Virgin Australia Does April Fools’ Right

Filed Under: Virgin Australia

This probably isn’t the year for April Fools’ jokes, given what people are going through, and also given that at this point reality is crazier than any joke a company can come up with.

While I’ve seen stories all over the web warning companies that this isn’t the year for them to try to make jokes, I think Virgin Australia deserves a lot of credit for what they’ve done.

As the airline describes it, “Virgin Australia has today flipped April Fools’ Day on its head, turning the airline’s annual prank into a reality.”

Following a shortage of toilet paper throughout Australia (and the world, for that matter), Virgin Australia is taking thousands of toilet paper rolls from their storage facilities and 125 grounded aircraft, and is donating them to vulnerable members of the community. On top of that, Kleenex will match Virgin Australia’s donation.

As Sarah Adam, Virgin Australia’s General Manager of Product and Customer, describes this move:

“We are known for pranking travellers each year with April Fool’s Day announcements, but we’ve decided that this year, we’ve all been punked enough by 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to temporarily reduce our flying schedule and ground 125 aircraft, which means there is a lot of toilet paper not being used, and we want to ease some of the stress that so many Australians are currently facing.

Each year our passengers use enough toilet paper to stretch from Sydney to Los Angeles, so we’re thrilled that in true Virgin spirit, we’re going to help the elderly, the vulnerable, medical staff, and our charity partners, by giving them the supply of toilet paper that’s currently locked-up in our grounded aircraft and storage facilities throughout Australia.”

Here’s Virgin Australia’s video about the initiative:

Well done, Virgin Australia!

  1. Well Quinten, some scumbags are hoarding way more than they need so people who actually need it can’t get it. Plus let’s face it…we live in a world where toilet paper is rarer than gold in some places. TOILET PAPER of all things!

  2. @Quinten – I’ve seen toilet paper for sale once in 3 weeks. No idea what people are doing with it.

  3. Horrible airline… it’s all about building an image that isn’t true. Their customer care team is the worst and they can’t even do simple things like crediting you for flights on partner airlines without you sending several emails. I just had a very bad experience with Virgin Australia and I was told that their only responsibility is “to transport passengers from point A to point B safely.” A disgrace.

  4. …On the other hand, I have never had anything but positive experiences with VA.

    Bad luck for you, David? Or…

  5. I’m with you Peter. As David says, I too have had issues getting points and status credits from partner airlines but aside from that, they’re pretty faultless. And most discussions on other forums at the moment regarding their handling of this situation, from refunds to status extensions seems to agree theyre doing as good a job as can be done right now.

  6. I will leave the other issues alone. (Not saying they are invalid, just focusing on the positive.)

    Well done. They gave back when the did not have to. That should be applauded.

    Kleenex matched their donation. That too should be applauded. Well done.

  7. I’m hoping this is indeed an April fools joke. How many VA staff handled the toilet paper without gloves….you don’t have to have symptoms to be COVID+

  8. @M, unless you’re wiping your face with the toilet paper or not washing your hands with soap after completing your rituals, I don’t think its too much of an issue.

  9. In Australia there is a massive shortage of toilet paper which the Prime Minister has been misleading the public about – consistently blaming ‘hoarders’.

    The truth is a proportion of toilet rolls used in Australia come from China – you know the place that shut down for nearly 8 weeks.

    That not only impacted the toilet roll supply directly (no TRs coming from there for 2 months) but also massively due to nearly $8 billion of plastic imported from China annually. Much of this is plastic packaging material.

    One major manufacturer ran out of the special plastic rolls used for the tops of tissue boxes in early February. Their machines will not run without the plastic rolls in place and have optical sensors in various places to ensure that without plastic it shuts down. This machinery is mainly from Switzerland and these controls are hard coded….

    So for 7 weeks they stopped production…

    Also much of the plastic used for wrapping toilet rolls comes from, you guessed it, China….

    So as they were going to also run out of the plastic they decided to produce packs of 12 or 24 rolls not any 2, 4 or 8 packs. For example 3 packs of 4 uses 2x the plastic of 1 pack of 12 rolls.

    Living in Sydney, I have not been able to buy toilet rolls since the 3rd weekend in February & have nearly run out. Luckily, that Feb weekend had a special on 12 packs – so I bought 3. Otherwise we’d be having to use newspaper or something else that cannot be flushed away without blocking the sewer.

    Major supermarket stores (over 100,000 sq ft ones) having been receiving as few as 18 packs of toilet rolls a day (after staff have taken what they need of course).

  10. @Andrew – Love a good conspiracy theory do you?

    It is only down to stupid people hoarding as it is around the world. Of course, if you can reveal your source and backup materials, I might be converted…

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