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Old Apr 4, 08, 4:56 am   #1
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In-flight beauticians to go?

First time I've posted on here (hi) and not sure if this has been discussed already, so... I've heard a rumour that VS is to remove all in-flight beauticians. I was chatting with an IFB whilst waitng for a bus and she said they were all being called for a meeting together and the feeling was they were to lose their positions (although hopefully have the opportunity to transfer to main crew positions) Anyone heard anything more concrete? My mum's, neighbours niece () is a beautician and wanted me to find out info about applying to VS. May there be no point now? Many thanks.
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Old Apr 4, 08, 6:13 am   #2
  
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7330137.stm
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Old Apr 4, 08, 6:52 am   #3
  
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Yep - I posted this rumour yesterday under the thread PREMIUM ECONOMY - GATWICK FLEET
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Old Apr 4, 08, 9:12 am   #4
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Not a loss be honest as it probably costs a fortune and they can only see a maximum of 10 pax for health & safety
They would be better off having more therapists in the clubhouse
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Old Apr 4, 08, 3:33 pm   #5
  
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Whilst it's unfortunate that many people may lose their jobs, given the LHR clubhouse, drive through check-in and the suite, I guess VS has enough strong points of differentiation over competitiors with better route networks and frequencies.

Also, I'm sure this will save a lot of money and this service is better provided on the ground than in the air.

There has been chatter elsewhere that the bar may also go!
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Old Apr 4, 08, 6:09 pm   #6
  
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After all numerous UC flights, I think I have only ever had a couple of in-flight massage treatment. Would agree that this is limited marketing hype for the cost VS incurs. Creates more disappointment for pax; most of whom do not get chosen for a treatment than word of mouth hype.

The bar is one of the main attractions for many VS premium customers; less City types working on their laptops and more media/fashion/PR types who mingle and network.

In terms of job losses, there are always empty seats and disappoint pax at the UC lounge so some (not all) can be redeployed. They just will not get their overseas allowances and see various parts of the world.

Unless VS wants to put seats in where the bar is to generate revenue, the cost is minimal for the hype it provides.
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Old Apr 5, 08, 1:47 am   #7
  
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Surely with competition set to increase - wouldn't a sensible airline be looking to up its offerings to maintain loyalty? For a start VS can start with a redesign of the UC seat for a better lounge/seated position and fix its crappy food offerings. Once the bar and IBT go how is Virgin really different?


CJ
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Old Apr 5, 08, 2:02 am   #8
  
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I agree that VS should remain competitive by trying to maintain its offerings and upgrade the food. I'm just wondering if VS should try to merge the beauticians into sometype of specialized FAs that could do the beauty/massages? I'm just thinking that massages can be important healthwise to prevent thrombosis and similar effects associated with long haul flying. Also, the bar shouldn't be eliminated as this will give a chance for pax to stand, walk around and socialize as part of long haul flying health rather than being seated or horizontal for most of the long haul inflight time.
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Old Apr 7, 08, 3:35 pm   #9
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We flew UC on Sat (5th) and were told the therapists had been called in and thus no treatment available
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Old Apr 7, 08, 3:55 pm   #10
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Hi,

I guess we will need to wait for the announcement ( I believe it is tomorrow tuesday 8th April). If it is true the IBFT's will dissappear I will be sad to see them go and hope they transfer to main crew as mentioned above.

Regards

TBS
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Old Apr 8, 08, 8:05 am   #11
  
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The IFBTs have been told this afternoon that their jobs are under threat of redundancy and that they will now enter a consultation period (as per employment law requirements) to ascertain whether these roles are required and if not, what other roles the IFBTs might switch to. A great shame, and my sympathies go out to the IFBTs.

So, VS is more than likely to stop offering in-flight beauty treatments. Which means there is now one less reason to fly with the airline. With others gaining ground (and even overtaking) in terms of seating then I for one will be looking at a much wider range of options for some of my US flights, in fact this year will be the first in 7 years I don't renew my FC Gold status. The VS seat, bar and LHR Clubhouse is great, but balance that against lousy food, inconsistent service in the air, patchy facilities beyond the UK and small route network.

BC
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Old Apr 8, 08, 8:24 am   #12
mia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenJohn View Post
The bar is one of the main attractions for many VS premium customers; .
I don't see that the bar can be a serious attraction for frequent flyers, who know there are only four seats. Nonetheless, I expect it to stay because the crew use the bar as workspace during meal and beverage service.

There does seem to be fair amount of wasted space at the very front of the A340-600 cabin. Removing the IFBT station and repositioning the toilets might allow the addition of a few seats, but I cannot forsee that Virgin would redesign the Upper Class seats until they see how Open Skies affects their transatlantic market share.
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Old Apr 8, 08, 11:11 am   #13
  
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Hot Off My Email

Dear Traveller,

I wanted to let you know that we are reviewing the future of our Upper Class In Flight Beauty Therapy Service, and also why we are doing it.

We launched this service in 1990, at that time it was a great innovation and I know passengers loved it. However recent research has shown us that the in-flight treatments are not valued as much now. Tastes and preferences have changed especially since the introduction of fully flat beds and enhanced in-flight entertainment. The success of the Cowshed Spa and Bumble and bumble salon in the Heathrow Clubhouse indicates that Upper Class passengers prefer the wider range of hair and beauty treatments and spa facilities we can offer on the ground rather than in the air. I'm also aware that as our In Flight Beauty Therapist can only treat up to 16 passengers in the Upper Class Cabin during the flight this can cause disappointment.

We have asked all our In Flight Beauty Therapists to take part in the review and therefore over the next few weeks we may not have therapists on board. I'm really sorry about this and if you are travelling with us I hope it won't cause too much inconvenience.

I will of course let you know the result of the review, which is expected sometime during May. We really value our In Flight Beauty Therapists and if the review concludes that the service should be withdrawn we will be able to offer them alternative Cabin Crew jobs. Additionally, in due course, we would like to boost the number of treatments that we offer you on the ground by increasing the number of beauty therapists at the Heathrow Clubhouse and look to offering new facilities at our Clubhouses around the world.

We look forward to seeing you onboard soon.

Kind Regards


Richard Branson
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Old Apr 8, 08, 1:41 pm   #14
  
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My girlfriend's friend qualified as an IFBT for VS just last week. Anyone got any ideas why VS would be hiring IFBT's last week when they must have known last week of the impending review of this position?
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Old Apr 8, 08, 2:41 pm   #15
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fagin View Post
our In Flight Beauty Therapist can only treat up to 16 passengers in the Upper Class Cabin during the flight this can cause disappointment.
Would agree that it can cause more disappointment to new customers rather than enhance the service


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fagin View Post
We have asked all our In Flight Beauty Therapists to take part in the review and therefore over the next few weeks we may not have therapists on board.
What kind of review is this? Strange to take all the therapists off like this. If you are cancelling the service, you are cancelling the service. Sends strange signals to pax.
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