Plane crazy - Virgin’s 15 best in-air stunts
- Feb 26, 2010
15. Virgin Atlantic gives away complimentary bikinis
Well, when you’re off on holiday, you may as well get into the mood for sun-bathing before you even arrive. Virgin Atlantic sorted this by joining up with Seafolly to offer complimentary bikinis. Jenny Mendonca, Spa Manager for Virgin Atlantic, said: “We’re certain that they will be very excited to receive a luxury bikini ensuring they will look fantastic both when they relax in our Jacuzzi and when they hit the beach this summer!"
14. Entourage takes to the skies with Virgin America
Take the coolest brand, add the coolest TV programme, put them together on a Virgin America flight and magic will happen. Sir Richard Branson joined the cast of HBO hit Entourage to launch new non-stop New York to Las Vegas flights and new plane ‘Entourage Air’.There was even an after-party at the Palms Casino Resort Playboy Club in Las Vegas for ‘Entourage Air’ travellers, as well as mood-lit cabins and a lavish atmosphere. Very swanky.
13. Virgin Atlantic takes the Ashes back to Oz
A sporting institution like no other, the contest between England and Australia cricket teams for the Ashes is legendary. So who better to act as a go-between and fly the tiny in size, huge in stature prize – the Ashes Urn – back from England to Oz than Virgin Atlantic? Michael Vaughan, England's 2005 Ashes winning Captain commented: "I’m delighted that the Ashes urn and the England Team will be traveling in style to Australia with a British airline." Sir Richard Branson added: “Everyone at Virgin Atlantic is very excited and proud to be given the honour of carrying the Ashes Urn to Australia.”
12. Willy Wonka favourite Veruca Salt makes her Virgin Holidays demands
When Virgin Holidays asked holidaymakers to ‘Ask For The World’, who better to track down to see how it’s done than legendary demander Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Actress Julie Dawn Cole, who played the famously stroppy child in the 1971 film headed to South Africa with Virgin Holidays and was still in typically complaining mood. Charlotte Church also reworked Verucas’s classic ‘I Want It Now’ song – why settle for anything less?
11. Film festival in the sky on Virgin Atlantic
Cannes, Sundance, London, eat your hearts out – the best film festivals happen thousands of feet in the air. Virgin Atlantic teamed up with the National Film and Television School (NFTS) to hold its own Film Festival in the Sky. With new talented filmmakers being showcased and Virgin Atlantic tickets given away, it saw actors Nick Moran and Brenda Blethyn. NFTS director Nik Powell said: “Virgin's onboard film festival is an inspired way to bring new filmmakers and their future audience together.”
10. V Australia calls on the Twitterati for tweeting marathon
A huge in-air social media experiment saw V Australia fly passengers from down under to Los Angeles and tweet the entire time of their trip. The holiday lasted for three days and the three winners had to tweet every single minute of their time in the City of Angels. That’s 4320 minutes, 4320 tweets. Michelle Lee from Virgin Blue said it was an idea for “not only to the social media-savvy set but to our other long haul guests”. Bet their fingers hurt after all that tweeting.
9. Santa Claus delivers at 35,000 feet on Virgin Atlantic
Well, how do you think Santa makes it around all those houses all in one night? He flies Virgin Atlantic of course. Father Christmas dropped by at 35,000 feet to hand out stockings at the end of first class beds. "Christmas is a busy time with many people travelling long distances to see their families and friends and we are delighted to offer them some festivities onboard to get them in the mood for Christmas!” said Richard Branson. With mince pies and competitions, it was a Christmas cracker.
8. Superfly singles meet up on Virgin America
Sometimes it is hard to meet that special someone, so where better to enjoy some matchmaking than in the air on a Virgin America flight? A series of ‘Superfly’ Virgin America flights from San Francisco to Las Vegas, complete with social networking and tips from Bob Guiney of ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ sorted this problem. “We've noticed that our planes have become a new place for social networking and for singles to meet,” stated Virgin America’s Dimitrios Papadogonas. Match.com is the perfect partner to encourage guests to mix and mingle at 38,000 feet on their way to a fabulous destination." With seat-to-seat chat and free cocktails, ‘Superfly Wednesdays’ always went down well.
7. ‘Precious’ Lord of the Rings kits from Virgin Atlantic
No, Virgin Atlantic didn’t put Gollum on a plane and fly to Mordor – they did create exclusive ‘Lord of the Rings’ amenity kits. These included ‘Precious Sleep’ eyshades, Gandalf socks, and Lord of the Rings bag tags. Watch out for Middle-earth destination specials any day now.
6. Victoria’s Secret is safe with Virgin America
The first ever in-flight PJ party was never going to happen anywhere else than on a Virgin America flight. With the Victoria's Secret Angels naming a plane the ‘Runway Angel’ and supermodels Selita Ebanks and Miranda Kerr co-hosting the party, it was always going to go with a swing. Guests even got their own “supermodel makeovers” using Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Makeup and Virgin America became the official ‘Airline of the Angels’.
5. Spice One – the Spice Girls get their own Virgin Atlantic plane
Not content with having planes in their fleet with extravagant names such as ‘Scarlett Lady’, ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘Miss Behavin’, Virgin Atlantic gave the Spice Girls their very own plane as they embarked upon their comeback world tour. Named ‘Spice One’, Posh, Ginger and co joined an exclusive club of people having Virgin planes named after them, including Princess Diana’s ‘Lady In Red’, Queen Elizabeth II’s ‘Queen of the Skies’ and Claudia Schiffer’s ‘Claudia Nine’.
4. Virgin Blue dedicates ‘Up, Up and a gay!’ flight
With a series of flights ehading to Mardi Gras, Virgin Blue decided to take the party to the air by holding their own Virgin Blue Mardi Gras-themed flight. The ‘Up, Up and a gay!’ journey had all the glitz and glamour of The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, including drag queen cabin crew team member Ms Marion De-Pilot. Brett Godfrey, chief executive of Virgin Blue said: “We thought it was a great opportunity to quiff our beehives, break out the sequins and kick off the party early by getting into the spirit of Mardi Gras ‘Priscilla’ style on the journey there.”
3. Star Wars ‘Barf Vader’ sickbags on Virgin Atlantic flights
Well, if you are going to get travel sick, it may as well be good fun. Virgin Atlantic put 100,000 ‘Barf Vader’ sickbags on its planes for passengers who felt the force on their flights. Sir Richard Branson commented: “"Of course, we hope that our flights are as smooth as normal so that passengers don't need to use the sickbags ' we want them to see the funny side of these sickbags not the inside." Complete with tongue-in-cheek Jedi knight instructions (how to hold a light sabre without cutting your head off) they were almost worth getting travel sick for all the Star Wars fans out there.
2. The Black Eyed Peas break a Guinness World Record with Virgin Blue
The Black Eyed Peas lived up their reputation as one of the most innovative groups in the world by breaking a world record with Virgin Blue. Will.I.Am, Fergie and co rocked out at 41,000 feet as they flew from Melbourne to Perth, jamming live on the flight and becoming the Guinness World Record holders for ‘highest ever concert performed on an aircraft’. Fergie said, “It was exciting to make history while having a silly, crazy time doing it!", while the passengers got involved in Mile High Karaoke. It’s safe to say the flight had that Boom Boom Pow.
1. Operation Chihuahua on Virgin America
Virgin America is always keen to help out anybody in need – this of course extends to dogs. The Virgin travel company dropped some cute Chihuahuas from San Francisco to New York so that they could be adopted into loving new homes, with the help of San Francisco Animal Care and Control. “Many of our teammates and guests are dog lovers, so of course, we just had to do this,” said Ross Bonanno from Virgin America. The Chihuahuas received full red carpet treatment, doggie treats and toys, while human passengers enjoyed champagne cocktail “Chi-mosas”. Now that’s a dog day afternoon.
Virgin travel companies always have something new going on and there are lots of special deals on offer at the moment. Head over to Virgin Holidays, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America and Virgin Blue for all the details.
By Greg Rose