Virgin Australia is trying to compete with Qantas for all the fancy-pants business class travelers, a move that has prompted some changes to the standard Australian flight attendant mannerisms. No longer will flight attendants, for example, be allowed to greet passengers with that charming Australianism we non-Australians find so jaunty — "mate." The flight attendant re-education program, according to The Daily Telegraph, is called Elevate, and, beyond clever wordplay, it will teach a whole lifetime's worth of air service etiquette. Cabin crew will learn, for example, food and wine appreciation, grooming and body language, such as not crossing arms because it appears defensive and seems to tell passengers, in so many words, "OMFG have you never even seen a plane before or what?"
One flight attendant told said that the etiquette training is really just a way for the airline to tone down all the apparent sexiness that rolls down the aisle ahead of the beverage cart. She said, "They want us to get away from that 'sex' look that's been attached to the company." It's funny she should mention the "sex look" because, as it just so very well coincidentally shooting-star happens, Virgin Atlantic will now be offering an audio version of someone with a scratchy voice whispering Fifty Shades of Grey for no extra charge to passengers. The New York Times thinks this is so ironic that it added a parenthetical "ahem" next to "Virgin," because, you know, giggle, giggle — sex! We'll see how funny it all is when the first person to get caught masturbating to the audio 50 Shades makes the funny papers.
Virgin Australia cabin crew ordered to undergo classes in etiquette [The Daily Telegraph, Australia]
Virgin (Ahem) Offers Free ‘Grey' on Audio [NY Times]