Virgin’s service has been disgraceful to the point that I will never use them again, never recommend them to anyone and in fact go so far as to warn people against them here and on travel forums, my marketing workplace, my friends and family and the various blogging and forum sites I work with.
The signs are there with the insufficient legroom on a crowded plane, yet the “purple” seats with extra legroom are empty! You have to pay extra to sit there, even if they’re empty after take off.
I could have noticed the company was poorly guided there but the revelation came when my father passed away – a sad and strange time when the world moves faster whilst you stand still. I checked my terms and conditions and noticed a waver in the case of bereavement, so I relaxed a little. Regular changes cost $275 plus ticket price difference and on “no show” you must pay $375 plus ticket price difference to fly. Under each of these conditions is a reminder of this very sensible waiver. I thought “good on Virgin, that’s very decent of them to have thought of this”. I couldn’t bring myself to do anything as the grief set in but eventually thought I should get in touch with Virgin and explain what’s gone on.
I was bounced around from one person to the next, each time forced to recall events, each person not knowing what was previously said and not helping. I asked for a supervisor and she was aggressive and counter-productive. I bought the flight with Expedia and she wanted me to call them. She wouldn’t listen to the fact that I had already spoken to them and they had been very detailed and helpful in telling me that once a journey had begun the tickets are the responsibility of the carrier.
She discounted the fee to $275 and said she couldn’t see any reason why she should do as much as she did. She also said that the rest of the fee was due to Expedia and advised me to call them. Expedia had been so helpful the first time so I wasn’t afraid of calling them, but again they advised me very clearly and calmly that the fee was Virgin’s. They called Virgin for me and explained the situation for me. They then put me through and I was hopeful, but as soon as the Virgin Atlantic supervisor got on the phone she went off on one about how ridiculous it was that Expedia pass their problems on to her, and that I have to simply pay up.
I never minded paying, I simply wanted the correct info and for the terms of the flight to be upheld in a sensible and humane way. I was met by misinformation, aggression, no sympathy and very little help that in hindsight I’d rather have avoided for the trouble and extra grief it caused.
Whether I had to pay $275 or not, I hope Virgin enjoys it as it’s the last penny they will get from me.