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Monday 24 October 2022

Virgin Australia tries to promote the unpromotable

Someone at Virgin Australia has been smoking the wacky baccy, or quaffing the gin-infused crazy kool aid.

Virgin - aided by some malleable media - is trying to convince flyers that being given the middle seat in a row of three is desirable.

As a regular flyer, I always prefer an aisle seat on short-haul flights and a window sear on long-haul. Sitting in a middle seat is a fate to be avoided at all costs - particularly post-Covid, when you neighbour can be sniffing and coughing their way to their destination.

Amazingly, News Ltd newspapers are compliant in this idiocy.

"While the middle seat might be the neglected option for any travellers, it does have its advantages: with a person either side your chances of meeting someone interesting are double," wrote David Mills in what read suspiciously like a paid advert.

Yes, he really wrote that. 

Mr Mills thinks the chance of winning a prize is "a powerful incentive to book the middle seat" on your next flight.

I, like many other Velocity frequent flyers, received an email from the airline over the weekend.

The ‘Bring on Wonderful’ campaign spearheads Virgin Australia’s mission to "truly make flight an uplifting experience for all".

Not the chore it currently is.

"This isn’t just a brand campaign – we are putting words in action to make the flying experience unique and truly wonderful,” says Libby Minogue, chief marketing officer for Virgin Australia.

She says the ‘Middle Seat Lottery’, transforms every middle seat on the airline’s domestic flights from the least favourite to the most wonderful.

Yes, really.

"Guests who sit in the middle seat will have a chance to win hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of unexpected and wonderful prizes, with a new prize and winner every week," says Tom Martin, co-CCO of Virgin campaign partners Special.

There will, apparently be prizes worth up to $230,000 on offer.

Other genius innovations include the ‘Reverse Kids Meals’ - where children can have their meal backwards, with their dessert first, if they so wish.

Impressive eh?   

UPDATE: On the very day the "Wonderful" campaign was launched, friends had their Virgin flights from the Sunshine Coast to Hobart cancelled and delayed by a day.
They were then put on flights to Hobart via Sydney, then Melbourne that took them a total of 11 1/4 hours to make the journey. Oops.

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