What is the next step in the Virgin Blue makeover?

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Yada Yada

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Lindsay Wilson said:
Naaaah, none of those are the next step! Looks like the boardroom is the next step:

Profits may be grounded but that won't stop Virgin Blue's board seeking approval for a 33 per cent pay rise...
Interesting read. Thanks Lindsay.

I really hope that Sir RB get's control back soon. With the dividend and now the director's pay rise, it looks like Corrigan is trying to milk the company. DJ can't afford to be weakened like this.

Virgin Blue shares fell 1.5¢ to $1.57 yesterday. They listed at $2.25 two years ago.
That says it all, really. :(
 

dajop

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Yada Yada said:
I really hope that Sir RB get's control back soon. With the dividend and now the director's pay rise, it looks like Corrigan is trying to milk the company. DJ can't afford to be weakened like this.

AN all over again.
 

Damien

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Yada Yada said:
I really hope that Sir RB get's control back soon. With the dividend and now the director's pay rise, it looks like Corrigan is trying to milk the company. DJ can't afford to be weakened like this.

The unconfirmed rumour that I heard said that if Sir RB regains control, Velocity will be out the door at the same time as Corrigan. That would certainly shake everything up a bit more...
 

oz_mark

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Damien said:
Yada Yada said:
I really hope that Sir RB get's control back soon. With the dividend and now the director's pay rise, it looks like Corrigan is trying to milk the company. DJ can't afford to be weakened like this.

The unconfirmed rumour that I heard said that if Sir RB regains control, Velocity will be out the door at the same time as Corrigan. That would certainly shake everything up a bit more...

I'm sure I've seen Sir RB spruiking the advantage of Velocity, so I wouldn't think it would go away. Might morph into something else though.
 

Yada Yada

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Lindsay Wilson said:
Profits may be grounded but that won't stop Virgin Blue's board seeking approval for a 33 per cent pay rise...

In today's news:

www.age.com.au said:
PATRICK Corp's decision to take control of Virgin Blue paid off in spades for the stevedore's managing director, Chris Corrigan.

Mr Corrigan's remuneration package from Patrick fell $630,000 to $2 million due to a drop in non-cash benefits and share options, but a $3 million bonus from a controversial Virgin Blue dividend that was passed onto Patrick shareholders, including Mr Corrigan, more than made up for the pay shortfall.

Virgin Blue's board had a well-publicised dispute as to whether it should pay its first-ever dividend, given that the airline's profits fell last year.

Board member Sir Richard Branson and managing director Brett Godfrey voted against the dividend payout plan in November, but were outvoted by other directors, including Mr Corrigan, the chairman.

Full story here.
 

AnonymousCoward

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d00t said:
Yada Yada said:
d00t said:
In all seriousness it does not look like they are going after the hardcore career driven business professional with cash to burn. Their scheme appears to be aimed at ordinary people who are brainwashed into thinking VirginBlue has lower prices, offers a better product and treats passengers better. The family with 2.3 kids and the wannabe big time business traveller.

Velocity is offerring nothing new so _why should_ passengers be excited?

Virgin Blue does have cheaper prices. I am a business traveller who purchases his own tickets on the web every two or three weeks. Virgin is generally cheaper than Qantas, has better seat availability, is on time more often, loads/unloads more quickly, and has better (newer) aircraft.


I'm a totally self-funded business traveller too, and I've found that there are certain timeframes where by if you are purchasing tickets in that qantas prices are rediculously high. The 6 day - 3.5 week area.

Price Justification on QF vs DJ
- Qantas have a better safety record ( +$1)
- Qantas Club access prior (+$3) or (+$20 after 1pm for booze)
- Priotiy Check in/very fast easy (+$2)
- Food inflight (+$5)
- Inflight entertainment + headphones (+$3)
- Points that I can use on 1st world airlines (+$1 - $5)
- Better pitch, far more legroom (+$3)
- Larger choice of aircraft (+$1)
- Ability for me to upgrade (+$5)
- Connections to intl flights (+$2 - $5) (cost of self-transport)

So, on a typical mel-syd flight at 3pm, connecting to say NRT later that day, virgin would need to be about $50 cheaper(ONE WAY) for me to CONSIDER flying them.

Don't get me wrong, qantas piss me off more than any nagging girlfriend/wife could, but sometimes logic needs to be applied instead of just flatout price competition.

Well, my company switched carriers to Virgin in the middle of December, so I've been doing a few flights with them since.

Whilst I'm not sure I agree entirely with the price justification immediately above, I do agree with the ultimate parent quote: they aren't going after the business traveller with cash to burn.

Issues that I (and my fellow travellers have encountered):
a) only one flight between 7:30am and 8:30am from Sydney to Melbourne (at 8:15am). Makes arriving on site quite late

b) I wouldn't mind catching the earlier (7:15am) flight if I got provided with some food on board, but I'm not (and even if you pay for your own food, the selection is pretty ordinary).

c) No food, or drinks available in the lounges (except for stuff you pay for at top $$$). Pretty much all you get in the lounge is a newspaper. So you end up arriving on site hungry, and in desparate need of coffee

d) Virgin do have priority check in lines. However every yahoo who's travelling on Virgin that day thinks they can also use this line, meaning its no faster than any other counter. At least you can check in at the lounge if you have no carry on baggage (only found that out today)

e) Virgin do have web checkin, yet two out of the four times I've tried to use it, something's gone wrong with their website, and I haven't been able to complete checkin and print out my boarding pass. And if you've failed to checkin online, then you can't use the self-service terminals in the terminal - you need to line up.

f) Cabin baggage space is at a premium - you need to get on quick if you want to stow your carry on luggage. The QANTAS 767s flying ~8am and 5:30pm do not have this issue. On one flight, not all the luggage could fit overhead, and the attendants were overheard saying that they were going to grab whatever couldn't fit, and check it in. Fine perhaps if you are flying on a $60 fare, but if I'm paying $250 to fly one way, then I expect to be able to take on my full cabin allocation (one roll on bag, plus my laptop bag).

g) No priority luggage tags. One of my colleagues was forced to check in his carry on. Luggage came out pretty much at the end of the queue.

h) Melbourne lounge is outside security screening point. So when your flight is called, you need to be quick to get through security, and through to the gate

i) No status levels. QANTAS has priority checkin queues, priority luggage tags etc. And the lounge access they give you at Gold is worth something. The FF points can be redeemed on a whole range of carriers for international travel and upgrades. The Velocity points aren't.

On the positive side:
a) Virgin loads at the front and rear, meaning embarking/disembarking is quite quick

b) The flights seem to have a better on time performance than QANTAS.

Overall, I just don't think Virgin's really geared to the business traveller who needs to get on quick, get off quick, and is prepared to pay (or have their company pay) to make their flying experience as painless as possible. For people paying $50-60 to fly from Sydney to Melbourne, it's a great airline for what you get.
 
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Yada Yada

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Hi AnonymousCoward.

I guess this is a classic case of YMMV. I've been really happy with DJ and feel that I get good value for money.

AnonymousCoward said:
Issues that I (and my fellow travellers have encountered):
a) only one flight between 7:30am and 8:30am from Sydney to Melbourne (at 8:15am). Makes arriving on site quite late

b) I wouldn't mind catching the earlier (7:15am) flight if I got provided with some food on board, but I'm not (and even if you pay for your own food, the selection is pretty ordinary).
If I'm in that situation, I just take the earlier flight too, which in reality is not that big of a deal. I agree that the DJ on-board menu is not that flash, but then again neither is QF's food in whY. If I don't eat at home (which is usually cereal, toast and coffee), then I arrive 15 mins earlier at T2 and purchase cereal and english muffins from McDonalds and a real coffee from one of the many outlets close by. I usually take my coffee on-board and drink it during the flight.

AnonymousCoward said:
c) No food, or drinks available in the lounges (except for stuff you pay for at top $$$). Pretty much all you get in the lounge is a newspaper. So you end up arriving on site hungry, and in desparate need of coffee
I've never used the DJ lounges - they just didn't seem worthwhile to me.

AnonymousCoward said:
d) Virgin do have priority check in lines. However every yahoo who's travelling on Virgin that day thinks they can also use this line, meaning its no faster than any other counter. At least you can check in at the lounge if you have no carry on baggage (only found that out today)

e) Virgin do have web checkin, yet two out of the four times I've tried to use it, something's gone wrong with their website, and I haven't been able to complete checkin and print out my boarding pass. And if you've failed to checkin online, then you can't use the self-service terminals in the terminal - you need to line up.
I've never had a delay checking in at T2 - there always seem to be lots of checkin desks open. These days I use either the Blue checkin terminals or the web checkin - never had a problem with either.

AnonymousCoward said:
f) Cabin baggage space is at a premium - you need to get on quick if you want to stow your carry on luggage. The QANTAS 767s flying ~8am and 5:30pm do not have this issue. On one flight, not all the luggage could fit overhead, and the attendants were overheard saying that they were going to grab whatever couldn't fit, and check it in. Fine perhaps if you are flying on a $60 fare, but if I'm paying $250 to fly one way, then I expect to be able to take on my full cabin allocation (one roll on bag, plus my laptop bag).
I agree that overhead locker space is at a premium on DJ when the flights are full, and most SYD-MEL flights are full. Luckily I only ever have a laptop bag so I can put it under the seat in front if the overhead is full. Don't know how they can fix this without getting bigger aircraft.

AnonymousCoward said:
g) No priority luggage tags. One of my colleagues was forced to check in his carry on. Luggage came out pretty much at the end of the queue.
Maybe it's just me, but priority tags don't seem to make my bags come out any quicker on QF. Last time I went to PER in J my bag was third last out. I never get upgrades either. Go figure. :(

AnonymousCoward said:
h) Melbourne lounge is outside security screening point. So when your flight is called, you need to be quick to get through security, and through to the gate
Agreed - that is definitely dopey. And the security point is too small so the queues can be long there.

AnonymousCoward said:
i) No status levels. QANTAS has priority checkin queues, priority luggage tags etc. And the lounge access they give you at Gold is worth something. The FF points can be redeemed on a whole range of carriers for international travel and upgrades. The Velocity points aren't.
Let's hope that DJ joins Star Alliance some day.

AnonymousCoward said:
On the positive side:
a) Virgin loads at the front and rear, meaning embarking/disembarking is quite quick
Yes - I really like this too.

AnonymousCoward said:
b) The flights seem to have a better on time performance than QANTAS.
I've also found this to be true. I often arrive in MEL before my pickup does (because he gets stuck on the Tulla Fwy).

AnonymousCoward said:
Overall, I just don't think Virgin's really geared to the business traveller who needs to get on quick, get off quick, and is prepared to pay (or have their company pay) to make their flying experience as painless as possible. For people paying $50-60 to fly from Sydney to Melbourne, it's a great airline for what you get.
I guess everyone's experience is different. I do lots of SYD-MEL trips and for me they are very business like - quick checkin, quick load/unload, and on time. The catering is a major difference with QF, but I'd rather buy my own breakfast at the terminal and choose what I like than get served the stuff QF dishes up in whY. QF's food in J is a different matter of course, but it's hard to justify J on the SYD-MEL sector. The few times I've done it, they are trying to clear away the food before I've finished eating!

While I like DJ's new fleet of 737s, I prefer the roomy cabins of QF's 767s and A330s, so QF do have an advantage here IMO. I guess that the new 787s will extend that advantage further.
 

N860CR

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I've also passed on the annual "Blue Room" pass. When my Qantas Club membership was up I intended to switch over to the Blue Room (seeing DJ get all my business now) but it didn't seem like very good value. At $200 for an annual pass, or $5 per visit, one would have to use the room 40 to get their dollars back. So, figuring I wouldn't use it every time I fly, I'd need to travel with Virgin 100 times a year through ports with a Blue Room to make it worth while.

In regards to check-in, I've found for the normal economy passenger, DJ check-in is always much faster than QF. Web Checkin is excellent, and DJ's Self Checkin at the airport is much better than "Quick-Check" for px with bags. The lines at the normal DJ check-in is always faster than QF's.
 

AnonymousCoward

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danielribo said:
In regards to check-in, I've found for the normal economy passenger, DJ check-in is always much faster than QF.

Not for those with status. It may be that my experience is limited, but there are 4 other people with my company travelling with me every week at the moment. After exchanging experiences, I would say that our checkin times are currently longer.

danielribo said:
Web Checkin is excellent, and DJ's Self Checkin at the airport is much better than "Quick-Check" for px with bags. The lines at the normal DJ check-in is always faster than QF's

Web Checkin seems like a good idea, but we've had a few issues (like the website reporting that it can't currently check us in, and to please see a CSR at the airport).

I'm not aware of business people who travel with checked-in bags, so dropping off bags is irrelevant to the consideration.

And if you are lining up, for whatever reason, the line in the QC seems to be quite a bit quicker than the "priority" counter that DJ has.

And lounge access counts against DJ in my book. I don't want to spend my own time feeding myself (or having a drink). I'd rather use downtime at the airport, or on the plane. The choice of food outside the lounge in T2 isn't that great (McDonalds anyone?). In the QF lounge, I get food, drink, power (if required). With iBurst I've got connectivity for email/VPN etc, so I can get some work done.

At least the DJ lounge is pretty much empty :)

As mentioned before - I don't think DJ is a bad airline. For someone paying $69 to fly Syd/Melb it's good value. For a business person with cash to burn, it's got some way to go. I did about 100 domestic flights last year, and the QANTAS experience was much nicer (assuming you have status)
 
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