We had a flight for 6:20 pm. Due to a multitude of factors, we were unable to arrive until 6:15. They were already pushing back so we missed the flight. It's not like they didn't know we were coming; I was on the phone with the people at the counter from 6:00 to 6:10, updating them continuously of our progress and discussing things like leaving to-be-checked bags for the next flight. The counter is right next to the gate, security is in between, and nobody was in line at that time. Therefore we could have been on the plane by 6:20 if the door had still been open.
Anyway, they had 6:30 scheduled for a flight which normally takes 5:30, so I don't understand why they had to leave early. Virgin America has a cute No Show policy, which they state as follows: "If a Guest fails to show up prior to the specified check-in times described herein for a reserved Virgin America flight and fails to notify Virgin America prior to the flight's departure, Virgin America will cancel that flight reservation and all subsequent segments for continuing or return flights and the fare or Elevate points redeemed for all such reservations will be forfeited."
Now imagine that you paid for a hotel room for a week. You would expect to have the use of that room for the entire week, whether you slept there every night or not. Virgin America seems to think that their seats are somehow different. I think that withholding a prepaid service for no good reason is theft, pure and simple. Obviously what is driving this is that the airlines are pretending that their business is still regional, whereas we all know that business is global these days. This is called "protect my business model" because it's easier than competing.
BURLINGAME, CALIFORNIA -- In my quest to find cheap flights to visit family in Los Angeles, I came across Virgin Airlines round trip from Boston to LA for $177. Totally excited that I can go on a week vacation for so little money, booked 4 tickets. Towards the end of the week in LA my 2.5 year old got sick with some stomach virus which she unfortunately passed on to the rest of us.
I called Virgin immediately when we realized that there was no way we could fly back on the day of our ticket. Virgin's customer service told me, "No big deal. Just fax over a paperwork from your hospital and we will issue a different ticket." With much relief we continued on our day but unfortunately things got worse and my daughter had to be transferred to the Children's Hospital isolation ward. We sent the paperwork as asked via fax and contacted them not long after to get new tickets.
When we called the second time, we were transferred to Guest Services in which they told us they would give us $88 in credit per person that can go towards new tickets. When I asked how much new tickets cost it was upwards of 350 to 500 depending on what day and time I flew. When I got upset and told them that their customer service people lied to me, the lady at guest services said, "Well too bad," and hung up the phone on me. My husband tried calling and the same thing was told to him, when he got upset, they hung up again.
The next two times we called, when we were transferred to guest services, the phone would say goodbye and it would hang up. That's when we realized they had us on caller ID and were purposely hanging up on us. So the next time we called, we used a different phone and somehow by some miracle we got through. When I asked to get new tickets and asked about our $88, the lady told us that it was removed.
It was at this point that I started crying and asked her if she felt good about leaving people stranded across the country with a very sick child and her response was, "Well I guess I will reinstate it...." as if she was doing this amazing service to us. Finally in the end, I decided I would never ever fly with them again and bought American Airline tickets for my return flight.
I recently booked a flight from Dulles, Washington to London, Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic. The flight was at about 6 pm. A day later the airline emailed me to inform me that they had canceled that flight and moved me and my family to a later flight (leaving at 11 pm) but they moved my husband to a seat by himself and put the remaining 3 of us together sitting in a row with 4 seats. (This is an overnight flight where you sleep, did we want to sleep next to a stranger?)
I was not happy about this and went through 2 emails and several intercontinental calls (customer disservice requires you to call between 7 am and 1 pm London time) that I had to pay for, in order to change our flight to a different previous day and in adjoining seats. Eventually we were moved but guess what?? That flight was also canceled. This time we were not informed, I only found out when I went to make sure that we are all sitting together. Just yesterday I had to call them so that I could get an e-ticket issued. They had not yet issued one for the newest flight. I am still waiting!
My family and I loved flying with Virgin Atlantic a few years ago and did not hesitate to fly with them again this time. However, they appear to book people on the 6 pm flight until they are over capacity and then move everyone to the later flight. It cannot be a coincidence that our 6 pm flight got canceled twice. I will suck it up and fly with them this time because getting a refund is virtually impossible but I am going to fly with them kicking and screaming and tell EVERYONE I know that Virgin Airlines truly sucks.
Thank you for opening this thread as I am furious with the service I have received from Virgin Atlantic and now am looking for ways to air my displeasure. I am also very saddened at the change in attitude that Virgin Atlantic are now displaying when dealing with their customers. Until this year I was a great champion of the Virgin brand and rather naively believed that Richard Branson actually did care what his customers felt. Virgin Atlantic have demonstrated to me that their customer services organization have very little regard for how their customers feel and even worse place an extremely low value on customer retention.
I initially sent a complaint to Virgin Atlantic on the 14th January 2009. I actually believed because of the way I had been treated Richard Branson might be made aware (I know it was a stupid wish). What I didn't expect was the complete disregard I experienced. I sent many e-mails pleading for help, however I was ignored or received replies from people who either couldn't understand written English very well, or couldn't be bothered to address the issues I had raised.
Finally I wrote a paper letter to Steve Griffiths (Virgin Executive) to which I actually received a reply from somebody who had actually read and understood my complaint. I was amazed though to find that Virgin Atlantic claim they are unable to compensate me appropriately for my suffering because "they must remain consistent in the gesture they offer or else it would be unfair on other customers." In a nut shell, if their attitude is if we treated appropriately everyone else would expect the same.
My family of five are all members of the Virgin Flying club and no longer wish to be associated with Virgin so asked if we could close our accounts and transfer the miles, in response we were informed that we couldn't transfer the miles but could close the accounts and give our air-miles to a charity! It has taken 11 follow-ups and over 4 months to receive a reply that basically says Virgin are sad to lose my custom, but are not prepared to give me appropriate compensation to keep it.
It began when, a week before our flight, we received an email from Virgin saying our seating had been changed and the new seats would separate all 3 of us. We had booked the seats 6 weeks before. When we arrived at check in, they put us all together - on the same row as the toilets, and in those noisy European aircraft, that meant we got no sleep.
It continued with harassment like, after wrapping the minuscule blanket around my legs because as usual the staff set the temp for themselves, not the customers, and it was cold, I was told to take the blanket off for take off. On the way back, we were ordered to open the shade, despite the sun being directly in our eyes, for take off. I have flown for over 50 years, and NEVER run into this sort of hassle.
But the worst was yet to come. I had booked all 3 tickets at the same time. Our 18 year old grandson was going back before us, and we took him to Heathrow, where we had arrived - only to find that Virgin had changed airports on us without any notice. They had switched him to Gatwick! Unbelievable. When I asked to get him on the first available flight, they said they could not do it, as it was our fault. I asked for a supervisor, and got this very aggressive skinhead, who was extremely rude and confrontational. Going to another agent, we were able to list him on stand-by - they refused to get him on the first plane sending him First Class, despite it being entirely their fault.
He eventually got on a flight EIGHT HOURS LATER! This is the worst airline I have flown in over 50 years, AND HELL WILL FREEZE OVER BEFORE I FLY VIRGIN AGAIN!!! BE WARNED!
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- This was my first time taking Virgin Atlantic from Mumbai to Chicago. The flight was OK but the entertainment system was quite outdated offering limited number of shows and movies. Also, their customer service standards are pretty low, lot of misinformation and miscommunication from their end and no one takes any accountability whatsoever. After my flight, when I landed at Chicago airport, it took me sometime at Immigration. I went at Bag Carousel but could not find my luggage. So informed Virgin Staff of the same that it took me some time at customs.
** - the staff, held me for 45 minutes and he told me after checking barcodes that my luggage has not arrived on Airport and it will delivered to my doorsteps in 2 days. I went home with the claim number to follow up with customer service regarding my baggage. After 10-15 times of back and forth with Virgin Staff they told me to come and pick up my luggage from the airport after two days.
They gave me multiple reasons of not delivering the bags, a) I lived in city and they do not deliver luggage to place so close to airport. b) The luggage was always on Chicago Airport (but they could not locate it in first place). I later collected baggage from the airport and decided to file a formal complaint online. I emailed a complaint with Virgin Atlantic and haven't heard anything from the company on this matter till long except for receipts for my email. I would not travel or recommend anyone to travel again with them.
I'm sorry to say that I am quite dissatisfied with your service and total lack of communication. I TRULY NEED to reserve my seats... Why could I book my seats for my return flight.... but I cannot book my departing flight. PLEASE LISTEN AND HELP. I need two seats together for me and my son; one MUST be an aisle seat. I have tried to call 18008215483 and 18008628621, but IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SPEAK WITH A HUMAN!! How would you feel in this situation?
I hate to threaten you, but I will put this problem on Facebook and other complaint websites if I get no reply. Also, I will make it a point not to fly Virgin Atlantic again. That would be a loss for you, seeing that I travel to London often.
This company has the worst customer service I have ever encountered. My boss went to Australia in September of 2010 and he is a VA flying club member. He was not credited mileage for his trip and we have been trying to get this resolved for the last 3 weeks. Still no resolution. I keep getting different people every time I call and no one knows anything. We have provided the flight number, Flying Club member number, Ticket number, dates of travel and record locator and still no one at Virgin Atlantic can tell us anything.
At first they tell me to call at 4 pm in the afternoon so that they can get in touch with the Flying Club and then when I call again they tell me to call at 10 am so that they can get in touch with the Flying Club. And whenever I search for a direct telephone number to the Flying Club address where we sent the Federal Expressed letter in Norwalk, CT - no one knows a number!!! This is the worst Customer Service I have ever dealt with!!!
I used Virgin Atlantic to Fly to Cuba from London in August 2010. I was struck in La Havana for nearly 3 days because of a mechanical problem with the plane. I will not go through the major inconveniences this has caused to me both personally and professionally. Virgin promised all passengers a complimentary flight anywhere in the world (except on their Australia route) valid for 18 month.
It took me 5 months to receive a confirmation letter for this complimentary flight. When I finally got it (after continually sending them emails and calling them), I called reservations in February 2011 to try to book a flight for June 2011 to be told "You called too late, no complimentary seats are available, you should have called earlier." When I explained that I ONLY just received the confirmation letter, the lady didn't want to hear about it. She was the least helpful person that I have come across. For an airline advertising high standards of customer service and strong ethics, they have a pretty odd way to show it.
Basically, Virgin delivered false promises at the time of the incident in order to keep angry passengers quiet and avoid a considerable amount of complaints but they are now refusing to honor their offer, hiding behind lame excuses.
This the tale of how Virgin Atlantic decided to make an extra $600 off of us when its staff knew we had no other option. Don't risk your trip on this airline. This can easily happen to you. We were returning to the U.S. after a four-day visit to London. We were delayed leaving because I had been feeling ill that day. We arrived rushing as best we could, and were even held up by Virgin staff trying to sell a seat upgrade.
By the time we arrived at the baggage check-in, it was 3:05 P.M. and our flight was leaving at 4 P.M. The agent took a few moments to review our documents, then asked someone else whether we could still put our bags on the flight. That person said no. Given that there were other passengers who were already at the check-in desk when we arrived who still were loading their bags, I know it was merely a Virgin policy to not allow us to load the bags and not any other restriction from the airport.
What was the next and only option? They charged us almost $600 more to take seats on a flight four hours later that was 70% empty. It sent an unmistakable signal: Virgin enjoys sticking it to customers who had some bad fortune. Again, don't risk a flight on this airline. It's like the worst of the credit card companies or other shysters in the market - the second they can find a reason and know you have no alternative, they'll unjustly suck as much money out of you as they can.