This Airline Wants to Reward You for Booking a Middle Seat

As they should

Top of man's head, sitting in a middle seat

Having to sit in a middle seat, in economy, particularly on a long-haul flight, is arguably the worst thing that can happen to a person. You’re saddled with no view, no easy access to the lavatory and near-constant touching at the hands (or elbows) of your probably-strange-to-you seatmates. In fact, according to a recent social media poll by Virgin Australia, only 1% of passengers would willingly choose a middle seat. It stands to reason that, should you voluntarily put yourself in that position, you should be rewarded for it.

Fortunately, there is (at least) one airline that agrees. Per a new report from Forbes, Virgin Australia has just launched a “Middle Seat Lottery.” A Middle Seat Lottery, for the uninitiated, involves big prize raffles for the brave few who select middle seats at booking.

Every week, one lucky middle seat-sitter will receive an award — each one different than the week before. This week, for example, passengers will be entered to win a six-night Caribbean cruise for two with Virgin Voyages, roundtrip flights included. Next week, one year of platinum status in the airline’s Virgin Velocity frequent flyer program plus one million points is up on the docket.

The rest of the prizes are set to include “a helicopter pub crawl; flights and tickets to a favorite Australian Football League team’s away games in 2023; a VIP package to the AFL Grand Final (the Super Bowl of Australian rules football); a Cairns adventure package including hotel, flights, and a range of adrenaline-pumping activities, including bungee jumping, giant swinging, river rafting and tubing.”

“We’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg in what’s possible,” Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said in a press release. “We are doing our best to leave a positive difference every time our guests fly with us.”

To solidify her point, Hrdlicka launched the initiative by distributing $6,000 Virgin Voyages cruises to middle seat passengers. Of course, the campaign is only set to run through April 23, so for a chance to win you kind of have to book now. You must also be willing to risk volunteering to sit in a middle seat for no reward, as there is only one winner per week.

Frankly, I believe I should receive one million points for sitting in the middle seat always, but I guess — if I must — I’ll settle for the possibility.


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