Virgin America’s JetBlue Response is Cheeky, Flawed

Virgin America noticed an influx of customers with 50,001 point balances around the time of JetBlue’s PointsMatch. JetBlue didn’t require the points be in Virgin accounts at start of promotion or require any prior flight activity with Virgin. JetBlue gained a bunch of new opportunistic customers and so did Virgin. It may be Virgin’s most successful marketing campaign and they had nothing to do with it.

Virgin’s marketing department must have been out on summer vacation in July because their first effort to reach these new customers landed this Monday. I almost deleted it until I saw the subject, “Nice move, blue.”

Virgin America Nice Move Blue

The offer:

You blue the points off that one.

Nice match, my friend. Someone was using their noggin. As a little thank you for transferring your points to Elevate, we’re offering 25% off fares fares [sic] when you book by August 29 and fly through October 15, 2016. Use this one time promo code just for you and take off with movies, food, and happy hour on-demand.

Cheers,
Virgin America

The text is short, fun and ego stroking. Well done.

Except, why all the restrictions when making a first impression? Here are some of the exclusions:

  • Main cabin only
  • Applies to base fare only
  • Excludes multi-city itineraries
  • Excludes Sundays
  • Blackout on September 2 and 5
  • “If travel is changed or cancelled, promo code discount will become invalid.”

This is a 25% off base fare coupon so what really is the benefit of excluding expensive tickets and throwing up roadblocks? Most people will look for a trip, attempt to use the coupon, and only learn of exclusions if their code is rejected, maybe making frustrated call to Virgin to get an explanation. Phone bookings incur a $20 per passenger fee, by the way.

Oddly, buried in the fine print is that the code is good for 2 passengers on the same itinerary, not just one passenger as the headline language seem sto indicate. This should be a highlight: show off your noggin to impress a companion!

Readers, I have not flown Virgin America. What is your experience with them?

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  • Rich

    Virgin America is a way cool flight experience ! Can’t get much better ! That was my experience anyway .other’s may differ .