Why You Might Actually Request The Middle Seat When You Fly This Airline

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A passenger winning the Middle Seat LotteryPhoto credit: Carly Ravenhall / Virgin Airlines

One airline is doing something to entice passengers to book the dreaded middle seats on its flights.

Virgin Australia has launched the middle seat lottery, a program that will reward a few lucky passengers seated in those seats with prizes valued at more than $230,000.

The lottery will run until April 23, 2023. Guests seated in the middle seats will have a chance to win one of the available prizes, with a new prize and winner every week.

“Virgin Australia is an airline that’s doing things differently, and we are having a lot of fun coming up with exciting innovations to make every part of the travel experience more wonderful,” CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said in a release.

The lottery kicked off Monday in a big way as Hrdlicka surprised passengers on a flight from Melbourne to Adelaide. Each passenger on the flight seated in a middle seat was given a Virgin Voyages sailing voucher valued at $6,000, a reward of more than $350,000 on the flight.

“Virgin Australia was born from innovation, and this is just another chapter in our story,” Hrdlicka said. “We’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg in what’s possible and there’s so much energy right across Virgin Australia to make sure we are doing our best to leave a positive difference every time our guests fly with us.”

How The Lottery Works

To be eligible for the lottery, passengers must be seated in a middle seat either by choice or assignment. They must be members of the airline’s frequent flier program and be at least 18 years old.

The lottery is open to passengers on any domestic flight through April 23, 2023.

Passengers must use the airline’s app, click on the lottery tile, find their flight, and enter their details.

At the end of each week, one winner will be chosen randomly.

Weekly prizes will include upgrades in frequent flier status and a million points, tickets and trips to Australian Football League matches, vouchers for Virgin Voyages sailings, free flights, adventure packages, and more.

Bring On Wonderful

The contest is part of the airline’s recently launched marketing campaign with the slogan, “Bring on Wonderful.” It’s a concept founder Richard Branson embraces.

“I’m delighted to see Virgin Australia going from strength to strength while reinventing what it means to be a traveler 22 years after we started this airline with the mission to do things differently,” Branson said.

“The passion to make this airline truly wonderful is infectious,” he continued. “It’s fantastic to see the collaboration between Virgin Australia and Virgin Voyages to provide such brilliant prizes for the middle seat lottery.”

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