Virgin Atlantic Needs Sir Richard Branson's Involvement To Return To Its Former Glory Days As Britain Finest Airline

Top Quote Californian PR and Marketing company highlights an event that suggests that Virgin Atlantic's woes are due to Richard Branson no longer being sufficiently involved with the airline; it's not enough to just talk a friendly game when it comes to flying the friendly skies. End Quote
    QuoteI first flew Virgin Atlantic to the US in 1984 and the experience was so enjoyable that, until now, I never flew any other carrier - Peter MackeonisQuote
  • (1888PressRelease) December 07, 2012 - Mackeonis and Associates, the Santa Cruz, CA-based PR and Marketing company would like to offer some free advice to Virgin Chairman Sir Richard Branson for his ailing airline: "Try not to have your Customer Liaison Department alienate your regular customers, and they would like to share this tale with the busy Chairman.

    During July 2012, Peter Mackeonis of the London Art Wall Group ( flew Virgin Atlantic to London from San Francisco to London to unveil a mural painted on the Shoreditch Art Wall. The mural was unveiled by Lord Michael Bates who had recently completed his "Walk for Truce' from Olympia in Greece to the Houses of Parliament to draw attention to UN Resolution 48/11 calling for World Peace during the 2012 London Olympic games. Mackeonis flew on Virgin Atlantic because it was his favorite transatlantic carrier; he had flown it well over a dozen times - and was, for a number of years, a premium Flying Club member.

    A few weeks later, during August, another Mackeonis & Associates-funded 'publics service' mural was painted on the Shoreditch Art Wall; this time to be displayed during the Paralympic Games. The mural's message was "Access All Areas" and featured Baroness Grey-Thompson, the UK's most successful Paralympian, who had recently been rescued by workers from being stranded on a train at King's Cross station at midnight when her assistants had failed to show; the train was not wheelchair enabled. The Baroness was kind enough to attend and take part in unveiling the mural, as did Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture.

    As this was to be Peter's second San Francisco to London 22-hour round-trip on Virgin Atlantic in four weeks, as he booked his economy class seat through the Flying Club he asked if a trade-in-kind upgrade from economy to premium economy might be available. He only requested an upgrade on the overnight San Francisco to London part of his trip, and would, in exchange, include the Virgin Atlantic logo on the mural and in the subsequent press release. Peter explained that M&A had covered all the expenses to create the above murals and that he understood that Virgin held such activities in high regard. He was told that he would receive a response by email. It was less than a week to his trip.

    A badly worded refusal:

    The trade-in-kind upgrade offer was rejected by Virgin Atlantic's Customer Service Department. M&A had seen much publicity about Virgins love of causes, and knew that there were a number of available seats in Premium Economy, so they asked that the request be forwarded to Virgin's Chairman, Sir Richard Branson. After all, the PR was well worth a one way upgrade, and Sir Richard was renown for his availability. However, the email reply below showed Peter just how important he was to his favorite airline:

    "Dear Lisa,

    Thank you for contacting me.

    "We appreciate your request to forward your correspondence to Sir Richard Branson."

    "May I clarify Richard Branson's position in this matter. Richard heads a corporation made up of numerous companies and directorships; Virgin Atlantic alone carriers over two million passengers per year. As much as he would like to answer every concern or become involved, this would be impossible, he therefore instructs the various and appropriate departments throughout the Virgin organisation to reply on his behalf."

    Kind Regards
    Kay Onslow
    Customer Liaison Manager

    TRACKING NUMBER: A00001842096-00006253936"

    The take away message: individual passengers are not important:

    Peter Mackeonis of Mackeonis & Associates sums up his thoughts by commenting: "For a company not to be interested in a PR event is one thing, but to be told that the Chairman, the very public face of the company, is too busy to even condider it, is quite another!"

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