Virgin Trains plans first-class passenger loyalty scheme

Virgin Trains is launching a frequent first-class passengers’ club to be called Traveller.

Customers will be invited to join the loyalty scheme on the basis of how many first-class trips they make. To qualify they must take eight first-class journeys in three months.

The train operator will launch the scheme at the end of March. Virgin’s direct marketing agency Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel is working on promotional materials, including the introductory brochure and literature to place in first-class rail lounges.

Traveller will not be a points collection-type scheme, but will offer a number of added-value benefits to members. The principal reward will be free first-class travel on the Virgin network at the weekend for the Traveller member and a partner.

Other offers will include priority parking at 18 Virgin Trains stations; free membership of the Virgin Wines club, with &£25 off the first case ordered; discounted stays at Marriott Hotels and complimentary alcoholic drinks at the first class lounge at London, Euston.

Virgin Trains marketing director Craig Inglis says: “In market research our customers made it clear that they didn’t want to be collecting points and just wanted to be recognised for the business they give us.”

Great North Eastern Railways already runs a points collection loyalty programme, called Excel, while First Great Western is expected to relaunch its first-class and season ticket holder loyalty scheme in the spring.

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