Experience

ST KILDA V BRISBANE-F18230565-033000

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

AFL Premierships are hard to win

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, 


Justin Peckett 

20121126_88522-2 Blog

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Our Pilot Cadet Program is back

Following the success of our inaugural program in 2012, Virgin Australia continues to change the face of the Australian aviation landscape through the continuation of our Pilot Cadetship Program in partnership with Flight Training Adelaide. Our Pilot Cadet Program selection process for 2013 commences on 3 July 2013 and successful cadets will commence training in late November 2013.

The Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet Program is a unique opportunity to play an integral role in shaping the evolution of this iconic brand, and to become a part of a dynamic company that genuinely believes and demonstrates our people are our greatest asset.

Unlike any other Australian airline pilot cadet program, Virgin Australia will assist all cadets financially, advancing upfront training course costs. Each cadet will also have their own mentor, offering personal support and guidance throughout their training in Adelaide.

To find out more about our Pilot Cadet Program and to apply visit http://virg.co/PilotCadetship

CBR LOUNGE 15 300DPI (Custom)

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

A new dawn for flying to Canberra

Today was an exciting day for our airline as we heralded a new standard in flying to and from our nation’s capital.

Just in time for Canberra’s 100th birthday, we opened the doors to our brand new lounge.

The 300m² space offers sweeping views across the tarmac and exclusive design elements including Marblo bars, natural stone flooring, Walter Knoll chairs and a gourmet menu designed by renowned Australian chef Luke Mangan.

The lounge is located within the new state-of-the-art ‘Airvolution’ terminal, enabling a seamless journey from our check-in desks to new departure gates.

We have also completed the refurbishment program on board our Embraer E190 fleet, which fly to Canberra from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

This means that our guests can now enjoy a refreshed on board experience. This includes our new Business Class, which features luxury leather seats, a newly configured seating design with a 2:1 layout, gourmet menu options and coat-check service, complemented by the best of service.

We fly to the highest number of destinations to and from Canberra and we look forward to welcoming guests to the new Virgin Australia travel experience.

Morgans Hotel Group

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Velocity Announces Partnership with Morgans Hotel Group

By Alex Tilbury
Published in Escape 
February 17, 2013

Loyalty card points junkies can now “earn and burn” faster with Virgin Australia’s Velocity card, with a new hotel partnership and the promise of more innovations this year.

Virgin’s frequent flyer program has paired with the Morgans Hotel Group, owner of 13 boutique hotels, mostly in the US.

Data from the Velocity Frequent Flyer program shows its customers stay faithful to their partners to accrue points. So the partnership of Virgin and Morgans reinforces that many Virgin customers fly to LA and New York.

Chief executive officer of the Velocity Frequent Flyer program Neil Thompson is one of this industry’s most experienced loyalty card players. He ran the Qantas Frequent Flyer program until 2007, then worked as a loyalty program consultant in New York.

Thompson says frequent flyer loyalty programs are all about “earn ability” so members can “earn and burn quickly”.

“With us you can start to accumulate pretty quickly. People tend to focus their spending around our partners, so we choose partners that will fast-track our members.”

“We have set a target of five million members by the end of 2015 and I am very comfortable that we are well on track,” he tells Escape. “We are not trying to be the biggest loyalty program, in terms of numbers, but we aim to be the most interesting and innovative. You are going to see a pipeline of new innovations over the next six months plus we’ll expand the program to do things a bit differently.”

For Virgin, the name of the game is “relevance”.

“We know our customers, so we focus on parts of the world that we know our customers fly to,” Thompson says.

“Watch this space – there are plenty of things to come in 2013. If you use the Velocity credit card and go shopping, you will earn points. If you stay at the Mondrian (owned by Morgans Hotel Group in Los Angeles), you’ll earn points.

“The whole Morgans group is very cool. They get a mix of business and premium leisure travellers just like us they are often one and the same person. Both Virgin and Morgans know their premium leisure and business customers want to stay in gateway cities with dynamic night lives in resort markets.”

If you are heading to California with Virgin Australia, remember the Mondrian in LA is at 8440 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood (next to the House of Blues). I say remember because there is no sign outside.

It’s been said if you don’t know where the Mondrian is then maybe you don’t belong there. It’s a little tongue-in-cheek and popular with film and television celebrities.

Even the stony-faced US Customs officer was impressed I was staying at the Mondrian. “I drive past the Mondrian every day on my way to work, it has got that awesome Skybar.”

Mondrian general manager Jeff Kulek describes his hotel as a “personal playground for guests”. The guestrooms all have the same TV/mirror shaped like a huge looking glass, to convey an “Alice in Wonderland” effect. The guest is “always the star of the show”.

Kulek said the airline partnership was a first for the hotel group.

“We are very choosy but we see similarities with Virgin. Personally I love how you can do the seat-to-seat chat in-flight.” (Seat-to-seat chat allows flyers to keep in touch during a trip).

“The Hiltons of the world are all made from the same cookie cutter. We are the creator of the boutique hotel and we feel that other hotels like W are all imitators. We are the original and we are very proud of that,” Kulek says.

After a one-hour Virgin America flight north to San Francisco, I stayed at Clift (495 Geary St) near Union Square. The lobby is dark and full of avant garde art pieces. Clift is elegant and possibly pretentious, but most definitely fabulous.

The Morgans Hotel rates range from $US250-$US500 ($A245-$A490) a night, and you’ll get 1000 Velocity points a stay. Or 2000 points for bookings before February 28 for travel until March 31.

Virgin Australia lounge

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Take your pick from over 2300 publications

Here at Virgin Australia, we know that the time spent in the lounge is an important part of the travel journey.

So we’re excited to announce the launch of a new innovative service  that will take the Virgin Australia lounge experience to a whole new level.

From today, guests in any Virgin Australia lounge can enjoy access to PressReader, compliments of Virgin Australia. This app offers an incredible selection of over 2,300 newspapers and magazines from 97 countries in 55 languages. Some of the titles include The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Gold Coast Bulletin, Los Angeles Times and Aujourd’hui en France.

Available on any Android, Apple and Windows device, PressReader offers a range of interactive features such as clickable URLs, the ability to search, share and discuss articles.

Just because your flight is called doesn’t mean it ends there. Those using tablet or mobile devices can download the titles, so they can continue reading their favourite magazines and newspapers throughout the rest of their journey.

To find out about lounge access, visit: www.virginaustralia.com/lounge

Download the app now before your next Virgin Australia flight at www.pressreader.com and connect to Virgin Australia’s lounge Wi-Fi.

The Pier, Service Desk

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

A New Way to Depart from Sydney Domestic Airport

 

If you have travelled from Sydney domestic airport recently, you may have noticed some changes at the end of the Pier – brand new departure lounges with a vibrant look and feel.

We have been working to enhance and expand the space, which now features brand new bathroom facilities, additional seats, charging bars for personal devices and signature design elements, including the Virgin Australia ‘Flying Lady’, which is proudly displayed above the new service desk.

 

 

The Pier has also been expanded externally to offer five additional departure gates. This means we can allocate an extra three Airbus A330 aircraft or five Boeing 737 aircraft, enabling our operations to run even more smoothly.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new space!

 

Flight Specials Best of 2012 App Store

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Flight Specials App Named in Apple’s ‘Best of 2012’

 

Virgin Australia’s Flight Specials has been named as one of App Store’s ‘Best of 2012′ applications.

Each year Apple selects a short-list of the best applications that highlight top trends and innovations in the App Store.

This year, Flight Specials was named as one of the top 25 apps, from more than 750,000 available in the App Store. Flights Special was also one of only three Australian apps to grace the list.

View the full App Store Best Of 2012 list.

Flight Specials appeared in the Disruptive Services category, where apps were judged on how they offer “new ways of approaching how we travel, buy products and use mobile payments”.

Apple claims that the apps named in the Disruptive Services category “are helping to reshape and redefine industries”.

Since it was released just five months ago, Virgin Australia’s Flight Specials has been downloaded by more than 200,000 iPhone users.

The app’s purpose is simple: to give guests access to the right fare, for the right price, at the right time. Flight Specials does this by allowing guests to view Virgin Australia’s latest specials, create flight special alerts, and receive real time notifications as soon as specials become available.

The app also gives guests access to Virgin Australia mobile website features such as Book Flights, Manage Bookings, Mobile Check-in, and Flight Status.

Experience the convenience of Virgin Australia Flight Specials – one of Apple’s ‘Best of 2012′ apps. Download the iPhone application from the iTunes Store.

In exciting news, Flights Specials is now available for Android. Download the Android application on Google Play™.

 

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

iPhone 5 is here, and is set to make Mobile Check-in and boarding even easier.

 

Like many of our guests, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the launch of iOS6, iPhone 5, and the much speculated Passbook.

A digital wallet that stores boarding passes, Passbook is an innovative new application that is set to help streamline Mobile Check-in and boarding processes.

We are proud to confirm that Virgin Australia will be the first Australian airline to provide guests with Passbook-compatible boarding passes.

The move to integrate with Passbook is just one of the steps we’re taking to make travel more convenient for our guests.

 

How Passbook works:

• Upon completion of Mobile Check-in you will be sent a SMS link to your boarding pass.
• Click the link and open your boarding pass.
• If you have iOS6, a pop-up window will ask you to add your boarding pass to Passbook.
• Click “Add” and your boarding pass will be stored in your Passbook.
• When you are ready to board your flight, a Passbook alert will appear on your lock screen.
• Unlock your phone and open Passbook.
• Passbook will automatically retrieve the stored boarding pass applicable to your flight.
• Make your way to the airport gate and present this boarding pass to board.

 

Passbook means you no longer have to frantically search through your wallet or carry-on for your boarding pass.

iPhone users who aren’t ready to upgrade to iPhone 5 can obtain Passbook by simply updating their operating system to iOS6. Passbook is supported by iPhones dating back to iPhone 3GS.

Non-iPhone users will also receive our updated mobile boarding passes, which come colour-coded according to status for Velocity members.

Note: Passbook is not available to users with default browsers other than safari.

 

Skip the queues at the airport – use your web-enabled phone to check in and obtain your mobile boarding pass. Discover how to check in using Mobile Check-in.

 

Australian Open

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Blue Holidays Serves Up Exceptional Australian Open Packages

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

 

 

Flight Specials App and our Mobile Website

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

A new way of boarding. A new way to track flight specials. A better way to share.

This week saw the launch of two great initiatives at Virgin Australia. We launched our very first mobile specials app and mobile Check-in creating a ‘mobile boarding pass’ for all guests using any smart phone.

Available now from the App Store, our ‘Virgin Australia Flight Specials’ app for iPhone (Android coming soon) provides a one-stop spot to view the latest flight specials and happy hour fares, enables users to enter specific travel criteria and sign-up for real-time alerts, then get push notifications when a flight special matches the set criteria.

The app also offers the ability to share flight details with family and friends via Facebook and Twitter.

The Check-in feature from the Virgin Australia mobile website will send guests their boarding pass as an SMS to allow for mobile boarding. The mobile boarding pass can then be presented at the departure gate to board the flight, offering a faster and more convenient way to check in and board.

Never has it been so easy to book, track, check-in and share your travel journey.

Download our Flight Specials application & test run our new mobile Check-in feature today.