Dear Virgin Australia,
Let me begin by letting you know that you are a pretty decent airline. I am a frequent flyer and would fly with you before any other airline both in Australia and overseas. That free muesli bar you give me every time always makes my day… You run rings around Jetstar that is for sure. As an airline, you also provide some decent deals throughout the home and away season with your partnership with the AFL forming AFL Travel. I’ve used these deals a few times myself and find them quite good value. Thank you for that.
So why then when it comes to AFL finals, do you feel the need to raise the price of flights to absolutely ridiculous levels and therefore end up locking many people out from attending games and supporting their team?
Look no further than what happened the minute Adelaide beat North Melbourne last weekend in the Elimination Final. By the time the game had finished tickets were about $1,500.00 return to go to Sydney. Sydney! A three hour flight return would set you back 1500 bucks for a simple economy seat.
Now, we all understand that the world works in a supply and demand sort of way. My year 12 economics teacher hammered that into me. But as the official airline of the AFL, you’d think that there would be a bit of leeway somewhere.
What would be so wrong with providing a big chunk of reasonable fares? After all on a domestic flight in economy, everybody gets a pretty similar seat. And we all get that same muesli bar. The tickets do not have to be dirt cheap, just reasonable. To put the price from last week into perspective, it was cheaper for me to fly to London and back then it would have been to fly to Sydney from Adelaide return on one of your flights.
Would it not make more sense to put on extra flights to meet demand and then sell more of those seats at reasonable prices? Who knows you might even make more money out of that, because I can guarantee that they would have all been filled. Just look at the amount of people who drove because flying was too expensive. You could have had all of these footy fans on planes had you not decided to play the greedy card.
I am no business expert, but surely every now and then, an act of goodwill to commuters might actually be good for business? After all a little gesture can go a long way. How about you encourage people to want to fly Virgin Australia first and foremost. Then when people fly for whatever reason, you are the first airline they talk to. People will second-guess doing that though when you pull stunts like this.
I will understand if you do not want to make this as part of your business plan. That is fine and your choice, but if that is your decision, then I ask that you remove yourself from being affiliated as the official airline partner of the AFL. That is only fair. You may support the AFL in many ways, but what about the AFL fans. Do we not count for something too? After all are we not the ones who keep the game going? Without us there is no players to fly around the country.
I look forward to continuing to fly with you in future and eagerly await your response.
P.S – I do not really like the muesli bar. It is tasteless and needs work. But one thing at a time ay?