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Virgin Blue Business Class and Velocity Tier Levels

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scibo10

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I have written about this topic before, but with the recent introduction of the Lounge offering, along with Live2air, I thought it would be an opportune time to revisit.
I believe that introducing a business class as well as tier levels would definitely make DJ the airline of choice domestically for high yielding travellers if they considered implementing the following:

Equivalent QF Platinum tier level;
Complimentary lounge access anytime, complimentary live2air (swipe of Velocity card once per flight segment) and a set no. of complimentary upgrades to Business class per year when purchasing a non-discount/Saver Economy fare

Equivalent QF Gold tier level;
Complimentary lounge access when travelling DJ (or partner airline once Lounge locations expand) and complimentary live2air (once per flight segment)

Equivalent QF Silver tier level;
2 complimentary lounge access vouchers per year (same as QF)

I still believe that DJ will remain inferior to QF until they join a major alliance or expand their partnerships with international airlines, in order to expand their international offering and attract high yielding international FFers. But for domestic purposes, I think the suggestions above would reap more rewards than costs for DJ and would give QF a shake-up for their money. Let's not forget that DJ's cost base would still be less than QFs, given lower labour and operational (no food in Economy, 2 types of aircraft in operation) costs. Your thoughts?
 

JohnK

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I am not too concerned about business class but eagerly awaiting with anticipation of any moves by DJ in the introduction of tier levels. I would hope that this happens sooner rather than later and the benefits mentioned above sound very reasonable.

scibo10 said:
I still believe that DJ will remain inferior to QF until they join a major alliance or expand their partnerships with international airlines, in order to expand their international offering and attract high yielding international FFers.
I think you are right. In my opinion it is not enough to have partnerships with a few airlines. They will need to join an alliance. Whether this is SkyTeam or Star Alliance is entirely up to them.

I think most people would love to have them being very competitive with QF. Again in my opinion, at the moment there is no comparison between the two. This opinion may change when/if JQ takes over the majority of QF mainline routes.
 

pauly7

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bambbbam2 said:
Umm but DJ don't have business class :confused:
Its just wishful thinking because if they did we would see QF come out swinging!
 

Standby

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May 25, 2006
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I'm sure you wont see DJ add Business class anytime soon. It all comes down to cost per ASK as airlines say.
The less seats you have in the entire plane (through adding J seats with more pitch) the higher the cost per seat.
With 3 rows of J seats 2x2 yo effectively lose anywhere from 6-10 seats from the total cap.
eg if the ave fare on a filight is say$150.00 one way and DJ dont get the punters in the back to subsidize the comfy seat the extra cost per person in the J cabin reqd just to = the total rev in a one class config is an extra 125.00 per person taking the ave fare from 150 to 275.00.
As averages arent indicative the real extra cost would be significantly higher than 275.
The other issue and this may seem simplistic but most comapanies travel policy is Y calss only, so moatter the cost DJ come up with its unlikely they wouldget the 80% seatfactor needed to justify this major move away from what Brett Godfrey keeps referring to as "the Model".
Selling exit and bulkhead seats at a premium (or preseating if they hadtiered FF scheme) is a better idea.
And I agree with highertier ?corp plus customers getting a better deal onboard for the extra they pay or loyalty.I'm sure its only a matter of technology stopping this
 

NM

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Domestically, I agree business class on DJ is not going to happen any time soon. Perhaps some form of premium seating, but not a business class product.

But if they launch long-haul international routes, then I do expect them include a business class product.

The October edition of Australian Aviation stated that Virgin Blue has released an RFT for five long-haul aircraft for either Boeing 777-300ER or Airbus A340-600. The report also mentions that they are considering both Trans-Pacific and Asia destinations. The report wording implies the RFT is fact and not just speculation.
 

Yada Yada

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I'm really in two minds about this. :confused:

I would definitely pay for better seating, especially a bit more elbow room. Some 2+2 seating would be ideal, or perhaps the ability to pay to get a guaranteed empty seat alongside me if available. I don't need anything more than this - the same food and beveridge service would suffice.

I am not so sure I want to see tiers introduced. At present I am flying almost every week on Virgin Blue and really like that I can preallocate myself a seat exactly where I want to be, and pay $30 if I want an exit row on a longer sector. The introduction of tiers may take this away to some extent and give it to those who are on a higher tier than me, e.g. those who may fly less frequently but whose company has a lot of employees flying and therefore as a group gets preference over me.

While free lounge access for DJ's higher tier pax sounds like a good idea, this will probably lead to the situation where the lounges become overcrowded as they have with QF, which ultimately detracts from their value to business travellers.

I must say that I really like Virgin Blue the way it is - you pay for something and you get it, both on-board and in the lounges. With the QF tier system, there always seems to be someone higher up the chain blocking you from getting what you want.

In some ways I wonder if Virgin Blue might be better off not trying to woo QF's hardcore pax by trying to match offerings. As I entered the lounge last week in SYD I witnessed a guy chewing out the girl on the counter over some minor issue. He was behaving like he was royalty (e.g. "if you want my business then...") and it was so petulant. I noticed he had a QF Plat tag on his briefcase. Virgin Blue would do well to avoid attracting stuck-up high-tier pax like this who think that because they fly regularly, they are some kind of VIP who needs to be bowed down to. It's public transport for heaven's sake! People like this need to get over the stupid attitude.
 

bluRider

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Oct 10, 2006
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I'm just thinking back to the old days of Ansett, and when that went down - i've heard that its cos they pretty much copied qantas almost exactly, but spent too much and weren't as good as qantas with it... given that, it seems unlikely that DJ will go down that same path, but then, with the lounges and velocity program, they've taken the first step...
 

NM

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bluRider said:
I'm just thinking back to the old days of Ansett, and when that went down - i've heard that its cos they pretty much copied qantas almost exactly, but spent too much and weren't as good as qantas with it... given that, it seems unlikely that DJ will go down that same path, but then, with the lounges and velocity program, they've taken the first step...
There was a lot more to the failure of Ansett than just those points. And lots of people have lots of different views about the reasons for their failure. However, DJ are keeping their product and services different to QF's. The only similarity between QF FF and Velocity is that they are marketed as airline loyalty schemes.
 

QANTASLM

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Jul 21, 2005
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DJ must bring in J class. They will not attract high yield customers until this occurs. They are always looked at as the "cattle class" airline with student cabin crew! Now that QF charge up to 80% for J class on full Y (MELPER or SYD-PER) they have the chance. On majority of flights the additional is 50% for J class (you can be lucky and grab a D class seat MEL-SYD or BNE-SYD or ADL-MEL etc for only 10% on full Y) However consider that QF full Y is still higher than DJ the revenue is still open! This may also force QF to upgrade its pathetic J class product. Now that Ansett has gone they can charge what they like and offer no service! Also on the A330 seating is 2 x 3 x 2 for J class. Fancy paying over $3000 for a return J class and sit in the 3 seating! Also points still remain only 25% bonus for J class when fares as described can be above 80% on full Y. Even in the days when we had F class the additional fare was 50% on full Y and you could use the lounge!

The lounge what can I say QF charge for internet however DJ do not. When will QF change this one!

Any way I will not travel DJ until J class is introduced. QF will has no competitor at the moment and will not until DJ changes to a full service airline or another airline starts up to take on QF head on!
 

Mish

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QANTASLM said:
Also on the A330 seating is 2 x 3 x 2 for J class. Fancy paying over $3000 for a return J class and sit in the 3 seating!
I actually complained to Qantas about this. It was disgraceful! I need binoculars to see the TV and the seats were aweful. I told QF I would change my bookings across from SYD-PER to go via MLB if I had to, just to avoid the SYD-PER A330.

shocking... It's a shame Business Class is heading towards the old economy class without the price changing.
 

serfty

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Mish said:
I actually complained to Qantas about this. It was disgraceful! I need binoculars to see the TV and the seats were aweful. I told QF I would change my bookings across from SYD-PER to go via MLB if I had to, just to avoid the SYD-PER A330.

shocking... It's a shame Business Class is heading towards the old economy class without the price changing.
There are regular Qantas flights using 747-300's plying the air between PER & the East Coast. These are internationally configured with personal IFE, even in WHY.

You should keep a look out for these.
 

oz_mark

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QANTASLM said:
Also on the A330 seating is 2 x 3 x 2 for J class. Fancy paying over $3000 for a return J class and sit in the 3 seating! Also points still remain only 25% bonus for J class when fares as described can be above 80% on full Y.
I don't believe Qantas ever had trouble filling the business class cabin when it was configured as such.
 

NM

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oz_mark said:
I don't believe Qantas ever had trouble filling the business class cabin when it was configured as such.
And its not like there is an alternate carrier offering a different business class product of different business class pricing.
 

oz_mark

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NM said:
And its not like there is an alternate carrier offering a different business class product of different business class pricing.
Agreed, and the market is willing to pay the price Qantas is charging. OzJet (R.I.P.) obviously saw some potential in targetting the market. Until such time as someone else offers a competitive product, Qantas have a pretty free reign on the product they can offer.
 
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