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Virgin open for business

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NM

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VIRGIN Blue, famed for its one-class discount fare model, will today launch its first business class service as it seeks to wrest more corporate travellers from arch-rival Qantas.

Virgin Blue's new Blue Plus service will not be called business class, but will offer travellers a raft of additional services on full-fare trips.

These include seats at the front of the cabin, where there is already up to 5cm more legroom than at the rear, extra luggage allowances and priority check-in.

Virgin Blue customers flying on its top-rate "fully flexible" fares, which will be renamed Blue Plus fares, will also be offered full refunds on cancellations, less a $30 administration charge. To date, customers who cancelled were offered a replacement flight within 12 months.

However, Virgin Blue is still holding out on the introduction of a frequent flyer program to rival Qantas and its low-cost offshoot Jetstar, which last week said customers on its fully flexible fares could earn Qantas points.
 
P

Platy

DJ business class

Very interesting! Raises lots of questions, though:

- will they change the actual seats?
- is this just a re-badge of blue zone?
- is blue zone to go or be restricted to exit rows?
- how will it be priced? (fully flexible?)

personally would be sorry to see blue zone go as it offers excellent value at the moment

however, ANY competition for QF J is extremely welcome - maybe we shall see some realistic prices from QF for a change and an overdue kick up the backside for their domestic business class product
 
M

MetroAir

Hmmmm, J class on Virgin. I may even be tempted to give it a go.

Its been a very lonely choice for the past few years and until now you couldn't even drag me on board a LCC.

I'll be interested to hear any reports.
 

oz_mark

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I'm not convinced it's what you'd really call business class. Really its just a fully flexible economy fare. Looks like a good way of adding a few features which at the end of the day don't look like they will add much in the way of cost.
 

bravoecho1

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All it is is their fully flex fare rebadged with increased checkin allowance, priority checkin and free access to the Blue lounge.

Not enough for me IMO
 

NM

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Its not going to be a business class product as we expect on Qantas. As far as I can tell, there will not be any changes to the seats. They claim the seats at the front of the cabin already have up to 5cm more pitch than down the back. It will still be 3x3 seating.

No food or drinks included. It really is just marketing rather than a real business class product. Just priority checkin, increased baggage allowance and refundable fare (less $30 admin fee) instead of a credit for future flights as is currently the case on flexible fares.

I believe this is more in response to Paul Stoddart's announced plans to introduce OzJet as a business class product at flexible economy fare prices.
 

oz_mark

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I suspect these changes would have been made regardless of OzJet. I think there is a realisation that they need a certain amount of business travel on the routes that they fly. By making these changes, their cost base doesn't get affected as much as by introducing a FF program. To truly target the business market, I think they need to address this.
 

arun

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I am not sure how many business travellers who fly Virgin on domestic will be interested in the extra baggage allowance.
 
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