17 OCTOBER 2011


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Article from BTNews 17 OCTOBER 2011

COMMENT: An open letter to Richard Branson

Dear Sir Richard

Save the Virgin pepper pot set

Many years ago you were kind enough to offer me a Virgin Atlantic salt and pepper pot on a press inaugural.  I took it home and it has adorned our dining room table ever since.  Guests have even mentioned the pieces and our retort is always the same.  “Fly Upper Class, be nice to the cabin staff, and you too may find yourself the owner of the condiment set.”

Amongst the post (well email in truth) this week was a letter from a former airline Chief Executive, someone you know well, saying that he too had acquired the items, his wife responsible, telling the crew that her husband's operation was thinking of doing something similar (that was what he said!).

Now clearly Virgin Atlantic does not have the marketing budget of some Middle East carriers, who, within their balance sheet can sponsor football teams, the gateway to Heathrow, Newcastle Airport's control tower, and even a cable car across the Thames (just to note a few examples).

I do not know the cost of a salt and pepper pot set, nor the number of Upper Class passengers carried by Virgin Atlantic in a typical year, but to buy them in bulk (presumably from China – and you can fly them back to London for free) cannot be much per unit.

Can I said suggest that you retain the items, even a mark two version, as a promotional item.  Sell them on board at the back end.  It is certainly cheaper than, say, Virgin sponsoring the London Olympic Stadium.

Yours truly would be delighted to be the recipient of a revised edition.

In Upper Class of course!

Malcolm Ginsberg
Editor in Chief

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