Virgin Australia cabin crew are being sent to flight attendant boot camp, in order to study up on etiquette, posture and language in a program called Elevate. Why the brush-up on manners right now? So they can compete with classy service offered to business passengers on Qantas.
One big change will be the ban on greeting any passengers as “mate.” They’re not your friends! They’re business flyers! The only way it’s allowed is if the passenger is a Frequent Flyer and has said they want to be addressed that way according to the airline’s database.
The deportment program will teach food and wine appreciation, grooming and body language. For example — crossing your arms is bad because then you appear defensive.
Virgin is known for its somewhat cheeky attitude for staff, says the The Sunday Telegraph, but that the “sexualized” image of the staff was changing.
“They want us to get away from that ‘sex’ look that’s been attached to the company,” one attendant told the paper.
Virgin Australia group executive of brand and customer experience said the measures were designed to help the airline appeal to a more “discerning” business traveler.
“We are not creating clones and we are not creating straightjackets for people,” he said. “We want to retain of the spirit that exists within Virgin service style and service behaviour but put it in a context that is equally relevant for business-purpose and corporate travellers.”
Virgin Australia cabin crew ordered to undergo classes in etiquette [Daily Telegraph]