Virgin Blue looks to be ramping up for a busy time next month. We've previously tipped May for John Borghetti's 'big bang' announcement of the airline's new name, new brand, new livery and new-everything-else.
Now the estimated 2.4 million members of the airline's Velocity frequent flyer rewards program have started to receive emails enticing them up update their contact details "to make sure you don't miss out on any important program news or exciting new member-only offers from Virgin Blue and our travel partners."
As an incentive, the airline is offering four prizes of 50,000 Velocity points – which will only get you halfway to Los Angeles on V Australia in economy class, but is good for five Sydney-Melbourne trips.
But here's the kicker: the closing date for this promotion is April 29. We think this is no coincidence - it's a pretty neat idea to get your mailing list in order so you can spread the word of 'the new Blue' to your frequent flyers and even the infrequent ones.
We're also expecting this rollout to include some serious enhancements to the Velocity programme. Yes, we know that 'enhancements' is often code for 'a worse deal'.
But rumours of a tie-up between Virgin Blue and Coles, which could include earning Velocity points for money spent at FlyBuy outlets - a list which includes Coles, Target, Kmart and Liqourland, as well as Budget car rentals and Best Western Hotels - would certainly be an improvement for Virgin Blue passengers.
But that's far from the end of things, as Borghetti has flagged the "launch of a new loyalty program" prior to December 31st, which could even see the Velocity brand ditched entirely.
(Thanks to AusBT reader Liam Getreu for the tip-off.)
Coverage of Virgin Blue's overhaul
Australian Business Traveller's comprehensive and continuing coverage of 'the new Blue' also includes:
- the launch of Sydney-Perth services on May 26
- new business class seats with 62 inches of legroom and seat-back video screens (and, which of those seats are best and worst)
- a sneak peak at Virgin Blue's new 'luxury leather' economy seats
- Virgin Blue's new fast-track Sydney Airport lounge, plus upgrades for Melbourne and Brisbane lounges and new lounges at three other Australian airports
- stylish new uniforms for Virgin Blue flight attendants and crew which play up the airline’s palette of red, silver and purple
- Aussie masterchef Luke Mangan's promise to create inflight meals "that travellers actually want to buy
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.