Update on Virgin Atlantic poor service after VS18 fiasco

Here is an update on the TERRIBLE service from Virgin Atlantic after the nightmare on VS18 that an earlier blog reports.

After sending and email chasing them, I got a reply over the weekend from their Customer Services Team. This was interesting in itself since they had about 10 days ago sent an email saying my complaint had been forwarded to Richard Branson’s office.

What I got, despite the detailed letter I had sent, was the same standard reply other have got but with a change saying as Upper Class I would get 50000 miles. The letter clearly states that they were offering a free round trip and miles. But when I queried how to claim the flight they sent an email back saying you can choose EITHER the miles OR the flight. 50000 miles is not an upper class return flight.

Here is the text of the email they sent:”Dear Mr BembridgeThank you for your email. Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in responding.I’m so sorry to read that you were delayed by two days after flight VS18 diverted to JFK, following its departure from Newark on 15 February. The precautionary decision to divert was taken after the crew discovered a technical problem. It was clear from the outset that the necessary repairs would take some time and two engineers were flown in from London to startwork.Ordinarily we would have re-booked everyone onto other flights with us, or with other airlines, but there were only a handful of spaces available. We arranged hotel rooms in New Jersey as there weren’t enough in the New York area, and five coaches to take everyone there. A combination of bad weather and confusion over the correct route meant that this was a verylong journey too. We accept that this wasn’t handled very well and we took this up with the bus company before they returned on Saturday 17 February to collect everyone again.Although Virgin Atlantic staff were sent to the hotel, we’re aware that some didn’t arrive until after the coaches. By early morning on Friday 16, we knew that the flight wouldn’t be leaving until Saturday so staff were on hand to answer questions and handed out letters explaining this.On Saturday 17 February, your flight was re-numbered VS118 and left JFK at 10:43, 50 hours and 23 minutes late.It’s very difficult in a letter, to acknowledge how much frustration an experience like this causes and we’re so sorry that you were affected. Of course, we occasionally have flight delays but rarely this long and very rarely when there are no options to move people to other flights. It wasfor this reason that we offered you a free round-trip ticket on a future service, which I do hope you’ll get a chance to use.Regarding the compensation, all Upper class passengers were offered 50,000 miles to be credited to their flying club account, which I have done for you.If you incurred any costs for your immediate needs during the delay, like meals, phone calls, emails etc, please send us the receipts for consideration. We will also be passing on your comments within the airline, when we assess how this was handled.Thanks very much for taking the time to write.Yours sincerelyNella Ellams (Mrs)Customer Relations Executive”

I will still try and avoid using Virgin as much as I can.

I ahev just got back from Brazil where I flew there and back on BA. I even got upgraded to 1st on the way back as the flight was delayed and they started to upgrade Gold card holders after the delay was announced as a sorry… now that is a a good move….

Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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