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Suggestion: A Virgin Australia Velocity forum

Suggestion: A Virgin Australia Velocity forum

 
Old May 14, 11, 8:01 pm
  #1  
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Suggestion: A Virgin Australia Velocity forum

Hi Folks,

This request has come up a few times but not for a few years and is actively being discussed under in the Other Asian, Australian, etc section. Would it be possible to have a dedicated Virgin Australia Velocity forum?

Virgin Australia is the new brand that will combine Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue, and V Australia under the one banner.

Why should it have its own forum?

* Virgin Australia is actually the largest Virgin group airline by passenger numbers (around 19m last year) and fleet size and yet it is the only one without a dedicated forum!
* It's the second largest airline in Australia, Oceania and the Pacific by passenger numbers
* At 19m passengers per year is roughly on par with what Jetblue (now 24m), Alaska airline (now 23m) would have had when they their dedicated forums were created and more than airlines like Westjet, Hawaiian, VX, VS, and NZ that all have their own forums
3. The airline is undergoing major restructuring and expanding its FF program, moving away from its low cost carrier roots with domestic business class, new lounges, reciprocal FF arrangements with Etihad, Delta, NZ, VS, VX and others and now flying long haul to the US, the middle east and short haul to Asia and across the pacific.
4. It has a full scale FF program - second only to Qantas in Australia - with partners, redemptions across a range of carriers, status tiers, branded credit cards, etc, etc.
5. I'm happy to write an FAQ!

I have no association with the company but i am top tier VA/ DJ FF and i'd love to see such a forum get up.

Last edited by qwertyuiop; May 14, 11 at 8:06 pm
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Old May 14, 11, 11:08 pm
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And I second the above.

And I will add that AN had it's own forum page before it's demise.
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Old May 15, 11, 2:59 am
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Just a reminder that your case will be very much strengthened if you can fully flesh out the answers to the questions in this post: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/11201697-post2.html

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Old May 15, 11, 8:05 am
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I support this proposal - a Virgin Australia forum is missing from FT at the moment. The creation of this forum would benefit both FT as a whole and Virgin Australia flyers.
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Old May 15, 11, 8:07 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by wyvern View Post
I support this proposal - a Virgin Australia forum is missing from FT at the moment. The creation of this forum would benefit both FT as a whole and Virgin Australia flyers.
I support it too, but as jackal said, the proposal needs to be fleshed out a fair bit first.

Since I was burnt big time with my proposal for a "Lounges" forum, which received overwhelming support (except from the TalkBoard), I am a little bit reticent about going down that path again.

Dave
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Old May 16, 11, 12:33 am
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Thanks for the positive remarks so far, looking forward to hopefully getting more positive feedback from others.

I thought i'd go through a few of the relevant criteria for a dedicated forum and offer up some insights.

Will the forum be (or is it now) beneficial to FlyerTalk?

Yes. It's obviously not going to be the biggest forum around here but a dedicated place will be of benefit to quite a few members. First and foremost it will be of benefit to VA FF'ers - of which there are already a few around here from what i've seen in other threads/ forums.

It will also be of benefit to others who are members of partner programs (eg. NZ, VX, VS, EY and others) who do often have questions about VA services, lounges, destinations that do come up in other threads. I'm sure VA members would be happy to help them out.

Will the new forum benefit a relationship with FlyerTalk? E.g., does the forum provide value for FT members, such as a friendly ear highly placed in the company

Well, i haven't seen them around here yet - the lack of a forum might have something to do with it - but VA have the best social media team of any Australian airline (OK, so the QF bar is quite low) and they are excellent at answering questions, solving problems for members, and being helpful (see: the authenticated VA reps on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum and twitter for example) and i'm sure they'd be interested and available to do the same here.

Is FT the best place to discuss this subject?

Well, there is already a forum on Australian Frequent Flyer but there are for several of the airlines already represented here so i don't see that as duplication. I think it's a good fit for FT - VA would be one of the larger airlines in the English-speaking world that does not have a dedicated FF forum here.

Is there a passionate following? This is essential in order to provide dedicated expert helpers to get questions answered.

Well, i'm happy to put my hand up and i am sure there are others in the same boat. If you look at the example of the AFF forums, the VA forum is the second most popular airline forum there behind only QF with over 10,000 posts.

Is a critical mass of posts and readers anticipated or existing? We need adequate traffic to keep everyone visiting frequently. One living forum is more valuable than two mostly dead ones.

Frankly, it wont be the most popular forum here but there is a large enough group of dedicated people to keep it ticking over. Despite the absence of a dedicated forum VA related questions do come up regularly in other forums here and they are regularly answered by the FT community.

Is this the best place on FlyerTalk for this subject? This is the classification issue. The answer depends primarily on achieving and maintaining critical mass. It also depends on whether or where the discussion might (or does) occur in the absence of the forum.

Some of it has and does occur anyway - you'll see VA references across hundreds of threads across various areas of the board here. However (see my original posts about the relative size of VA to other airlines represented here) in the absence of a dedicated forum, VA will struggle to gain the critical mass that i'm confident that an airline of its size could.

Others my have things to add or agree to disagree with these thoughts.

Last edited by qwertyuiop; May 16, 11 at 9:12 am
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Old May 16, 11, 5:39 am
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I would add, with the changes proposed by DJ/VA management, there is quite a possibility that those of us forced into QF but formerly very solid AN supporters will again leave QF and move to DJ/VA. What I am saying is there may be some loss to the QF pages as DJ become a real full service carrier.

In addition, there are quite a few of us who NEVER grace the pages of AFF, nor will.
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Old May 16, 11, 8:03 am
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I fully support the proposal of having a Velocity forum. In view of passenger numbers and revenue (in particular when compared to the other airlines under the Virgin brand) and given Virgin Australia's recent move to fully abandon the classical LCC business, it would be pretty weird if FT turned out to be unable to offer a forum dedicated to Virgin Australia.

Virgin Australia's recent move is so promising that I am considering giving up *A Gold status for Gold status with Velocity.
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Old May 16, 11, 5:36 pm
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There are numerous airlines in the OAA section that did not get to have their own forums despite the fact that they are larger (used more frequently) than VA/DJ combined. There is no need for this forum if those other airlines do not deserve one. Last time someone requested to have the EVA Evergreen Forum moved out of OOA and was denied (and BR is frequently discussed in comparison to VA/DJ). There is absolutely no reason why VA/DJ should be approved.
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Old May 16, 11, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by VH-RMD View Post
In addition, there are quite a few of us who NEVER grace the pages of AFF, nor will.
Why is that? Your location states OOL, l would have thought that AFF would easily get you interested?
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Old May 16, 11, 6:39 pm
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Originally Posted by coolfish1103 View Post
There are numerous airlines in the OAA section that did not get to have their own forums despite the fact that they are larger (used more frequently) than VA/DJ combined. There is no need for this forum if those other airlines do not deserve one. Last time someone requested to have the EVA Evergreen Forum moved out of OOA and was denied (and BR is frequently discussed in comparison to VA/DJ). There is absolutely no reason why VA/DJ should be approved.
Firstly, i don't think the fact that another airline was rejected is in and of itself a reason to exclude others from proposing it. But assuming EVA is the best benchmark, i think there are two obvious reasons why VA is a better candidate:

1. VA is a MUCH bigger airline - 3 times larger in passenger numbers. I am going off wikipedia numbers here (so shoot me down if they are wrong) but EVA carried 6.5m passengers last year while the VA group (Virgin Blue, V Australia, and Pacific Blue - all in the process of being consolidated as Virgin Australia) carried just under 19m.

2. VA is an airline from an English speaking country and as such it has larger english speaking support base to draw on for populating an english language forum.

I'd add to that that i'm not making a case against EVA but as it's a smaller airline from a non English speaking country I don't think it necessarily follows that the fact that it has been rejected has anything at all to do with VA.
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Old May 16, 11, 8:53 pm
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Originally Posted by qwertyuiop View Post
Firstly, i don't think the fact that another airline was rejected is in and of itself a reason to exclude others from proposing it.
Every proposal/suggestion is deliberated on its own merits, not on the merits of other proposals/suggestions. If someone makes a valid case it will definitely be considered.

Also things change. A proposal (esp re: airlines) might not make it at one time, but will make it at another later time when the airline or the frequent flyer program has evolved.

Cheers.
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Old May 16, 11, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by qwertyuiop View Post
Will the new forum benefit a relationship with FlyerTalk? E.g., does the forum provide value for FT members, such as a friendly ear highly placed in the company

Well, i haven't seen them around here yet - the lack of a forum might have something to do with it - but VA have the best social media team of any Australian airline (OK, so the QF bar is quite low) and they are excellent at answering questions, solving problems for members, and being helpful (see: the authenticated VA reps on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum and twitter for example) and i'm sure they'd be interested and available to do the same here.

Is there a passionate following? This is essential in order to provide dedicated expert helpers to get questions answered.

Well, i'm happy to put my hand up and i am sure there are others in the same boat. If you look at the example of the AFF forums, the VA forum is the second most popular airline forum there behind only QF with over 10,000 posts.
Hi team, qwertyuiop has been generous with his praise here, and we'll send him a bottle of wine as thanks
We are quite happy to provide help in answering guest questions in regard to Virgin Australia and Velocity rewards, our frequent flyer program.
As qwertyuiop has said, we have been very active in AFF forums, gaining alot of valuable information from those travelling, which our business now relies on.
As far as a passionate following and without sounding like i'm operating a trumpet at 37,000, feet our friends, fans, and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and AFF to name a few, i would say are very passionate about what it is that we do. I'm sure we can provide a valuable contribution to Flyertalk.

Regards
Virgin Australia Social Team
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Old May 16, 11, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
Also things change. A proposal (esp re: airlines) might not make it at one time, but will make it at another later time when the airline or the frequent flyer program has evolved.
From what i can see it was last raised in 2009 but not put to a vote? I would strongly argues that now is the time to do it as there is a great deal going on with VA and their FF program over coming months/ year - a perfect time to be drumming up interest in the forums here.
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Old May 16, 11, 11:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Virgin Australia View Post
Regards
Virgin Australia Social Team
I'd suggest you contact SanDiego1K, the Community Director, so she can give you "company representative" status that will easily identify you across the forums of FlyerTalk. Look forward to your participation here.
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