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Author Topic: Virgin Cruises?
timb
First Class Passenger
Member # 5901

posted 10-20-2005 12:45 PM      Profile for timb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I saw this posted over on linerslist

Article taken from:
<http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/12937155.htm>

Virgin Group's leader eyes Florida

Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson is planning to take on the
Miami cruise ship industry, and is looking at Florida as a potential
launch pad for his space tourism venture.

BY JIM WYSS

jwyss@...

With a new residence in Miami and his eyes set on the cruise ship
industry, Sir Richard Branson -- British billionaire and chairman of
the Virgin Group -- may find his jet-setting lifestyle increasingly
including South Florida layovers.

In town on behalf of American Express to talk to some 2,000 small-
business workers Tuesday night, Branson, 56, outlined his company's
plans for sea and space and the prospects of a post-oil future.

''Miami is obviously the center of cruises and Virgin has been
looking at cruise ships. And we would do it very differently than
any cruise ship traveling today,'' he said during a poolside
interview at the Ritz-Carlton in South Beach.

Branson said he has been talking about cruise alliances with local
industry executives and would likely be making an announcement in
three or four months.

''And hopefully we'll do to the cruise ship business what we did
with the airline business and come up with something pretty
exciting,'' he said.
(....)


Any comments, thoughts and rumors are appreciated....


Posts: 437 | From: S FL | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Malcolm @ cruisepage
Cruise Director
Member # 301

posted 10-20-2005 02:31 PM      Profile for Malcolm @ cruisepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Interesting! Everybody seems to want a slice of the Cruise Industry.

Virgin has already has its fingers in travel and transport. At present I believe that the Virgin holiday brochures contain some ‘Carnival’ cruises. Maybe Branson wants his own ship/s?

The Virgin brand is pretty powerful and synonymous with good ‘value’ and being young and ‘hip’. Virgin Atlantic, for example, has pretty good prices, and their in flight entertainment package is very good. Mind you, this should not be surprising as Virgin were originally an entertainment (record) company. Virgin ‘Mobile’ and ‘Virgin’ trains (UK) offer some good prices, too.

I would expect a Virgin Cruise product to occupy the space somewhere in between EasyCruise and Carnival, but I’m only guessing! I can just see the ‘brand’ names now: Virgin Sailors or Virgin Seamen!

[ 10-20-2005: Message edited by: Malcolm @ cruisepage ]


Posts: 19139 | From: Essex (Just Outside London) | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged
Fairsky
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Member # 781

posted 10-20-2005 03:00 PM      Profile for Fairsky   Email Fairsky   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How about Virgin Atlantic Cruises, Virgin Pacific Cruises, etc...

Anyway, this is great news. The industry needs new, and more, players. I'm sure Virgin will eventually design and build their own innovative ships--that would be fantastic. I only wonder how closely Virign will link with an existing operator? I hope not too closely such that there is little differentiation.


Posts: 1685 | From: Chicago, Illinois | Registered: Jul 99  |  IP: Logged
mec1
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Member # 4287

posted 10-20-2005 10:13 PM      Profile for mec1   Author's Homepage   Email mec1   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
He's doing it with RCI
Posts: 1675 | From: London, England | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Globaliser
First Class Passenger
Member # 4153

posted 10-21-2005 06:36 AM      Profile for Globaliser     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm @ cruisepage:
I can just see the ‘brand’ names now: Virgin Sailors or Virgin Seamen!
No Virgin brand name is ever going to beat Virgin Brides!

Posts: 1869 | From: UK | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Malcolm @ cruisepage
Cruise Director
Member # 301

posted 10-21-2005 08:10 AM      Profile for Malcolm @ cruisepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Globaliser:
No Virgin brand name is ever going to beat Virgin Brides!

I surprised that they gets any customers in this day and age!

Virgin also sell contreceptives here in the UK as well, called 'Mates'.


Posts: 19139 | From: Essex (Just Outside London) | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged
Malcolm @ cruisepage
Cruise Director
Member # 301

posted 10-21-2005 08:11 AM      Profile for Malcolm @ cruisepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mec1:
He's doing it with RCI

Do you mean that he is just going to sell RCI cruises?

As I've said already, some Virgin holiday brochures already include 'Carnival' cruises.


Posts: 19139 | From: Essex (Just Outside London) | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged
CGT
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Member # 3531

posted 10-22-2005 01:58 AM      Profile for CGT        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm @ cruisepage:
I would expect a Virgin Cruise product to occupy the space somewhere in between EasyCruise and Carnival,

Gee, that sounds SO appealing


Posts: 2760 | From: New York, New York, USA | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Malcolm @ cruisepage
Cruise Director
Member # 301

posted 10-22-2005 05:08 AM      Profile for Malcolm @ cruisepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CGT:

Gee, that sounds SO appealing


Yes CGT, it does not excite me either. If it is an RCI partnership, that is somewhere inbetween!

However, the masses might just love it!


Posts: 19139 | From: Essex (Just Outside London) | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged
Meldrew of the Seas
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Member # 5298

posted 10-22-2005 06:52 AM      Profile for Meldrew of the Seas   Email Meldrew of the Seas   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Richard Branson and his Virgin empire are past masters at the art of business partnerships: his mobile phone, electricity and mortgage businesses were all parterships with existing players, but they all brought innovative products and marketingwith them.

A partnership seems the simple way forward: Virgin Cruises could simply lease a ship and crew, rebranding the decor and uniforms, and provide their own product.

I would have thought that he would position a little higher up the market........especially as Stelios has taken the bottom of the market with easyCruise. I would think more of a "head-to-head" with Princess and Royal Caribbean, his airline is aimed directly at BA, who are hardly "bargain basement".

After all, if Stelios has a ship to "play with" then RB will obviously want a bigger one..... it's just a "boy's toys" thing!

Expect some innovative ideas, though. Guesses are invited!

To start off the dicussion, Virgin Cruises might try.......

1) Many operators offer "double mix" 14 day holidays with a 7 night hotel, 7 night cruise mix.

Nobody seems to offer a "triple Mix" (for example, fly to the Dominican Republic; 5 days in a beach resort hotel, then cruise 4 days to Port Canveral via the Bahamas, then 5 days to do the Disney parks, then fly back from Orlando)

2) Maybe add to his London:New York flights by offering the option to sail transatlantic one way on certain dates (currently the territory of QM2 which has an older passenger profile)

3) Cruises with inclusive watersports (like many land based resort hotels use to attract a younger customer) could be offered: at the moment Fred.Olsen have a cruise ship with a watersports centre where the car ramp originally was.........


Posts: 71 | From: Southport, UK | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
bulbousbow
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Member # 4440

posted 10-22-2005 07:56 AM      Profile for bulbousbow   Author's Homepage   Email bulbousbow   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Branson signals cruise venture
Industry speculation is rife as British entrepreneur remains tight-lipped on entry model, writes Rajesh Joshi in New York

October 21, 2005

SIR Richard Branson plans to "do to cruising what he has done to the airline business".

The British entrepreneur is to unveil results of talks with Miami executives about "alliances" with US cruise entities in three to four months.

Specifics remained sketchy as the Virgin Group chairman made the announcement in Miami this week.

The local press, as well as National Public Radio, picked up the news.

Well-placed cruise sources told Lloyd's List they were "aware of the discussions" and could confirm the veracity of the reports, but could not provide any information for public consumption.

One influential source suggested Sir Richard's foray would focus on the "mid to upper" end of the cruise spectrum, thereby averting the cheaper space recently commandeered by fellow British maverick Stelios Haji-Ioannou's budget venture easyCruise.

"He [Branson] has been advised that money is to be made only in the upper to luxury brackets," the executive suggested.

Another executive in New York added: "There is a lot of money to be made in certain segments of the cruise industry.

"Sir Richard Branson is an excellent entrepreneur, and he is known to always follow the money."

Sir Richard's foray into cruising would probably be built upon the Virgin brand name, the first executive suggested, since the brand is "extremely powerful and it would make no sense not to capitalise on it".

However, he suggested that the venture could start simply as a tie-up built upon Sir Richard's airline ventures. The executive cited Star Cruises' alliance with Valuair in December 2004 as a possible parallel.

Following Star acquiring a significant shareholding in the budget airline, the two companies said they would co-ordinate operations and jointly market fly/cruise packages designed to raise Singapore's profile.

"If a Branson airline were to team up with a Miami cruise line [in a similar set-up], that in itself would be a very big first step," the executive said.

"He [Branson] has also got to be aware of the barriers to entry in this business."

He suggested that more than one cruise line could be interested in such an arrangement.

The Miami Herald newspaper reported on its website that Sir Richard plans to crack the US domestic airline market with the Virgin America brand in seven to eight months, offering a characteristic "frills-filled" product.

Speaking about the cruise business, Sir Richard told the paper: "Miami is obviously the centre of cruises and Virgin has been looking at cruise ships.

"And we would do it very differently than any cruise ship travelling today.

"And, hopefully, we'll do to the cruise ship business what we did with the airline business and come up with something pretty exciting."

Industry experts have described airlift as the "most problematic aspect" of a cruise package, with a further caveat that a "bad" air component at the start or end of a cruise holiday holds the potential to "ruin the whole experience".

A marriage between Sir Richard's air venture and a cruise operation could serve as a rainmaking proposition for both businesses, according to this line of thought.

Sir Richard plans to spend "more time in Miami" now that his wife has purchased a "small place" there and the city is to become the home base for his space travel venture aimed at civilian passengers at $200,000 each, the Herald reported.

Lloyd’s List


******

Cheers


Posts: 6866 | From: Adelaide, Australia | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
lasuvidaboy
First Class Passenger
Member # 4527

posted 10-22-2005 02:05 PM      Profile for lasuvidaboy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We flew back Virgin from London to L.A. this past Monday. It was included in our QM2 fare and is a good airline. It was the second time I flew it as I usually fly United to London. The interactive entertainment system is great w/fantastic choices (I watched Little Britain over and over and laughed out loud even though I have seen most on BBC America). The average age of the flight attendants I would guess was around 30 years old (on United it is 70) and they were a fun friendly group. I would think that a Virgin Cruise line could be a direct competitor to a line like RCI w/their all their exciting onboard features.
Posts: 7654 | From: Hollywood Hills/L.A. | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
eroller
First Class Passenger
Member # 1649

posted 10-22-2005 05:09 PM      Profile for eroller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lasuvidaboy:
The average age of the flight attendants I would guess was around 30 years old (on United it is 70) and they were a fun friendly group.


Yes, well Branson hires them very young (he LOVES the young girls) and either encourages them (or forces) them to retire at something like 35. Very different than the legacy carriers in the US, although I've heard Jet Blue flight attendants sign agreements where employment ends after 10 years. I've never confirmed that tough.

Ernie


Posts: 7046 | From: Miami, Florida USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
CGT
First Class Passenger
Member # 3531

posted 10-22-2005 08:56 PM      Profile for CGT        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by eroller:


Yes, well Branson hires them very young (he LOVES the young girls) and either encourages them (or forces) them to retire at something like 35. Very different than the legacy carriers in the US, although I've heard Jet Blue flight attendants sign agreements where employment ends after 10 years. I've never confirmed that tough.

Ernie


Does Song have granny FA's?


Posts: 2760 | From: New York, New York, USA | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
eroller
First Class Passenger
Member # 1649

posted 10-22-2005 11:02 PM      Profile for eroller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CGT:

Does Song have granny FA's?



Absolutely. Song flight attendants are Delta flight attendants. Mind you Song has a lot more junior flight attendants as many jumped the mother ship (Delta) to avoid furlough. We are all on the same seniority list, although if you transfer to Song then you are committed to them for a certain period of time. Work rules and pay are essentially the same at both brands.

Song is currently under review. It will be interesting to see what happens. Many feel that eventually Delta will only be an International carrier with Song taking over most of the Domestic system. Of course there is no money to do that now (refitting Song airplanes is VERY expensive) so who knows what will eventually happen? I have a feeling that in 3-5 years Delta will either merge with NW, CO, or both.

Ernie


Posts: 7046 | From: Miami, Florida USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
lasuvidaboy
First Class Passenger
Member # 4527

posted 10-22-2005 11:43 PM      Profile for lasuvidaboy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by eroller:


Yes, well Branson hires them very young (he LOVES the young girls) and either encourages them (or forces) them to retire at something like 35. Very different than the legacy carriers in the US, although I've heard Jet Blue flight attendants sign agreements where employment ends after 10 years. I've never confirmed that tough.

Ernie



I would think it would be difficult or impossible to fire someone here in the States based on age with all discrimination lawsuits. As these newer non legacy airlines get on in years (even Southwest Airlines is pushing 40) their crews are going to get older and IMO as long as they do a good job, I could care less. I just cannot see how a 70-year old FA can do such a physically demanding job-God bless 'em. The hardworking younger crew at Virgin were very easy on the eyes and attractive in their tight red skirts and I could see why some passengers would book them based on their 'hip' feel, in fact a friend in London said he flys them because of that very reason. He got tired flying with his 'granny' at the other transatlantic carriers and loves the young fun crews at Virgin. I remember years ago seeing a billboard in Sydney advertising Qantas service to L.A.. It said 'Why fly with your granny when you could fly with your mates'. It was directed at United Airlines and their infamous 'old lady' flight attendants compared to Qantas' younger crews.


Posts: 7654 | From: Hollywood Hills/L.A. | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
bulbousbow
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Member # 4440

posted 10-23-2005 01:21 AM      Profile for bulbousbow   Author's Homepage   Email bulbousbow   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Virgin's youthful look in Australia...

...and what it cost them when a bunch of 'old' women took them to court:

quote:
Virgin Blue off song in bias against older women
By Mark Todd
October 10, 2005

Eight flight attendants have won an age discrimination case against airline Virgin Blue.

The women, aged between 36 and 56, claimed Virgin Blue discriminated against them in job interviews that required applicants to dance and sing.

Outside court one of the women, Nicole Hopper, said she was overjoyed by the win and it showed "people over the age of 35 are not finished".

After applying for jobs with Virgin Blue in 2001, the women attended "assessment centres", where they were asked to sing, dance and perform. None of them made it past the first round.

The flight attendants - all former Ansett workers - alleged in the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal in Brisbane that they were refused jobs because of their age.

During an earlier hearing, one of the attendants, Theresa Stewart, 52, said she was refused a job at the airline in late 2001 despite her 27 years' experience, because she didn't have the "Virgin flair".

"The assessment was designed to view a large number of people in a very short space of time to see how they look. They were after a certain look that appeals to Richard Branson.

"If you had two beautiful blonde girls, 25 and gorgeous, then they went to them like homing pigeons."

Virgin Blue said it had not hired cabin crew over the age of 36 in a two-year recruitment drive because mostly young women had applied.

However, the court sided with the women.

Tribunal member Douglas Savage, SC, upheld all the complaints and awarded costs against Virgin Blue.

"I find that the case of direct discrimination on the basis of age made by each of the complainants is made out," Mr Savage said. "I order that the respondents pay the complainants' costs of these proceedings."

Virgin Blue's assessors (or job interviewers) were "comparitively young" and identified "with persons of the same age and experience as the assessors, or what the assesors regarded as ... a fun person," Mr Savage said. He said there had been a "significant correction" in Virgin Blue's hiring practices after September 2002.

Compensation is due to be decided within four weeks.

It is understood the flight attendants - Nicole Hopper, Maureen Mulherin, Carol Dowling, Keely Bill, Alma Frank, Theresa Stewart, Lynley Boyes and Virgina Jeffries - have signed a deal with a commercial television station.

The Sydney Morning Herald



Smiles all round … the women leave court after winning their discrimination case against Virgin Blue.
Photo: Jason Weeding

quote:
Not given a flair go: flying high in win against Virgin
By Mark Todd in Brisbane
October 11, 2005

The door to the small interview room outside the court had not even closed all the way when the celebrating started.

"I can't believe it. We won," exclaimed one of the women, among a group of flight attendants who scored a surprise victory over the budget airline Virgin Blue.

The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Tribunal yesterday ruled that the carrier directly discriminated against the women, former Ansett workers aged between 36 and 56, on the basis of their age during job interviews where applicants were required to dance and sing and were assessed for "Virgin flair"

The decision meant that "people over 35 are not finished", one of the women, Nicole Hopper, said outside the tribunal in Brisbane.

Alma Frank, one of the prime movers behind the action, said: "I'm really happy. I feel that justice has been done."

Virgin Blue's general manager of public affairs, Heather Jeffery, said the airline was "very surprised" because sections of the judgement appeared to "vindicate the company fully" and its hiring practices. Although still considering its legal position, Virgin Blue was likely to appeal.

The action began after the collapse of Ansett, when the eight women applied for cabin crew positions with Virgin Blue during the 12 months to September 2002. None made it past the first round of interviews. They claimed the initial assessment process was akin to a "cattle yard" where interviewers homed in on young and attractive applicants.

A tribunal member, Douglas Savage, SC, found that Virgin Blue's hiring procedures were not in themselves biased. But he said staff in charge of the process were "comparatively young" and unconsciously identified "with persons of the same age and experience as the assessors, or what the assessors regarded as … a fun person".

He noted that the airline had conceded that up to the end of 2002 it did not hire a single person over the age of 36 to work as cabin crew. Mr Savage said this suggested younger applicants were favoured over older ones.

"I find that the case of direct discrimination on the basis of age made by each of the complainants is made out," he said.

But he said there had been a "significant correction" in Virgin Blue's hiring practices since September 2002.

The Sydney Morning Herald


******

Cheers


Posts: 6866 | From: Adelaide, Australia | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
PamM
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Member # 2127

posted 10-23-2005 05:26 AM      Profile for PamM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lasuvidaboy:
I would think it would be difficult or impossible to fire someone here in the States based on age with all discrimination lawsuits.

It is actually much harder to 'get rid' of people in the UK than in the US, the laws are far stricter. Virgin would not be able to force any member of staff to go on the basis of their age. The Virgin environment is more tuned to the younger worker, which is maybe why they do retain a younger bunch aboard.

Just don't get stuck in the middle seat with an IFA box under the seat in front of you.. it's hell, you cannot even sit with your legs straight out in front. The pitch is one of the worst about too, but such things do get overlooked when the staff are smiling and the overall feeling of bright and cheeriness take over. Drab surroundings, miserable staff, makes one feel down to start with.

Pam


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eroller
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Member # 1649

posted 10-23-2005 09:14 AM      Profile for eroller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lasuvidaboy:


I would think it would be difficult or impossible to fire someone here in the States based on age with all discrimination lawsuits.



You are right, that would be very difficult, but there are ways around it. For instance, you sign an "employment contract" upon getting hired, which states after 10 years you terminate employment. Age is never mentioned, just tenure with the company. Airlines like Jet Blue also don't make it worth your while to stay too long. Few retirement benefits and things don't really get better as you move along the seniority ladder. Of course this is very different than "legacy" carriers where everything is based on seniority and things do get better with more seniority.

I must say, my experience with most of the "senior mamas" as we call them has been good. It's honestly the younger ones that do most of the griping and slacking off on the job. The senior mamas have a better work ethic, and for the most part are more professional. This is not to say that MANY of them NEED to retire. After 40+ years on the job, it's time.

We used to call the flight attendants on the 2-day Hawaii trip out of Atlanta the "Hawaii 5-0". That was because not a single one was under 50 years old. Now we call it "Hawaii 7-0"! Scary!

Ernie


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MOORHOUSE
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Member # 5741

posted 10-23-2005 09:17 AM      Profile for MOORHOUSE        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
After flying Virgin over 10 time to the US, I can honestly say they are my favourite airline over such leading airlines as BA and AA.

The fun "youth" feel of the airline is what attracts me to it, and I think Branson is a great guy. Got to admire anyone that guys their own private island in their twenties!

I would love to see a Virgin cruise line, and think it would fit in with the vast empire he has. If it was a more mass market offering, I'm sure it would be very popular with American's, and if it were more luxurious, it would attract people that use the airline.

I'm sure Bransom wouldn't buy a second hand ship either, he would want the biggest and the best.

Would love to see this idea develope...

[ 10-23-2005: Message edited by: MOORHOUSE ]


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Matts
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posted 10-23-2005 05:00 PM      Profile for Matts     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
With Virgin personally I think most of it is just good marketing. Their airbourne offer isn't that different than other airlines at the end of the day. Ok so in Upper class there is a bar and you can get a massage, but back in the cheap seats there isn't alot of difference to BA and the others.
Posts: 829 | From: London, United Kingdom | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
eroller
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posted 10-23-2005 05:26 PM      Profile for eroller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Matts:
With Virgin personally I think most of it is just good marketing.


I agree. It's all about perception. If people perceive that Virgin is young and hip because Virgin has excellent marketing adn tells them so, then they may not notice that coach is still coach (cramped seats and all) .... with just a different color scheme.

Not to blow my own horn, but I truly think Song (Delta's low-cost carrier) is one of the best airlines out there. All leather seats, extra legroom, clean and bright aircraft, 40+ channels of live TV, pay per view on demand, games, great food items for purchase, and a very, very hip atmosphere. You can even order your meal in advance and have it waiting for you on the aircraft. They also have specialty drinks onboard like "Song-tini's" served in special glasses.

If you get the chance, check out song's website at:
www.flysong.com Click on 'song experience'. There is a lot of cool stuff onboard, and people absolutely love it.

Virgin is planning to enter the US market, with something like Virgin USA. In fact an old Delta/Song executive (Fred Reid) who basically raped Delta then left is heading up the venture. I hope he falls flat on his ass. Personally I think Branson is crazy for even considering it. We already have an onslaught of discount airlines in the US filled with so-called innovation. Song, Ted, Jet Blue, Southwest, Airtran, Spirit, etc. etc. Just what we DON'T need, another airline taking up space. There is already too much capacity.

Ernie

song "boys"

song "talent" as they are officially called

song seat video

[ 10-23-2005: Message edited by: eroller ]


Posts: 7046 | From: Miami, Florida USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
CGT
First Class Passenger
Member # 3531

posted 10-23-2005 06:16 PM      Profile for CGT        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by eroller:
Not to blow my own horn, but I truly think Song (Delta's low-cost carrier) is one of the best airlines out there.

And yet once again, jetBlue beat Song in the 2005 Conde Nast Traveler Business Travel Awards Poll. jetBlue was ranked number one in the U.S. for single class air carriers. Midwest Airlines was number two, Song, number three. While Song beat jetBlue in terms of Food and Beverages (score 37.7 to jetBlue's 29.2, and it should be noted that jetBlue serves free snacks only), and in terms of Frequent Traveler priveleges (Song is part of Delta's Skymiles), jetBlue beat Song in every other category, including Onboard Technology (jetBlue 72.1 to Song's 53.7) and Total Value for Cost (jetBlue 74.8 to Song's 55.9).

Total Scores for both carriers were:

Seat Comfort/Leg Room
jetBlue: 65.7
Song: 41.1

Food Beverages
jetBlue: 29.2
Song: 37.7

Cabin Service
jetBlue: 53.4
Song: 50.3

Onboard Amenities/Technology
jetBlue: 72.1
Song: 53.7

Frequent Flier Priveleges
jetBlue: 20.7
Song: 41.4

Value for Cost
jetBlue: 74.8
Song: 55.9

OVERALL SCORE:
jetBlue: 54.1
Song: 46.7

Source: Conde Nast Traveler (U.S.) October 2005

I am surprised at jetBlue winning for Onboard Technology as Song's IFE does seem to be a bit more snazzy from what I can gather by perusing both carriers websites. Also, apparently Conde Nast Traveler's readers find jetBlue a better value than Song, despite all of Song's bells and whistles, as jetBlue beat Song by miles in this important category. I was surprised at this as well. Song also took a major beating in Seat Comfort/Legroom, another very important category.

I have never traveled on Song, but have traveled on jetBlue several times.

[ 10-23-2005: Message edited by: CGT ]


Posts: 2760 | From: New York, New York, USA | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
eroller
First Class Passenger
Member # 1649

posted 10-23-2005 06:38 PM      Profile for eroller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CGT:

And yet once again, jetBlue beat Song in the 2005 Conde Nast Traveler Business Travel Awards Poll.



I'm sure I could dig up some polls where Song was #1. Song has won all sorts of awards since it's introduction. Polls are usually not worth the paper they are printed on. Most people don't know how they were created, who they were targeted at, or how the questions were asked. Only the results ... which for cruise lines and airlines are relatively meaningless for me. I don't agree with several Conde Nast poll results for cruise ships either. Frankly not that many people have even flown song yet, so I imagine it was hard for Conde Nast to get a fair sampling from it's readers. Likewise with some very upscale cruise lines which most Conde Nast readers have never sailed ... so they end up with lower scores. Anyone that takes these polls to heart is being foolish. They are limited in their accuracy at best.

I've flown on song and Jet Blue. In my own experience (and not because I work for Delta), song is the better product. If it wasn't I would say so. I'm certainly willing to admit there are far better airlines out there than Delta, the company I work for. On song, there are many more options for drinks, food (well beyond the chips that Jet Blue serves), and the IFE system is better. The fact that Jet Blue rated higher in in-flight entertainment and also food (they don't really serve food) also shows me the poll is flawed. Those items are not subjective ... it's fact that song has more food and IFE offerings than Jet Blue. I also prefer the song color scheme and the flight attendant uniforms by Kate Spade. I would also rather fly song because if something goes wrong, or a flight is canceled, you have the entire Delta system to work with when rebooking.

I do think song copied a lot of what Jet Blue offers, and then took it up a notch. I give Jet Blue credit for offering a great and innovative product, but on my flight I didn't see what the big deal was. It was rather boring and overrated IMO. I left the flight thinking "this was it"?

Ernie

[ 10-23-2005: Message edited by: eroller ]


Posts: 7046 | From: Miami, Florida USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
CGT
First Class Passenger
Member # 3531

posted 10-23-2005 06:51 PM      Profile for CGT        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You disagree with Seabourn (95.6) and Crystal (95.4) being at the top of Conde Nast's 2005 Gold List of proper cruise lines?

(Clipper got a perfect score of 100, but it's a yacht)

[ 10-23-2005: Message edited by: CGT ]


Posts: 2760 | From: New York, New York, USA | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged

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