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Founded back in 2000 by the Virgin Group of global carriers, Virgin Australia has swelled to become one of the largest fliers Down Under. They currently operate a mixed fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes, with major hubs located in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. A complete rebranding – including a name change from Virgin Blue Australia – in 2011 saw the carrier convert from a low-cost model to a combination of budget and premium options. These days, passengers can go for spacious business class seating or economy tickets that won't break the bank. Over the years, the company has garnered awards from the Customer Service Institute of Australia and worldwide airline rankings Skytrax, including accolades for the highest-rated low-cost carrier in the Asia Pacific region.
With an ever-expanding fleet of more than 90 aircraft, it's hardly a surprise that the Virgin Australia flights network is one of the most comprehensive in the Southern Hemisphere. And it doesn't end there. Corporate partners and airline alliances with other global carriers means you can book all sorts of connecting and long-haul routes through Virgin Airways Australia. Starting with the popular homegrown Virgin Australia routes within Oz itself, you can hop from Melbourne to Sydney, open up the winelands of Western Australia on the MEL to Perth route, or skip up to the stunning coral reefs of Cairns from Brisbane. Longer haul options also leave regularly from hubs in Australia, like the cross-Pacific connection from SYD to Los Angeles, or the shorter link over the Tasman Sea to Auckland, NZ. When it comes to Virgin Australia partners, strategic cooperation with famous names across a number of continents ensures that passengers can bag deals on routes throughout Asia, North America, and the South Pacific. Connections to the buzzing megacity of Singapore and onto much of Southeast Asia and Europe come thanks to partnerships with five-star carrier Singapore Airlines. You can link to loads of destinations in Europe and the Middle East using Virgin Australia partner Etihad. And you'll get the option to fly on the hundreds of routes run by the huge US-based Delta Air Lines.
Virgin Australia sale deals pop up throughout the year. They're worth watching out for because they often come with enticing reductions on even the most popular routes, no matter whether you're hunting for a domestic hop from Sydney to Melbourne or something altogether more adventurous.
Be ready every Thursday at 4-11pm Australian Eastern Standard Time – that's when the Virgin Australia Happy Hour goes live. Reduced tickets on Virgin Airways Australia routes are up for grabs, along with the occasional international long haul to boot.
A monthly pop-up sale that sees the cost of domestic and international routes cut to just a fraction of their usual cost. It's aimed at folk heading to spend quality time with friends or family, but the bottom line is premium tickets that start at just $69 AUS each way.
You can treat yourself to a late Christmas present thanks to the annual Virgin Australia Boxing Day Sale. Taking place every December 26, it sees popular routes like Melbourne- Launceston and Melbourne-Sydney drop to as little as $79 AUS each way.
Erstwhile Virgin Blue Australia invites all passengers to celebrate another year in the airline industry with a sale each August. You can expect hefty reductions of up to 30% or more, even on long-haul international connections to the likes of LA and the South Pacific.
For Virgin Australia carry on baggage, all passengers can have a single bag that's no larger than 56cm x 36cm x 23 cm and no heavier than 7kg, or two smaller bags with a combined weight of 7kgs, or a standard carry on with a suit pack (allowing extra weight for the suit). A single personal item like a laptop, handbag or e-reader is also permitted. Different fares on different routes mean different check in baggage allowances on Virgin Australia flights:
*Economy – One 23kg bag. *Business – Two 32kg bags. No single bag can weigh more than 32kg on its own.
*Economy – Two 23kg bags. *Premium – Two 23kg bags. *Business – Two 32kg bags. No single bag can weigh more than 32kg on its own.
Passengers can earn points with Virgin Australia through the Virgin Australia Velocity program. You'll clock up miles when flying with Virgin Airways Australia or any partner airline, which means connections to more than 600 destinations worldwide are eligible. There are extra points bonuses to be had for Gold, Silver and Platinum members, along with users of Virgin credit cards and the Global Wallet travel card. You can redeem your points for rewards tickets, with tariffs on domestic Australian routes starting at 7,800, not including taxes and fees. Alternatively, you can use Velocity rewards for class upgrades or purchases in the official Velocity rewards store.