Brisbane to Hong Kong: Virgin Australia or Singapore Airlines?

By djtech | Feb 03, 2019, 07:21 PM
I've got a trip to Hong Kong coming up but deciding whether to go from Brisbane to Hong Kong with Virgin Australia or Singapore Airlines. I have Velocity Gold so am planning to use my status to access lounges etc. (that's why I'm not flying Qantas or Cathay). Virgin would be transferring in Melbourne and Singapore at Singapore Changi. Which should I take and which lounges, inflight experience (catering, service, seat, IIFE, etc) is better?
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By H2SO4 | Feb 03, 2019, 08:09 PM
What class are you traveling?

  • In economy, I'd say Singapore Airlines is better overall.
  • In business class, I feel Virgin Australia is more 'special' with nice menus and things like PJs even on day flights.

Other things to consider:
  • Flying VA through Melbourne is significant backtracking
  • The lounge experience flying VA is arguably better than SQ which only has the Krisflyer Gold lounge in Singapore.
  • If flying economy, it's much easier and cheaper to upgrade to business class on VA (e.g. often $450 will be enough on MEL-HKG or 27,500 points from Freedom fare). Nearly impossible to upgrade on SQ with cash and very pricey in miles.

So it's a lot to weigh up with class of travel and time wasted backtracking vs getting better benefits on VA.
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By djtech | Feb 03, 2019, 10:13 PM
What class are you traveling?

  • In economy, I'd say Singapore Airlines is better overall.
  • In business class, I feel Virgin Australia is more 'special' with nice menus and things like PJs even on day flights.

Other things to consider:
  • Flying VA through Melbourne is significant backtracking
  • The lounge experience flying VA is arguably better than SQ which only has the Krisflyer Gold lounge in Singapore.
  • If flying economy, it's much easier and cheaper to upgrade to business class on VA (e.g. often $450 will be enough on MEL-HKG or 27,500 points from Freedom fare). Nearly impossible to upgrade on SQ with cash and very pricey in miles.

So it's a lot to weigh up with class of travel and time wasted backtracking vs getting better benefits on VA.

I'm travelling in economy and although the backtracking is quite significant in Melbourne, the duration ends up to be around the same.
I'm considering the lounges issue in Singapore which is not that great but in Brisbane and Hong Kong have access to the Singapore Krisflyer lounge which I've heard is decent. Although, Virgin Australia also have excellent lounges in that regard with VA domestic lounge in BNE, Etihad in MEL, and HK Airlines Club Autus lounge in Hong Kong. Just wondering your opinion weighing up these options
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By Sam Butler | Feb 03, 2019, 10:26 PM
I'd go Virgin.

The House in Melbourne is better than Singapore lounge in Brisbane (a la carte breakfast and Barista coffee for VA flight to Hong Kong) vs buffet in Kris Flyer.

Club Autus is a top notch lounge. while the Changi lounge is pretty poor. Not sure what the KrisFlyer lounge is like in Hong Kong.

I prefer the inflight product of Virgin more than SQ except for the inflight entertainment. But Virgin does have internet in some of the Airbuses flying to Hong Kong now.
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By henrus | Feb 03, 2019, 10:50 PM
Was in the KirsFlyer lounge in Hong Kong last month early in the morning at around 7:30 am.

Food was similar to the Gold Lounge in Singapore, the toilets were closed for renovations (used the terminal ones instead), but new clean showers. The bar looked to have a good selection but not really useful if leaving in the morning.

I'd rate it slightly better than the Singapore Gold lounge but worse than the Brisbane SilverKris lounge.

Honestly, I'd just go with whichever is cheaper as VA long haul Economy is similar to SQ (fewer bells and whistles though - no hot towel, no wifi, less movies on VA).
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By jch | Feb 04, 2019, 01:25 AM
Economy X on the day flight from Melbourne to HK is great I would pick that over SQ. However the leg back is overnight and fortunately I was able to get a reward flight with points to upgrade to The Business.
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By adethyasjce | Feb 04, 2019, 01:46 AM
Hey djtech, I'm sure you'd have considered the Double SC from VA running ATM and also you'd have analysed which airline would take you closer to the next FF tier

I'd also suggest using VA, better J product and the domestic connection/stopover could mean more SC's earned

And as H2SO4 pointed out, upgrade from freedom Y to J between AUS and SIN is a good bargain.

For me, food wise, I've always liked SQ (in this case) over VA.
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By ChrisCh | Feb 04, 2019, 10:14 AM
You mention that the only reason you're flying hours in the wrong direction is to make use of lounges because you have Velocity status. Something like a Priority Pass card could instead provide you with lounge access with any airline, and often, to many of the same lounges you could access as a Gold frequent flyer: just something to keep in mind, particularly if you'll be spending more money to fly backwards than booking a non-stop flight.

If you are glued to Velocity-linked airlines only, though, also consider that VA partner Hainan Airlines flies Brisbane-Shenzhen twice a week, and that you can catch a train in between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which may end up being faster than the other options. Lounge access in Brisbane for Velocity Gold members flying Hainan Airlines in economy will soon be available to the new 'My Lounge', although I don't believe there's a lounge in Shenzhen.

(There's also the issue of the Chinese visa given you won't be transiting with an onward flight: you'd only be able to show return tickets to/from China.)
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By Sam Butler | Feb 04, 2019, 12:02 PM
You mention that the only reason you're flying hours in the wrong direction is to make use of lounges because you have Velocity status. Something like a Priority Pass card could instead provide you with lounge access with any airline, and often, to many of the same lounges you could access as a Gold frequent flyer: just something to keep in mind, particularly if you'll be spending more money to fly backwards than booking a non-stop flight.

If you are glued to Velocity-linked airlines only, though, also consider that VA partner Hainan Airlines flies Brisbane-Shenzhen twice a week, and that you can catch a train in between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which may end up being faster than the other options. Lounge access in Brisbane for Velocity Gold members flying Hainan Airlines in economy will soon be available to the new 'My Lounge', although I don't believe there's a lounge in Shenzhen.

(There's also the issue of the Chinese visa given you won't be transiting with an onward flight: you'd only be able to show return tickets to/from China.)

Except the whole having to get a Chinese visa thing.
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By Red Cee | Feb 04, 2019, 04:23 PM
If you are flying back Virgin or SQ, I would definitely fly Virgin. If you fly SQ, any liquid duty free purchased in Hong Kong will have to be given up in Changi Airport.
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By Jgrae | Feb 04, 2019, 10:13 PM
I've done both.. Virgin hands down. Much nicer experience overall. The only thing I like about Singapore over VA on those routes is the A380 or 787 compared to the noisy 777's.
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By rencontre | Feb 05, 2019, 10:43 AM
I've done both.. Virgin hands down. Much nicer experience overall. The only thing I like about Singapore over VA on those routes is the A380 or 787 compared to the noisy 777's.

It's a VA A330 out of Sydney and Melbs to HK. I do agree with you though, the VA experience is overall nicer (& more personable) than SQ.
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By NoAngelNZ | Feb 07, 2019, 12:33 PM
I'd go Virgin.

The House in Melbourne is better than Singapore lounge in Brisbane (a la carte breakfast and Barista coffee for VA flight to Hong Kong) vs buffet in Kris Flyer.

Club Autus is a top notch lounge. while the Changi lounge is pretty poor. Not sure what the KrisFlyer lounge is like in Hong Kong.

I prefer the inflight product of Virgin more than SQ except for the inflight entertainment. But Virgin does have internet in some of the Airbuses flying to Hong Kong now.

These would be my words exactly. Club Autus is probably my second favourite lounge after the Etihad First Lounge.
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By ChrisCh | Feb 07, 2019, 05:13 PM
You mention that the only reason you're flying hours in the wrong direction is to make use of lounges because you have Velocity status. Something like a Priority Pass card could instead provide you with lounge access with any airline, and often, to many of the same lounges you could access as a Gold frequent flyer: just something to keep in mind, particularly if you'll be spending more money to fly backwards than booking a non-stop flight.

If you are glued to Velocity-linked airlines only, though, also consider that VA partner Hainan Airlines flies Brisbane-Shenzhen twice a week, and that you can catch a train in between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which may end up being faster than the other options. Lounge access in Brisbane for Velocity Gold members flying Hainan Airlines in economy will soon be available to the new 'My Lounge', although I don't believe there's a lounge in Shenzhen.

(There's also the issue of the Chinese visa given you won't be transiting with an onward flight: you'd only be able to show return tickets to/from China.)

Except the whole having to get a Chinese visa thing.

Not necessary for APEC Card holders with cards endorsed by China, or when in transit between one country/region (Australia) and another (Hong Kong), when proof of onward travel can be presented, subject to local laws. (Your mode of transport doesn't necessarily have to be a plane.)
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