The end of the Air NZ and Virgin alliance

An interesting article from Newsroom on why the Air NZ and Virgin alliance ended.

I tend to agree they were an uncomfortable fit. A good example is recent flight between Hobart and Wellington. They were Air NZ between Wellington and Melbourne and Virgin between Hobart and Melbourne.

As most will know, you only need to check in 30 minutes before a domestic Air NZ flight. That’s great, especially if travelling with a young one.

On the Hobart to Melbourne leg, I was astonished to see Virgin required us to check in no later than 90 minutes before the flight. That is a ridiculous requirement for a domestic flight.

But it got even worse. We turned up to Hobart Airport around 105 minutes before the flight and discovered the check in didn’t even open until 90 minutes before the flight. Yes Virgin tells you to turn up prior to the check in even opening.

What this means is not only are you there really early for no good reason, but so is everyone else. So you have a massive queue for check in. And to make it even worse, they have only one staffer operating a check in desk. So a huge wait.

I realised that this was deliberate behaviour by Virgin. As they are too cheap to have more than one check in staff member, they force the entire flight to turn up 90 to 120 minutes before the flight so everyone can get checked in on time.

So I won’t miss the end of the Alliance. But it will be good if Air NZ can find a domestic partner in Australia so one can book end to end if travelling on from the major cities.

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