Take a moment and think of all the crazy requests you’ve heard at check-in counters because Virgin Australia may be about to add a new one. Today the airline launched its Bring On Wonderful campaign, which, probably in an industry first, aims to make the middle seat the most attractive option on the plane.

Nice is not good enough for VA

Bring On Wonderful promotes the Virgin Australia (VA) theme that having a ‘nice flight’ is just not good enough anymore, it has to be a wonderful flight. So when you sit on a VA aircraft, the PA address will do away with the old sit back, relax and enjoy your flight to “have a wonderful flight.”

VA says it’s more than a slogan and backs that up with customer experience innovations, plus an 800,000-seat sale launched this morning with exceptionally low fares. For instance, you can have a five-hour flight from Sydney to Perth for as little as AU$205 ($130). The campaign kicks off on national TV tonight, and here’s a sneak peek.

Is the middle your seat preference?

I am sure most Simple Flying devotees are members of a frequent flyer program that includes setting a preference for your favorite seat, but are there any that ticked the middle-seat box? Does that selection even exist? Starting at 06:00 tomorrow and running until April 23rd is the Middle Seat Lottery, a game of chance just for the unlucky/lucky ones stuck in the middle who go into the weekly draw. According to flighthacks.com, prizes include Velocity Platinum Status and one million points, a helicopter pub crawl [not sure how to translate that] or flights to the USA for a Virgin Voyages Caribbean cruise.

Just in time for the peak summer holiday season in Australia, VA has introduced Family Pooling, which allows a family to accrue all of their frequent flyer points and status credits into one account. Up to two adults (18+) and four children can be linked, with one beneficiary and the others listed as contributors. By pooling all the family’s points, the nominated family member will achieve higher reward levels faster, which VA says is the best way to fast-track benefits.

Plenty of 737 MAXs on the horizon

Virgin Australia 737 MAX 8 Livery

Photo: Virgin Australia

Last week, VA CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said she was encouraged by the rapid return of demand in the leisure and corporate markets, adding that “it’s not a short-term sugar hit but a practical reconnection based on physical relationships.” Since exiting administration, VA has re-hired all staff who wanted to return and now has around 7,000 employees. It has added more aircraft and is flying short-haul international to Bali, Indonesia and Fiji using its Boeing 737s. The fleet comprises 60 737-800s, four 737-700s and two Fokker F100s, with 25 MAX 10s and four MAX 8s on order.

The West Australian reported that Hrdlicka said the airline was entering a new era with the mission of creating unique, uplifting and industry-leading experiences that take flying out of the mundane. She added,

“We’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg in what’s possible, and there’s so much energy right across Virgin Australia to make sure we are doing our best to leave a positive difference every time our guests fly with us.”

The biggest challenge might be convincing people to ask for the middle seat, except for those who particularly fancy a helicopter pub crawl or a Virgin cruise. If Hrdlicka can pull that off, she must be a big contender for Airline CEO of the Year.

What do you think about sitting in the middle of a 3-3 layout? Is it worth a shot at a lottery prize?

Source: The West Australian, flighthacks.com,

Source: simpleflying.com

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