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And I had thought it was some marketing stunt…

Posted by Preston on 2009-11-14

So yesterday I got an excited email from Virgin’s Velocity Rewards Program*.

It enthusiastically read:

Preston, surprise! You’ve turned gold!

This was news to me. I looked at my skin and indeed, I was my normal complexion – I had not suddenly morphed into a victim in a bad James Bond movie.

Reading on, I found out:

We’ve got a treat for you – a free upgrade to Velocity Gold! Given you came so close to making it on your own, we wanted to say thanks so much for your ongoing commitment to the Virgin Blue Group, we really love having you around.

I initially thought that Virgin had lowered their standards somewhat on their Velocity rewards program – after all, I hadn’t flown with them since February 2006. However, I decided after reading the rather spartan programme of goodies that one got with Gold Velocity rewards that it was just some marketing stunt to get me to go fly Virgin again after such a long absence. “Aww….”, I thought to myself, “Some programmer has developed an algorithm that puts me into the ‘needs to fly with us again’ bucket.”

About 3 hours later though, the explanation came through – it was just an error. Fortunately though, there was an explanation … it was caused by Friday the 13th:

friday the 13th strikes

Oops! Due to an error you’ve received our previous email by mistake. Please disregard the free upgrade communication as unfortunately you do not qualify for that upgrade.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Blaming it on Friday the 13th explains everything. Way to go, Virgin. A pity really, I was half considering booking a flight with the Gold Rewards for a Friday afternoon sometime, just so I could hear the cabin crew doing their funny safety messages. (The best I ever heard was on a return trip from Melbourne, “In the event of your aeroplane becoming a cruise ship, there is a life jacket under your seat … your life jacket has a light, and a whistle for attracting sailors.”)


* Note – I said the email was excited. It didn’t really excite me all that much.

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