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.
I was just browsing the airline reviews and saw nothing but complaints. With the exception being that I did not see one review for Virgin Airlines. So, instead of a negative, I felt it was time people heard of an airline that provides consistently clean, comfortable, enjoyable travel.
I have flown all of Virgin's US airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America and V Australia. Each trip has been pleasant and enjoyable. When was the last time you could really say that about air travel? My only complaint is that when I changed a flight I was not given the difference back on my credit card. I was issued an airline credit. Well it had an expiration date. I am a firm believer that credits should not expire. I hate to give up this "secret" but check them out next time you need to fly. You will be glad you did! And don't forget, they are starting space travel via Virgin Galactic in just a few months!
While on our way to Heathrow Airport, we were stuck in traffic for 2 and half hours because of an accident and me and my wife were 7 minutes late before the baggage closing time which I found later as being 60 minutes prior to the actual flight time. They refused to do anything at all. We requested to let us fly without our baggage and they still refused. We were directed to the booking section where the representative told me that there was a 200 pound change fee per person but had no seats until the 26th of October.
She suggested us to come to the airport every morning and stand by just in case someone doesn't show up or buy a one way ticket for the next day for $1500 each. We were basically stranded at the airport. We basically were forced to take a United Airline flight back for $1200 the same day. What kind of airline is this? Are they trying to make money off of people who had no control over the situation at all? I will never fly Virgin Atlantic again.
CALIFORNIA -- I purchased 3 tickets that cost around $1,500, and had a serious medical emergency that prevented us from taking the trip. I canceled two weeks in advance, and requested a refund. The refund was denied. I was unable to use the credit due to this ongoing health condition, and because I rarely fly. They were unwilling to refund even after I faxed in a note from my partner's doctor. (I have since faxed in other verification of several other hospital stays.)
During one communication with Guest Services customer service rep, I was told that the credit expired in August, when, in fact, most of it expired one month earlier. This led to most of my credit expiring. I have asked for an extension on the credit, so I could try to sell the credit to a third party at a discount. (I wish I could use the credit for flights, but, I'm just not in a situation where we could do that.) So far, the request has been denied and I'm losing hope.
I think Virgin America is being unfair -- I cancelled on time, and did not preclude their re-selling the seats. I think the policies are unreasonable and the staff and management are being inflexible and inhumane in this situation. Virgin America is profiting $1,500, getting my money without rendering any service. I feel robbed. If this situation is resolved, I'll post a followup or remove this review.
This was one of the worst carriers I have ever flown with (I have been to Europe 5 times). The seats are very uncomfortable and cramped. They lost our luggage for 2 days. We were told we could spend $100 (GBP 50) each for "essentials." We submitted our documentation for reimbursement and 6 months later - we still have not received a check.
They are very unhelpful. Coming home, the Virgin Atlantic flight was late so we missed our connecting flight. They were unhelpful. We waiting 10 hours in the airport for another flight and had to argue with the airline to be placed on it. I will try not to fly with them ever again.
I hope you will make sure that Sir Richard B. gets to see what some of our bitterness carries towards his airline. I said this because his airline is full of inefficient and morally bankrupt staff that cares more about themselves than the reputation of the job which earns them daily bread.
It was in October 2007 that I lost my luggage on the way from Johannesburg to Boston. I tried filling a complaint immediately, followed it with many phone calls. I was told to wait for 20 days and asked to make a formal claim. I'm writing this complaint on February 25th 2008; they did not care to even tell me where my case is in the pile of similar questions like mine. I will never forgive this airline and Richard if they ignore me. They will only add cents to my compensation request. Remember the court case of a guy whose jacket was trimmed in the laundry?
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Virgin Atlantic have one of the poorest Customer Service I have ever seen. I lost my luggage on flight from London to LAX on August 8, 2007 (13 days ago). I have filed a claim form and they gave me an 800 phone number to call. This number is answered by a computer telling you that all lines are busy, call again. They have never answered my many e-mails and nobody ever called me to let me know what happen to my luggage. There are no phone number to call and finally I found one of their employ at LAX who offer to help but never heard from him since. Please help me to submit this complain to Virgin Atlantic or advice me on what to do next.
Flying back to London Heathrow from San Francisco with Virgin Atlantic, my wife and I packed our house and car keys into our checked luggage, given the heightened security situation at the time. Whilst in Virgin's charge, my bag was opened and our keys were removed. Virgin's ground staff refused to offer any practical help, and wouldn't even call a locksmith to get us into our house. The cost to us of replacing locks etc came to £358, only £155 of which we were able to claim back through insurance.
When I wrote to Virgin about this, they at first simply ignored me. After several attempts and nearly two months, they replied but have never apologized for losing our keys and say they are not legally obliged to offer any compensation. The offhand manner in which they have dealt with this incident is, in my view, disgraceful. I won't be flying with them again and recommend that others avoid them too. Incidentally, our flight was also delayed for 6.5 hours on the way out. As I said, there was a heightened security situation at the time but Virgin Atlantic seemed to have the biggest queues and the longest delays.
SFO, CALIFORNIA -- We just flew, for the first time, with Virgin Atlantic to Heathrow. Our one way ticket was very inexpensive and we had a great few days in London because of Virgin's low cost fare. I booked this flight way in advance and got a aisle and middle seat for my wife and myself. I absolutely need an aisle and would not have booked this flight if one wasn't available.
When I got my boarding pass at the airport I noticed that our seats had been changed. Why? It was a light flight and they had to redistribute the load for safety reasons. I'm a million mile flyer on United and never heard of this for a huge 747. "Okay, where are we now." "Well, sir, you now have a middle seat with someone sitting next to you in the aisle for your 10+ hour flight." What!!
To say the least I complained. To make a long story short we ended up in the very last row in a 2 seat arrangement. Seats were tight. Service was good and the fight itself was okay especially for the low fare. However, this seat change at the very last minute is not the way you treat customers. Even if they moved us to a different row, but an aisle seat as I expected, it would have been okay. They just arbitrarily changed the seats without even telling us at the counter. There were plenty of aisle seats available as we discovered during the flight. Make sure you call Virgin to ensure you're getting the seat you ordered if this is important to you.