Virgin Atlantic – Should be a 2 Star Airline

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This topic contains 42 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 15 Jul 2012
at 05:19
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 43 total)

  • Anonymous

    CityRiskBoy
    Participant

    How Virgin Atlantic is managing to cling to a 3 star grading is beyond me! I first flew VS years ago and thought they were great, from service to aircraft….I was very impressed……10 years later and they now nothing more than a glorified low cost carrier….I have actually had better service on low cost carriers.

    Many of our employees carry out a lot of international travel on a monthly basis using either BA or VS, i know both have their faults but some of the stories I hear back re VS are crazy…..Flight attendents more interested in chatting about their personal lives, rudeness to customers, below par inflight meals, out of date IFE, 1 drinks run on 11 hour flight!


    Bullfrog
    Participant

    I rate the Club Lounge at Heathrow and the Upper Class bed/seat.
    I’m 6’2″ tall & I prefer VS Upper to BA Club.

    Other than that .. I think you’re being over generous. I’d give them 1 star.
    I often find the crew loud, in a ‘clique’ of their own & lacking in finesse.


    sparkyflyer
    Participant

    Virgin used to be a truly superb carrier, really world class and used every opportunity in all classes to push their brand whilst also providing a high quality service and good value. I flew then to HKG, IAD, JFK and even ATH when they had that sole shorthaul route.

    I believe they really forced BA to raise their game, which BA did with the introduction of flat beds, first mini suites etc.

    There was a time 2005-2010 when I frequently went to the Caribbean, where both have a good network. I noticed that Virgin pro-rata had less crew per pax, and on a full 747 really worked hard. Maybe now that BA have also cut back on crew numbers there is also less personal service.

    My travel pattern has now changed, and so Virgin is less likely to be an option for me, but I have heard so many horror stories from friends and colleagues, that VS would now be further down the list of who I would choose to fly with.

    Running out of drinks etc for example is just not good enough.

    But I really hope they get their act together and get their mojo back. It is good BA have more slots, which I hope they will use to emerging markets, but competition IS needed. They really need to up their game and stop leasing out slots to other carriers.


    Bucksnet
    Participant

    Last year VS was downgraded to 3 star by Skytrax: –

    http://www.businesstraveller.com/discussion/topic/Virgin-Downgraded-To-3-Star

    The reviews since then seem to imply that things have got worse, so maybe next time Skytrax will give them 2 stars?


    CityRiskBoy
    Participant

    I think they invest their money in the wrong areas….they have just completed an upgrade of one of their leisure aircraft 747’s that does the holiday routes. The service onboard now is dire!! We have employees travelling between UK and US West Coast and they say sometimes they have had 1 drinks run on the 11 hr flight and the food has been awful….the flight attendents just chatting or hanging around and huffing and puffing if you ask them for something.


    MarcusUK
    Participant

    I have to agree, even as a VS Gold member.

    I have had some abysmal flights with them in the last 12 months.
    These were all in Upper Class, with LHR-CPT route, where parents were permitted to change nappies in the middle of the cabin during the night, which smelt offensive and breached all sorts of health hygiene and regulations.
    HKG-LHR U/C, where crew are so brisk and un-bothered, even downloading the catering trolley placing each tray on the floor by the door to set it up!
    Mistakes with the Flying Club shopping miles system so you have to argue and chase up everything they earn commission on, problems with the credit card also. They have also increased miles needed for redemptions, and the numbers you earn do not make up for this.

    VS charges for fuel surcharge are some of the most expensive, and charge Ex Europe but not into Europe from different destinations.

    The “Re-vamp” of Upper Class, is un-impressive, and a waste of £110 million spent. I see nothing exciting, and an opportunity lost.

    The lounges continue to be the best of what they offer, and LHR ground services in all aspects impressive and different. But on Board, they have lost it…unlike VAustralia Long haul, that really have done well, with a great identity and standards high.

    I have switched my business as a catalogue of errors, sloppiness, arguments over miles earned all the time continue, and i will not be renewing my Gold card this year.

    The only benefit, was flying Singapore Airlines, and the Gold card was a match to theirs, in status for perks.

    VS need URGENTLY to select an FF Alliance, thought and logically to be Skyteam. The delay of this, damages their business opportunities, and they would complement this Alliance and visa versa. they need to be in a greater group, the days where they can remain separate, or not allign themselves, are now over if they are to retain a good market. They have become more leisure than a serious service Airlines.

    They have lost their way, and many other Airlines have exciting developments in re-designs, enhanced services, but Virgin Atlantic, appear out of ideas, and i will not be choosing them in future.


    BeckyBoop
    Participant

    Marcus, changing nappies in the cabin..eww how minging 🙁 Didnt you say anything to the parent or the crew about doing it in the toilet?


    CityRiskBoy
    Participant

    I agree!! I can see major cracks and what surprises me is the people leading this business are supposed to be the best at what they do and some of the decisions they make, investments, rollouts, on-board service ideas is just crazy!.

    Upper class fit out is a complete waste of time – If they read their own feedback and saw where the majority of the complaints were coming from they would see that 95% of their loyal customers are not bothered about the state of the upper class and whether or not it needs upgrading….Yes the IFE does need to be sorted for all cabins but other than that most travelers were fine with upper class.

    The problems lie with the catering, drinks runs, on-board customer service from FA’s, IFE and from what I read the check in agents also.

    My parents has serious problems with VS a few years back and the customer service couldnt have given a care in the world. It took a year and also them going through a specilized govt agency before they got some compensation back………the best VS offered were airmiles for 1 person…..when really as my parents said “Our first time flying with Virgin and will be our last…so the airmiles are useless”

    Looking at their up to date financials you can see passengers numbers have dropped significantly in the pasy few years.

    I think they need someone to take them back to the drawing board to start over……Because I can see them going down and down and down over the next few years


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I’ve always wanted to fly VS, but since I fly ex MXP I get much better fares with BA, LH or LX. Further I ned to buy two tickets, one to London, then another with VS as there are no through fares, hence them being for me, more expensive.

    Reading what I am, I think I’ll now give them a miss altogether, though I have to admit, their lounge in JNB, used by Swiss First, is excellent, and one of the best at the airport.

    As for changing nappies in the seat, I’m always amazed how inconsiderate some parents are and think just because they have a baby they can do what they want and everyone else has to put up with it!


    SewNg35
    Participant

    Wonder whether virgin still dish out 1 biscuit per person for breakfast. Happened to us few years back. They run out of mini cereal bars!!!!!


    CXDiamond
    Participant

    A colleague who used to prefer VS on the LHR-HKG route says they lost the plot more than two years ago. Lounges are their only selling point but in my view they are rather chavish in style and decor. I’ve been to the one at LHR back in the days when you could access it when flying SIA.

    Other than that I’ve always seen VS as muscling in on routes that are profitable for others, they’ve never opened a new route to anywhere useful and to me they have always been the preserve of footballers and their wives in C and package holidays in Y, as I don’t fit in either category I’ve never flown with them.

    By the sounds of things, two stars would be about right, they seem to have all the appeal of FR these days although their adverts would make you believe anything but. I wonder if anyone has reported them to the ASA.


    LeTigre
    Participant

    In regards to this thread, I do not wish to defend a company which has indeed declined in standards during the last few years. The crew are often quite chavvy (and increasingly orange) and the aircraft are generally quite tired.

    However, VS management are certainly aware of these issues and things are starting to change.

    I can’t say that crew training is changing, but there are some encouraging signs.

    By next spring:
    8 747s will have been refurbished with the new A330 seats and IFE as well as the similar interiors (the whole LGW fleet)
    10ish A330s will be in service, replacing some of the oldest A340s

    That means that 18ish/40ish planes will have best in class seats.

    Plus they improved catering in all classes recently, but seriously, who of you genuinely believe any airline outside of Africa would serve one drink in 12 hrs?

    Oh yeah, and there is quite a lot of restructuring going on, which should make things interesting.


    VintageKrug
    Participant

    Will they ban cheap fake tan? That would be a good start!


    CityRiskBoy
    Participant

    I know about the fleet upgrade and aircraft replacing older aircraft but that’s not going back to the drawing board. When I say going back to scratch I think they need to address crew training and get them through it again. As someone says above…it seems to be the only airline where they are orange and stand around chatting about their personal lives….that’s one thing BA do do well, their FA’s might be older and not as glamourous but the customer service is there and every BA flight I have been on they can’t do enough for you whereas VS its like you are an inconvenience and the the crew can’t wait to get off to go clubbing!!!……..furthermore I know of loads of occasions where the desk agents just change your selected seating with no explanation to why exept a shrug of the shoulders.
    In an year or 2 there’s no way they are going to be able to compete on a level with other major carriers….their fleet is limited and outdated, service terrible and quote above their route network old.

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