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Virgin's Blue Room

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by sully, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. sully

    sully Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    238
    1
    Wolloomooloo, NSW
    This is a real worry :( . The evil red airline with a colour identity problem has announced the opening of its 'Blue Room' in Sydney following the successful launch of the first one in Brisbane. The blurb on its website calls it a new and exciting innovation blah blah, where you can become a member for $175 (normally $195) or gain entry for the introductory fee of $5.

    Why is this a concern? Because the access to the QF lounge and use of its facilities was the reason why businesses allowed staff to fly with them. Now that this edge has been lost we can only hope for more competitive fares from QF to halt what may be an exodus.

    Want a drink or feed in the lounge? Sure, get the wallet out sport, and try claiming that on expenses.
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  2. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    224
    0
    Vic
    Sully, the response in order to keep your edge just has to be the fact that VB are promoting their clubs as a non-business room. In fact they're promoting the fact that it's a good place to play games like the Playstation. Now while that probably appeals to us all :D , I'm sure the boss won't like the idea that you're going in there to play games.
    Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the FC lounge here in SYD waiting to go out to CHC.
    VB wouldn't know FC if it got up & bit them on the a$se. :lol:
    Now all I have to do is concentrate on keeping Plat despite QF making things harder after JAN04.
     


  3. sully

    sully Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    238
    1
    Wolloomooloo, NSW
    We shall see, the other thing I really like about QF membership is being able to avoid the snaking queue for the Y travellers and use the express lines.

    CHC eh? Don't miss the Dux de Luxe brewpub (oops, showing that interest again)
     
  4. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    redrat, why will it be harder from January to retain Platinum? A lot of domestic fare buckets will start earning full Y status credits instead of discount Y, so that should help.

    The only difference might be some of the changes to AA and BA codes.

    The only reason I can think of is that with the changes to points upgrades, flights that were previously worth paying for Y and upgrading now become FAR more attractive to just use points for the entire trip - so all of a sudden, those flights no longer earn status credits whereas they once would have.

    If this is the case with you - making award flights rather than paid flights PLUS upgrades. I see what you mean. Otherwise, I can't see how the January changes will make it harder to get or retain status.

    Dave
     
  5. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    224
    0
    Vic
    Thanks for the clarification Dave. :)

    One thing I am hanging on to is the 15 UGCs I have now for special trips. Everytime I ask for an on-departure UG, the check-in staff in the club always suggest the credits first. If they come as easy as you say post Jan04 then I'll recommence using them for DOM UG's :D

    Cheers...
     


  6. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    Actually, come January Upgrade Credits will be so much harder to obtain. At the moment it takes 250 SC's to get a UC. So that is - taking SYD-MEL as an example - 25 trips in discount Y, 12.5 in full Y or 8.3 in J/F.

    With the changes to the fare buckets which qualify as full Y, along with the need from Jan to earn 450 SC's per UC, that will become 45 trips in discount Y (harder to get), 22.5 in full Y (easier to get in one of the classes which WAS discount Y but is now full Y, harder to get if you were flying full Y anyway) and 15 trips in J/F (again, harder to get).

    Likewise, SYD-LHR in J would just about give you a UC, now it won' even get you halfway towards a UC.

    It seems to me as though QF has decided to look after the corporate domestic travellers with these changes and in doing so has made a monumental foot shot with those who fly paid J or F.

    Dave
     
  7. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    Thanks Dave ! :) You have it in one. :D

    Absolutely correct, which was where I was coming from in the other thread 'Changes to the Qantas FF program'.

    UG credits will be a damn sight harder to get, unless of course, there is someone at QF who sits down and goes 'aah'. :oops: and realises the mistake that's just been made.
     
  8. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    I agree with Sully.

    There is nothing I like better than check in at the business class counter / QC counter, and several times, I have been sooo thankful that I have QC membership/high level status just to do that.

    A great example is the arrival into DOM PER that I had a few months ago and I was knackered after the flight from SIN. I waltzed (not literally) straight up to the J counter and got checked in, and there was a massive queue in the Y line. :lol:

    The other thing is too - from the blue room, I have a few concerns....

    "Watch the latest DVDs" - o.k., this isn't such a good advert. This implies that the flight will be late by a few hours, or that you need to be there a few hours earlier to see the film ! :) How else are you going to watch a full length DVD ? (unless of course, you're on a fully flexible ticket)

    And as for the bar service ! The difference in the price of a QF/VB ticket, I could drink that much alcohol / eat that much food in the QC lounge. I paid an extra $17 to fly return ADL-MEL-MCY a month ago and I easily drank that much there and back.

    It just seems like a glorified departure lounge that you get OUTSIDE the doors of the QC club.
     
  9. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    224
    0
    Vic
    Icemann, that's a very good point you make. You pay $5 or whatever the annual membership fee is, to go and purchase drinks & food where if you remain outside you get a free seat and purchase food and drinks at any one of the vendors in the terminal.
    Makes you wonder who would pay?
     
  10. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    Actually, having thought it through a bit more, I am becoming more and more convinced that they knew what they were doing and decided to make it harder for those who regularly fly in J to get upgrades. After all, they are jacking up the cost of a points upgrade from J to F, it seems like they have deliberately decided to screw everyone EXCEPT those flying in the new "Full Y" classes.

    Dave
     
  11. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    Exactly. Part of the reason that I have paid for QC membership (in the past, now I am gold, so it is a bit better :) ) is not just to get priority baggage check in / handling, not just to access the PCs and read my email...

    It is so that I can just go in there, sit down in a comfy chair and get something to eat and a beer / coffee and relax. Pure and simple. I am one of the knackered, who misses home sometimes and works on the road. It's my job. And the QC lounge is my home away from home, it's the chance that I get to relax and kick back. And I love it.

    I think it is a bit rich (read : cheeky) when they expect you to pay for annual membership of the blue room, then say "O.K., you'll have to pay for food and drinks.".

    Well, why on earth would I pay to go into the lounge area, then have to pay for food / drinks ? Question - What else do I get ? Do I get priority baggage handling / check in ? Or is it all just PS2 games and DVDs ?

    In Mr. Branson's egalitarian airline, probably just the last one.

    Hence, probably according to the financial models, if they provided services that were actually of USE to the business traveller end too, like priority baggage/check in, they'd have to tack on 'x' dollars to cover the cost. Not that that's any different from anyone else though.

    Sometimes, I just don't have the time to get a decent meal, and the best I can do is to wolf down a QC lounge sandwich and/or a bowl of soup. Sometimes, the best I can do is to grab a quick orange juice.

    Hey, at that rate, if I can't access a OW lounge, I'll sit outside at the restaurant/bar and charge it all to expenses anyway.
     
  12. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    BTW, some of my M/F mates are of the opinion that they'd fly VB over Qantas any day....

    You know why ? Because they like the FAs. Nothing more.

    They would gladly forego SCs, FF points etc., just so that they could ogle the FAs.

    I know what I would sooner have. Pass the lifetime gold membership please.
     
  13. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    7,960
    1,582
    SIN
    Flight Map:
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    I could believe this. A sad indication of where society is headed. Look at the contestants on The Block, hardly selected for their renovating ability......

    Why bother getting free flights, free beers on or before a flight, free upgrades, ability to avoid queues, luggage quicker than others ... when you can ogle some nice young lassy with a nice set of breasts or nice young lad with a nice chest & bum...... for all of 10-20 minutes on a 90 min flight. :roll:
     
  14. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    224
    0
    Vic
    ... and having attained lifetime gold I still prefer to work towards the annual Plat. The extra creature comforts of going to the FC check-in/lounge is relaxation plus with Plat.
    Funnily enough, I work towards my*A when I reach Plat. but only then.
    Having a squizz at the flyaow site before I go the a/p raises my hopes towards getting the points upgrade.
    I love it. :D
     
  15. sully

    sully Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    238
    1
    Wolloomooloo, NSW
    I don't know if an interest in the opposite sex is a sad indication (or perhaps indictment) of where society is heading, but I am surprised that people would actually choose to fly with an airline based on this criterion.

    Mind you, depending on the number of pre-flight drinks you have in the lounge the babes on QF and BA look pretty damn fine when viewed through beer goggles. :shock: :lol:
     
  16. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    224
    0
    Vic
    Beer goggles or not, what I do know is that as I get older, there's more to look at & as long as the other half doesn't catch you it's free :D
     
  17. sully

    sully Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    238
    1
    Wolloomooloo, NSW
    Exactly, and some people think that the aisle seat is so you don't have to crawl over people when you want to move around the cabin. Furtive looks down the aisle can always be explained away as stating an interest in knowing where the floor lighting is situated. Either that or you can make an observation like "I am sure the lady 3 rows ahead has a knitting needle......."
     
  18. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    Exactly right Dajop.

    And it is actually quite funny, because these friends of mine are not FFs ! :)

    So, they have no idea of just how much use getting your luggage checked in quickly is, or what an airline lounge is like. They don't understand that travel doesn't need to be roughed. It can actually be very relaxing - after all, that's why we are supposed to go on holidays in the first place !

    Being an ex-pat from the UK, (and others here may understand what I am on about) they are the kind of people who see an airport once a year on a Club 18-30 holiday to Magaluf and then complain about the queues in the A/P and the food when they get overseas.

    The joke is....is that it is a cunning marketing ploy by VB. Seen "Mile High" on 7 lately ? These same people probably think they're going to 'get some' after the flight from the FA ! :)

    Nothing could be further from the truth. :lol:
     
  19. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    Yes Sully, people do (sadly) make this decision based upon this criteria.

    When asked further, said colleagues (M/F) said that they wouldn't fly Qantas because it was "cr*p". That was their justification, and from people who have flown it maybe a couple of times in the past few years.

    What my whole point is, is that these kind of remarks are made by people who are not regular FFs or even FFs at all. So, it probably is a very subtle marketing ploy aimed at these people ; after all, the airline is meant to be a 'budget' airline.
     
  20. sully

    sully Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    238
    1
    Wolloomooloo, NSW
    ..........and Icemann these same people have probably never experienced crap as they have either flown the Kangaroo route once (as their concession to 'overseas' travel' or generally short hauled around Oz.

    I lived in Ukraine for a couple of years and had to fly regularly with Ukraine International Airlines, Transaero, Aeroflot, Pulkovo and internally with Air Ukraine.

    The latter was the epitome of crap. You know when there is something you have missed when the bus pulls up to the plane on the tarmac and people jump up and RUN to the plane! Uh oh, thought I, why are they running when we have booked seating? A glance at my boarding pass, something quite similar to the shopper docket that VB gives you, told me the dreadful truth that I did not have a dedicated seat. Hmmm, overbooking at check-in methought. This wasn't the case, however I realised that due to NO maintenance on the plane not all seats were in good working order. The one I found by default was at a constant 135 degree tilt! When the FA asked me to raise my seat for take-off I suggested she sit on the lap of the person behind me and put her knees into the back of my seat. The slavs aren't known for their fine humour and so this was met with a steely gaze. :x

    I need not mention the food. And Ukrainian mineral water is more mineral than water.

    Ask these intrepid souls if they have travelled on Malev (Hungarian), CSA (Czech), Turkish Airlines or Baltic Air. They don't know how lucky they are.
     
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