Review: Virgin Australia B737-8, Prosperine – Brisbane

This post is one chapter on our trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne with The Great Ocean Road, exploring The Yarra Valley and the beaches of The Gold Coast via Qantas First Class. This trip was booked using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Virgin Australia, Boeing 737-800, Prosperine – Brisbane

After our transfer through Cruise Whitsunday’s from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach arrived at the Port of Airlie, we took a pre-booked Heart of Reef Shuttle ($21 AUD pp) to the Prosperine Airport. The Prosperine Airport is in the middle of nowhere and seems to be the new lower cost carrier airport for this area. We passed several sugar cane fields on the way out.

Virgin Australia
VA 1118 – Economy Class (L)
PPP – BNE (Prosperine “Whitsunday Coast Airport” – Brisbane Domestic Terminal 2)
July 16, 2019
1:45 PM – 3:00 PM
Booked: Boeing 737-800
Flown: Boeing 737-800 

The airport was tiny which was okay by me. I find its usually quicker getting through these smaller airports and its not always about great amenities and lounges. Thanks to a strict 50 lbs checked baggage weight, our carry on’s were slightly overweight due to re-packing distribution of weight into carryon’s. Our aim was the opposite of our usual process of checking in with a person, we aimed to use a kiosk to avoid any contact humans and a subsequent cab weighing inspection. Unfortunately, the airport didn’t have any kiosks so we had to proceed to the bag drop counter having done online check in through the app.

Thankfully, there was a bit of a line at the counters and the attendants didn’t bother with weighing the carry on’s or aiming to soak travelers with additional fees.

We proceeded through security to a small but quaint holding lounge that was nicely appointed. There was a giant fish tank that had many tropical fish in the shape of a heart reef.

Not knowing when lunch or dinner was going to be, and feeling a little peck-ish, we went to “Captain Dan”, the sole airport restaurant for some food. We ended up with a ham, cheese and tomato toastie. Most noteworthy was that the restaurant had the most impressive selection of instant noodles that I had ever seen in an airport, numbering several hundred containers.

We boarded into the usual 3-3 configuration for a Boeing 737-800. Given the speed of the boarding, despite being near the front of the line, I wasn’t able to get photos of the basic economy seat so the Economy “X” (e-plus) seat is shown. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve been in international version of standard economy. The standard economy seats are more compact than my usual go to on Air Canada for work trips. It was just okay for the 90 minutes, although I doubt I would have enjoyed much more tail in the seat time than that.

As we got underway, we had an immediate departure on runway 11. The climb featured lots of greenery and mostly flat topography.

The in flight service consisted of a free cheese, cracker and nut snack, which was more than expected. The drink service was a simple affair limited to water, juice, tea or coffee.

We were treated to a nice view of Brisbane on our approach. It’s another city that’s grown up substantially in the last 23 years since I’ve visited.

We arrived into the Virgin Australia stronghold of Brisbane Terminal 2. MrsWT73 picked up a light Sophie Kinsella book at the airport since she had finished her other one on the beaches of the Whitsundays.

We picked up a car from Avis. My usual go to Hertz was completely sold out so we had to cancel and abandon our plans with renting from them after adding on the extra day thanks to the sailing cancellation. Even calling the reservations center by phone and turning up at the counter didn’t yield any results unless I wanted a Land Rover at an over the top price. As a result, we ended up with Avis in a large Holden that was somehow pricing out cheaper than my usual intermediate.

The Virgin Australia Experience:

The Virgin Australia was the easiest and lowest cost experience to easily get away from the Whitsunday Islands over the more expensive Qantas Hamilton Island Airport alternatives. By going with Virgin Australia, we ended up with a narrow body jet over a propeller plane, a free in flight snack, along with an easy airport departure experience. Although the leg room was a little tight, I would easily fly them again in the future.

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