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Santa cheers Virgin Oz but queues hit New Year

January 5, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Virgin Australia served up a full turkey dinner to lucky customers on Christmas Day – but come New Year, enormous queues at the airline’s Sydney Airport domestic check-in snaked right out of the terminal.

Passengers were forced to wait hours at the Virgin Australia check-in yesterday morning, with indignant flyers venting their frustration on social media and news outlets picking up the theme.

National Paralympic Sport Policy PhD researcher, Aurélie Pankowiak, tweeted:

“@VirginAustralia – opportunity to experience the world longest checkin line #2017 will be the #breakingrecord year #travel @SydneyAirport”.

Pankowiak added a picture of the queue.

Aurélie Pankowiak’s tweet shows the scene


Virgin Australia staff called out flights for customers queuing who needed immediate check-in.

Observers said Tiger and Jetstar – which share the terminal – did not face the same mammoth queues.

Virgin Australia told the Sydney Morning Herald that yesterday was one of the busiest days of the year for travellers returning from holidays, hence the delays at Sydney check-in counters. The queues abated by afternoon.

In a nicer touch, back on Christmas Day, Virgin served up a full turkey dinner with chestnut stuffing, mashed potato, green beans and cranberry sauce to flyers who otherwise would have missed the big day entirely.

Guests boarding flights VA2 and VA8 at Los Angeles International Airport on Christmas Eve faced having Christmas Day erased. The dateline means they fly straight from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, with no 25 December.

To bring back the good cheer, the airline decked out its flights as sleighs, with Christmas tinsel, trees and treats – even Santa Claus was in attendance.

All Velocity members had their membership status upgraded. Red Velocity members were upgraded to Silver, Silver to Gold, and Gold to Platinum. Platinum Velocity members received 100,000 Velocity Points. Merry Christmas!

The airline produced a video about it on its YouTube channel.

Who knows, next year Virgin may enlist Santa and his Christmas elves to put in some extra magic and abolish the New Year queue.

Written by Peter Needham

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