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Virgin vs airnz to USA?

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16 replies to this topic

#1 tiggy2

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:05 PM

The prices are about the same, can anyone recommend one over the other?

We will be travelling with three small kids. Thanks

#2 lizzzard

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:16 PM

With kids, ANZ is great. I haven't flown Virgin though so don't know about how they compare.

#3 Stellabella1980

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:24 PM

Pretty sure that virgin is a direct flight (depending where you a departing oz from? and check the airfare that you are not paying for a virgin airfare but flying delta) whereas Air NZ will stop in Auckland for a layover. Both really good airlines have flown both and love them both.

#4 charlie23

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:28 PM


I flew with Air NZ in May last year from Perth to NZ (12 hour lay over) then NZ to LA return, with a 5 year old & a 3 year old. I found them to be excellent. The kids were entertained with the in flight consoles, food for the kids was great & the air hosts were wonderful & asked if we needed anything quite often during the flights.

On the return flight DS ate something that didn't agree with him so he spent 6 hours throwing up, the staff bent over backwards for us even when DS threw up in the aisle!!! We ended up having to stay on the plane until Quarantine cleared us but DS was put in a wheelchair & we were speed through customs & baggage claim by the air hosties.

Haven't done OS flights with Virgin so can't comment.

Edited by charlie23, 16 January 2013 - 11:29 PM.

#5 OutForLunch

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:34 PM

ANZ have some planes with "family sofa" style seating, look it up on their website.

#6 KNL909

Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:26 AM

We flew ANZ to LA via Auckland last September and had no complaints.  Our stopover in Auckland was less than 3 hours each time which was perfect. Long enough for a good walk around, toilet and coffee.

#7 tiggy2

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:05 PM

I can't decide if a stop in Auckland is a good or bad idea.
And would I be better off booking a bassinet or the couches? They are in different parts of the plane so I can't have both.

Kids will be 6, 3 and 6 months and I will be the only adult with then on the return trip. What do you think??

#8 melb101

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

We flew last year with Air NZ and they were fantastic. The stop over in Auckland worked for us and the benefit of flying straight into San Francisco was a bonus. The food was great and the crew were brilliant. I would definitely fly with them again. original.gif

#9 Coffeegirl

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

I haven't flown Virgin to the US, but I have flown Delta (who co-share with Virgin) a couple of times and been really happy.  Entertainment, food etc was all really good and the planes were pretty new.

The sky couch on Air NZ looks interesting, but on our last few flights to/from the US the seatbelt sign was on a majority of the time, so I'm not sure how they would work then?

#10 carls888

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:56 PM

We flew virgin in October and they were great. The plane seemed to have heaps of room and staff were lovely.
Food: meh, plane food...
I liked the direct to LAX rather than a stopover, it's long enough, but if I had to transit in LA to go somewhere else like SFO I would do an Auckland stopover instead I think.


#11 kiwilisa

Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:47 PM

QUOTE (Coffeegirl @ 17/01/2013, 12:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The sky couch on Air NZ looks interesting, but on our last few flights to/from the US the seatbelt sign was on a majority of the time, so I'm not sure how they would work then?

They encourage you to keep your seatbelt on at all times and provide you with special extenders to use if you're lying down/sleeping.  In the seat pocket there is a card specifically for the sky couches to show you the different configurations and how to stay belted.  

I've never flown Virgin, but find AirNZ fantastic.  The entertainment system is already running when you get on the plane and continues running until you get off, unlike Qantas who only have it running when you're in the air.  Keeps the kids occupied for longer - particularly when you get stuck on the tarmac!

#12 Foogle

Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

We booked the Skycouch with Air NZ on our return flight from LA last year.  It is only available on the 777-300 series (if that hasn't changed) and so couldn't book it going over on the 777-200.

The Skycouch is great - it was fabulous for DS who slept all the way home.  The extenders on the seatbelts work well and he didn't need to be woken up to sit up when it got turbulent.  

#13 TTC2013

Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

Flew ANZ last year return to LAX.. Usually a fan of ANZ on short NZ flights but not so keen on long haul. I'd def go for sky couch if we could afford it. Just too cramped in economy..
They also kept the cabin lights on for a really long time coming home..
Stop over in Akl was short 1 hour so it was just rush to our next flight.

Food and entertainment were great tho!

#14 tiggy2

Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

Thanks everyone we are going to go air nz.
Virgin's website couldn't cope with us flying in to LA an out from SF and the call centre prices were $1k more per person!

I'm going to book a bassinet for bub and then we will all have more legroom being at the front row, plus easier to get to the toilets without waking siblings.

Thanks for all the advice.

Edited by tiggy2, 18 January 2013 - 04:32 PM.

#15 Apageintime

Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:01 PM

Virgin, just not to have to do a stopover, that's a long enough flight as is without adding any extra time.

Especially on the way home where all you want to do is get home.

Virgin also have decent food options and great in flight entertainment.

#16 JillyJellyBean

Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

I always fly AirNZ, the service is brilliant. So are the safety messages!

#17 blackcat20

Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:27 PM

QUOTE (kiwilisa @ 17/01/2013, 04:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've never flown Virgin, but find AirNZ fantastic.  The entertainment system is already running when you get on the plane and continues running until you get off, unlike Qantas who only have it running when you're in the air.  Keeps the kids occupied for longer - particularly when you get stuck on the tarmac!

Qantas also do gate to gate entertainment on most/all of their international flights.
Honestly, I'd just go with whoever was cheaper.

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