Virgin scooping up Silverjet fliers

Virgin Atlantic has launched an outreach initiative to lure fliers stranded by the grounding of British business-only airline Silverjet.

Passengers with tickets to fly Silverjet from June 6–June 30 are being offered special one-way fares if they trade for Virgin tickets on the same date and route. Discount tickets are being offered on the New York to London route as well as London to Dubai.

Virgin is promoting the deal through its Web site and call center, along with press releases sent to national outlets, trade publications and travel agents.

Other efforts on Virgin Atlantic’s part suggest that the airline is looking to hold on to jilted Silverjet customers well past that initial pity flight. In a customer retention move, Virgin is offering to enroll members of Silverjet’s frequent flying club (the Silverjet Set), into Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club. Virgin is also touting its new Upper Class Wing at Heathrow airport, which moves Virgin Atlantic business passengers through their own security line.

New bookings for Silverjet passengers can be made through Virgin Atlantic’s ticket desks at London Heathrow, JFK, Newark and Dubai.

Silverjet, for its part, does not seem to be advertising the deal to consumers. An “FAQ” section on its Web site suggested, “Other airlines are not under any obligation to honor your unused Silverjet tickets; however, as a courtesy, some airlines may agree ‘to get you home’ using their flights on a basis specified by them.”

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