Virgin's Velocity Frequent Flyer Program Is All Class

Velocity stuffupLast Friday, I was minding my own business when an email from Virgin's frequent flyer program, Velocity, landed in my inbox. I'd been upgraded to Gold status because I was so close to making the grade. "Kinda weird" I thought to myself, considering I haven't flown Virgin for over 12 months, "but a free upgrade is a free upgrade". Except it wasn't, as the follow up email I got four hours later was so quick to point out.

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.

Warm regards,

The Velocity Team

From all accounts, it seems they sent the upgrade email to a pretty big chunk of their Velocity membership.

Considering I very rarely fly Virgin, I'm unsure whether or not I should be bemused or outraged at the mixup. Anyone want to suggest an emotion for me this morning?


    I got it too, and I consider it pretty poor that they didn't offer anything as a bonus for the mistake, like free entry to The Lounge or something like that.

      Friday 13th joke from Richard, I think. My wife got the same email. Richard has done this before. Thanks very little Richard.

      I think free lounge membership for the year would be a reasonable compensation.

      Funny thing is I was sitting at the airport that afternoon at 8:15pm waiting for my 5:45pm Virgin flight to Sydney to board when I read this email. Now it's just made me more angry with Virgin.

    Will be funny inside Virgin today. Marketing blaming IT who'll be blaming Testing who'll say the marketing deadlines were too short.
    Probably best not to fly Virgin for some time as the finger pointing going around may lead to blindness :)

    Do you all get on the internet crying every time someone sends you an email in error? Surely there's more newsworthy stuff than this today.

    Free entry to the Lounge? Why? What have you done to deserve it? You're all a pack of self-absorbed whingers. Stilgherrian put it best in this article:

    It was a mistake, you're not entitled to anything. Move on.

    I reckon the appropriate emotion would be "get over it". Like apparently many others I received the email. Mistakes happen. Far less of an inconvenience than having a flight that I need to catch cancelled. Virgin haven't pulled that stunt on me, unlike other airlines I could mention.

    Join my Facebook group to demand a free lounge visit as compensation!

    It is called "advertising". They get people excited about a free upgrade and you check out what benefits their gold member status has to offer. They're hoping to convert some people to buy their Lounge membership through "savvy" marketing

    I got it too on Friday, I've been flying a bit this year and was kind of excited when I somehow got a free upgrade. I'm quite upset that they would prank us like that even if it is an honest mistake.

    Hi Nick,

    This story amazed me. We have seen the number of mass-email stuff ups rise dramatically lately.

    Businesses need to be more cautious and have more oversight with their mass-emailing programs. It should be technically impossible to send an e-mail like this -- the business logic should prevent it -- so I hope for Virgin's sake it was a true programming bug rather then a lack of business logic altogether.

    All that said, I can completely understand they can't give a large number of passengers free lounge memberships as it would congest the lounges, annoying genuine members (not to mention annoying frequent flyers who wheren't lucky enough to get the 'accidental e-mail').

    On the otherhand, in my opinion they are mad for not offering *something*. A lot of people will be in your shoes, not sure what emotion to be feeing.

    If they had said "you can have $50 off you next flight" all the sudden you would be a happy chappy. The cost to the business would not be nil, but would be within the acceptable loss to negate the negative impact of this stuff up.

    All of this is in my humple opinion, of course.


      Hi again Nick,

      Your article inspired me to write my weekly blog post on this topic:

      Any small business sending out mass e-mails should be using a mass mailing tool as opposed to Microsoft Outlook.


    yep, got it aswell... i'm flying to LA in FEB next year with the miss', and signed up with them just for the fact we're flying VAustralia...
    how delighted i was when i got the email thinking.. wow this is good service free upgrade now we can use the lounge because we have a few hours in sydney before we fly to LA... clicked the link.. and got the same message saying WHOPSY DAISYS.
    I know it was a mistake but was still pretty disapointed, would love to know if they end up offering anything to people who complain.

    ps. sorry for the double post..

    i love how the second email says, please disreguard the free upgrade... oh ok then... NO I DONT WANT TO.

    And emotion you should be arroused???

    Yeah I copped one too /cry

    Yeah I got it too, and I'm already a Gold member, so it must have been an almost *.* email - to many pre-christmas friday afternoon drinks maybe....

    I think for me the sad thing is I am a big advocate of Virgin blue. Love the airline. Its the only thing i fly domestic. So I often talk it up at work. So when the email came through I checked the address... not it was real, and subsequently told my colleuges of my big win. A few laughs around the office today. Now I look like a sad virgin fanboy. oh well. Just feels suck... could have done with a win.

    what? I didn't get any emails from them! sure, i'm not singed up to any of their stuff, have never flown with them, or had any association with them what so ever. but I think its pretty poor form for them to not think of me at all! you spoiled bastards are lucky to even get a mistake! I'm connected to the internet and I didn't get any offer!!


    They had me fooled, but I take it for what it is a stuff up or a joke.

    I got one as well. Just reported this to the ACCC. If it is a marketing ploy the ACCC will nail the fuckers.

      what the hell do we need the ACCC to protect us from?

      "I don't even know about Gold membership"
      "what? YAY I'm A gold member!!"
      "oh boo, no I'm not really"
      "oh God, now their psychic powers are compelling me to sign up and pay the FEE!! help me captain ACCC!! you are my only hope!!"

      if you're singed up to receive promotional emails from them, there is nothing wrong here, if not, thats another story, it would be wrong.

      I recently got a free $10 coupon from someone for seemingly no reason, then they emailed back saying it was a mistake, as I suspected. couldn't care less.

      Ever thought of thinking before acting? Sounds like you would have gone running to Mum at the smallest incident when you were a kid.

      And btw,the ACCC is toothless anyway.

    The sense of entitlement people has is absolutely astounding.

    just flew to sydney for a gig/awards ceremony. Had a guitar with fragile sticker on it get smashed on the way over(from Perth) and 4 out of the 5 awards we received were damaged on the way back!

    I was actually sitting in Melbourne Airport waiting for a Virgin flight when I got the email! Straight to the lounge... and I was obviously refused entry rather rudely I must say...)

    Small Business owners are largely forgotten. Thats why I only focus on them. I have experience several members of my family file bankruptcy due to small business failures. I also I suffered through 2 destroyed businesses due to failure however, in my failings I have learned some of the secrets to success. (Who can say they know it all?)
    What I like about small business owners is that they are not afraid to take huge risks and lay it all on the line. But, I agree they do need a lot of help with their marketing. I think having them go the social media and email route is not only the least expensive but its also the most effective. Thanks for the stats!

    Thanks Virginblue for breacking the neck on my twelve string...Before leaving Brisbane airport I loosened all the strings.
    When I arrived in Melbourne the neck had a large crack in it., consistent with something heavy being placed on the case...and believe me the case is pretty strong...naturally Virgin didnt want to know about it citing the waiver I signed upon checkin.
    So now I have a new guitar with a cracked neck which I will have to get repaired.
    Once again thanks Virginblue..

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