Sadly Virgin are soon to be stopping their Hong Kong to Sydney route. So my friends Adam & Amanda took advantage of this and splurged all their Virgin miles on Upper class seats for the family to come and visit their friends in Hong Kong.
VA201, departs 3.45pm lands 10pm same day
As we were using airmiles we phoned the Virgin Flying Club (goes to UK call centre which was efficient). We requested a bassinet and also ordered children’s meals for Hudson (4) and for Noah (5 months).
Parked our own car. Don’t use Emu Park (too far from terminal), use regular long stay parking – book online for discounts, we got a massive 73% off.
Quick and easy. Kept stroller with us. The Virgin staff gave stickers to Noah to play with while they checked in.
The problem with Sydney airport is that Virgin take off from Gate 56 which takes 30 minutes to get to. McDonalds en route has a playground but we didn’t let our 4 year old force us to stop there as the Air New Zealand Star Alliance lounge has a playground.
*Tip – if you are a Star Alliance member, don’t go into Singapore lounge, the Air New Zealand lounge is much better!
The Air New Zealand lounge has a dedicated kids playroom with toys, tv, dvd players, couches for parents. By the buffet is an American hot dog cart which the kids love! We rate it the best lounge at Sydney after the Qantas first class lounge. The drinks fridge is amazing.
We have ALWAYS taken our stroller onboard regardless what class on Virgin we are flying. Tell the staff at Check in that you want to leave it in wardrobe at front . They’ll say ‘you have to see when you get to the gate’. When you get to the gate, tell them ‘we’ve made arrangements for leaving it onboard’. Then wheel it on board. The stroller is stowed in the old massage cupboards at the front.
We had booked 3 seats in Upper. On Virgin you can request the infant travel seat for infants under 20kg. This looks like a booster chair. Thew Crew will install before the aircraft door shuts. However, once installed they will not remove it for you and you will need to use it for the duration of the flight. We decided to get the booster for our four year old as we got given a spare empty seat next to us so he could have the option of sitting in the booster or laying out in the normal seat. If we didn’t have this option, we probably would not have requested it.
We didn’t like the bassinet that much – it’s good for a newborn but very small. Also, we couldn’t turn the light off above the bassinet.
The upper class seat is ok – feels like it’s getting a bit tired.
The food in general is amazing. The staff brought out a baby meal for Hudson – Heinz jars of baby food.
Entertainment was good. You can lock the entertainment system to children’s channels only. A big bonus is that you can use entertainment system from before take off.
The kids were well behaved on the flight, they mainly watched TV, ate and slept. Our four year old also enjoyed sitting up at the bar. The captain also spent ages talking to him and answering his questions.
We arrived in Hong Kong at 9.50am and were in a taxi by 10.15am. We were able to use the Fast track frequent flyer queue at immigration.