Virgin Atlantic’s Vtravelled gets into social gaming – Interview with Lysette Gauna
There has been a lot of ruckus about the relevance of loyalty programs lately, where many frequent fliers have been disgruntled by their respective programs. Part of the problem is also that airline loyalty programs have never been fun – they’re only about earning and burning miles. But that may change, if Virgin Atlantic has its way.
Let’s Play, and earn miles, says Virgin
Virgin Atlantic recently announced plans to re-launch its social travel community site, www.vtravelled.com, with a strategy focused on rewarding their frequent flyers using gaming mechanics.
As one of the first airlines to launch their own online community, Virgin Atlantic will partner with social gaming experts Lithium, as they plan to engage with their 1.8 million Flying Club members. The airline will introduce the ability to earn real currency in the form of miles in addition to the more usual virtual rewards. The plan is to take the fundamental thinking and technology behind social gaming and develop it to allow loyal customers and Flying Club members to be rewarded for their contributions.
Lysette Gauna, Creative Director at Virgin Atlantic and one of the key people behind this initiative was kind enough to be interviewed over this new development, and has revealed some exciting details in this interview that you’ll find below.
Will social gaming and frequent fliers make good bed mates?
So, now that you’ve heard Lysette’s plans with the Vtravelled.com site, do you think infusing social gaming would work? I’m sure Virgin Atlantic would drive new sign-ups for its frequent flier program, by tapping into the social gamers. There will also be a certain percentage of its existing fliers who may engage with the airline through the site, but I wouldn’t expect that number to be significant.
So, then, it seems more of a customer acquisition effort, than engaging and deriving more value from existing frequent fliers. And I’d give full credit to the Virgin Atlantic team to be the first airline to dive into social gaming at such scale.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear whether you think this would work. Would you be keen on flying Virgin Atlantic more often because of this? Let’s hear it in the comments, and over on Twitter (@simpliflying).