On Wednesday we announced the five shortlisted bloggers in our competition to win a place on Virgin Atlantic's forthcoming press trip to New York. The nominations for our eventual winner took place on Twitter using the hashtag #vblogger over a 48 hour period, and within minutes of the announcement the votes began streaming in.
Now, we admit - it's pretty exciting working in travel sometimes but this was a completely different kind of thrill. Glued to our screens, we witnessed canvassing, bribes and begging that put our current general election candidates to shame. We watched in awe as our post rose up through the ranks of Twitter's hottest links and ended up on the front page of Tweetmeme, while offers of undying love and threats to imprison kittens continued unabated. In the end, our bloggers received almost a thousand votes between them. Social media, we love it.
But of course - there can only be one winner, and we're delighted to announce that our victorious blogger is James Ward! We've just spoken to James and it's fair to say he's a little bit speechless right now! James, we suggest you sit down and have a nice cup of tea - or why not go and buy a new pen to celebrate?
The Good Bit
Next week, we'll be sending a chauffeur-driven limousine to James's house to bring him to our lovely clubhouse at Heathrow. He'll be able to relax and enjoy a bite to eat and maybe even a dip in our hydro spa pool before being whisked off to New York in his comfortable Premium Economy seat.
While we're in New York, we'll be dining at some of the city's top restaurants including Asia de Cuba at Morgans New York and Cipriani Dolci inside Grand Central Terminal. We'll also be hovering around Manhattan in a helicopter and cruising along the Hudson as the sun sets, before settling in for the night at the cosy Royalton bar. Unfortunately we'll also have to come home at some point too, but it's ok - James will get to stretch out in his Upper Class seat all the way.
The Even Better Bit
After the trip, James will be writing a guest post for our blog and we're already really looking forward to reading it. He'll have the chance to tell you all about his adventures, but if there's something you really, really want him to write about, why not suggest it in the comments below?
Finally, we've been so impressed with the sheer tenacity and fantastic attitude of our bloggers that we've just decided that ALL the runners-up will be offered the opportunity to produce a paid guest post for our blog. So, Kate, Rick, Charlotte and Siân - we're sorry we can't send you all to New York, but you'll be hearing from us very soon!
Once again, we want to say an enormous thank-you to our shortlisted bloggers - you made this competition really, really fun.
We'll be sure to let you know when James's piece is published, and we definitely hope to be doing this again sometime, so please stay tuned!
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About the author: MaxineMaxine Sheppard
Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.