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I purchased two tickets 30 April 2017 from SFO to LAS. This was a short jump leg in a return trip to the Grand Canyon for our anniversary. As nature being nature, hurricane Irma paid us a visit here in Florida. We will now be cleaning up for our anniversary. The trip being cancelled I began phoning all entities I had made reservations with and cancelling. I got to Virgin America and was informed that if I cancelled I would owe the company additional monies as the cancellation fees were more than the price of the ticket. I noticed on one of the Virgin America sites they were asking for donations to help communities of the British Virgin Islands affected by hurricane Irma, I believe I just did.
All the Virgin Airlines (including British) are far and away better than American-owned carriers. On April flight to JFK from SFO, I booked Premium/Economy Plus. It was comfortable, had great amenities and well worth the extra money. Given a choice, I will always fly on Virgin.
I am a little leery about flying, like many others. My experience with Virgin America was excellent, however. I flew to Las Vegas with my wife, and found the service very good. My only real complaint is I wish the seats were more comfortable; I am somewhat overweight, and found it hard to fit in the seat. Airlines need to understand that people are bigger, in general, than they used to be, like it or not, and businesses need to pay attention.
I was overcharged with a doubled fee. When I called customer service with the complaint, they were rude and said they could not honor the promotional ad. The more I brought it to their attention, the less interested they wanted to hear from me. I will never fly them again.
The most horrendous travel experience ever! On 8/2/17 I had a routine flight LA to NY that should've been 5hrs and turned into a 36 hour ordeal that felt more like imprisonment than anything else. What started out w/ a thunderstorm led to a cascading series of customer service failures that seemed never- ending. Hours in a terminal waiting for rebooking, instructed to wait for shuttle service that was no longer in use, incompetence after incompetence. Then I was booked into a hotel room that didn't exist to await the next flight out! I've had good experiences w/ this airline in the past but this ordeal has changed the way I think of them. I've since learned they were bought in 3/2017 by Alaska Airlines, which seems to have decimated the fine reputation Virgin had and replaced it w/ a Burger King-style business model. I will NEVER fly Virgin again.
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My name is Emma ** and on Mon., July 3 I left a paperback book called "The Likeness" by Tana French on Virgin America Flight 882 from LAX to Dallas Love Field (Aircraft # 320). This book was left in the seat back pocket on my flight near the front of the aircraft. It had several of my boarding passes with my name on them stuck inside of it, as well as a postcard from Cabo San Lucas and 50 Mexican pesos. I have tried everything to recover this item but Dallas Love Field does not have it and my report online has gotten no results. Please help me retrieve my lost item before 30 days are up and it is donated or thrown away if it hasn't been already. Virgin America flight attendants did not check the plane after my flight and that is why my book was not found at Dallas Love Field.
I never write reviews, but after dealing with 4 customer service reps at Virgin America, I've filed complaints with TSA and the Aviation Consumer Protection Division. I will also be contacting the BBB. My TSA precheck did not appear on my boarding pass heading out of San Francisco. I asked Virgin to correct the mistake. The first guy claimed he did & had me re-check in. It still didn't appear. The next 3 people flat out told me the biggest lies: that TSA was a lottery and not everyone gets to have it even if you've paid for it. That TSA has updated their regulations to leave it at the discretion of the airline (which is NOT correct). That it was my fault for checking in without it (um, it was in my Virgin profile before I even booked the ticket online). That there was nothing they could do since I had already checked in (um, well the 1st guy did something that made me have to check in again, so that's also incorrect).
And above all, everyone was rude. I have never dealt with such immediate condescension and rudeness when I politely asked for help with something that is simple to fix. I had a TSA issue with United. Yes it took 3 calls with them to fix it. But they were never rude to me. And listen VIRGIN, I don't care if you think "you're the coolest airline and I might be able to see Russel Brandt on my flight" (Seriously... Why would I care about that??). You can't handle the most basic of air travel and safety requirements. Why are you in business?
Virgin America has treated me horribly as a customer. On 3/6, I went to book two tickets from LAX to FLL, I paid close to $1200 for two tickets, a pet fee each way, and a baggage fee. Once I submitted my order, it was time to pick my seats. Since I was traveling with my small dog, it was imperative that I have a seat next to my fiance. I've had bad experiences in the past with random customers kicking my dog under the seat so it's imperative that I have someone I know sit beside me to protect the dog. When I went to select the seats, there were about 20 left on each plane, and I noticed each one wanted a $40 upcharge, which would've added $160 to my total bill. There was nothing special about these seats, no extra leg room, some were middle seats back towards the middle of the plane.
I could tell that Virgin was playing to customers' fears that they wouldn't be able to sit next to each other. There is no other viable explanation for why they'd charge $40 for a middle seat towards the back of the plane. I called corporate to cancel my tickets, and I was connected to a gentleman by the name of Alex. He asked me if I would consider keeping the tickets if he could waive the seat charge and place me in seats. I told him yes, and he proceeded to put me in seats 4A/4B on the outbound flight and 7E/7F on the returning flight. He asked me to check my Virgin America account online and confirm that I could see the seats and indeed I could. The flight down to Florida was fine, but when I went to check-in for my return flight, I noticed I no longer had a seating assignment.
I asked the rep at the ticketing gate and she told me Virgin bumped me out of those seats because another customer was willing to pay for them and I wasn't. She was able to see the notes where my seating charges had been waived, but she refused to put me back in the correct seats. She told me "You can either get on the plane or stay here in Florida, but you can't have those seats." After arguing with them for an hour, they placed me in the very back row of seats, a seating section that they said they normally don't use for customers. The seats were right next to the bathroom door and my fiance consistently dealt with customer's butts rubbing up against her face while they were waiting in line for the bathroom. Virgin lied to me and deceived me to get me to keep the tickets, and then took my seats away once I was already in Florida. I asked for a refund of the tickets so I could fly another airline and they would not let me do that.
Called for help with a minor travelling alone, spoke with a rep who was pleasant and tried to help but made a mistake on the dates of the flights, did not realize and did not read back to me until she purchased the ticket and realized it was wrong dates. Stated "let me fix it" but was unable to do. Needed to reissue another ticket and was to charge me the fee, of course I disagreed and asked politely if the supervisor can assist her. The supervisor came to phone and I could overhear the whole conversation.
Long story short the rep was unable to help, the supervisor tried to cover that the ticket was not purchased by the rep and we had already discussed it with the rep so honesty and trust became an issue here. To say the least the only solution was to charge my card the difference or get a refund in 3-5 days? So how do I get the refund if they had not charged my card? No answer... No apology that they made a mistake. Asked the supervisor to listen to the recording and know that I gave the right dates and did not get a read-back before purchase... Very bad customer service Virgin America. Educate your reps and their managers please. Not flying with you anymore. Supervisor name is DEMOND/DALLAS CENTER. 6/13/2017.
I am so outraged at Virgin (previously my favorite airline) for allowing their employees to lie to passengers like me. This morning they notified us of cancelled flight 952 June 8 9:55 am after we have waited in a long line at the airport to check in. The excuse offered was the local weather in San Francisco. They offered alternate flights booked at 100% for us to be waitlisted and the only other flight available for confirmed flight is one departing at 8:45 pm tonight. That meant a $30 cab fare for us to return home instead of waiting at the airport consuming at least three meals for four people. I demanded a cab voucher but Cynthia, the supervisor, offered the ultimate lie about weather conditions while other airlines continued to fly out. I AM OUTRAGED for being made to feel like an idiot. I still demand refund for my cab fare (I have a receipt) and possible compensation for the inconvenience. Virgin SUCKS!
My husband and I were traveling from Denver to SFO on May 27th and had a terrible Virgin America experience. On this flight, there were several children and there was a family seated one row behind us to the right with two small children. One of the children had a very difficult time on this flight and was screaming so loud that one customer started laughing at how long and hard this child was crying.
Once the seatbelt sign turned off, a flight attendant had a few headsets in his hands so I asked if I could borrow one as I lent my husband mine. He then told me I had to pay $3 on the purchase screen or should have picked up some before getting on the flight. The child at this point was screaming at the top of her lungs so I simply asked if it would be of good customer service to provide us with complimentary headsets due to the circumstance? He looked at me and said he did not understand and very condescendingly stated "No, this is a child. I don't understand your question. They are children and I don't have the time to have this discussion." And I could not make out the rest of it because of the screaming but basically, he said he did not appreciate what I asked and I shot back that I certainly did not appreciate his attitude. And he huffed away.
I could not believe this exchange in conversation for a simple request as he could have handled this in many different ways. I am not the type of customer to suggest separate flights for adults and families, but I do think the airline needs to accommodate the rest of us who have to endure this for hours in some way. By loaning (not giving) headsets to those who forgot theirs is such a small gesture and easy way to remedy this. We can simply return them to be recycled at the end of the trip. It does not cost the airline much but goes a long way in terms of service and understanding. Up until this time, we always sought out to fly Virgin but after being treated so poorly we will now try to avoid Virgin at all costs. I certainly do not need a lecture on principles due to the staff not understanding the situation and providing good customer service.
This is the first time I have flown on Virgin Air. I have flown with my job for years and Alaska has always been my preferred airline, in over 15 years of flying I've lost my bag once. I got in at 10:15 this morning from a 2 hour flight. 2 hours. Lost bag. I am here for two big events. I get a call at 3:30 pm telling me my bag was found. And should be at my hotel by 5. Nothing happens. I call back they say it is on its way. It will be here by 7 or 8, again no bag. I make more calls trying to find it. I'm told no matter what, 100 percent it will be at my hotel between 11-1 am. Now I just get a call telling me 100 percent no matter what it will be here by 3-5 am. I am so, so angry at this horrible customer service.
I have to leave my hotel by 6 am to start my day. I have nothing. I didn't go buy anything because they said it was coming. This is the worst experience I have ever, ever had with an airline. I am very disappointed and will be writing and calling in with my complaints. Just goes to show you pretty interior doesn't make an airline. I hope to never fly this airline again! The reason for my review should be obvious, but if not I want to make sure you know how completely dissatisfied I am to pay money to fly on this airline and have this horrible service. I am sure this isn't the first time someone has lost a bag. How can a common process be done so poorly? When clearly there are other choices to fly, I won't be flying Virgin.
This may seem that it has to do with Virgin Air but it's Alaska Air too. I have had my 28,000 miles in my elevate (frequent flyer program) reduced to 0 because of inactivity in a 16 month period. I have been receiving emails all along that the way to transfer points would be coming soon. I waited. The only communication I have received from them is to wait and not do anything with my account while the shift to Alaska Air is underway. The next thing I find out (with no notice, only messages to wait) is that my miles are gone and they will not reinstate them. This is robbery. It reflects on Virgin Air and now it reflects on Alaska Air.
Virgin Air refuses to do anything because they have no public accountability. I actually bought the miles on that account. I paid for them. To have them taken away in the middle of this confusing transition with no warning is totally unfair. I have had nothing but good experiences with Alaska and was just considering moving over to their credit card and use their services.
I fly 170,000 miles a year on my Alaska plan. Begrudgingly flew on Virgin SFO to DCA. Return flight they boarded, had us waiting without updates for 90 min. before they told us the crew timed out and they were swapping out. So 6 hour flight turned out to be 9.5 hours in the plane. Then I call to get a missing in flight receipt. I have been on hold for 27 min. just to talk to someone. After that time, the system cut me off. Virgin has clearly given up since being acquired by Alaska. I sure hope they don't taint the Alaska way of life...
Completely mortified by the type of service I received while flying on Virgin America for the first time yesterday on a flight leaving Dallas Love Field and traveling to New York LaGuardia. A flight attendant by the name of Deanna ** was completely rude & disrespectful towards me. I was humiliated twice in front of many passengers after a flight attendant spilled a Coke on me, she asked how she could compensate for her mistake and I told her I was hungry so she offered me a sandwich. Later Deanna comes back and tries to charge me for the sandwich that was given to me for compensation. I tried to explain things to her and she literally spoke to me as if I was her twelve-year-old daughter!
I later went up to the front of the plane to speak with her one-on-one and let her know what took place with a flight attendant who spilled the Coke on me and offered me the free sandwich. It literally felt like the words coming out of my mouth was pointless because she had her hands crossed and kept interrupting me while I was speaking. I bursted out in tears and at that point she tried to apologize. But I was completely humiliated. I did not deserve that type of treatment & blatant disrespect. I will NEVER fly this airline again. And to make matters worse I found her on Facebook and added her and seen a nasty post later on that day bashing me and talking down on my character. That not the type of service I thought I would be receiving when I deceived to fly with this airlines. People like her should not be working in customer service. I'm a severely disappointed passenger.
Terrible service. Outbound flight cancelled twice; then a supervisor put me on a third flight - but screwed it up and didn't actually book me on the flight. When I called again - the rep didn't care and didn't think that was a problem. After several hours on the phone - finally got a flight - but then it left late and the non-stop had to stop in Las Vegas to refuel. Return flight was pretty much a disaster too. Do their flights ever leave on time? Do they ever listen to the call recordings or monitor their reps? Goodbye forever Virgin - they stink.
I traveled Virgin America Airlines from San Francisco to Denver on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017. Treating went fine until I went to the baggage claim area and discovered my luggage did not show up. This was at 11 o'clock p.m. There was no Virgin America employee to be found in the airport anywhere at that time. Getting through by telephone proved almost as difficult as trying to find a real person to help. But I did get through some time after midnight only to discover that the telephone numbers I was given to call for baggage claim were disconnected. I had absolutely nowhere to turn to even file a claim.
Their website was no help and the only thing I could think was to go home and try in the morning. Trying to get through to anybody by phone to help me was again virtually impossible. I had to call customer service at DIA who stepped in to sort of help. They got me through to a line where I could at least leave a voice message about my missing luggage. In the end my bag was found but I could never be less satisfied with anyone's customer service. It was horrible. I felt completely lost, unvalued as a customer and pretty much like I was on my own. I was headed to DIA to search myself or to hunt down a body to help me when I got the call that my luggage had been found. Bad, BAD, horrible service Virgin America!! You should be ashamed.
So I had 4 1-stop, round trip tickets from Chicago to Maui all set and purchased August 2016 to leave in April 2017. In September 2016 I received notice of a flight change. It was a little less convenient but hey it's cool I thought. No worries. Then last week I received an email stating the first leg of the trip would now arrive 1 hour AFTER the second leg would be leaving from San Francisco. Well that isn't very good I thought to myself so I called the Virgin Help Line.
I talked with a rep who put me on hold several times only to come to the conclusion that I would just have to find another way out to San Fran. She then mentioned that many flights have been recently cancelled and that there was nothing we could do (she told me about the small print in the contract that allows for this). There is also a good chance that many more flights will be cancelled. Today I noticed several flights returning from Maui to Chicago advertised for $455 for the main cabin. WOW this is way too good to be true and I expect people will be very stuck at an airport. Good bye forever Virgin. Strange name for an organization that ** you.
On a recent, full flight, I sat in the aisle seat next to two previously unacquainted people. As they got to know each other much better after a couple of drinks together, they began holding hands. By mid-flight, the "attraction" grew into an orgy, barely covered up by her short coat they tried to use as a blanket. Concentrating on the book I had been reading became impossible as the drama continued. The scene was now being watched by two young children across the aisle, as well as adults who had walked to the restroom and remained standing up to watch the unfolding. I walked from the front of business class to the back of the plane to see if there were any vacant seats I could move to, and the only seat was next to the two male flight attendants on the last row. They begrudgingly said I could sit there after first asking why I wanted to move.
I was only too happy to tell them, thinking maybe they would say something to the couple, but they shrugged, saying, "It happens." I said I'd left a book on my seat next to the entwined couple, and one attendant offered to get it for me. When he came back he said, "I saw what she was doing to him." I said I was surprised they did not say something to them, and he said, he would have to see them 'in the act' to say something. Didn't he just see them in the act?
Regardless, for this humiliation, in addition to riding in the last row, debarking last, having TVs not working for any passengers, running out of menu items, paying extra for an aisle seat on my connecting, red-eye leg of flight to find NO middle seats were occupied, anyway, which the airport knew when I upgraded to the aisle, the WORST humiliation was telling this all to two customer service representatives who could do nothing but offer $25 for my next flight with Virgin (NEVER - THIS WAS MY FIRST AND LAST!). During the flight, the crew announced all passengers could contact the airline for a "refund" due to inoperable TVs [NOT a credit for another VA flight]. I frequently traveled with my job and can say, without reservation, this is the worst airline I have every flown on. DO NOT FLY VIRGIN!
The website showed "cancelled", then "on time" later. Online check-in showed "go to service at airport". Called Virgin America for re-booking and waited for 3 hours. None answered. Called second day for 2 hours. Finally, it was cancelled. This is the reality for this small, young and greedy airline. No more Virgin America.
The few times I've flown Virgin, have been truly delightful! From the getting the tickets, to checking bags to checking in, sitting arrangement, service in-flight, deplaning, claiming baggage, all went ever-so smoothly. Extremely consistent in everything 'they' do!
I had to change a date for flying to see my family for Christmas with my 2.5 year old son. I needed to change it by 1 day 10 days before the flight. Now instead of paying $1,630.40 I am paying $4,840.40. The only 2 seats next to each other on the way to New York is in first class. But still, this is a complete rip-off and it wasn't clear when I made the change earlier today. I called and they said, "we might have been able to waive a fee if you had called in." TOO LITTLE TOO LATE Virgin. NEVER AGAIN!
When last flying on Virgin America in row 5, I and every other passenger flying in steerage had to go to the back of the plane for the restroom. Only the 8 passengers in first class could use the front toilet. Really?! I had to sit through that annoying, long and crappy video on how to (just in case I didn't know already) fasten my seat belt. 4 out of 5 menu items we wanted were sold out. The flight attendants hardly attended. I guess they were too busy in 1st class serving rubber chicken. Nope, never again. Richard, you missed the mark on this one. Adios all y'all.
Lax to Dallas 9/29 flight 874. This was my first experience with this airline and unfortunately my only option to use Amex travel points. Normally I only fly via Southwest when on domestic flights. My luggage never arrived at baggage claim. It wasn't until a little after 1am that I'm contacted by Alaskan Airlines that they have my bag. Virgin Airlines failed to tag my bag regardless of that $25 fee they attempt to justify in order to provide better service. I've yet to receive my bag and hope nothing is missing. This airline is just a fad. Their seating isn't much comfortable unless you're flying first class depending on the aircraft. No complimentary snacks were given out during the entire flight. Service was average. The only interesting thing is the individual TV screen that can be used to track your flight also order food and drink (most which requires a debit or credit card).
My mother is 87 years old and was traveling Tue. Sep. 13th from Sfo to San. on Virgin America flight 9954. Name - Willela **. She was taken up and seated on the airplane. She was scheduled to arrive into San Diego at 1:35PM. My sister sent to the airport in San Diego to pick her up to find out that plane had not left San Francisco. When I (Christine **) tried to get some information I was transferred to someone in The Philippines, who knew absolutely nothing about what I was talking about. With the world situation as it is now, I was very upset and did not know what to do and who I could get answers from. No one contacted me (I was the person to purchased the ticket). No phone call, no email not even a text. Why do you ask for an email address if you're not going to use it? IF someone could please contact me at ** or email me at their earliest convenience so we might discuss this matter. Thanks...
I tried to purchase tickets and after confirming the payment there was an "error" pop-up on the webpage. Naturally I assumed the payment didn't go through as I did not receive any confirmation code or e-ticket. I refreshed and repurchased the tickets. I was charged for both occasions with two international transaction fees and given only one seat. I called up the airline on two occasions to make sure that they had only charge me once. They assured me that this was correct and that the one of the charges will 'drop off'. This did not occur.
I reached out to them on Facebook, and they said they'd transfer to issue to their accounts department. I might add that the responses online have been flat, unapologetic, unhelpful and frankly unprofessional. They tell me that it will take 2-3 weeks for them to get back to me, even though they it took them a second to take my money. Naturally I am frustrated and disappointed in the service I have received and will be asking for a full refund and choosing a different airline.
On the morning of 8/15/16, I arrived at Virgin America booth at 6:20 am in Seattle, Washington to pick up my boarding pass and to check my bag. I was informed by Toni that I would not be able to check my bag because it has to be checked 45 minutes prior to the plane leaving. I said okay and stated that I will take out some clothes and place them in my carry-on. As I was about to open the bag the teller Toni informed me that it was a waste of time for me to do that because I missed the 20 minute check-in before the plane leaves. I looked at the time and it was not even 6:30 am as of yet. I expressed that I never heard or read that anywhere. Toni stated that it was on the receipt when I booked the flight. She offered to have me on stand by but within a minute stated that you will most likely not get a flight out, unless you want to go to Kennedy airport.
I asked her why would I pass Newark and go to Kennedy which adds on an additional 2-3 hours to my travel time. Toni stated that she will look to see if there were any flights for the next day. Toni stated that she can get me on the same flight schedule as I booked for the next day. I said that will be fine. Toni stated in a matter of seconds that the flight was full and no seats were available. By this time I am annoyed because I knew I could have made my flight and did not feel that she was helping me one bit. Toni stated that there was a later flight that was available, however I would reach my destination the next morning.
At this point I am annoyed. I informed Toni that I could have made my flight if she would have just given me my boarding pass. She replied no you won't because you need to be checked and the line may be long. I went on to explain to her if that would have been the case then I would have come back and asked that to be put on another flight. Toni stated either way now you have to pay $100.00 to change your flight. I expressed to her that it is not fair that I have to pay to change my flight when in fact I was on time, but she refused to give me my boarding pass. "Oh well, that is the way it is", was Toni reply to me. I put down my charge card on the counter and Toni said,"I am not booking you for nothing and you better hope that there are seats available for any flight, speak to the supervisor who may help you, I have all day I get paid by the hour."
I waited for 40 minutes before a supervisor came, needless to say I missed my flight. The supervisor finally came and as expected tried to explain Toni's bad behavior and unprofessionalism away. She was holding my boarding tickets and stated that she would help me find another flight. She looked at the boarding tickets and said that a flight was booked for the next day same time already. I asked why didn't Toni tell me. The supervisor said it was miscommunication. I said no it was no communication. The end result was that I still had to pay an extra $100.00 to change my flight.
I made my flight the next day did not go to the booth had boarding pass. While in flight I went to the bathroom and noticed that there were at least 15 to 20 empty seats. I immediately thought of Toni who told me that there were no seats available and then booked me on the flight without telling me. Behind that fake smile when she greets people is a dishonest, unprofessional individual. As it stands now I will not be flying the skies with Virgin America. I also made a report against her at customer care, which I doubt will do anything.
I tried to upgrade my sister's flight from coach to business for her birthday. The customer service rep told me it was being upgraded to business class for a charge of $199. I informed my sister and she was very happy. When she got to the flight it was an exit row seat and it was not upgraded. The plane did not even have a business class section!! I called the customer service rep and not only were they rude to me and hung up the phone. When I called again to speak to the manager he was even worst and said this exit row seat area is business class... such **!! I have never dealt with such unprofessional and rude people. I will never allow my sister to use this disgusting airline and will make to tell all my family & friends to stay away also!!
For more than 2 weeks I have been trying to find out why and how my flight was even booked on their airline. I called Delta bereavement line. Talked with a live person. Gave me flight and seat info. But, when I get there no ticket. Said Virgin had my flight and took payment. So, still working on a refund and an answer. Hold for virgin is ridiculous. They never call back either.
When I was planning my trip to Northern California for my cousin's wedding a couple months back, I chose Virgin America Airlines. The prices were good and I've heard nothing but the best regarding customer service and operations. My expectations were high - and I know it wasn't just word of mouth, their website proclaims they are dedicated to making flying good again. I have flown quite a bit, along the West coast especially. I always flew with JetBlue, Alaska Air, or Southwest and I must say, I never had a bad experience. Maybe an hour or two delay, but that's about it. I am one who is always interested in trying something new. I had confidence my experience would be good. Unfortunately from the get-go, it was anything but.
I got to the airport an hour before take off. I checked in right away at the kiosk at SEA and upon heading toward the security check, a TSA agent noticed I was wearing a Johnny Cash shirt and proceeded to tell me about his experience helping Johnny Cash at the airport. It was an interesting story and I valued that a stranger would share their experience with me. The conversation lasted about 5 minutes. I headed toward security and saw the line was longer than I have EVER seen it. Even the weeks following September 11, 2001. I made it through security efficiently and proceeded to find a bathroom once my gate was in sight. I had a window seat and chose to make it easier for the passengers next to me by using it before take off so I wouldn't require them to move or shuffle during the flight.I got to my gate at 11 minutes to take off. The plane was still there, but I was informed I missed my flight. I was shocked. And angry. I opened the emails I got from VA and read the fine print, there was NOTHING that noted such a regulation. I mentioned that to the agent at the gate and he clicked on a link down on the bottom of the email which sent me to their website and from there, clicked on another link and scrolled through the contract of carriage just to find such pertinent information. It was a small fee to get on a flight from SEA to LAX and then LAX to SFO... so for the sake of wanting to get to my location, I booked that flight.
Prior to boarding, they announced that if anyone had a carry-on they would not be needing stuff out of, to please, for their convenience, check it in. I did just that, for their convenience.
It occurred to me while waiting to board the connecting fight at LAX to make sure my bag was transferred, but again, I had confidence in the professionalism and efficiency of the company. Alas, I was waiting for my luggage upon landing in SFO and discovered my bag was not transferred. I filed a claim with the baggage office and given a $50 credit as well as assurance that anything I buy would be compensated back to me. But to rest assured that my baggage would be delivered to me within 24 hours. I was upset, tired, and angry. I had to go shopping for the essentials in my carry-on that night, missing out on family events.
Around 11PM that night, I heard back from the baggage people that my bag was located and I would have it by noon. I was SO relieved. But then noon turned into 3:30. I had to leave to the wedding by 4:30. I needed to make a stop at a store for a wedding gift and picked up a dress and shoes, just in case. Thankfully, I did that, because around 2:30 I was told it would get to me at 4:45. And then the guy told me he was stuck in traffic. He ended up dropping it off at 6 PM. 27 hours after I had landed.
I had already planned on driving from SFO to the LA area to spend Father's Day with my dad and then driving back up the next afternoon before my flight out. But by the time I was on my way, the distress and emotional exhaustion caused by the anxiety from the delayed baggage resulting in using my vacation and bill money just to cover the necessities that were in my bag, having to drive back up seemed absolutely distasteful. I called to change my flight home from SFO to LAX. Due to the inconvenience placed upon me by VA, I was hoping it would be something that would be discounted or compensated and an easy thing to fix. I was wrong.
I was on hold trying to get in touch with an agent for 45 minutes. I was told it would be $127 to switch and I was going to use my $50 credit to lower that price even more. I pursued the option to see if there was anything more that could be discounted to make a horrible situation with VA good again (their motto). But upon being on hold while transferred to a manager, I was told there was an error, led to take a survey and was hung up on. An hour wasted. I called again and got to the point of being transferred to a manager, I could barely hear her and asked for her to speak up. My volume was ALL the way up. Soon, there was no one on the end and I was hung up on again. That took 35 minutes.
Then I talked to a guy named Anthony. He wouldn't transfer me to a manager and accused me of trying to get free services from VA for my error of being late to my first flight. I told him I took ownership of being late (though they lacked to easily communicate such important info), but it was the issue with the delayed baggage and the time and money it took to get the things I needed until my luggage was delivered to me. He told me it would be $127 to switch again, but once again, I was hung up on. Another 30 minutes.
Then I talked to Audra, by this point, I was about ready to just quit and near an emotional breakdown for some resolution. I was exhausted. Audra listened to me and did all that she could, but by the time she tried to switch it, it would cost me around $250 just to switch. I gave up. As distressed and emotionally exhausted as I was, having to be placed on hold and tell someone else my story and experience with the company proved too much for me to bear. I would just drive back up to SFO. That night, I decided to see the cost for other airlines to switch flights. I first looked at Virgin America, just in case. For a one way ticket, the price was STILL $127. I was slightly angry, but more so relieved. I grabbed my card to buy it and signed on to the travel bank so I could use my $50 credit... but found it was already used without my authorization. This was the last straw. I was DONE with Virgin America.
I found a flight for $100 with Alaska Air, who I now hear merged with VA. It makes me sad such a high quality and professional airline would merge with such a lousy one. Alaska Air is trusted and the process was easy and I didn't have to drive up to SF as an emotionally and physically exhausted person. All that being said, I am now told after filing a claim with the travel insurance I just so happened to buy while booking my flight, that it will take 3-4 weeks to be reimbursed. To be reimbursed money that is supposed to go to bills. The inconvenience VA imposed upon me during what was supposed to be a good, family-filled trip, was nearly ruined by horrible customer service and unprofessionalism.
Virgin America expert review by Erika Armstrong
Even though the licensed logo and Virgin name are on the tail, Virgin Atlantic only owns 25% while the rest is owned by private investors who are U.S. citizens. Since its launch in 2007, the California-based airline’s mission has been to “make flying good again.”
- Fun, innovative amenities: Cabins feature mood lighting, custom-designed leather seats, power outlets, fleet wide in-flight WiFi and video touch-screen at every seatback.
- Eco-conscious: The company has a brand new fleet of A320s, which have up to 20% more fuel and carbon efficiency than the average U.S. fleet. They are the first domestic airline to offer a carbon offset option in-flight.
- Seat-to-seat delivery: This feature allows guests to send a cocktail, snack or meal to a fellow traveler onboard their flight using a digital seat map.
- Elevate: The company’s frequent flyer program has no black-out dates or restrictions, and has 3.8 million members.
- Travel Change Fee: This allows for same day travel change (if available) for a nominal fee of $25-50.
- Best for: Business travelers, holiday travelers and any type of travel between major international cities in the U.S.
Airlines Contributing Editor
From the front desk of a busy FBO to the captain's seat of a commercial airliner, Erika Armstrong has experienced everything aviation has to offer. She is the author of A CHICK IN THE COCKPIT and her aviation articles can be found at Consumer Affairs, Plane & Pilot, Flying.com, Disciples of Flight, NYC Aviation, Contrails, Mentor, General Aviation News and Business Insider.
Virgin America Airlines Company Information
- Company Name:
- Virgin America