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Fiji Airways vs Virgin

VIC
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142 posts
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Fiji Airways vs Virgin

Hi

I was just wondering everyone's thoughts/opinions as to which of the above two airlines they prefer if given the choice?

Pros and Cons of each would be great.

We would be departing melbourne to jetstar isn't n option unless via Sydney.

Thanks in advance

Dunedin
Destination Expert
for Mana Island, Fiji
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1,904 posts
34 reviews
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1. Re: Fiji Airways vs Virgin

Virgin - have flown ex Australia - Nadi several times. When staying in Nadi you can just about set your watch to the time they land each day. I've been lucky I suppose. But Fiji Airways have some specials out presently.

Melbourne, Australia
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380 posts
38 reviews
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2. Re: Fiji Airways vs Virgin

Virgin wins without a doubt in my opinion... I've only flown Virgin domestic within Oz & once to America... I've flown FA four times Nadi-Melb and once Nadi-LA in the past 12 months... Every flight (with the exeption of one) was delayed with FA! When booking they ask for your email & phone number, but they have never used these contact methods to advise me of flight delays on any of the 4 delayed flights! I'm now in the habit of phoning ahead to make sure the flight is on schedule and am always advised the flight is on schedule, but once you get to check in they then advise the delay! My LA-Nadi trip was delayed by just over 3 hours which left me missing my shuttle bus connection in Nadi... I had a delayed Virgin flight once (Syd-Melb) and they rang me to advise me of the 1hr delay! Service & food is much better with Virgin... Virgin planes are also newer than FA (note: FA Melb-Nadi route are yet to have the new planes, they are still running the old 737 for this route)... FA is usually cheaper than Virgin, but generally only by about $50 or so (unless one airline is having a sale), but the extra money is well spent.... FA is also not forgiving with overweight luggage, expect to pay for even 2 kg over, whereas Virgin are more forgivable... Last time I flew FA my checked bag was 100% dedicated to a local Fijian orphanage and I was 4kg over, FA didn't care and I had to pay AU$60 for the extra weight... So much for "Fiji international airline" caring for their less fortunate children... Anyways my vote goes to virgin... Btw I believe jetstar are doing direct Melb-Nadi flights starting in October (from Avalon airport) :)

Melbourne, Australia
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380 posts
38 reviews
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3. Re: Fiji Airways vs Virgin

Opps nope I take my jetstar comment back... No direct flights from Melbourne... just my wishful thinking :(

Sydney, Australia
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115 posts
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4. Re: Fiji Airways vs Virgin

For punctuality I would pick Virgin. On our recent trip we flew Virgin & while the service staff were ok, you can't rely on there being in-flight entertainment or a choice of food (even though they are advertised, and even if prepaid, as some very cranky passengers found out). This was ex Sydney. On the return flight again there were not enough entertainment units.

In Dec 2011 we flew Air Pacific (now FA) and while we were in the check in queue the flight departure time suddenly became an hour earlier. We were sent a text as the announcement was being made. But then there were delays (unspecified) and we ended up arriving an hour later than the original schedule, so somehow we lost 2 hours.

Mainly we focus on price, but timing of the flights is important if you have kids in tow; and also if you are ok to stay a night in Nadi depending on what your transfers to/from your Fiji destination.

Bellingen, Australia
Destination Expert
for Fiji, Mamanuca Islands, Navini Island
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8,661 posts
133 reviews
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5. Re: Fiji Airways vs Virgin

Personally have never had an issue with Fiji Airlines or Virgin, the difference in price and the departure times are the only difference and I prefer the early departure of the Fiji Air to Virgins (more Fiji time) and the usually cheaper price of Fiji airlines to Virgin.. All can suffer delays especially from Sydney due to Fog an thunder storms.

Melbourne, Australia
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426 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Fiji Airways vs Virgin

Virgin have flights to Fiji during the day vs Fiji airways that fly out late at night. Depends on where you are staying as to which airline to fly with. I like Fiji airways flight that arrives early morning so that I can get a transfer to islands and not need an overnight in Nadi. Both return to Melbourne in the afternoon within an hour or so from each other therefore I have flown home with both.

Melbourne, Australia
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127 posts
58 reviews
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7. Re: Fiji Airways vs Virgin

We will be flying Virgin later this year Melb-Nadi. The main reason for our choice was that Virgin depart Melb at 9:30am not at midnight. This worked much better for us as we will be travelling with 2 children. But this also influenced our decision to stay at Nadi airport upon arrival b/c there's a chance (if late) we could arrive at our Coral Coast hotel quite late...so will be heading off to our resort the next morning.

Victoria
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524 posts
58 reviews
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8. Re: Fiji Airways vs Virgin

We have travelled with both, and both were on time. Just depends on what time you want to fly and arrive,

We do prefer FA as its all inclusive, I have to say that the food prices on Virgin are excessive.

At the end of the day, its a 4.5 hr flight from Melb I would go with the cheapest on the day.

deb

Sydney, Australia
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1,226 posts
70 reviews
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9. Re: Fiji Airways vs Virgin

Virgin screwed up BIGTIME last time we went to Fiji, after overbooking their flight back to Sydney, and then having flight crew sick. That meant half the plane was forced to either: a) fly to Melb then catch the connecting flight back to Sydney at 6am the next morning with no guarantee of a seat with accommmodation overnight in Melb paid for; OR b) pay for another night in Fiji and get a guaranteed seat back the next day.

Flight home some genius decided it'd be a good idea to put all the parents and kids with stinky nappies right next to the Premium Economy section with only a single toilet!

My wife and I (ON OUR HONEYMOON MIND YOU) chose option b. Virgin did accept our claim for accommodation and meals after I challenged them on it, but I really did leave a sour taste in my mouth over Virgin.

Moreso because we paid a full rate fare, and because at the time I had Platinum Velocity Membership for a few years running.

..........

Fiji Airways I have flown once. Flight times nowhere near as good as Virgin, but they provided free food to everyone with the fare.

For me Virgin has always been excellent bar that one hiccup, and their flight times from SYD-NAD much better, but I've heard bad things about Fiji Airways flight times being incosistent.

I'd probably still stick with Virgin, but its a gamble with either honestly.

Sydney, Australia
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2 posts
19 reviews
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10. Re: Fiji Airways vs Virgin

I ve recently flown Syd - Suv via Nan the flight to Nadi was beautiful with the new air bus, Food ( a sandwich ) was free, just found offensive after paying one way full fare I had to pay $10 for the movies. Flight was on time. I was charged $50 hanling fee for surfboards which is reasonable but not for a surfing destination and I could only pay cash at Syd airport. Will try virgin next time.