Australia’s major airlines are vying to convince passengers to get COVID jabs with a smorgasbord of incentives that now allows one to become a Virgin Australia frequent flyer millionaire.
Virgin on Wednesday unveiled hundreds of prizes such as business class flights and lounge memberships as part of a “VA-X & Win” competition with a total prize pool of more than $150,000.
Topping the competition is a grand prize of a million frequent points.
The move comes after Qantas earlier this month announced rewards for fully vaccinated frequent flyers that allowed them to choose 1000 frequent flyer points, 15 status credits towards a higher frequent flyer tier of a $A20 discount on Qantas or Jetstar.
Members who claim a Qantas reward are then automatically entered into a draw for 10 mega-prizes that include year’s flying across the group’s network, free accommodation at Accor hotels and free fuel from BP.
Virgin’s competition gives fully vaccinated Australians until December 31 to enter through a simple process on virginaustralia.com/vaxandwin.
Virgin Australia Group CEO and Managing Director, Jayne Hrdlicka described vaccination as Australia’s ticket to freedom.
“We know how important it is to reach the vaccination thresholds as soon as possible, especially for those people living in New South Wales and Victoria, and we’re proud to play our part in adding to the benefits of getting vaccinated,’’ she said.
“We all have a role to play in ensuring our country is safe and we can return to our basic freedoms and all the jobs and prosperity that come with that.
“For 21 years, we have used our voice for good in the community and this is just another element of our service,” she said.
The airline is backing the competition with a new marketing campaign it says pokes a bit of fun of the current COVID constraints.
It focuses on two passengers who miss flying and unsuccessfully try to re-create the experience in their home using a makeshift airport travelator and a “business
A video will be released on social media before being aired on the Seven Network during the broadcast of the AFL grand final on September 25.
Australian carriers have yet to reveal whether they will require passengers to be vaccinated on domestic flights but both Qantas and Virgin have made jabs mandatory for staff.
Virgin is also dangling a carrot in front of employees who get the jab before November 15 with incentives that include a holiday to Hamilton Island, additional annual leave, business class flights and lounge memberships.
It said a staff survey found that more than 75 percent of the frontline workers had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with another 9 percent registered for vaccination.
Australia’s east coast has been devastated by lockdowns prompted by the arrival of the infectious Delta variant and governments have been urging as many people as possible to get vaccinated.
Fear of the disease and promises that locked down areas will begin progressively opening up as the country reaches fully-vaccinated thresholds of 70 and 80 percent of the eligible population have seen a surge in inoculations.