What is on your wish list for a VX frequent flyer program?

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Old Jan 14, 08, 3:34 pm
  #1  
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What is on your wish list for a VX frequent flyer program?

During the recent FF program discussion on VX, it has been mentioned that the company may keep an eye on the Web site to find what customers are interested in. I don't know if any company would be wise to make decisions based on a discussion board, but if I was running a company I would certainly be curious.

So I thought that with the discussion of the VX frequent flyer program it might be interesting to create some kind of wish list. What would you like to see from the carrier? Is there a program they could emulate, or are there no other domestic carriers like them?

On the surface, I would think they are most comparable to JetBlue, but I personally don't care much for the TrueBlue program and hope VX comes up with something better. I think they will. Having flown them several times, I am a huge fan of their service. However, I have a difficult decision deciding between them and UA on the transatlantic flights I take because of Mileage Plus and the bonuses I find there.

I am interested in what other FTers think. What would you like to see?
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Old Jan 14, 08, 3:53 pm
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Hmm...I can't say to be honest.

I'd like for them to implement a program where you earn something based on the number of flights and tenure (although farfetched.) I hope they don't have a tiered-status type of program like AC (Prestige, Elite, Super Elite.) I find that too difficult to achieve but I know a majority of people on this board are able to earn it. I'll go with your suggestion of something similar to TrueBlue's program as their rewards are round-trips which I think is sweet. I know Air Berlin does something similar to this but one-way and for me, I've been able to take good advantage of their program and I've always flown with them whenever I'm in Europe. Ever since the first time I flew with them I've yet to change carriers for my inter-European flights.

But to sweeten the deal, I'd like VX to offer stuff like free flights, upgrade certificates, free hotel nights, lounge access certificates, perks like invitation to special events like concerts, sporting events etc. It doesn't have to be complicated so keeping it simple for me works best. I like VX. Their target demographic is diffenent and not like conventional airlines like BA, AC, UA, Delta etc. I find those airlines very dry and boring. VX marketing appeals to me and their flights and crew are awesome. I find it that its the little things that they do for the customer that make it special, especially for me of the two times I've flown with them. And when March 18 rolls around, I'm very likely to drive down to SEA, hop on the plane and visit my family in LAX regardless of whether eleVAte is up and running or not.

Last edited by bcrdukes; Jan 14, 08 at 4:03 pm
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Old Jan 14, 08, 3:59 pm
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Here's my 2c worth (some ideas, opinions etc)..

Economy plus is (one of) the most liked feature(s) of UA's program. Legroom is the only downside to the VX experience (paying extra for an exit row is worth it - but they are limited). I don't know how possible it would be to refit the VX planes to include an E+ section... but that would be a huge winner. I could see a lot of FF's defecting to Virgin when they expand their routes.

Maybe complimentary internet and movies etc for ppl with status? complimentary alcohol service in economy perhaps? Or even give out (beverage, meal, internet, movie etc) vouchers at particular milestones (ala Elite Choices), that can be redeemed inflight?

I like the idea of being able to use a combination of points & cash for award flights and/or upgrades .

Compatibility with other Virgin branded airlines would be excellent. I'd love to be able to combine Virgin flights within/between Australia, USA and the UK into one program. And one day put some points towards a flight on Virgin Galactic!

Lounges are nice and all... definitely a plus, but not a deal breaker.

...and the ability to swipe your eleVAte card in Red, so that you can earn/redeem points with inflight purchases.

Last edited by nermaljcat; Jan 14, 08 at 4:05 pm
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Old Jan 14, 08, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by nermaljcat View Post
Maybe complimentary internet and movies etc for ppl with status?
That would be so awesome! I like that idea - especially the wifi.
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Old Jan 14, 08, 4:40 pm
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Free Internet or movies for people with status would be a great idea, and something that should be doable with RED, I think. I like that because I think it would help keep the focus on entertainment and would definitely appeal to the demographic they are targeting.

As for flying rewards, I am kind of torn. I know a lot of regional flyers like to earn points for segments, but selfishly I prefer miles since I mainly fly TAs. Perhaps they could do something like UA and keep track of miles and segments to determine status. I personally think it would be nice to be able to use miles for upgrades to first. I also am praying that they match, as I think that would bring over a lot of customers.

I would also like to see them somehow tie Virgin Atlantic into the whole system. I don't know how it would be possible for them to have any kind of lounge system otherwise. Virgin Atlantic shares lounges in several U.S. cities though.
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Old Jan 14, 08, 7:44 pm
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Given that the program says that earning will be based on dollars spent (not miles flown) Id like to see VX include all dollars spent, not just the initial ticket price. For example, there is a fee to upgrade (if available) on the day of departure. For transcons, that fee is $175. In my case, that was more than the cost of the one-way fare I initially paid. That fee, plus the fees for food, drink, and entertainment would add up nicely and would encourage me to spend more on-board.

As far as redemption, I would like to see the program include:
-First Class upgrades
-Partnerships with other airlines and
-Perhaps an award in the form of a transportation voucher to/from the airport.
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Old Jan 15, 08, 1:19 am
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Upgrades, upgrades, and upgrades. Since I'll be abandoning all of my status on all of the other airlines (assuming they add MIA), it would be nice.
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Old Jan 15, 08, 5:08 pm
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Join Velocity Rewards in which the main airline is Virgin Blue. Just add USA rewards and I would be happy. The reward system would include elite privlidges and lounges.
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Old Jan 16, 08, 2:58 am
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Integrated mileage program with Virgin Blue, V Australia, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Nigeria. It's worthless to have a a program without ability to earn and redeem miles on international travel, especially for a San Francisco-based airline. SFO is a major international hub!

Also status match program to entice elites from other airlines, especially SFO-dominator United Airlines.
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Old Jan 16, 08, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by 787 Capt View Post
Integrated mileage program with Virgin Blue, V Australia, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Nigeria.
This is the issue I care about most, as well, especially a tie-in with Virgin-Atlantic: Earn and redeem on either airline, with miles counting toward elite status and seamless code-shares & ticketing relationships, with connecting schedules that are in sync.

If they continue down this revenue-based FF program path, such partnerships will be complicated and, as a result, likely few-and-far-between. I'm surprised they didn't go to school on the other airlines that tried a revenue-based FF system and gave it up due to its complexities. (Or maybe they are figuring that out, and that's why this program is taking so long to get launched.)
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Old Jan 16, 08, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by 787 Capt View Post
Integrated mileage program with Virgin Blue, V Australia, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Nigeria. It's worthless to have a a program without ability to earn and redeem miles on international travel, especially for a San Francisco-based airline. SFO is a major international hub!

Also status match program to entice elites from other airlines, especially SFO-dominator United Airlines.
VS (Virgin Atlantic) and DJ (Virgin Blue) both have international earning and redemption options. But I agree, an integrated program would be much more attractive than having 3 Virgin FFPs which currently is needed to earn on the Virgin airlines.
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Old Jan 16, 08, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World View Post
If they continue down this revenue-based FF program path, such partnerships will be complicated and, as a result, likely few-and-far-between. I'm surprised they didn't go to school on the other airlines that tried a revenue-based FF system and gave it up due to its complexities. (Or maybe they are figuring that out, and that's why this program is taking so long to get launched.)
Why is that? NZ Airpoints is not quite revenue based but is highly correlated. And they have all *A members as partners, plus a number of other airlines (and dozens of non aviation partners).

For those unfamiliar with the schemes here is a brief outline.

DJ (Pacific Blue) has earning with each $1 airfare gets x points (x varies based on status). Redemption of y number of points required is variable based on available airfares at the time (relationship is not as simple $1 equals y points).

DJ partner earning and redemption is more traditionally based.

NZ has earning loosely based on airfare/profitability (expensive fare types get much much more than cheap fare types, and expensive routes get more than cheap routes - rates are fixed numbers that are NOT mileage based). Redemption is $1 equals 1 airbuck (airpoints dollar).

NZ partner flight earning is same as on NZ flights, but lower rates. NZ partner flight redemption is the traditional fixed amount based on route, but award cost is per flight not per journey.

So both are not perfectly revenue based, but correlated. Main difference in approach between DJ and NZ is NZ fixed the redemption and made the earning a bit more complex, whereas DJ fixed the earning and made the redemption a bit more complex.

I understand DJ spent a lot of time looking at NZ airpoints when they developed velocity rewards.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Jan 16, 08 at 11:38 am
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Old Jan 19, 08, 5:20 pm
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Originally Posted by nermaljcat View Post

Maybe complimentary internet and movies etc for ppl with status? complimentary alcohol service in economy perhaps? Or even give out (beverage, meal, internet, movie etc) vouchers at particular milestones (ala Elite Choices), that can be redeemed inflight?

I like the idea of being able to use a combination of points & cash for award flights and/or upgrades .

...and the ability to swipe your eleVAte card in Red, so that you can earn/redeem points with inflight purchases.
all excellent sugegstions. I hope someone from VX can find this thread
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Old Jan 20, 08, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by nroscoe View Post
all excellent sugegstions. I hope someone from VX can find this thread
Is there a way to have someone at VX find this thread? An email adress that we could mass mail to?
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Old Jan 20, 08, 2:39 pm
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I think there is already a VX insider who works at SEA and is aware of these threads. And for some reason too, I think SFO 1K is a VX insider too.
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