I’ve read plenty about the Branson brand of magic. In fact, I have admired him from afar like legions of “wannabe” entrepreneurs! Yet, it was not till this summer that I boarded a Virgin Atlantic plane for the very first time. The occasion was to surprise my better half for our milestone wedding anniversary. I was impressed by the service (there was vegetarian food – yay!), the friendliness of the staff (no fawning over, just appropriate), the amenities kit (wait…I am in economy class and matter?), the purple cutlery and glasses (my younger daughter’s favorite color) and the tons of free magazines and newspapers on the return flight (did I mention I am a voracious reader?).
So, the Branson brand was working its charm. It was a world apart from my normal cross atlantic flights. So, when we had to return to Europe the following month, we consciously chose Virgin Atlantic. And on this trip I fell “blindly” in love. If you have the patience to read the rest of this, the word “blindly” will become a lot more real.
On this trip, the joy was doubled since my daughter was indulging in the Branson touch for the first time. But it was after the plane ride had ended that the Virgin magic really kicked in.
Per my routine, I had removed my contact lenses on the plane and somehow dropped the case in the vicinity of my seat. I discovered the loss of my perfect vision enablers upon walking into the baggage claim area, struggling with my old glasses and the reality of astigmatism.
Thinking that my lenses were lost forever, I made a last-ditch effort at recovering my vision by walking into the Virgin Lounge. I told them the story, and offered to wait in the hallway outside the lounge while they investigated. That was not to be. Instead, my daughter and I were welcomed into the lounge, asked to relax and eat while the staff ably went about tracking my contacts on a plane that was comfortably in its hangar.
Ninety minutes later, a beaming staff member handed me my lenses, a pair that had traversed through multiple dedicated Virgin employees to enable a passenger in economy class regain her perfect vision. And fall “blindly” in love in the process.
Thank you Virgin. In an age where the customer is usually taken for granted, you guys rock with your dedication. Love the spirit…we will be back for more 🙂