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star_world
Topic Author
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VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:01 am

Just got back from a trip to London and back from EWR on VS (both excellent flights in PE on 744 upper deck by the way) and once again I noticed something I've experienced on every single VS flight I've taken recently. At every opportunity, the cabin crew try to point out that (whatever they're talking about) is much much better than BA.

On the flight out to LHR the cabin service director made some joking comment about how their on-time arrival stats were far better than BA's. Returning to EWR, in the space of 5 minutes one of the FAs on the upper deck managed to tell people that their food in economy was "probably the best in the industry, definitely much better than BA's" and also point out that their flat-bed seat in UC had a few more inches of legroom than BA.

This isn't just one particular crew making an isolated comment - in fact out of approx 10 VS flights this year alone I can't remember one where I didn't hear a BA-related comment.

Is this part of the standard VS training? While they do have some "clever" angles to their product, they have nowhere near the consistency of a real airline like BA - the experience from arriving at departure airport to getting off the plane at destination varies wildly depending on the staff. This really is something they need to get right as they expand. One of the things that they have so far wrong that it's almost amusing is their complete lack of understanding of how business travel works. I arrived at LHR a few weeks ago having changed my flight to the next day to attend some extra meetings and was greeted with an "ah, missed yer flight did ya mate?" - it's times like that where the slightly colder professionalism of BA is definitely welcomed!

So overall - not a very big deal but curious to see if I'm the only one that have noticed this definite obsession!
 
ABQopsHP
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:12 am

Not so much of a matter of training. As much as it is....."mines better than yours". In the early 90s when I would nonrev on WN there would be comments made about "the other airline" knowing full well it was a dig against HP. But it didnt last long, and this rivalry between VS and BA will evolve into something else.

PS How did I know the comments about the other airline were reference to HP? Because between PHX-ELP, PHX-ABQ and PHX to southern Cali, you had 2 choices, WN and HP.  Wink
ABQ ops, Cactus 202 requesting you order 5 Green Chile Chicken stew for us to p/u on arrival. ;)
 
9252fly
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:33 am

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 1):
But it didnt last long, and this rivalry between VS and BA will evolve into something else.

Doesn't sound like a rivalry to me,more a fixation and inferiority complex.
 
star_world
Topic Author
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:58 am

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 2):
Doesn't sound like a rivalry to me,more a fixation and inferiority complex.

Exactly - really sounds like they're saying "look at me, look at me, I'm better, look!" all the time - how often do you hear similar comments from BA? I can't remember ever hearing Virgin's name mentioned on a BA flight!
 
hodja
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:07 pm

Quoting Star_world (Thread starter):
"ah, missed yer flight did ya mate?"

Yeah, I would have found this comment slightly grating too. Just one of those things if I'm on a business trip - basically you just want to eliminate the stress and hassle and go for professionalism.

VS does have more of a party airline vibe going. Check out the gathering of the cabin crew at LHR before they board the flight - it's like watching a group of giddy 22 year old cruise directors...
 
ABQopsHP
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:08 pm

That is true. RE: "look at me". Leave it to BA to remain above board.  Wink
ABQ ops, Cactus 202 requesting you order 5 Green Chile Chicken stew for us to p/u on arrival. ;)
 
AY104
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:21 pm

People who make comments like that about others, and company employees who make remarks like that about competitors, are often very insecure within themselves or about their own company. Although VS do have some very innovative, fresh ideas and excellent service, the BA service is, as someone already pointed out, more consistent. Also, although even said jokingly, the VS crew comments are very unprofessional, and only succeed in making BA look like the better of the two. I have always found BA to be very professional, and most of the people I have dealt with always had a great sense of humor. They are able to pull all of that off without having to make fun of the other guy. Way to go BA!
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
 
767er
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:43 pm

Mmmmmh....then why are a number of VS FAs jumping ship and going to BA?
It never seems to be in the reverse direction!
Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
 
BCAL
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:14 pm

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 1):
this rivalry between VS and BA

There is no rivalry between BA and VS. The airlines generally work side by side with BA giving both maintenance and training support to VS, BA baby-sitting on VS's LHR slots, etc. BA knows their real rivalry is with the mega-carriers like EK, SQ, CX and CO. The only rivalry is when VS advertising or cabin crew brag "Anything BA can do, we can do better!"

Quoting Star_world (Reply 3):
I can't remember ever hearing Virgin's name mentioned on a BA flight!

Because not only it is unprofessional to slag off a competitor to your customers, but it can also indicate insecurity and bitter resentment.

Quoting Hodja (Reply 4):
Check out the gathering of the cabin crew at LHR before they board the flight - it's like watching a group of giddy 22 year old cruise directors...

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 
Brilliant and accurate description.

Quoting 767ER (Reply 7):
why are a number of VS FAs jumping ship and going to BA?

It is a question of pay and, according to a friend who has just left VS as a cabin crew member, very low morale within the company. My eyes wept when I saw the current rates of pay for VS cabin crew. Whilst the VS cabin crew might get more perks than their BA counterparts, the perks are not worth much if the staff cannot afford to enjoy them.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
AlanUK
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:31 pm

Tsssss. Terrible thing jealousy! I know this is true (that VS talk about BA all the time), because an ex flat-mate who has now also jumped ship used to tell me that VS crew were always going on about BA.

All this PR rubbish, mine's bigger than yours, better by 4 etc. reminds me of a little dwarf desperately trying to get noticed and reach the ankle of the giant, BA! Yes, VS may have a good product on offer (even that is debatable), but at the end of the day, it is still a tiny operation against BA's, and just looking at the configuration of their aircraft, and having flown on VS a couple of times, I would say that BA and VS chase a different market altogether.

No tacky (non aircraft specific) safety demos at BA, no bright red and orange seats that hurt the eye, no bashing of the competition in public and to passengers, and certainly not the same grade of crew, in my opinion. BA plays the professional card and remains stoic to Virgin's cheap comments and attacks. I am glad we do, and feel proud (and rewarded) for working for "the blue one".

And as far as crew are concerned, I'm not going to mention figures here, but put it this way, my ex flat mate was working very hard at VS (less days off, harder work onboard, less union protection when things go wrong), and yet his payslips used to make him dispair (and quite rightly!).
 
Pieinthesky
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:37 pm

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 5):
Leave it to BA to remain above board.

I presume that doesn't include the BA 'dirty tricks' team that used to hang around at arrivals and hassle VS pax as they left, following them to their cars in some cases asking them why they flew VS ?.
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:46 pm

To be honest - I, as a Brit, am delighted that we have two of the finest airlines in the world as our major carriers.

We've got BA, the epitome of British Cool, understated, extremely high class product in premium classes and a decent product in Y. Top notch pre and post flight service, extreme reliability, intelligent planning and alliances with other airlines.

Then you've got VS, the epitome of "Cool Britannia", the modern, chic, flashy choice. Decent Y class product roughly comparable to that of BA, similar PE, and a UC product that is as good as any business class anywhere, including Club World.

Name me one other nation that has TWO such good airlines amongst its elite.

I'd only rate CO and AA in that category in the US, and I think BA/VS are far superior to JL/NH in almost all respects. There is really only the UAE, which has EK and EH in that class, plus a number of others that are not.

Not bad for s small island off the coast of Europe, eh? Big grin
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
cornish
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:59 pm

Of course they don't seem to be so quick to mention that BA probably pay their staff more than VS.

One thing VS isn't renowned for is particularly high salaries amongst its staff - knowing that they can recruit on the image as much as anything.....

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 11):
Name me one other nation that has TWO such good airlines amongst its elite.

I take it Ariana and Kam Air of Afghanistan don't count then ?  Wink
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
BCAL
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:13 pm

Quoting Pieinthesky (Reply 10):
BA 'dirty tricks'

Most airlines do "dirty tricks" at some stage, just like industrial espionage between rival companies, and the idea is not to get caught in the process.

BA's dirty tricks against VS were minor when compared with some of the dirty tricks that occur regularly between US airlines. Lord King, then BA Chairman, took full responsibility but always stated that the action had never been sanctioned, let alone considered by the BA Board and was the work of individuals.

Branson won his case in the UK and won compensation from BA. Fuelled by the scent of victory and his insatiable greed, Branson followed up his case against BA in the US hoping for more compensation..... and lost.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
UAL777UK
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 10:04 pm

Quoting BCAL (Reply 8):
It is a question of pay and, according to a friend who has just left VS as a cabin crew member, very low morale within the company. My eyes wept when I saw the current rates of pay for VS cabin crew. Whilst the VS cabin crew might get more perks than their BA counterparts, the perks are not worth much if the staff cannot afford to enjoy them.

Youir right there, I read somewhere that of the major playes in the business the FA's pay at VS was so bad it only just eclipsed AI!..No wonder some are jumping ship and going to BA!

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 11):
I'd only rate CO and AA in that category in the US, and I think BA/VS are far superior to JL/NH in almost all respects. There is really only the UAE, which has EK and EH in that class, plus a number of others that are not.

Are you sure you meant AA?  crazy 
 
PanAm747
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 10:28 pm

Here in the U.S. I personally have heard, "...and remember, United we stand...but at Southwest, we fly..."

Somewhat clever, but annoying. Tell me and show me how good your service is; don't compare it your competitor - let me discover it for myself!!
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
[email protected]
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 10:33 pm

Quoting Star_world (Thread starter):
a real airline

Deary me. As opposed to an unreal one?
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
Pieinthesky
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 10:51 pm

Quoting BCAL (Reply 13):
Lord King, then BA Chairman, took full responsibility but always stated that the action had never been sanctioned, let alone considered by the BA Board and was the work of individuals.

Oh well, if he said that then it must be true.  Wink
 
HS748
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 10:58 pm

People brag about being better than someone else when they have low self-esteem, an inferiority complex or a general sense of insecurity.
 
star_world
Topic Author
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:08 pm

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 16):
Deary me. As opposed to an unreal one?

As opposed to one that feels, to a very frequent flyer, like a group of people running a play airline!

[Edited 2006-06-09 16:09:37]
 
ardian
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:49 pm

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 11):
I'd only rate CO and AA in that category in the US, and I think BA/VS are far superior to JL/NH in almost all respects. There is really only the UAE, which has EK and EH in that class, plus a number of others that are not.

I completely agree to your post, but why are BA/VS far superior to JL/NH? I've heard many great stories about them. I can't compare these four airliners because I don't have any experiences with them.
 
starguy
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:37 am

I think that Virgin crew are "always" mentioning BA (not that I ever really hear it) because people are always comparing us to them. I think that it's natural to compare BA to VS because most of the routes that we fly, BA also fly.

As far as pay is concerned, I don't know how much BA WW get, but ours isn't so bad when you take into account the allowances that we get down route. It's the crew fault if they decide to spend it all on clothes and shoes, which they do. That's why they only have their basic and flight pay in the payslip at the end of the month.
 
IFEMaster
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:21 am

I think VS have something to be proud of. For what I look for in a log haul flight, VS beat BA by a mile. While "cold, hard professionalism" might be the cup of tea for some, I welcome the relief I experience when I board a VS flight and receive the light-hearted approach. I'd rather have their bright colours, flashy smiles, jokes, and after-dinner ice cream than BA's solemn and conservative service. Plus the VS AVOD kicks BA's IFE out of the water.

Quoting Star_world (Thread starter):
they have nowhere near the consistency of a real airline like BA

As opposed to a pretend one?
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
halls120
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:22 am

Quoting AY104 (Reply 6):
People who make comments like that about others, and company employees who make remarks like that about competitors, are often very insecure within themselves or about their own company. Although VS do have some very innovative, fresh ideas and excellent service, the BA service is, as someone already pointed out, more consistent. Also, although even said jokingly, the VS crew comments are very unprofessional, and only succeed in making BA look like the better of the two. I have always found BA to be very professional, and most of the people I have dealt with always had a great sense of humor. They are able to pull all of that off without having to make fun of the other guy. Way to go BA!

The same attitude seems to have seeped into the psyche of the authors of the aircraft data section of Anet. Take a look at the Airbus entries, and in some - not all - you get a "Boeing envy" comment like this one in the description of the A340/500-600 - "This gives Airbus a true early model 747 replacement and near direct competitor to the 747-400, with similar range, but, Airbus claims, better operating economics (per seat)."

This reads more like an Airbus press release than a factual description of the aircraft. I've scanned the Boeing entries, and unless I missed one, found no similar "Airbus envy" statements.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
GVWOW
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:27 am

VS FAs LOVE it when you and your travel companion talk loudly about how bad BA is. Try it sometime.

Quoting Star_world (Reply 3):
Exactly - really sounds like they're saying "look at me, look at me, I'm better, look!" all the time - how often do you hear similar comments from BA?

Yes, we did for quite a while (until BA got their pants sued off!) BA would have their crews stand outside the drop-off areas telling VS pax that their flight would probably be cancelled and that they should switch to BA. There was one case where a woman was booked in upper class, and "Mary-Anne from VS" called her up and informed her that her flight was overbooked and that she would be upgraded to the Concorde if she gave up her seat. She decided to stay on VS because she liked it, and she showed up at the airport and the flight was not overbooked at all! She reported the phone call to the VS staff, and they soon realized that there was NO Mary-Anne working for them...
 
lhrmaccoll
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:32 am

So if they are not a 'real airline' why is it that you have flown with them 10 times this year.......
*rolls eyes*
 
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Richard28
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:46 am

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 9):

No tacky (non aircraft specific) safety demos at BA,

Flew BA to Boston last month, and it was interesting to see that BA have now basically ripped off the Virgin safety demo cartoon, imitation, as they say, is the best form of flatery.

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 9):
and certainly not the same grade of crew, i

like all these things it varies, last BA flight got a vegetarian meal i did not want, and did not have time to say anything before she was on her way. was really bad service.

Although to be fair, on the return a BA cabin crew member did jokingly try and refuse my Virgin credit card when paying for some duty free!

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 11):
To be honest - I, as a Brit, am delighted that we have two of the finest airlines in the world as our major carriers.

Well said. BA are not perfect, and neither are VS - however because of the competition between these two, we have two stonkingly good longhaul airlines at LHR.
 
Jonno
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:01 am

No offence, but cabin crew are there to make the minimal amount of announcemets and leave their pax in peace. Ryannair cabin crew are always running their mouths and selling sh*t kitsch and crap tat. I've read too, too many mixed reviews of Virgin's service to ever switch from BA's Club World product. This thread reinforces that decision.
 
amirs
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:10 am

Quoting Star_world (Thread starter):
they have nowhere near the consistency of a real airline like BA



Quoting Star_world (Thread starter):
One of the things that they have so far wrong that it's almost amusing is their complete lack of understanding of how business travel works.



Quoting Star_world (Reply 3):
how often do you hear similar comments from BA? I can't remember ever hearing Virgin's name mentioned on a BA flight

If this is how you feel, then why fly 10 times this year alone with VS and not BA?

Quoting Star_world (Thread starter):
in fact out of approx 10 VS flights this year alone I can't remember one where I didn't hear a BA-related comment.
 
monkeyboi
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:21 am

As someone that has flown as crew for both Virgin and BA, I have to say they are worlds apart as employers. I really enjoyed my time at Virgin. I was 20 years old, living with mum and dad, wanted to see a bit of the world, no responsibilities apart from car repayments. Virgin was perfect for that.

And the travel benefits were the best!

But then when I decided I wanted to get a mortgage, buy a place, have some money to spend on holidays etc I couldn't afford it.

Everytime you would go to work at Virgin you would talk about BA because someone either had an interview with them, or a training start date or was considering applying so a debate about BA would also take place. At BA you don't really hear of crew leaving for another airline. If they are leaving, they are generally leaving flying all together. So we don't really discuss Virgin onboard because it doesn't really concern us. Sometimes you hear someone talking about their ID travel experiences on VS (both positive and negative) but I guess most of us generally use BA for ID travel as well.

In the end I decided to go for BA mainly because of the money and a change.

I didn't really realise how different BA was to work for compared with Virgin. It wasn't just about the money, it was about the terms and conditions as well. We had much more time off at home after each trip compared to Virgin. We had a much more effective trade union.

And there was a different environment on the aircraft at BA. The systems for assessment and promotion worked very differently at BA so gone was the bitching and competitiveness I had experienced (and hated) and VS.

It sort of annoyed me that BA would always 'rise above' the Virgin taunts and not respond. 'No way BA/AA' painted down their aircraft, full page ads in the newspapers comparing Upper Class with Club etc. Sometimes I wished they would respond to Virgin and draw attention to the high turnover at VS, the poor way the staff are treated, and the poor perception of customers towards VS (see airlinequality.com).

From a passengers perspective, at both airlines I have served the 'die hard' fans of the opposite. At VS we would get the odd passenger on board who couldn't get onboard BA (fully booked) and would complain about EVERY little thing at VS, no matter how good the flight. Now I am at BA, every now and then we get the frequent VS flyer who just hates BA and will complain til the bitter end.

[Edited 2006-06-09 19:24:03]
 
lotsatLHR
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:24 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 25):
While "cold, hard professionalism" might be the cup of tea for some, I welcome the relief I experience when I board a VS flight and receive the light-hearted approach.

I had never flown VS until last week. I enjoyed my return flight (to JNB) but will not fly VS again by choice. "Cold, hard professionalism" suits me with BA's superior frequencies. BA also flies to where my employer needs me. Since starting work only last year for my Saudi based employer (I know! BA doesn't fly there) only BA could have taken me to Europe (GVA, FRA and FCO), The middle-east (MCT, DXB, AUH, DOH) and Asia (PVG, HGK and BOM). I'm a linguist BTW, not an uber-businessman.

Quoting Jonno (Reply 30):
I've read too, too many mixed reviews of Virgin's service to ever switch from BA's Club World product.

My VS flight was fine. Overnight both ways (to JNB) so in actual fact I didn't appreciate the IFBT, the bar, swathes of bright colours.
ta-ta-for-now!
 
monkeyboi
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:26 am

Quoting Richard28 (Reply 26):
Flew BA to Boston last month, and it was interesting to see that BA have now basically ripped off the Virgin safety demo cartoon, imitation, as they say, is the best form of flatery.

The new BA safety video is animated. This also concerns most airlines new safety videos.

The reason however is cost, not jumping on the animation bandwagon. I read in BA news that the new video cost a third of what a video using actors/lighting/sets etc would cost.
 
Leezyjet
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:44 am

Quoting Star_world (Thread starter):
So overall - not a very big deal but curious to see if I'm the only one that have noticed this definite obsession!

I've never heard it at all on any VS flight ever - not to say it doesn't happen but I've never heard it. It certainly isn't something the company promotes to the staff either, more probably something the individual crew members thought up for themselves.

Maybe you should have taken down the staff members names and reported them to VS  Wink

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
1stfl94
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:46 am

It's nearly 16 years since this fued started and it seems like there is no stopping it. It all began where Richard Branson used one of his 747s and a friendship with the King of Jordan to return British hostages from Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait. Since Virgin got the credit for this operation, BA's response was the dirty tricks campaign to try and put VS out of business (and failing fairly spectacularly) and of course BA once again became the bad man. Since then, the rivalry has died down somewhat but BA is still the benchmark that VS uses for its services which is understandable as BA is the UK's largest long haul airline. At the end of the day, VS crews probably are trained to sell their company over the main competition and BA is that competition. Personally, I've never heard a direct commment from the crew against BA except for one flight where the Purser told us 'welcome to the real of Virgin Atlantic' in reference to V:Port

PS, while Virgin does get lambasted for its service on Skytrax just remember
1) People are only going to comment on their flight if it was exceptionally good, they are an entusiast of if something went wrong
2) Aside from Cathay Pacifc, Virgin is the only airline I can think of with an indepedant fan site of its frequent fliers (v-flyer.com) so they're doing something right.
 
star_world
Topic Author
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 4:17 am

Quoting Amirs (Reply 28):
If this is how you feel, then why fly 10 times this year alone with VS and not BA?

I've flown BA much more than 10 times this year - hence where the comparison came from. Unfortunately I don't get the luxury of picking the airline all the time; I'm based in the US at the moment and VS' PE cabin is often $1000 or more cheaper than BA's equivalent. Company pays for the flights.
 
BCAL
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RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 4:20 am

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 33):
It's nearly 16 years since this fued started and it seems like there is no stopping it. It all began where Richard Branson used one of his 747s and a friendship with the King of Jordan to return British hostages from Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait

It started before then, when the Virgin Group was on the verge of bankruptcy, owing £300 million when the group's assets were valued at under £224 million. The group was losing millions and even the airline was struggling to make money. UK and European banks would not help and threatened to foreclose on Virgin's borrowings. Branson wanted to buy back the shares in Virgin that had been publicly floated and raised finance through a deal with Japanese money, but sold his music interests in the process. Branson was perturbed and probably going through a mid-life crisis as he approached 40. He was annoyed that VS, which then had four third-hand 747s, was being ignored by BA and told his executives, "Give them a good knocking. You got to fight for Virgin and knock BA".

An unexpected mishap occurred that helped Branson – the merger of British Caledonian into BA. The misery for BCal's employees was Branson's ecstasy. "It's fantastic. Fantastic" he sang to his executives, dancing on BCal's grave, when he realised that VS could inherit BCal's status as Britain's second long-haul airline and be permitted to operate alongside BA between London and New York, and London/Tokyo. Branson's promises of cheaper fares gained public support, and he promoted single fares of £56 to NY, slashing fares to Jo'burg by 20% and tickets of £35 to the European capitals. At every opportunity he slagged off BA and their high fares. The promises evaporated before a single ticket was sold. Again, BA ignored VS.

The war of words intensified when Branson announced in August 1990 Virgin's intention to dispatch one of his 747s to Iraq to rescue British civilians trapped by the outbreak of the war with Kuwait. The publicity for VS's "mercy flight" was ceaseless and finally attracted BA's attention. Branson went public and made it know that "Virgin, not BA, had been asked by the government to fly for Britain". However, VS's first offer was £1 million more expensive than BA's because Branson expected the British Government to pay for the aircraft's insurance. After hearing that the government rejected Branson's offer in favour of BA. As he had already gone public about his "mercy flight" Branson had to save his face by dropping the insurance charge and won the selection. Lord King protested about the government's co-operation with VS: "Who the hell does Branson think he is?" Part of the bloody Foreign Office?" The image conjured by Branson was of an ultra-patriotic King, a peer of the realm, inflamed by the people's champion. King and BA remained silent after the incident, but Branson claimed that was the start of BA's conspiracy to put VS out of business.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
andrewuber
Posts: 2142
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 10:45 am

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 4:20 am

I noticed the distain that VS crews have with BA. One f/a in particular wore a pin that said "I'm here to save your ass - not to kiss it."

Drew
I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
 
monkeyboi
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 4:12 am

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 4:35 am

They can't have that much distain for BA judging by the numbers that have come over from VS to fly for BA in the past two years.
 
User avatar
Richard28
Posts: 2751
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 5:42 am

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:59 am

Quoting Monkeyboi (Reply 31):
The new BA safety video is animated. This also concerns most airlines new safety videos.

The reason however is cost, not jumping on the animation bandwagon. I read in BA news that the new video cost a third of what a video using actors/lighting/sets etc would cost.

It's not a problem, I was just answering an early message deploring the VS safety video in favor of the BA one, when, in fact, the BA one is now very similar.
 
aerlingusa330
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2000 6:40 am

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:26 am

If I was on this VS flight listening to these comments I would be swayed to fly BA on my next flight. To me, this is very unprofessional and annoying, to say the least.
Shamrock 136 heavy cleared for takeoff runway niner.
 
Broocy
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:58 pm

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:32 am

The only time I can remember being on an airline that made a "jibe" at a competitor was on Qantas. We were flying SYD-SIN and the pilot came on the PA. "Ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry to interupt you. For those aircraft enthusiasts aboard today, we miss your visits to the cockpit on these long sectors, but I've been able to get ATC to give you a real treat. If you're on the right hand side, get your cameras out. We're about to over take a Singapore Airlines 747-400 and you are going to get some great views of it with the outback as a fantastic back drop. For your information it is flight SQ??? (can't remember what it was).

For non enthusiasts, it gives me great pleasure to tell you it is bound for Singapore too but it departed Sydney 15 minutes before us.

On to more important matters, the latest cricket scores between England and Australia are......"

It made me smile, doubly so when I heard the cricket scores. He was being a bit cheeky, but not disrespectful towards SQ.
 
B707Stu
Posts: 893
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:15 pm

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:46 am

I've flown them both, (though only BA in their business class also)... I don't like VS's cabin color scheme but liked their music, PTV and food. I like BA's color scheme, sedated, but hate their food and too cool for customer attitude. I find VS's F/A's, whether they be paid less or not, more professional and consistent as it comes to Customer Service. I find BA crews, and I'm sorry to say, on every flight I've ever taken, and there have been many more than VS flights I've taken, in a word, snooty. If I was to ask to rate the two in a side-by-side comparison I'd call is 65-45, VS over BA, though I wish VS would drop the purples and reds in the cabin, annoying.
 
starguy
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:44 pm

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:53 am

I never hear crew talking about BA on any sort of regular basis. All I ever hear is about performance monitoring and becoming a senior. I hear it on EVERY flight from 50% of the crew. That's the obsession at Virgin. Not what BA has or hasn't got compared to us. There are pros and cons on both sides.
 
malb777
Posts: 443
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 5:53 pm

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:57 am

[quote=BCAL,reply=8]Quoting Hodja (Reply 4):
Check out the gathering of the cabin crew at LHR before they board the flight - it's like watching a group of giddy 22 year old cruise directors...

Could not agree more, I found this when flying LRH LAX a few years ago. And you should try a VB flight , If I want to play party games I would do so at my nieces birthday not an an aircraft, Virgin need to realise that some of its passengers are flying because they have to , and it is not always fun
thank god i was not born a bird. this type of flying is much better
 
User avatar
FlyCaledonian
Posts: 1960
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:18 am

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:58 am

Sir Richard Branson, Like Michael O'Leary, is very good at self publicity. Both knock their competitors in way that you either love or loathe. As both men are very clearly identified with their airlines, then likewise their attitudes will have a big influence on the culture too. Branson, in all his business interests, likes knocking the opposition. I personally think it;s better to stand on your own merits, but it has to be admitted that his way gets attention. BA's dirty tricks shows that he hit a nerve, and they bit back big time. The attitude now of remaining aloof is better I think, because it shows that they won't let VS get to them. And it probably annoys VS back. Just look at the stunt over Concorde. No way Branson could pull it off, but by just doing it he tried to make BA look bad.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
raventom
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:50 am

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:34 am

I think it's a bit immature!
I love the smell of burnt kerosene!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
jacobin777
Posts: 12262
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 6:29 pm

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:18 am

Quoting Raventom (Reply 45):
I think it's a bit immature!

it's made him wealthy. Smile
"Up the Irons!"
 
raventom
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:50 am

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:31 am

True but Virgin's profits are surely not fully based on this method of marketing. Besides, SQ have a 49% stake in VS.
I love the smell of burnt kerosene!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
kaddyuk
Posts: 3697
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 1:04 am

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:37 am

Having flown around 17 times in total aboard virgin atlantic, probably 10 times in W... 4 times in J and 3 times in Y...

I've NEVER... EVER heard a crew member speak down about BA. Its certainly not part of the training program and as leezyjet said, you should have noted names and reported to the airline.

Now, with regards to actual products offered. VS offer a very specific product to the market as a better than business but not as fantastic as first idea...

We seem to do fairly well from the sales of these tickets and so cant really be doing all that terrible however everything about the seat is improving and so is the new service/services planned to HKG etc etc etc
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
KLMA330
Posts: 704
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 1:37 pm

RE: VS Crew - Obsessed With BA!

Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:14 am

"British Airways.... The world's favourite airline".

Ahhh Virgin, you're still a virgin!  Wink

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