Air New Zealand/Virgin America - Callous Disregard for Missed Connection Travellers
Reservation - Complaint
AUKLAND, NEW ZEALAND -- On April 14, 2013 my husband and I were flying on Virgin America from New York to San Francisco and on Air New Zealand for onward flight to Sydney, Australia. Virgin Am flight was delayed at JFK since San Francisco airport had only 1 runway available. Virgin Am is partner with Air NZ so when we mentioned it to staff at the boarding gate that we would miss our Air NZ flight - they didn't offer any help - like it didn't matter to them. In any case, we were stuck at JFK.
Ultimately 6 hours later Virgin flight took off and they were so inhospitable that it was a rude awakening! All they offered in flight was water/soda and no snacks! I know, it was a domestic flight, but remember we were stuck for 6 additional hours so it would have behooved them to offer us some food especially since we were getting to San Fran past midnight!! It gets worse! Once we reach San Fran, there is no body to help the international passangers who had missed connections (and there were few of us on that flight) from either Virgin Am or Air NZ!
So now we go to luggage carousel, our luggage is missing- horror ! Thankfully, Virgin Am luggage office had a live person there who informed us our luggage had already been transferred to Air NZ and we need to go to International Departures - so now two of us, panicked seniors and running over to catch the train to Int. Departures - once we get there, another shock awaits us - the departure area is shut tight with not a soul in sight - not even cleaning people! Now what?
Thankfully, Air China had just finished sending a flight and couple of their agents were leaving - we stopped them and they helped us with tel. no. of Air NZ. I called that no. and the person on the other end (thank god for small mercies, like a live human on phone!) booked us on next flight to Sydney - the next night! I am completely flabbergasted at arrogant disregard of passangers by Air New Zealand that they didn't have their representative at airport to help us?
So, now we head back to domestic area, again on the train, and go to Virgin Am to ask for accommodation etc. guess what? They blatantly shrugged their responsibility for delay and blamed the San Fran airport and that they don't pay for accommodations!. I had heard so much good about Virgin America - what a bitter disappointment! Never again will I travel on Virgin ! Or Air New Zealand for that matter. These airlines have become so arrogant that they have forgotten they are in hospitality business. Shame on you, Virgin America and Air New Zealand!