Virgin Blue Launches First Airport "Blue Room"10/04/2003
Low Fare Airline Taking Care of Business
Virgin Blue will today officially launch its first ever “Blue Room” aimed at challenging the traditional airport corporate lounge concept and offering Virgin Blue Guests the option to work on the run, chill out or tune in before or after their flight.
The opening of the first Blue Room at the carrier’s Brisbane Airport home is part of the evolution of Virgin Blue as an airline. It is also a response to the desires of the growing number of small and large businesses who have decided that Virgin Blue is the airline that best meets their needs.
Virgin Blue has spent months devising a lounge concept that offers a modern, high-tech and business friendly facility to travellers, without compromising the airline’s low cost base and low fares.
Comedian Jimeoin will team up with Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey to officially launch the Blue Room, which will open to Virgin Blue Guests from tomorrow.
Anyone travelling with Virgin Blue can simply front up and pay an introductory pay-as-you-go $5 entry fee or a reasonable annual membership fee of $99* for the first 9 days of opening, then $175 until June 30, when the $195 standard annual membership fee will apply by which time further Blue Rooms will open around the country. Guests can save by up to 2/3 of the cost of joining Qantas Club as a new member.
Entry into The Blue Room gives access to features including:
Workstations where Guests can ‘plug in’ and go about their business
State of the art surround sound Sony Cinema Centre which will screen movies on the big screen (popcorn optional)
Comfy armchairs & digital TV’s
A ‘play-zone’ incorporating Sony Playstations for big kids looking for a distraction from work
Newspapers and magazines.
Express Check-in for those with hand luggage only.
The Blue Room will also have other services and facilities available for a reasonable fee:
Our “Chill out Room” including a therapeutic massage bar – 10 minutes for $10 (clothes on!)
“Munch” café serving delicious meals and real gourmet coffee.
“Bar- Fly” offering bubbles, beer, bourbon and other alcoholic beverages complete with large plasma screen TV’s
Meeting rooms for those who want to dash from the plane to the presentation
Fax/Colour copier/digital photo printer for the convenience of today’s modern business road warrior
Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “Virgin Blue has always been based around providing an outstanding service at a great low fare and then offering choice via discretionary extras at a fair price.
Our customer research has shown that regular business flyers are happy to buy a beer or a wine if they can have access to privacy, plug in their laptop or simply unwind. Meanwhile, the majority of tourists and discount travellers aren’t being forced to cross-subsidise the needs of the business market. The Blue Room stays true to that concept and will be a profit centre in its own right.
The Blue Room is about having the choice to enjoy a lounge with its facilities, that has personality and at a fair price. This reflects Virgin Blue’s commitment to looking after the needs of both the business traveller and their company’s bottom line.”
All Guests will have the option to visit the lounge for an introductory $5.
Brett Godfrey added, “Keeping with our egalitarian approach to business the Blue Room will not exclude non-members, people can also bring along a couple of their friends and we even welcome Qantas flyers assuming we’re not too busy. The Blue Room will be cosy and cosseting, but it will not be crowded.”
A number of other innovations are being introduced as part of Virgin Blue’s push to be responsive to the needs of everyone from lounge lizards to web-wizards who want to make their own flight changes on the net, to those Guests with big appetites on long flights or a desperate desire to sit in seat 1A.
Virgin Blue will soon introduce Guest Profiles on the Internet site, enabling all Guests to register at no charge for their Virgin Blue Guest Profile. Once they do this, they can log in and have access to their own information including all Virgin Blue bookings they have made. It will also mean that travellers who have registered for a Guest Profile will be able to login and change and/or cancel any bookings (according to fare rules) easily and efficiently giving travellers the freedom & independence to change their flights when they feel like it.
The Blue Zone
Virgin Blue’s ‘Blue Zone’ is a seating option that gives Guests the choice to pre-reserve on long haul sectors one of our extra roomy exit row/front row seats for a $50 charge each way. At present Guests can secure a Blue Zone seat on flights longer than three hours.
New In-flight munchies
Breakfast packs, fresh sandwiches, wraps and soups have recently been added to the in-flight menu to tantalise the taste buds of all travellers, but especially those who fly often and crave variety. From May 1, hot meals will also be on offer and rotated on longer sectors and include delicious delights such as Roast lamb with vegies and mint gravy as well as Honey Soy Chicken and Rice.
Voyeur, Virgin Blue's award-winning in-flight magazine has gone from bi-monthly to monthly, giving Guests fresh articles on business, culture and travel as well as regular City Guides. Every month Voyeur uncovers Virgin Blue destinations, talks frankly to successful business people, delves into pop culture's hot topics and provides all the information Guests need to enjoy every Virgin Blue destination no matter how long, or short, their stay. Monthly means more info and a great read more often.
Virgin Blue is planning to shortly introduce “Blue Rooms” in Sydney and Melbourne and is considering launching the concept at other key ports across the country.
* Virgin Blue has a special Blue Room launch offer of $99 for a 12-month membership available for the next 9 days (until April 19). It will be $175 for a year’s membership until June 30, after which time the standard Virgin Blue rate of $195 per year will apply as further Blue Rooms open. Volume discounts available for corporate accounts. Terms and conditions apply
** Virgin Blue will offer Qantas, Alliance, Rex or any other Australian airline boarding pass holders access to the lounge for the same introductory price of $5 subject to space being available. Blue Room members who are travelling on another carrier to one of the few remaining destinations that Virgin Blue does not fly to yet will also be able to use the Blue Room subject to space.