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Branson dressed as a boxer. He's quite the knockout (get it?).
After much scientific testing, complicated measuring and grueling research, we've come to the very important conclusion that it is impossible to think Virgin Group main man Sir Richard Branson is anything but extremely awesome. C'monthe man kite-boards with naked models, says he wants to build a spaceship and then actually does it, saves the world daily with his many charities, and yet still has time to sit down with us for a quick chat.
We last caught up with Sir Richard onboard Virgin America's inaugural flight to Chicago-O'Hare. As for all other monumental occasions in his family of Virgin brands, Branson donned a fun costume and parades around for the cameras, bursting with vim and vigor. This got us thinking. What costume, after all these years of dressing wacky for promotional stunts, does Richard really wish he could wear? So we asked him.
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There are plenty of Virgin brands within Richard Branson’s aviation world, from Virgin Atlantic to Virgin America to Virgin Blue; sometimes it’s hard to keep all of them straight. Virgin Blue is the domestic carrier that does its thing in and around Australia, but it looks like it’s getting a name upgrade to fall in line with the rest of the brands around the world.
The airline will be rebranded as Virgin Australia, not to be confused with the already existing long-haul Virgin carrier V Australia. The name change also involves a pending lawsuit requiring another virgin company in Australia—one that made bookmarks—to pick a different name. Already domain names and other advertising goodies have already changed hands, but if you travel over to virginaustralia.com.au it’s still blank.
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The best part of visiting Australia might just be found at the airport, that is if the folks at Virgin get their dreams to come true. Virgin Atlantic is thinking about building their first clubhouse down under, and it won’t just be one of their traditional airport lounges. Not only would it be their newest, but it could be the best, with new technology and extra space needed, as it will be available for flyers aboard V Australia and Virgin Blue as well.
The Virgin Group is already working on a new place to score a Virgin Redhead before your flight for all three of its airlines in Los Angeles, so these super combo lounges might just be part of their future plans for their company and passenger comfort. Right now they’re committing to finishing things at LAX, but it sounds like the blueprints to their latest clubhouse might be sent to Sydney at some point in 2011.
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It's the moment we've all been waiting for! Okay, so we haven't been waiting for it with bated breath, but we have been wondering when it would finally come about...
If you're a member of Virgin America's eleVAte frequent flyer miles program (membership is free), then you'll be able to earn points for your account from your travels on other Virgin-branded airlines. That's right, eleVAte isn't just for Virgin America any longer; flights on Virgin Atlantic, V Australia and Virgin Blue will count towards free flights as well.
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A frequent traveler pays particular attention to a few certain things, and doesn't mind paying extra for them. Some examples are frequent flyer status (and club access), a good dinner of the local cuisine, and ideal luggage.
With their "Perfect Bag" project, airline V Australia targeted the latter, and sent New York designer Steven Alan on a lengthy tour of Australia, with the idea that he would return and design the perfect piece of luggage for the V Australia flyersor indeed anyone. But the resulting productseen on Steven himself, aboveis kind of anticlimactic and for $795, we at least expected some wheels.
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Is this the perfect bag for airline travel? V Australia and New York fashion designer Steven Alan think so, especially after they sent him all around Australia on a trip for inspiration to create this accessory specifically for them.
During his trip Down Under, Alan blogged and tweeted about the experience, all the while asking the public for hints on what they travel with and what type of bag they'd like. Finally, he returned and went to work on the prototype with his team, and they emerged with the above bag. Do you like it? We're a bit mixed, since it's kind of big and we prefer a thinner profile for easy overhead bin stuffing, but then we haven't seen it in person.
Boy oh boy, it's been awhile since Britney Spears did anything notable, let alone something travel-related, but last week she flew right back onto the scene and it was on a V Australia plane. BritBrit is currently playing to somewhat sold-out crowds around Australia on the Down Under portion of her "Circus" tour, and V Australia was chosen as the official airline partner of the tour.
What does that mean? Well, first it meant that Britney and all of her dancers, band, set designers, tech people and assorted crew headed to Oz on a V Australia plane on November 3. About that flight, Britney tweeted: "Longest flight ever but we had a great time. Really cool plane and the V staff took great care of us. So excited to be here!" She wrapped up the first concerts in Perth over the weekend, and now she'll be flying on Virgin Blue to upcoming dates in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne.
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It's one of the oldest moneymaking games in the book: convince tourists that the bags they're traveling with aren't safe enough, or convenient enough, or stylish enough, and sell them a more jaunt-friendly bag. Very very soon however, all this could be put to rest by the release of the fruit of the labors of a fashion designer-airline combination.
Whether you're of the type that prefers the sixteen zippered pockets and multitude of snaps, or the type that wants only a simplistic tote, V Australia is asking you to help them design "the perfect bag for the perfect trip."
The always spunky Richard Branson and his Virgin team are no slouches at putting together clever promotions, and this time his Aussie long-haul airline V Australia has got a smart one going called Jet with JET.
One jet, of course, is the plane that V Australia is going to fly you in from Los Angeles to Sydney. The all-capitals JET is the great Aussie rock band that will be on the plane with you, and then will perform at the Homebake Music Festival once they back to Oz.
Here's a little background on the contest: Only a month ago, V Australia decided to draw attention to their Sydney to Los Angeles route by running a contest to send some Aussies to LA if they'd promise to Twitter every minute of their time there. The amount of tweets, equal to the amount of minutes spent in LA, was 4320, and a trio of guys successfully completed the mission a little over two weeks ago, winning around-the-world tickets for themselves.
Now it's our turn, with 15 more days to tweet an entry on their website before they choose another group to tweet 4320 times over three days in Sydney. Obviously the opera house will be involved, and probably some shrimp on a barbie, but we'll most enticed by the promise of those around-the-world tickets. Take us along if you win? We're pretty good at twittering already.
[Image: V Australia]
There are three Aussie boys with sore thumbs this week, after they successfully completed the challenging task set by V Australia to tweet every minute during a whirlwind three-day trip from Australia to Los Angeles.
Kelvin, Nathan and Matt won a radio competition that got them on a V Australia flight to LA for three days of partying, sightseeing and non-stop tweeting. V Australia promised them round-the-world flights if they managed to make 4320 Twitter posts between them, averaging out at one every minute for 72 hours.
As you'd expect, sleepless tweeting didn't exactly lead to too many Twitter gems, with the general standard being more like these: "Margarita time," "My eyes feel like they are going to fall out" and "Need some inspiration." But they made it to the end and get to enjoy the next trip they take without tweeting their vacation away.
V Australia is talking up a "second half" of the contest for August. Not sure if that means another three tweeting victims or some other crazy Twitter challenge, but we'll keep you informed, minute by minute.
· 4320LA [Official Site]
· Tweet Very Minute For 3 Days in LA To Win A Round-The-World Trip [Jaunted]
· V Australia Coverage [Jaunted]
This is for all your Aussies looking to experience a little of the flash of Los Angeles without having to a pay a thing: V Australia will send you and two of your friends from down under to LA for a raucous weekend of drinking, dancing, and well...tweeting.
To encourage the idea of heading from Australia to LA for a weekend trip, V Australia is asking their fans to tweet on their contest website with a reason for being sent to LA, and if you win, you'll be up against a few other teams tweeting every minute of your days in LA in pursuit of the grand prize: a round-the-world ticket on V Australia and Virgin Atlantic.