Virgin Australia launches a middle seat lottery

Virgin Australia has made this announcement:

  • Virgin Australia has launched its first customer innovation, the Middle Seat Lottery, since yesterday announcing the airline’s new brand and advertising platform, Bring on Wonderful.
  • To celebrate the launch at Melbourne Airport this morning, Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka surprised all guests who were seated in middle seats on a flight to Adelaide with over $350,000 USD worth of FREE Virgin Voyages cruises.
  • The Middle Seat Lottery follows a 24-month transformation of the airline which returns Virgin Australia to profitability.
  • The Middle Seat Lottery will run until 23 April 2023, transforming middle seats on the airline’s domestic flights from the least favourite to the most fun and wonderful. Guests who sit in the middle seat will have a chance to win one of the extraordinary prizes on offer, with a new prize and winner every week.1
  • To mark this significant milestone, Virgin Australia has dropped over 800,000 airfares from as low as $55~ one-way (Economy Lite) from Sydney to Byron in the airline’s Bring on Wonderful sale.

Virgin Australia has aunched its first customer innovation, the Middle Seat Lottery, since yesterday announcing a new brand and advertising campaign, Bring on Wonderful, following a 24-month transformation journey which returns the airline to profitability.

Bring on Wonderful sets a foundation to elevate every part of the customer journey when flying with Virgin Australia, starting with the middle seat which has been a bug bear for travellers since the dawn of aviation.

The Middle Seat Lottery literally turns Virgin Australia middle seats into wonderful lottery tickets.1The middle seat, which has always struggled for popularity, will be transformed into the luckiest seat on the plane with more than $230,000 worth of prizes up for grabs throughout the competition, for guests who either select or who are assigned a middle seat when flying with Virgin Australia until Sunday 23 April 2023.

Through a social media survey in May 2022, Virgin Australia discovered that travellers are least likely to choose the middle seat, with less than 1 per cent intentionally selecting the middle seat as their first seat preference*.

As at May 2022, 62 per cent of Velocity Frequent Flyer members who nominated their seat preference favoured the aisle, 35 per cent the window and just 3 per cent nominating “any seat”**.

For each week of the competition, one winner will be randomly selected from guests who enter the Middle Seat Lottery, winning one of 26 unique and wonderful prizes. Prizes up-for-grabs include:

  • Platinum Velocity Frequent Flyer Status plus one million Points.
  • A cruise in the Caribbean with Virgin Voyages, including return Premium Economy flights to the USA with United Airlines.
  • Flights and tickets to your AFL team’s away games in 2023.
  • Flights to Melbourne plus entry to the AFL ‘Before the Bounce’ pre-game lunch, AFL Grand Final seats, a pre-game boundary line experience, merchandise and entry to the AFL Grand Final after party.
  • A helicopter pub crawl extravaganza, including return flights to Darwin.
  • Cairns adventure package including accommodation, return flights, and a range of thrilling adventures – Bungy jumping, giant swinging, river rafting or tubing in the great Barron River.

The full prize list can be viewed here.

How to enter the Middle Seat Lottery in three easy steps

  1. Be a Velocity Frequent Flyer member, aged 18 years or older;
  2. Fly in any middle seat on a Virgin Australia-operated domestic flight by Sunday 23 April 2023;
  3. Open the Virgin Australia app and tap the Middle Seat Lottery tile to find your flight and enter your details. Entrants must enter the competition within 48 hours of their flight’s scheduled departure time.

Winners will be contacted via email after each week’s draw. Those who aren’t already Velocity Frequent Flyer members can join for free, here.

To celebrate the launch of the Middle Seat Lottery, Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka surprised an entire flight of unsuspecting travellers flying on VA219 from Melbourne to Adelaide today (Monday 24/10), with each guest seated in a middle seat receiving a Virgin Voyages sailing valued at up to $5,999 USD (total value given away today is USD $350,000+). Virgin Australia ensured no one went home empty-handed, offering each aisle and window seat passenger 10,000 Velocity Points.

Virgin Australia 24-month major transformation 

Bring on Wonderful comes as Virgin Australia continues its ongoing business transformation, which returns the airline to profitability this financial year. To date, the transformation journey has consisted of hundreds of projects since Virgin Australia was relaunched in November 2020. The transformation program has enabled the airline to increase its fleet size by over 60 per cent, as well as hire thousands of new team members, refresh its catering offering, reimagine its brand and customer experience to provide more value and choice, forge significant partnerships, restructure its costs to enable great value airfares, commit to target net zero emissions by 2050 and more.

Transformation highlights and results since November 2020:

  • Since November 2020, Virgin Australia has restructured its cost base and completely transformed the commercial function of the airline, removing over $300 million in annual costs;
  • 2,000+ new team members hired, including all previously stood down team members given the opportunity to re-join the business;
  • Airfare pricing restructured, resulting in better value Economy and Business Class airfares with some of Virgin Australia’s domestic Economy fares up to 30 per cent better value than the airline’s nearest competitor and Business Class fares almost 60 per cent better value than the same competitor^;
  • Committed to a net-zero emissions target by 2050 as part of ongoing efforts towards more sustainable flying;
  • Simplified the airline’s business model to largely include a single Boeing 737 fleet type which has allowed Virgin Australia to grow its fleet size by more than 60 per cent. The simplification also included the restructure of a Boeing 737 MAX-10 aircraft order, as well as the order of eight MAX-8 aircraft, anchoring the airline’s sustainable pathway to 2050;
  • Launched a host of significant customer improvements, including the re-opening of domestic Lounges, onboard Wi-Fi, new menus, including a reverse kids’ meal where children can eat the dessert first, and partnerships with 7-Eleven, Boost Juice, Betty’s Burgers, Myer and P.E Nation;
  • Restarted international flying to Bali and Fiji, with additional international destinations to come (Queenstown in November 2022, and Vanuatu and Samoa in March 2023);
  • Worked to improve integration of Velocity Frequent Flyer with the Virgin Australia business, with the Velocity membership base set to hit 11 million members by year’s end;
  • Launched Virgin Australia Business Flyer to provide greater value and rewards to Australian small and medium sized businesses. Thousands of businesses have since joined the program;
  • Transformed the airline’s Digital and IT systems, including a $300 million investment in new technology and website upgrades, resulting in a 70+ per cent increase in direct bookings via virginaustralia.com;
  • Implemented a paid marketing search and performance strategy, resulting in Virgin Australia moving to the number-one ranked Australian travel company on Google;
  • Restructured the discount airfare model for corporate travellers, resulting in the recontracting of over 450 large corporate accounts who now receive greater value airfares when they fly;
  • Launched new partnerships with United Airlines and Qatar Airways, growing total international network reach to over 500 destinations around the globe.
  • Achieved significant improvements in operations with on time performance stable and cancellation rates back to pre-pandemic levels.

Top Copyright Photo: Virgin Australia Airlines Boeing 737-8FE WL N341CG (VH-VUI) (msn 34441) HNL (Ivan K. Nishimura). Image: 956951.

Virgin Australia aircraft photo gallery: