APEX Insight: A customer inspired Virgin Atlantic to introduce custom socks for Upper Class passengers.
Passengers flying this summer in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class on select Airbus A330-200 routes will discover a new amenity that they are likely to keep wearing long after the aircraft lands. In a bespoke partnership with Happy Socks, Virgin has begun offering two versions of a specially designed, combed cotton pair of socks.
“The great part behind the shake up in amenities is that the thought came directly from one of our customers,” Daniel Kerzner, Virgin Atlantic’s vice-president of Consumer Experience explained to APEX Media. “We quickly discovered that the small touches are just as important, it all needs to be considered and expectations are high.”
Virgin Atlantic believes that its customers have very high expectations of the airline, which is why the company keeps raising the bar in different aspects of the onboard experience.
“We are natural innovators, it’s in our heritage and it’s what we are famed for. Therefore our customers expect us to challenge the industry and push for the most amazing customer experience possible,” Kerzner continued. “Once on board, customers are welcomed in to our world; into a place where we can express innovation in an uniquely Virgin way.”
“Our customers expect us to challenge the industry.” – Daniel Kerzner, Virgin Atlantic
Unlike the typical polyester-blend, ill-fitting socks that come in most business- and first-class amenity kits, the new Virgin Happy Socks are high quality and sport an attractive travel design, too. It’s such a winning combination that the company expects to see its frequent fliers wearing them as they board the plane.
“Our collaboration with Happy Socks means we can offer a luxury product, something customers will definitely take home and wear again and again,” Kerzner said.
In fact, Virgin Atlantic is so positive that its passengers will love the socks that they are offering them for sale both on Retail Therapy, the company’s duty free website, as well as while in the air. Priced at $10, they come in two colors and two sizes (medium and large) and are only available through Virgin Atlantic.
While the airline is rolling out this “summer treat” as a test trial, with a plan to give out 100,000 socks, it seems passengers’ reactions are already encouraging Virgin to make them a permanent part of their quest to ” innovate and provide our customers with something unexpected in a uniquely Virgin way. Customers started receiving their socks from the end of May and will continue as we innovate onboard amenities,” Kerzner revealed.
The bespoke socks join two other recent innovations introduced by Virgin Atlantic: the Mile-High Afternoon Tea created by master pâtissier Eric Lanlard, and the bespoke scent known as Virgin Atlantic Air, developed by Rachel Vosper to “inspire feelings of adventure and relaxation” and now used in Virgin’s check-in areas, gates, clubhouse and airline cabins.