, which was uninspiring at best.
However, there’s certainly been some cost-cutting compared to my last experience onboard Virgin Australia business class.
For example, instead of the Sydney Opera House salt and pepper shakers that I vividly remember from my flight back in 2019, there were only a few ordinary packets of salt and pepper.
After wrapping up my meal, which was accompanied by Virgin’s trademark warm and welcoming service, I finished off by treating myself to a cup of warm black tea.
Virgin Australia 737 Business Class – Amenities
The restrooms are rather small compared to other airline restrooms, but were kept relatively clean and tidy throughout the flight.
Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737 offers movies, TV shows, and podcasts which can be accessed through the Virgin Australia entertainment portal.
You can stream this content on your own personal devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops.
Lastly, business class passengers receive complimentary access to in-flight Wi-Fi, which is always a nice touch. I passed most of the time on the flight catching up on some work.
While the era of lie-flat seats might be phased out, travelling with Virgin Australia remains a comfortable and hassle-free endeavour.
The Boeing 737 cabin boasts a sleek appearance, and the seats offer a nice level of comfort, especially on a brief flight like the one from Melbourne to Brisbane.
Plus, Virgin Australia 737 business class can offer great value when booked with Aeroplan points, especially as it can be favourably combined with other airlines on international itineraries, as I did on this booking.