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Virgin Atlantic: America or bust

At the risk of turning into Tyler ‘Creme’ Brulee, this is a bit of an airline rant. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Virgin Atlantic over the last year or so. I”ve also been travelling with Virgin America with greater frequency. And whereas the latter has become an experience I look forward to, I’m increasingly dreading my transatlantic flights more and more. Richard, I think it’s time we had a bit of a chat.

1. Remember who you are

Once upon a time, Virgin Atlantic’s was the  airline to fly for their entertainment system alone. From what I can tell, it hasn’t really changed much in the last ten years. Dull screens, godawful sound yet not actually a terrible content selection. You have an opportunity to completely reinvent the in-flight entertainment experience here and own it for the next decade. What are you waiting for?

2. Remember who your customers are

Your customers have changed. They want USB ports in their seats. They’re quite happy to bring their own headphones. Particularly if you re-allocate that cost to USB ports. Oh, and fix the volume problem which deafens everyone who does actually use their own headphones, when you make an announcement.

3. Wifi

Probably the most oft-requested in-flight service. I understand it’s not cheap but surely it’s possibly when the aircraft is over mainland US (same coverage as Virgin America)? Surely the conversion rate on a normal load factor (all classes) would make this a significant revenue generator?

4. Hire somebody who actually gives a shit

You can tell when a company has a dedicated person to care about the quality of customer experience. They have little things like a water-holder in economy (Virgin America), live TV for frequently fliers who exhaust the onboard film inventory (Virgin America) and a fix for the ear-popping PA when you use your own headphones (Virgin America).

“Because the streets is a short stop-either you slingin’ crack rock or you got a wicked jump-shot” -Biggie Smalls

At this exact moment Virgin Atlantic must decide whether they sink into further mediocrity or  follow the route their American sister has successfully taken. BA is increasingly biting at their heels (I’ve continued to be impressed at their efforts). Paging passenger Branson.


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  • jeffsykes9728

    Absolutely crap is Virgin Atlantic, my luggage made it to London (LHR)… its just they lost it between the plane and carousel. They couldn’t be bothered to look for it! The staff at LHR thought it was in Hong Kong but couldn’t ring them there to confirm because it was 1:30pm in the afternoon in Hong Kong and “nobody would be manning the desk at that time”… ARE YOU SERIOUS VIRGIN!

    They found my case (at LHR) an hour after I left the airport (was that a ha ha joke Virgin!!!). They left me freezing my ass off for next 2 days without my clothes whilst they insisted on getting my clothes to me. I was staying 3hours form the airport!!!

    To cap it off, they didn’t tell me about the 21 day deadline to lodge a claim. I returned home 35 days later… and the first thing Virgin did was… Sorry we can’t be held for any liability.

    Spread the word….