Creating uniquely branded experiences in a brand new environment
Virgin Atlantic

Creating uniquely branded experiences in a brand new environment


Challenges and opportunities


Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) was given the opportunity to redesign and expand their presence in their flagship space at Heathrow London’s Terminal 3.

They wanted to re-invigorate their customers’ service experiences pre- and post-flight, to ensure that they were as distinct and enjoyable as their inflight experiences.

Designing within the constraints of Terminal 3’s existing spaces and infrastructure.

Defining how to entice customers to choose Virgin over other airlines.
Working with both the Heathrow operator and Virgin Atlantic team.


To envisage the future Terminal 3 experience for each class.

To design a world class and uniquely Virgin Upper Class experience.
Inform the architectural design of the space.

Setting a new benchmark for airline passenger experiences.

To work directly with the VAA in-house service design team.

To increase customer satisfaction and improve passenger flow from arrival to departure.

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What we did

A detailed customer journey map and service specifications to guide VAA and their architects as they converted the available space into Virgin’s new flagship terminal.

A set of service principles to embody the brand values and to guide the creation of great customer experiences, ensuring they were both rewarding for the users and economical and efficient for VAA and Heathrow to deliver.

A range of service concepts for both the Economy and Premium customer journeys. These included more support for Economy passengers, increasing their access to self-serve kiosks in the terminal and designing an efficient service flow around existing architecture, which prevented bottlenecks, doubling-back and provided separate luggage repacking areas.

Similarly, Virgin staff members were stationed near the entrances to the terminal to provide a friendly welcome and help anyone looking lost or confused.

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Following launch, the overall level of the new service was rated as “excellent/good” by 89% of Economy and 97% of Upper Class customers.

The friendliness of staff was rated as “excellent/good” by 90% of Economy and 100% of Upper Class customers.

The new check-in experience led to a 75% reduction in check-in times.
Customer satisfaction increased by 30%.

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