We’re celebrating the official launch of our new flagship Sydney lounge by offering race-goers a unique Melbourne Cup Carnival Hat Valet service.
As travellers head south for the “race that stops a nation”, porters will be on standby in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup to offer eligible guests a personalised Hat Valet service, ensuring premium handling of the most important part of any race day outfit.
A range of pre-flight pampering options will also be offered including blow-dries, make-up kits by Model Co and a shoe-shining service, all designed to ensure guests arrive ready for the race.
The special service will be exclusively available in Virgin Australia’s newly transformed Sydney domestic lounge. The flagship lounge now stretches across two levels, welcomes up to 500 guests and features unique design elements including illuminated bars and curved glass privacy screens.
The service will be exclusively offered in the premium kerbside entrance of Virgin Australia’s new Sydney domestic lounge to Business Class guests, Velocity Platinum, Gold, lounge members and alliance lounge eligible guests.
The Hat Valet service will allow eligible guests with carry-on baggage to check-in their hat box straight from the lounge, enabling them to skip the terminal. Porters will hand-deliver the hat boxes to the aircraft. Upon arrival into Melbourne, the hat boxes will be personally returned to the guest.
The service will be available at the following times:
Thursday 31 October – 12.00pm – 2.35pm
Friday 1 November – 8.00am – 12.35pm
Saturday 2 November –Tuesday 5 November – 7.00am – 11.35am
Thursday 31 October – 12.00pm – 2.00pm
Friday 1 November – Tuesday 5 November – 7.00am – 11.00am
Saturday 2 November – 7.00am – 11.00am
Tuesday 5 November – 7.00am – 11.00am
Unless of course your name is Joel Selwood from the Geelong FC or Jonathan Brown from Brisbane Lions FC or you played for Hawthorn, Sydney, the West Coast Eagles, Port Adelaide, Collingwood or Essendon in the last 10 years.
History tells us that these clubs have all shared that ‘Premiership winning feeling’ in recent years with the likes of Geelong & Brisbane winning 3 flags each.
In the history of the VFL/AFL, playing for any of Carlton, Richmond, Essendon, Hawthorn, Melbourne, and North Melbourne would have given you a good chance of playing in a flag, not so much playing for the Bulldogs or the Saints.
What history also tells us is there are a lot of us former VFL/AFL Players walking the earth who have not played in a Premiership. I will forever and a day be introduced or identified as ‘former AFL player Justin Peckett as opposed to former AFL & Premiership Player Justin Peckett. I had my chance, but along with the team I was playing in we were not good enough on the day to achieve the ultimate glory of an AFL Premiership
In 1997, I was playing for the St.Kilda FC and we played in the Grand Final against the Adelaide Crows. The Saints had been in the competition for well over 100 years and up until that stage had only won one Premiership. That was a famous win by a single point against Collingwood in 1966. Adelaide on the other hand had only been in the AFL competition for about 7 years. Obviously no one told them about earning their stripes!
As a footballer one of the most exhilarating things you can do is run out onto the MCG on Grand Final Day in front of 100,000 people. It’s what I had dreamed of as a 9 year old boy and St. Kilda supporter at the beginning my junior footy career.
The build-up is huge, particularly in Melbourne as the whole city gets wrapped up in Grand Final fever. Given St.Kilda’s history of underperforming we were sentimental favourites plus the whole Victorian versus South Australia tribal mentality added to the weight of expectation. The Saints would win, so everyone thought.
The weather gets warmer, the grass looks great, the crowds at training are huge, increased media interest, people off the street are wishing you well, and players discuss where they will put their Premiership tattoo. You can’t help but get caught up in the groundswell of support and most of all; expectation.
My ‘97 Grand Final experience started out as a truly amazing experience and by 5pm it ended in disaster and tears. The Crows had beaten us to win their first Premiership.
At the time I was 25 with another 8 years of footy in front of me and naively at the time I thought we would get another crack at it. Unfortunately for me when I retired at the end of 2006, the Saints had not played in another Grand Final.
Up until 1997 I had never been to an AFL Grand Final, as a player or spectator and I’ve never been to one since. I have never watched a replay of the ‘97 Grand Final and when people want to discuss the game with me I tend to switch off as it brings back challenging memories. It still hurts to know that I had a chance but did not take it; it hurts to watch other teams win them. I’m jealous of the joy it brings, the elation, relief & satisfaction that Premiership glory brings.
For the past 15years, I have put on a Grand Final BBQ for my mates to help keep me distracted. I tend to the barbie and make sure my guests are well hydrated, I avoid the big screen as much as possible.
I am softening though, as my kids get older I find myself getting caught up in their excitement for Grand Final Day. They tell me I need to get over myself and they’re right. Virgin Australia just announced a new five year partnership with the AFL and that made me think, five years is a long time in AFL, maybe even the Saints could make a Grand Final appearance in that time, or maybe not.
To date, the Saints have had just over 1560 players put on the famous Red White & Black jumper yet only 20 players are Premiership Players. That’s an exclusive club! This is despite recent Grand Final appearances in 1997, 2009, 2010 and seven Grand Finals in total.
I think I’m up to watching this year’s Grand Final but I might still have to look away when the victors are receiving their well earn’t medals.
It must be the most amazing experience to be introduced to the massive crowd to receive your Premiership Medal and then walk back to high five your teammates knowing you are now a part of history.
May the best team win,
Virgin Australia proudly supports the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) – a mentoring program that partners university students in one-to-one mentoring relationships with Indigenous Australian high school students.
Their dynamic educational program gives Indigenous high school students the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to finish school at the same rate as their peers. A number of the Virgin Australia team offer their time to mentor high school and university students as they venture through their educational path.
Today, 30 August AIME celebrates National Hoodie Day. To get involved, purchase an AIME hoodie to help support the work they do to help ‘do better tomorrow’.
Get involved and visit aimementoring.com
As the hype of Wimbledon starts to ebb and wane, our focus remains on tennis with the exciting announcement that we’ve signed on, for the fourth year running, to be the official airline and proud sponsor of the Australian Open.
Not only are we the Open’s official airline; our holiday program, Blue Holidays are also on board as an official tour operator.
In anticipation of the thrilling action of the Grand Slam, Blue Holidays are set to offer tennis fans an experience like no other, with the introduction of a range of tailor-made event packages for the Australian Open 2013.
Virgin Australia General Manager Marketing, Michael Betteridge, said “The tournament is one of the most prestigious events on the sporting calendar and following the success of the Australian Open 2012, Blue Holidays will offer new and exclusive packages allowing guests to book airfares, accommodation and courtside tickets in a few quick easy steps online”.
Join the colourful crowds this summer amid the festive atmosphere of Melbourne Park’s world-class tennis facilities … Catch all the courtside action and witness the world’s best players go head to head, with an Australian Open event package.
Blue Holidays Australian Open Tennis 2013 packages include return airfares to Melbourne, three nights’ accommodation and a Rod Laver Arena session ticket, from $613, per person. GAME, SET, MATCH!
Virgin Australia operates flights to Melbourne direct from Australian capital cities and major regional ports, and from international destination such as Christchurch, Auckland, Los Angeles, Nadi and Bali.
Where: Melbourne and Olympic Parks, Batman Avenue, Melbourne
When: 14–27 January 2013
Out of an overwhelming desire to make fashionable sports attire (activewear), former aerobics instructor, Lorna Jane Clarkson founded one of Australia’s most inspiring multi-million dollar businesses, Lorna Jane.
Two decades later, with more than 120 stores worldwide and 337,000 Facebook followers, Lorna Jane is not only an industry leader, but also a household name. On any trip to an Australian gym you’re guaranteed to find the brand’s iconic logo sported by ladies of all shapes and sizes, and confidence and abilities.
Recognising the brand’s positive effect on females, our holiday partner, Blue Holidays invites you on Breakations with the girls to be inspired over lunch with Lorna Jane.
Tupac sang about his; Abraham Lincoln and George Washington publicly attributed their success to theirs; while Sandra Bullock won an Oscar playing someone else’s… Mothers, they come in all shapes and sizes, and wear different hats – woman, wife, daughter and friend.
Whether she is the archetypical mother who bakes treats and tends to damaged knees, or a dynamic career woman who juggles diverse roles; all caring and loving mothers deserve praise and reverence.
While a mother’s talents, strength and love should be acclaimed every day of the year, Mother’s Day is a great time for reflection and tribute, and the perfect opportunity to give back.
Research released today by Virgin Australia shows that over the next few days, baggage carousels will be filled with up to 40,000 hats and over 55,000 lip glosses, which will be flown especially to Melbourne for The Cup and the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival.
With most believing that the Spring Racing Carnival is more about the social occasion, champagne and fashion (74%) than the racing (22%), it’s no wonder that getting their luggage there on time and intact is a top priority. Virgin Australia’s research revealed that the baggage carousels may be filled with an estimated $40 million worth of luggage this racing season.
Virgin Australia Group Executive Corporate Communications, Danielle Keighery said the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival is a positive boost for the Australian economy and the tourism industry in general.
“The Victorian Spring Racing Carnival has developed a reputation as one of the most important events on the sporting calendar, attracting domestic and international visitors alike. Last year, the carnival generated $728 million for the Australian economy, with a similar contribution expected this year”.
“We are committed to supporting the Australian tourism industry and will be putting on 36 additional flights into and out of Melbourne over the key racing period. Virgin Australia is well-prepared to transport Australia’s latest fashion trends as 40,000 hats, 110,000 dresses and pairs of heels make their way through carousels across the country”, Ms Keighery said.
Virgin Australia’s top tips for packing for the Spring Racing Carnival:
* Check the dimensions of your hat box. If it exceeds the carry-on allowance, check it-in at least 30 minutes before your flight.
* Pack an extra pair of shoes. A day at the races carries the high risk of broken high heels, mud and sore feet.
* Prepare for all weather conditions. With the unpredictability of the Spring season, you never know when you might need a warm jacket or an umbrella.
Other findings from the survey included:
* For most women Melbourne Cup is an excuse to splash out on new clothes and accessories with 80% of women willing to purchase a new dress for the race
* The average amount Australian women are prepared to spend on new items to look their best at Melbourne Cup is $370 – and that’s even before they have placed a bet
* Dirty shoes (48%), broken heels (42%) and fashion faux pas (23%) at the top of peoples ‘stress list’ when it comes to attending the races, explaining the sheer volume of luggage that travels to Melbourne
* The must-have beauty items for the race include lip-gloss (51%) and concealer (36%)
 Galaxy Research conducted 6/10/11, with a sample of 1510 respondents aged 18-64 across Australia.
 Figures provided by Victorian Racing Club and based on National Gross Economic Benefit – the total amount generated by the MCC in Australia by all Australians and international visitors.
 Refers to 29 October to 5 November 2011.
To book flights with Virgin Australia, visit the website here
The Queensland Music Network (Q Music) recently launched an online Rock N Roll Auction to raise money for The Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal – an online event featuring items and experiences generously donated from artists around the globe.
‘Money-can’t-buy’ experience auctions opened yesterday and include the chance to meet Katy Perry at her Brisbane concert and a VIP trip to the massive Coachella Festival in the USA flying courtesy of us, V Australia.
The Rock n Roll Auction has already raised over $5,000 in funds for The Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal and there are still more items left to be bid on including:
• a ten year VIP ticket for the Laneway Festival
• a private show by The Gin Club
• a chance to Less Than Jake side of stage at the Soundwave Festival
• a limited edition Reg Mombassa print
• signed items from Iggy & The Stooges, Talking Heads, Cold Chisel, Primal Scream, Bon Iver, Silverchair, Gotye, The Ten Tenors, Deborah Conway, Little Birdy, Human Nature + more!
To view and bid on auction items go to www.rocknrollauction.com.au. The auction bidding is happening on eBay and all money raised will go to The Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal, which has been extended to help those affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasi as well as those affected by the Qld floods.
So made a bid and help out those in need!
Included are two premium economy return flights to LA with V Australia.
This prize doesn’t include transfers between the airport and festival or any accommodation. The successful bidder will need to arrange these themselves.
How will you Make Your Mark this New Year’s Eve?
Be one of the first in the world to mark the new decade as Sydney dazzles you with its world-class event and a spectacular Midnight Fireworks Display on Sydney Harbour.
Our sister airline, Virgin Blue, is one of the sponsors of the 2011 Open, but that’s not the only reason we’re counting down the days to the big event. The world’s tennis superstars will take to the courts in Melbourne Park. Click here for more information or better yet book your Blue Holidays package here.