Free ticket or free sandwich?
When Virgin Trains East Coast (actually 90% owned by Stagecoach, 10% Virgin) took over the running of East Coast services on 1st March 2015 the first thing they did was scrap the best loyalty programme in the UK and replace it with Nectar. In short the old rewards scheme gave you benefits from as little as £50 spent (a free WiFi voucher or access to the first class lounges), once you reached £255 spend you had enough for a free ticket anywhere on the East Coast route. In contrast spending £255 with Nectar would be worth only £2.55 and get you a free sandwich.
If you're not familiar with East Coast Rewards or Nectar take a look around this site in particular our comparison of East Coast Rewards and Nectar. If you want to see how Nectar compares generally see our sister site No to Nectar. Our Freedom of Information section proves that the scheme was both profitable for East Coast and popular with the customers. Nectar actually rewards you more for driving than taking the train!
If you believe East Coast Rewards is the best loyalty scheme for this route please sign our petition it'll only take a minute. The more people who sign this the more chance we have of them paying attention. Virgin prides itself as a company that is different and one that has the customers best interests at heart. The actions here show otherwise. Although Virgin is only a minority shareholder they have licenced the Virgin brand and have to follow the brand guidelines.
After signing the petition you may want to see other ways in which you can help. Anything you do will be appreciated. They need feedback to help us change their mind.
It may take a long time but we're not going to give up. Eventually we'll #MakeVirginListen!