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enilria
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Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 2:03 am

Since this was a seasonal route, it wasn't obvious that it disappeared, but it is now officially gone. And unlike other markets DL aircraft did not replace the VS aircraft. Interesting it couldn't work in a city as large as Chicago.

Virgin Atlantic Airways has discontinued its seasonal nonstop service between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), the Chicago Business Journal has learned.

Though the famously-nonconformist international carrier founded by the equally noncomformist entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson made no formal announcement of its intention to discontinue the Chicago service, a VA spokeswoman late yesterday confirmed the move.


https://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/new ... yptr=yahoo
 
hz747300
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 2:38 am

Interesting. Especially since Chicago is the home of the first (only?) Virgin Hotel. Which I highly recommend, you can do everything with the app. Awesomeness.
Keep on truckin'...
 
CHI787ORD
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 2:42 am

DL/VS has never been strong on this route, nor does Chicago have a strong Skyteam frequent flier base. There are already 9 daily ORD-LHR (6 on AA/BA, 3 on UA) flights and 1 ORD-LGW flight (DY).

And BA is bringing in the A380 starting this weekend.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 2:45 am

VS has a rather checkered (chequered?) history in Chicago. It's a large market but it's just about as competitive as NYC and nowhere near as large.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
timberwolf24
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 2:47 am

Living in LA, ORD/MDW will always be home!
 
msycajun
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 2:55 am

hz747300 wrote:
Interesting. Especially since Chicago is the home of the first (only?) Virgin Hotel. Which I highly recommend, you can do everything with the app. Awesomeness.


One is about to start construction here in New Orleans. Pretty exciting, but I don't think there is any connection to the airline.
 
jasoncrh
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 3:00 am

Zero connection between hotel and airline, and this was known several months ago when Virgin didn't file / load flights for the summer season.
 
ninspeed
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 3:09 am

hz747300 wrote:
Interesting. Especially since Chicago is the home of the first (only?) Virgin Hotel. Which I highly recommend, you can do everything with the app. Awesomeness.


They also just bought a Vegas resort that will become titled Virgin
 
jubguy3
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 3:12 am

I would imagine that this is more important from London's end than from Chicago for Virgin flyers. VS flyers needing to transfer seems like an oversight.
 
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IrishAyes
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 4:48 am

VS dropped Chicago well over a year ago.

viewtopic.php?t=1357161
 
pdt2f
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 9:20 am

msycajun wrote:
hz747300 wrote:
Interesting. Especially since Chicago is the home of the first (only?) Virgin Hotel. Which I highly recommend, you can do everything with the app. Awesomeness.


One is about to start construction here in New Orleans. Pretty exciting, but I don't think there is any connection to the airline.
hz747300 wrote:
Interesting. Especially since Chicago is the home of the first (only?) Virgin Hotel. Which I highly recommend, you can do everything with the app. Awesomeness.


One is under construction here in Nashville. Other than occasional appearances by Richard Branson I don’t think there’s enough connection to maintain an unprofitable flight.
“The sky peoclaims God’s glory - the vault of heaven, the Hand of Him who made it.”

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skipness1E
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 9:50 am

VS39/40 launched summer 2007, ended late 2009 to go seasonal summer only, operated as such 2009-16.
This route hasn't operated since end of summer 16, so been away a while.

With BA/AA in a JV and UA based in ORD and LHR open to all comers, it was difficult to replicate the old magic touch of being better than the competition and building market share. YVR had the same issue.
On the flip side, LAX is now 3 daily on the B789 this summer and they remain strong in markets they broke into before 2008.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 10:51 am

Hard to believe they cant make this work.

But, Ive said that before.

They will be back...Ive said that too.

This isnt ATL or DFW, it is simply too important a market to leave unserved despite not having a partner hub there
 
klm617
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 11:43 am

jfklganyc wrote:
Hard to believe they cant make this work.

But, Ive said that before.

They will be back...Ive said that too.

This isnt ATL or DFW, it is simply too important a market to leave unserved despite not having a partner hub there



VS/DL customers can still easily catch a Delta flight out of Detroit.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
Bongodog1964
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 11:46 am

jasoncrh wrote:
Zero connection between hotel and airline, and this was known several months ago when Virgin didn't file / load flights for the summer season.


The two connections, are a need to pay a licencing fee to use to word "Virgin" and somewhere along the line a minority stake that can be traced to a Branson family trust in a tax haven.
 
Planeboy17
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 12:01 pm

skipness1E wrote:
VS39/40 launched summer 2007, ended late 2009 to go seasonal summer only, operated as such 2009-16.
This route hasn't operated since end of summer 16, so been away a while.

With BA/AA in a JV and UA based in ORD and LHR open to all comers, it was difficult to replicate the old magic touch of being better than the competition and building market share. YVR had the same issue.
On the flip side, LAX is now 3 daily on the B789 this summer and they remain strong in markets they broke into before 2008.

It also operated before that. I’m not sure the original starting date but I believe it was sometime in the mid to early nineties. They pulled it in October of 2001.
 
Pyrex
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 12:01 pm

Bongodog1964 wrote:
jasoncrh wrote:
Zero connection between hotel and airline, and this was known several months ago when Virgin didn't file / load flights for the summer season.


The two connections, are a need to pay a licencing fee to use to word "Virgin" and somewhere along the line a minority stake that can be traced to a Branson family trust in a tax haven.


So basically the British version of Donald Trump?
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
jordanh
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 1:36 pm

Pyrex wrote:
Bongodog1964 wrote:
jasoncrh wrote:
Zero connection between hotel and airline, and this was known several months ago when Virgin didn't file / load flights for the summer season.

The two connections, are a need to pay a licencing fee to use to word "Virgin" and somewhere along the line a minority stake that can be traced to a Branson family trust in a tax haven.

So basically the British version of Donald Trump?


Not really; Richard Branson seems to be a honest chap...
 
jasoncrh
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 1:48 pm

Having a hotel in one city with a brand name does not mean flyers will flock to a flight operated by an airline that happens to share the same name. Did I really need to spell that out for you?

And why, in the sentence below, is there a comma? It doesnt make sense and is not needed, and destroys the meaning of whatever it was you were trying (unsuccessfully) to communicate.

Bongodog1964 wrote:
jasoncrh wrote:
Zero connection between hotel and airline, and this was known several months ago when Virgin didn't file / load flights for the summer season.


The two connections, are a need to pay a licencing fee to use to word "Virgin" and somewhere along the line a minority stake that can be traced to a Branson family trust in a tax haven.
 
jasoncrh
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 1:49 pm

VS/DL customers will mostly just shift to one of the numerous nonstop flight options on the 4 other airlines that fly between London and Chicago. Most people will value nonstop convenience over any explicit loyalty. Nobody is "XX flyer only" for life, especially when better options exist elsewhere.

klm617 wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
Hard to believe they cant make this work.

But, Ive said that before.

They will be back...Ive said that too.

This isnt ATL or DFW, it is simply too important a market to leave unserved despite not having a partner hub there



VS/DL customers can still easily catch a Delta flight out of Detroit.
 
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Polot
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 1:51 pm

jordanh wrote:
Pyrex wrote:
Bongodog1964 wrote:
The two connections, are a need to pay a licencing fee to use to word "Virgin" and somewhere along the line a minority stake that can be traced to a Branson family trust in a tax haven.

So basically the British version of Donald Trump?


Not really; Richard Branson seems to be a honest chap...

Actually it is a very apt comparison. Obviously personality (and probably politically) wise they are completely different, but they both make money largely the same way. They both use PR and their image to get people to pay to use their brand (Trump for Trump, Virgin for Branson). The track record of actual success of the companies paying to use the brands can generously be described as mixed at best.
 
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enilria
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 1:52 pm

IrishAyes wrote:
VS dropped Chicago well over a year ago.

viewtopic.php?t=1357161

Not sure why the media chose to write about it now, but I guess the fact it was seasonal makes it hard to track for people without a database.
 
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United787
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 2:03 pm

skipness1E wrote:
VS39/40 launched summer 2007, ended late 2009 to go seasonal summer only, operated as such 2009-16.
This route hasn't operated since end of summer 16, so been away a while.

With BA/AA in a JV and UA based in ORD and LHR open to all comers, it was difficult to replicate the old magic touch of being better than the competition and building market share. YVR had the same issue.
On the flip side, LAX is now 3 daily on the B789 this summer and they remain strong in markets they broke into before 2008.


Didn't VS have 1 or 2 other stints at ORD before 2007?
 
klm617
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 2:35 pm

jasoncrh wrote:
VS/DL customers will mostly just shift to one of the numerous nonstop flight options on the 4 other airlines that fly between London and Chicago. Most people will value nonstop convenience over any explicit loyalty. Nobody is "XX flyer only" for life, especially when better options exist elsewhere.

klm617 wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
Hard to believe they cant make this work.

But, Ive said that before.

They will be back...Ive said that too.

This isnt ATL or DFW, it is simply too important a market to leave unserved despite not having a partner hub there



VS/DL customers can still easily catch a Delta flight out of Detroit.



That's not what I hear on this forum customer loyalty is king. A quick 30 minute flight to Detroit through a hassle free airport is a great option for skyteam loyalists. Time to double up in Detroit to field all these extra passengers that will be traveling from Chicago to London via a Detroit connection.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
jasoncrh
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 3:57 pm

This is a highly focused internet forum, where people believe mostly emotion rather than cold, hard facts. Delta is not going to all of a sudden add a bunch of connectivity on DTW - Chicago just to accommodate people who may have flown on Virgin nonstop previously now flying over Detroit. For those that MUST fly Delta/ Virgin, there are options over JFK, MSP, ATL, and DTW that could all satisfy this demand with the current capacity offered (ie, current flights are not full, the current capacity can handle the demand). For those who previously flew the nonstop Virgin flight for whom time is money (ie, business travelers paying for business class), they'll shift to a nonstop flight on a competing carrier.

klm617 wrote:
jasoncrh wrote:
VS/DL customers will mostly just shift to one of the numerous nonstop flight options on the 4 other airlines that fly between London and Chicago. Most people will value nonstop convenience over any explicit loyalty. Nobody is "XX flyer only" for life, especially when better options exist elsewhere.

klm617 wrote:


VS/DL customers can still easily catch a Delta flight out of Detroit.



That's not what I hear on this forum customer loyalty is king. A quick 30 minute flight to Detroit through a hassle free airport is a great option for skyteam loyalists. Time to double up in Detroit to field all these extra passengers that will be traveling from Chicago to London via a Detroit connection.
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 3:59 pm

DTW would be a great option for ORD-LHR connections, except....
All those extra passengers will be flying the BA A380, Norwegian, or WOW through KEF. DTW will probably get a few additional passengers, but, assuming DTW-LHR is pretty full as is, most passengers will probably graviate to a cheaper/nonstop option.
9-10x daily ORD-London is quite a lot of capacity, I assume most O/D travels nonstop.
UA DL LH NW AA --- Next IND-ATL-DEN: WN 73G/738
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jfern022
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 4:15 pm

jasoncrh wrote:
VS/DL customers will mostly just shift to one of the numerous nonstop flight options on the 4 other airlines that fly between London and Chicago. Most people will value nonstop convenience over any explicit loyalty. Nobody is "XX flyer only" for life, especially when better options exist elsewhere.

klm617 wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
Hard to believe they cant make this work.

But, Ive said that before.

They will be back...Ive said that too.

This isnt ATL or DFW, it is simply too important a market to leave unserved despite not having a partner hub there



VS/DL customers can still easily catch a Delta flight out of Detroit.


UA is considered a better option? That’s a first. Bitter crew? They’re only good at creating a sub-par experience and killing dogs.
 
jasoncrh
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 4:21 pm

United, American, BA, and Norwegian all offer nonstop flights. Get over the sensationalism and uninformed/ ignorant commentary about United, it is really old and not very original. Regardless, there are 4 other carriers that offer multiple nonstop flights in the Chicago - London market. At the end of the day, the majority of people who consistently flew the nonstops on VS before will find their way to a nonstop on another carrier if they must go to Chicago, mostly because there are many many options at various price points. Some will probably opt for a connection, but not the majority.

jfern022 wrote:
jasoncrh wrote:
VS/DL customers will mostly just shift to one of the numerous nonstop flight options on the 4 other airlines that fly between London and Chicago. Most people will value nonstop convenience over any explicit loyalty. Nobody is "XX flyer only" for life, especially when better options exist elsewhere.

klm617 wrote:


VS/DL customers can still easily catch a Delta flight out of Detroit.


UA is considered a better option? That’s a first. Bitter crew? They’re only good at creating a sub-par experience and killing dogs.
 
Cunard
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 4:39 pm

I don't understand why we are discussing a destination that was officially dropped by Virgin Atlantic in October 2016.

I'm sure everyone is aware that this is very old news!
94 Countries, 327 Destinations Worldwide, 32 Airlines, 29 Aircraft Types, 182 Airports, 335 Flights.
 
CHI787ORD
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 4:42 pm

I think people are vastly overestimating the number of DL and Skyteam loyalists in the Chicago area. Probably 90-95% of business travelers and frequent fliers based in Chicagoland are loyal to either Star or OneWorld. The remaining are either Skyteam or non-aligned.

Chicago is just not a DL town.

Yes, there is a base in London and yes Chicago is a frequently visited business market, but up against 9 daily flights from Star/OneWorld and one DY LGW flight, its not clear to VS could be competitive or survive here.
 
jcwr56
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 5:27 pm

Cunard wrote:
I don't understand why we are discussing a destination that was officially dropped by Virgin Atlantic in October 2016.

I'm sure everyone is aware that this is very old news!


Clearly not the writer who penned this. :mrgreen:

Even..and even once DL and Skyteam have a common facility at T5 to work from I still don't see VS bringing this back.
 
ckfred
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 5:54 pm

Two points. First, Virgin companies, despite having a common name and typically started by Richard Branson, don't have the best record for coordination. I remember years ago, watching Sir Richard on CBNC, and they read some questions from viewers. One viewer wanted to know why Virgin Express flights in and and out of LHR weren't "banked" with Virgin Atlantic arrivals and departures.

Sir Richard said he hadn't thought about that, in part, because he assumed that the two carriers were targeting two different demographics

So, it doesn't surprise me that Virgin Atlantic doesn't necessarily serve cities that have or will have a Virgin hotel. Even though back when airlines owned hotel chains, they usually served a market that had a hotel.

Second, it would be interesting to know how many people flight to LHR have to fly an airline that has a contract with their employers. A lot of people in Chicago must fly AA or UA, because of corporate contracts. Those people might be inclined to try VS at some point, but corporate policy says otherwise.

By the same token, companies in Europe might have BA as the preferred carrier for employees in and around London, especially for travel to the U.S. Between BA and AA codeshares, they cover far more destinations than VS.
 
CHI787ORD
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 5:55 pm

ckfred wrote:
Two points. First, Virgin companies, despite having a common name and typically started by Richard Branson, don't have the best record for coordination. I remember years ago, watching Sir Richard on CBNC, and they read some questions from viewers. One viewer wanted to know why Virgin Express flights in and and out of LHR weren't "banked" with Virgin Atlantic arrivals and departures.

Sir Richard said he hadn't thought about that, in part, because he assumed that the two carriers were targeting two different demographics

So, it doesn't surprise me that Virgin Atlantic doesn't necessarily serve cities that have or will have a Virgin hotel. Even though back when airlines owned hotel chains, they usually served a market that had a hotel.

Second, it would be interesting to know how many people flight to LHR have to fly an airline that has a contract with their employers. A lot of people in Chicago must fly AA or UA, because of corporate contracts. Those people might be inclined to try VS at some point, but corporate policy says otherwise.

By the same token, companies in Europe might have BA as the preferred carrier for employees in and around London, especially for travel to the U.S. Between BA and AA codeshares, they cover far more destinations than VS.


It's not even about corporate contracts as much anymore. If you're based in Chicago and travel a lot for business, you're gonna be with either AA or UA because of their connectivity and network. Getting these travelers to switch over to DL/VS for a long haul flight, for either business or pleasure, is tough. When you're playing the frequent flier game, you don't switch airlines for a long haul flight just to try a new experience. Switching costs are too high.

Aside from KE and maybe AM, this is why no Skyteam player is in a dominant position at ORD. UA holds its own against KL and AF on AMS and CDG. AF seems to actually struggle a bit on ORD-CDG.
 
bobd6
Posts: 5
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Re: Virgin Atlantic Officially Closes ORD

Thu May 03, 2018 7:01 pm

I had no hope this was going to work out --- I remember getting $200 round trips on the first iteration of this pre-9/11 and only finding the plane maybe a quarter full. miss the price though!

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