Virgin rapped over misleading Premium Economy ads

THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY (ASA) delivered some blows to the rump of Virgin Atlantic today for misleading customers over the availability and service in its “Premium Economy” cabins.

The ASA found that ads Virgin ran gave the impression that new seats weren’t available on something like 50 per cent of its planes, while the “dedicated team” the airline advertised were really people that also served economy passengers.

In fact, we have first hand knowledge of the new cabins and seats, because we flew back in one of them from Mumbai at the weekend. After two hours on the runway and nine hours on the fright, our bum was quite sore. The cabin staff, as always, were very pleasant, although the sight of two tall male cabin staff made us think we had double vision at one point.

But here’s a thing. Although other airlines put their staff up in nice hotels in central London, allowing the crew to see the cities they’re going to, we understand that Virgin puts them up in Slough – not the most salubrious town in the south east. They go shopping in Uxbridge, poor things.

Further, unlike other airlines, Virgin makes the staff trek to Mumbai airport dressed up to the nines in their red suits. For blokes this probably isn’t much of a problem, but a young lady on her own in India is likely to be the subject of what the local press call “eve teasing” – that is to say sexual harrassment.

Anyroad, the ASA told Virgin to remove the dedicated crew claim, to provide a disclaimer that the spiffed up seats weren’t available on all frights, and to make their copy clearer when they ran ads. ♥

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