CRAWLEY, UK -- My flight was cancelled because of the volcanic ash situation. At this point I have no grievance as the decision not to fly is for all our own well being. The flights we were allocated we decided to give up for another more desperate family than ourselves, since we have our own house in Orlando. The Virgin Atlantic representative said, "Thank you very much, no one else has offered to give up their seats." No big deal. We then went to check in 10 days later, the first available date they could re-allocate seats for us. The lady at check-in at Downtown Disney made us weigh our bags and sure enough they were overweight. We had the choice of paying $50 per case or taking stuff out.
I mentioned that we had given up our seats and could she do us the courtesy of allowing our bags. At the end of the day, if the weight restriction was for safety or some kind of baggage handlers' policy, I'd understand. However it is a monetary issue, they want more of it from me! That stinks.
Having refused to pay the $50 extra and having had to empty some of our belongings, we now have to travel with them as hand luggage. That's clever, Virgin! After we left the weighing station and stood at the check in desk, the representative then came over to us and asked us to come back to the weighing station. She said "You can't put stuff in your case after it's been weighed." I told her that I hadn't, but she still made me drag it across the forecourt, weigh it and then then take it back again. "Your apology is accepted," I told her. You've now lost us as customers and the rest of our friends and family, who all fly with you at least twice a year.
UK -- How to start on this?? OK, let's say when I finished my flight from hell and got to hotel in St. Lucia (Royal-Rex resort) to find the Virgin crew later that day getting pissed around the pool for two days did not make me any more in love with Branson and his staff! From Gatwick on a 747-400 that must be on the old girls last legs made me to say the least unimpressed. The plane's systems are so outdated that other airlines I usually fly on over to Asia must be thinking Virgin are taking the total 'mickey mouse' on investment and customer care.
The seat entertainment system was broken on 2 of our 5 seats. I paid £500 each for those buckets. The seat recliner on one (1) moved from 'interrogation position' to forward only and tried to break my child's 6 year old back. The staff were so arrogant and indifferent to the customers in coach that I felt we were a sub species of human that did not deserve even basic interaction and care.
Mr. Branson your adverts on 25 years are such a lie (unless your on your uppers). Actually I am so fed up with Virgin I am going to start blogging some more sites now. Your staff in St Lucia on the Thursday 30th July (we arrived on the 19th flight) was a total joke on your image. Buying in booze to a 4 star hotel and then sitting round a family pool for 4 hours getting pissed and talking loudly was not what I as a Virgin holiday customer wanted to see or hear. I paid over £8000 pounds for a Virgin holiday of relaxation and calm. I got nothing of the sort and my next blog will be on the hotel your company offers. In TOTAL need of refurbishment and modernization as your planes.
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!
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY -- On Feb 15th 2007, my wife and son and my parents were supposed to be traveling on Virgin Atlantic flight from Newark to Delhi with a stop in London. When we got there and went through the boarding process all was well. After about a 2 hr delay the flight took off and there was smoke coming out of one of the wings and the plane was redirected to JFK. When the passengers were asked to get off the plane at JFK they were all confused and no one was helpful to them and told them what to do next.
After a lot of confusion they were told to go back to Newark (at their own expense) and talk to the crew at that airport. When they got there no one seemed to know what to do. They were told that they will be put on another plane in the evening and given hotel rooms for that time. That evening when the passengers went back to the airport they were again sent back to the hotel. After all said and done most of the passengers got to travel almost 48 hrs after scheduled departure.
Meanwhile Virgin Atlantic personnel handed out letters to all the passengers which clearly states that Virgin will provide them with a round trip ticket equal to that day's trip or a full refund. I have been trying to get the refund from them for the last 5 months and I have been communicating with them through email and fax. I have sent in all the information they need and they are not willing to honor the letter. Last thing I got from them was a form to fill out for lost tickets, after trying to explain to them that that form does not and will not help me in this case they have stopped responding to any of my emails.
I am entitled to full refund of 4 tickets and I expect to be compensated for all the trouble my family had to go through because of them and the domestic flights that we lost. What can I do to get help in this matter? Please advise me. Thank You.
On August 19th I traveled from Dubai to London and then London to JFK. On arrival at JFK (3 1/2 hours late) one of my pieces of luggage was missing. I was told that it had not been loaded in London and it would come the following day. I was supposed to transfer to an American Airlines flight to Toronto but due to the late arrival I missed that flight and was put in a hotel for the night. I traveled on to Toronto on the afternoon of August 20th. On the 21st I called Virgin at JFK to ask about my bag. Nobody was able to help me and there was no record of the file number I was given.
Over the next week I continued calling several times a day with the same response. My call was constantly forwarded to various Virgin personnel, none of whom were able to give me any answers. I finally called the VP of Swissport baggage handling services to see if they could help me. He told me my bag had been at JFK since August 20th but he could not understand why it had not been forwarded. He arranged for it to be shipped to Toronto by FedEx the following day which it was, although Canada Customs would not release it so I had to rent a car to drive to Toronto airport and pick the bag up myself.
After receiving my "lost" bag (12 days late!!) and unpacking it, my digital camera was missing! I then returned to Dubai via the same routing on September 21st with an eleven hour layover at Heathrow. On arrival at Dubai the following day both pieces of my luggage did not arrive! They came in the following day and were delivered to me at home.
I have sent several letters to Virgin Atlantic over the last six weeks, including to the Director of Customer Services. I have incurred a lot of expense in the form of many long distance phone calls, car rental and had to replace my digital camera. A month ago I submitted a claim form to Virgin Atlantic (London) but have yet to hear a response from them. There has been no offer of any kind of compensation for my losses. In fact I have had NO response from anyone at Virgin Atlantic since this whole episode began on August 19th!!!
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.