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Virgin Blue FFP???

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cssaus

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Interesting advertisement in this morning's SMH for a "Rewards Manager" for Virgin. Made mention of working on a loyalty program.

Sign of things to come?
 

ksthommo

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Hope it's sooner rather then later. Been flying Virgin quite a bit Cairns/Brisbane as I can't justify forking out the extra dollars to fly Qantas. Tried Jetstar, out of 7 flights booked, unable to take 5 because the schedule change meant I couldn't connect to my onward flight and the other 2 flights departure times have been changed to depart 4 hours later.
 

oz_mark

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AT least its a sign that something is happening. All we have had to date is some statements about Virgin Blue working on one. Hopefully, if there is a scheme, it won't be too far away.
 

NM

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DJ really do need some sort of program, so lets hope this is what it appears on the surface.
 

JohnK

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NM said:
DJ really do need some sort of program, so lets hope this is what it appears on the surface.
Interesting to see if it gets off the ground.

Would they affiliate with any other ff program? Would the program be similar to Qantas where status is based on "status credits" earned or similar to most ff programs where status is based on miles flown?
 

NM

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JohnK said:
NM said:
Would they affiliate with any other ff program? Would the program be similar to Qantas where status is based on "status credits" earned or similar to most ff programs where status is based on miles flown?
Unless someone has some inside knowledge (has anyone applied for the job yet?) we can only guess, and what better way to spend the time before they announce it than to debate it amongst ourself first :D .

My feeling is that they will try to something a little different, especially something different to the QF scheme. It just seems to be the DJ way of doing things and makes it harder to have a head-on comparison or the pros and cons of each program.

I think it is will be a very simple scheme, perhaps along the line of South West Airlines (WN) in the USA. And I doubt it will be affiliated with any other scheme as that would just complicate the scheme.

But I am only providing my thoughts and have no knowledge of what they have planned. And as I said, I think it will be something different to the norm and perhaps have some strange twist that nobody has predicted.
 

tuapekastar

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Article in travel section of yesterday's Melbourne Age (not online as yet) states that DJ is working on FFP. Couple of quotes from it:

"Virgin Blue has begun hiring specialists to run the frequent flyer program it has resisted for years"

"VB has already devised the broad framework of the program and is now working on putting in place the alliance partners necessary to give the program global reach and customer appeal"

Quotes Brett Godfrey as calling it a "category killer". Program also described as "genuinely different".

This site's founder/carer Clifford Reichlin is quoted in the article once or twice in regard to the number and timing of QF FF seats coming online.

I guess all shall be revealed in the coming months.
 

Mal

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I think that it will be a miles based scheme.

Special bonuses for certain classes of tickets and such.

Will have a hotel or two in the program. Add in a car rental firm.

Not sure if it'll tie back to any credit card. The Virgin CC is the likely candidate, but still not sure.

As for other airlines? Can only see it joining up with * alliance if it was to join an alliance. As likely as Qantas giving us all free RTW tickets for their birthday!

Still quite possible that one or two longhaul airlines could be part of the scheme. Would pick Virgin Atlantic and Singapore if I had to pick 2, but there are serious political issues with those choices.

Hmmm. Time will tell. Just like Lindsay's 1000 post thread, we will not know until the designated time has arrived...
 
M

MetroAir

Is this just something to make people think before considering Ozjet (when and if they take to the sky?).

Cheers
 

oz_mark

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I would have thought some consideration would need to be paid to the aims of the scheme, and as far as I can tell, it is to attract the corporate traveller (those who pay premium fares). This is also the turf that QF would most strongly defend.

In doing that, I see two requirements for the program - rewards and recognition. The rewards bit is obvious, and the recognition is because my observation is that business type travellers like to have their ego's stroked and made to feel a bit special.

So, how to provide that in a package that is different? But then, different is Virgin Blue terms seems to be in the delivery rather than any substantive differences. So generally I would expect that:

1) Some sort of system of levels (whether this based on miles, or SC's or sectors)
2) Possibly Miles (or shock/horror kilometres) based, but I lean a bit toward them going the AirNZ approach
3) Ties up with other Virgin companies
4) Difficult to compare directly with Qantas
5) Will result in much analysis by people looking for loopholes
 

Kiwi Flyer

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oz_mark said:
5) Will result in much analysis by people looking for loopholes
Thats a given :D

I think it'll only have a couple of partners, VS and SQ being obvious candidates, and only included so they can claim ability to redeem worldwide.

I dont think will use miles, but instead either credits (earn 1 per flight takes say 15 to redeem) or currency (10 virgin cents per $ spent excl taxes) - will make it hard to compare with QFF.
 

JohnK

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With a lot of discount flights the points earning ability maybe very low. Although corporate clients and overseas travellers are a different proposition. They wouldn't want to be giving away too many flights on $29 & $39 airfares. More advertising of cheap flights out of Avalon and Sydney in yesterdays Sunday Telegraph.

I just think like any ff scheme there will be a lot of dissapointed people. You can never keep everyone happy.

Again interesting to see what ff scheme they come up with.
 

oz_mark

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6) Virgin will use a selling point of how easy it is to redeem a flight compared to QF
7) Like all schemes people will sign up, and then discover just how hard it is to actually get something.
8) Us folk in Perth will be disadvantaged one way or another (its a tradition for us to have a whinge :) )
 

NM

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Comparing any status levels with QF will be an interesting exercise. Its very difficult to reach QF top tier status when only flying on discount economy domestic fares. You have to do an incredible amount of travel to get there, and I know some people have been down that track and achieved QF Platinum status!

So the way most QF Platinum members get there is through international trips and often in paid business or first class - which is where the airline makes most profit and hence wants to provide loyalty incentive.

But of course we all know that DJ on flies domestic and Pacific Blue to close-by international destinations. And all these are single-class services, so there is not the premium cabin flyer to try to lure with the scheme. If they choose to recognise via multiple status levels, the top level must be attainable through a realistic amount of domestic travel.

I still think they will try to keep it as simple as possible, perhaps with some points/credits earning rate per flight, possibly depending on the distance flown. Maybe not miles based, but zone based.

I agree that they are likely to use reward seat availability as a main selling point. So something that makes every seat on the aircraft available as a reward redemption is what I would expect to see.

The only way I can see them getting global reach for awards is to have some sort of $ value for their "points/credits" and allow them to use used to "purchase" a paid seat on various airlines, in a similar way to how some CC programs operate.

But again, this is just my opinion and pure speculation. And fun to try to guess and debate before it is all revealed :D .
 

oz_mark

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Market awaits Virgin Blue loyalty scheme

With the lead up to Virgin Blue reporting its results, speculation about there FF program resurfaced. This report from seven.com.au newsroom:
http://seven.com.au/news/business/117637

Doesn't say anything about what we might expect from the program

Budget airline Virgin Blue is due to report an annual net profit of $105 million, but the expected announcement of a long-awaited passenger loyalty program is set capture the market's attention.

Virgin Blue Holdings has projected a net profit for 2004/05 of around $105 million, up from a previously forecast range of $90 million to $100 million.

The previous year's net profit was $159 million.

The company has blamed the profit decline on rising fuel costs and intense competition in the Australian domestic aviation market.

In May, market analysts began speculating that the airline could spend as much as $60 million to start up a loyalty program to build market share and increase its passenger load factor - the amount of paying passengers it carries on average - by five percentage points over five years.

But six months on, no more has been learnt about the program.

JP Morgan analyst David Wilson said Virgin Blue needs a program to at least hold onto market share as it fights for customers against Qantas' budget airline Jetstar.
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