Virgin Australia staff have been slammed for a video showing staff dancing while customers are still waiting to hear from the airline about refunds and cancelled flights.
The airline uploaded a video to Twitter on Saturday showing around 27 staff members practising social distancing while performing the Nutbush in front of the company’s Sydney airport check-in counters.
‘The team at Sydney Airport proving that you can still have fun while practicing social distancing,’ the video caption read.
Around 27 Virgin Australia staff members were filmed performing the Nutbush at Sydney airport
‘Our mates at Rex Airlines and Jetstar couldn’t help but join in too – how’s that for some #VirginSpirit?’
But many customers were not impressed that staff were having ‘fun’ while they were experiencing severe communication delays regarding their bookings.
‘Sure, you can do a dance routine and tweet about it but can’t reply to my DM or refund request? How’s that for some #customerservice,’ one man wrote.
Another added: ‘If you’ve got enough time to sing and dance I think you can sort my refund out after you changed my flight twice?’
‘That’s two dozen people who could be manning the phones, replying to tweets and emails; and giving out refunds,’ a third comment read.
A handful of people praised the airline for putting a positive twist on the coronavirus crisis.
‘Love this! Even when things are down, you always find a way to find the bright side – much love guys!’ one comment read.
‘Hope you guys make it through. Flown you from the very start & loved it,’ someone else added.
Virgin Australia replied to one of the complainants but is yet to respond to each comment individually.
Virgin Australia announced on Wednesday that domestic travel will be cut by 90 per cent and international flights will cease, leaving 8000 staff members without work
It comes as the company announced on Wednesday 8,000 staff members will be stood down without pay as the coronavirus pandemic continues to crush the aviation industry.
From Friday, domestic travel will be cut by 90 per cent and 125 planes will be grounded, with international flights to completely halt as of Monday.
The Nutbush, performed to Tina Turner’s song ‘Nutbush city limits’, is a line dance that was particularly popular in Australia during the 1980’s.
Usually performed within a group setting, each dancer does the same choreography individually, making the routine naturally comply with the government’s 1.5metre social distancing restrictions.
A Virgin Australia spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia the company would be in contact with guests who had commented on the video online to assist them with their bookings.
‘These are challenging circumstances for everyone and we chose to share this video to show the Virgin Australia spirit and how our team members are doing their best to find the positive in a very difficult time,’ she said.
‘The group dancing in the video are Ground Crew at Sydney Airport who are separate to our Customer Service team who help guests with travel changes.
‘Guests who booked directly with us can apply for a travel credit or change their flights through our website, without needing to speak with a Virgin Australia Customer Service agent.
She added that guests who booked through a third party agent are encouraged to liaise directly with their travel agent.