Virgin Atlantic Sucks- COVID19 Fail

II try and avoid these type of posts but I have become so disillusioned with Virgin Atlantic.

Imagine if in December, I had bought a non refundable airline ticket through Virgin Atlantic.  Imagine if I changed my mind about the dates and wanted to change or refund it Would I deserve that option? A big fat “no”.  I get that. I support that.

Imagine, however, if since I bought the ticket that the world changed completely?  Imagine that a new and scary virus emerged. A virus that results in thousands of deaths airports being shut down, entire continents sealed off to travelers and states of emergency being declared and one of the Virgin sectors I had booked and paid for being cancelled.

Should the airline show some flexibility? Hell yeah!

Screenshot 2020-03-20 at 13.16.03

Not if it seems if you are Virgin Atlantic. After trying for a week and spending ten hours in phone calls, the airline was prepared to entertain no flexibility, offer no refund and wanted to charge $1500 to change one sector on a $1400 ticket. The airline ended up in a stalemate situation with my travel agent. In one  three way call, my agent told me to hang up on what she described as one of the most unhelpful airline travel agents she has ever encountered.

I get that Virgin Atlantic  is suffering financially but their behaviour showed an absolute lack of regard for their customers, a lack of care and a focus on short term gain over long term relationship. I feel sorry for the staff of the airline now but there is no way I would trust them ever again.

Etihad and Qantas have given me vouchers to put toward future travel. Amtrak gave me money back. Aegean have allowed me to change dates with no extra out of pocket cost.  Even Easyjet were a dream!Virgin Atlantic sucked

Which airline, hotel and train companies have you found helpful and not helpful  at this time?

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Comments

  1. I get your frustration and you are right that they should provide some flexibility but if the flight is still going on as scheduled they are fulfilling their end of the bargain. I know it isn’t customer-friendly under the circumstances but I think if you ask many travel bloggers or fans of travel like those that read your blog that would still travel but are afraid of the logistics, not the flu.

    A good example of this is that I had a last-minute cruise trip planned for mid that got canceled then my wife and I thought that we’d do a long drive to the beach in Florida or Texas. We knew that a lot of attractions and restaurants would be closed but fairly safe by car and fresh air at the beach seems like a safe option during all the hype but guess what the beaches are closed and the hotels didn’t even lower the prices at the beach (so far). Now is still a good time to travel if we are allowed to.

    Sorry for playing devil’s advocate here but just thought around some of this. I think the main things I’m learning from all this is who I can trust with my loyal dollars and who I can’t (United, Virgin Atlantic, etc.). I work in the insurance industry and am learning a lot about travel insurance. It was designed for pandemics and it will be more important in the future to buy “cancel for any reason” coverage.

    I also think we will see a huge cultural shift. Those that are spreading hype for political or economic will see themselves damaged by much of this event. People will travel and work differently in the future for sure.

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