Virgin Australia's cabin crew, formerly known as Virgin Blue, has started to participate in a program called Elevate which includes an etiquette class. The program that covers everything from grooming, body language and wine-appreciate , stems from an effort to try and gain business customers from award-winning Qantas.
Among the changes, the air crew has been asked to stop calling passengers, "mate" unless the passenger has given consent in the airline database and is a frequent flyer. Mark Hassell, who is the airline's group executive has taken out the pool table in the Melbourne Airport lounge and replaced it with baristas and a buffet to attract business clientele.
He said to Australia's The Daily Telegraph, "We want to retain of the spirit that exists within Virgin service style and service behavior but put it in a context that is equally relevant for business-purpose and corporate travelers."
The company stated that they also want to move away from the sexy look that has been attached to the company. Last year, Elle Macpherson appeared on the runway with Virgin-Blue flight attendants to debut their latest uniforms.
Earlier this year flight attendants were also given whisper classes in which they learn to whisper in a calming way for Upper Class passengers. 'It is incredibly important that all Virgin Atlantic's cabin crew have their skills honed in order to provide the most comfortable experience possible for our passengers,' Richard Fitzgerald, Virgin Atlantic's whispering coach, said at the time to The Daily Mail.