Consumer Complaints and Reviews
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!
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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.
There was an announcement on the plane for me to see a baggage claim mgr at the baggage claim area. Apparently my 1 bag didn't leave SEA when I did. I was not late for check in or had issues with TSA so why wasn't bag on the initial flight? I was told sometimes it could get caught up with TSA inspection but I didn't see a notice in my bag when it arrived and I thought they usually leave a paper stating it was inspected by TSA! The airline was able to get my bag on another flight so it would arrive that same night and I called just to make sure it was still on schedule and it was.
I was suppose to get a call back confirming it arrived and coordinate it being delivered 1st thing the next day because of the lateness of arrival. No one called and I woke up to see a text stating that my bag was at the front door of the given address. I didn't believe it cause that's not what I was told and the message was at 3:30am. Surely, the bag was outside. Up to this point I wasn't too disturbed by the inconvenience of going a whole day without my luggage but leaving it unattended outside not certain if the address was correct, the type of neighborhood it was and the miscommunication of that message being delivered! I am glad I received my bag but I am not happy about this at all!
Worst customer service EVER!!! Make sure not to deal with Sharida or Shawn out of the Dallas office. Mean spirited and not consumer oriented. Darius, out of the Seattle office, a whole lot nicer. Not using Virgin again after they were unable to compensate me for their error.
I enjoy flying with Virgin! I have not had any issues until this Saturday while boarding my flight to SFO. With me was my backpack, a carry-on and my 1 year old daughter. Upon boarding, the flight attendant, Katie **, was chatting with one of the passengers on board. To avoid any traffic behind me, I interrupted her conversation to ask if she can place my carry-on in the overhead bin. She responded in a very snarky tone with, "If you are unable to place your carry-on in the overhead bin, you should check it at the desk." The man she was speaking to carelessly tossed my carry-on in the overhead bin. I guess her conversation was more important than helping out customers. I received awful service from Katie ** from flight VX805.
I don't fly often, but I decided to go to LA for a wedding with my husband and four children. It is a big expense for us to go to a wedding for one day but we thought the trip would be fun. We bought the plane tickets 4 months in advance and made seating reservation so that we can fly together as a family. I checked to see if everything was ok couple of days before our departure, but all our seating were gone. I had the confirmation printed out so I called customer service. Even the rep was surprised that our seats were gone after I had already printed out confirmed seating. I asked for full refund if they can't help us. She said that there would be a cancellation fee. Why should I be punished for errors the company made? She couldn't give me the "correct" answer so she got the supervisor to talk to me.
He was very unpleasant from the start. He already knew what the problem was, but he started the conversation with "what can I help you with?" as though he didn't know. After I went through the whole complaint, he said that there is a contract on a different website that states that seats can be changed and so on. I told him that I didn't see anything on my printout about that. If I had known, I would have checked every day to make sure the seats weren't changed. He was trying to put the blame on me. I told him that he wasn't talking like a real person. He was doing his best to not help.
When I asked him why the contract wasn't in the printout, he said it was too long to be on it. I said it was "B-S" that anyone would actually go to a different website to read a long contract. He's telling me where I can find it. I said why would I search for this contract. First of all, I didn't know it existed when I made the seating arrangements. There was nothing on the printout that I needed to read that before I made the seat assignments. The most awful experience. The supervisor hung up when my husband told him he was an attorney and asked for his name. Unbelievable. :(
My husband and I with two little kids were at Seattle airport in the early morning for our original 7 am VX 751 back to SFO. When the gate agent asked for volunteers on a later flight because of the overbooking problem, we offered our help. In return, the gate agent promised $300 per person credit to us. We were told to wait at our seat at Gate B1 for the new boarding passes. We did, after the flight took off, and we noticed the gate agents left and the gate sign was changed to Delta. No one from Virgin America came to talk to us or call our names at all. We were directed by Delta agent to Gate B14 for Virgin America. After getting our new boarding passes, I was surprised that agent Mallory refused to give us $300 per person credit.
She said we were already lucky that we got the new boarding passes, and she kept saying that she informed us that we didn't get picked. But nobody ever talked to us until we reached them at gate B14. While we were still dealing the issue, Drew cut us and tried to drive us away by saying "We're closed." Another disappointing customer experience was that the new boarding passes we were given for VX 753 showed the gate number was B1. So we went back and waited at B1 until it's almost boarding time. We found the gate was actually B11, and no one ever came to notify us about the gate change at all for the whole time. We were willing to help for the problem the airline had. But we were totally tricked, disrespected and mistreated.
Wanted to try Virgin America from Boston to San Francisco with family (four of us). It will be a cold day in hell when we fly VA again!!! Used Travelocity, had difficulty linking to VA for seat assignments outgoing, no assignments allowed for the return. VA online check-in gave errors, said to contact Customer Service. They couldn’t assign seats! We had four seats in the last row.
When we passed security in Boston VA has a tiny gate area, not enough seats for a whole flight to sit. People on the floor, against a wall, on top of luggage, strollers, dogs, crutches, blocking aisles, any free spaces, breaking fire codes. Eight women in line to use washroom with two stalls--one for wheelchair use. One of two sinks was a changing station!
On plane, seats in the last row up against washroom walls - no adjustments allowed! Husband is 6'-1"--his knees knocked the back of the seat in front of him!! Daughter’s tray table broken! Wrote to VA. Suggested they remove last row so people can stand to wait washroom. CS will forward suggestion, then said I look at 'select seating' for future flights!!! Should we pay extra for a tray table too?!
Our flight from JFK to SFO delayed by 2.5 hours due to the bad weather. However I can see that other airlines arrived on time in SFO. Is there any issue with Virgin plane so they can't fly on bad weather?
After my very bad experience with CheapOair, I called Virgin America directly (and always will from now on) and they more than "fixed" the problem. And it was the best 1st class ever! I hope they start to fly to more of the places I visit frequently so I can fly with them more often!
One star only because it must be rated one star for a posting. By far the poorest customer experience we have had with an airline. After boarding our flight we were turned around due to weather delays and let off the plane. We were told minimum of an hour delay with no estimated time for take off. We were advised they would be paging us for take off. My party waited at a nearby restaurant. I personally went to the exit gate (different from where we took off & completely unmarked) to check in on the flight. Was advised there was no update, and again that they would page us. After 20 more mins at the restaurant I heard a page about a Vegas flight & sent my husband to the gate to check. They turned him away and said he was looking for the wrong flight.
When he returned I advised, no that was the correct gate and headed straight over. They had just finished boarding and they refused to let us on the plane. When my husband asked why they turned him away the woman pretended she didn't recognize him. My husband asked again, "really you don't remember me from 5 minutes ago when the flight was boarding?" Finally she admits she remembers him and there must have been a miscommunication. There is nothing she can do. Decide for yourself but we had a very poor experience and will not be flying this airline again.
Got email saying "To say mahalo to our loyal customers, we are offering 2 for 1 seats to Honolulu or Maui Exclusively for Elevate customers (their promotion program Similar to Am Air freq flyer number). Book your trip to paradise now to fly between Feb 6 and Mar 6.” Follow the link to Virgin booking site and there are NO SEATS from Palm Springs (PSP) to Maui (OGG) as far as their booking calendar goes. Every date said NO SEATS. Honolulu was not available from the booking site at all, even though the email gave 2 destinations! Sent email to Virgin but only got automated reply with incident number which means nothing to me. Consumer Affairs website should have a NO STARS rating for terrible service.
Flew from Las Vegas to New York via San Francisco. Flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco was cancelled. Placed on new flight. Luggage never made it to New York. Filed a claim for lost luggage. Most of the items in the luggage were paid with cash and were 2-3 years old. Tried our best to find receipts, but they were not to be found. Customer Service became unresponsive and were unprofessional. I asked for a timeline from the airline to determine exactly where the luggage was lost. I heard nothing. They did not care. They treated me like I was the one who had done something wrong. They never even acknowledged that they lost the luggage. The worst airline customer service I have ever dealt with. Neither I, my family nor friends will ever fly Virgin America. I frankly don't know why anyone would.
I was at the Virgin america ticketing counter of Dallas love field airport 30 minutes prior to my flight at 7 A.M and I was not issued my ticket for that flight saying its too late. As I am travelling for work I don't have the luxury to take the next flight at 10.45 and miss the whole day travelling. The supervisor name Joyce ** came to me with a sore face in-spite of issuing my ticket to someone else 30 minutes prior to the flight (clearly don't know how to do her job) and told me the flight will be closed by the time I get there.
I travel every week and I have silver status with virgin america and I can cruise through the security checkpoint in 5 minutes and this airport has got only 20 gates. How will I be late. She refused to work with me. Instead humiliated me by being rude by telling me "I am not in IND (she means to say she is not in India based on my ethnicity then she changed and said) I am not international." And she went further to STEP AWAY from her. I was totally humiliated in spite of being a loyal customer and did not expect this kind of attitude from a supervisor.
We recently made a roundtrip flight from LAX to Ft. Lauderdale. We were optimistic about the airline. The gate crew was wonderful and quick. However, once we got on the plane the flight crew was testy and unpleasant. Virtually everything we tried to order was out of stock. It was a red eye. I asked for a cup of coffee over an hour before landing. The attendant snapped the galley was closed. We gave Virgin the benefit of the doubt but the flight back was even worse - surreal. Richard Branson makes a big deal about the morale of his employees. These individuals were bummers.
On 12/18/15, my 2 children and I were scheduled to fly out of Austin to SFO at 5:30 pm via Virgin American. However, flight was delayed several times due to bad weather per staff announcement. Later that evening, I spoke to Supervisor Kevin concerning delays. He indicated it's not due to bad weather BUT due to VA not purchasing enough time slots to fly into SFO. VA is not large enough to compete with American, Delta and Unite whereas, these carriers purchase so many time slots they can fly into SFO many times per day. Note: VA aircraft was on the ground in Austin for approx. 3-4 hours.
We finally board flight 221 to SFO but missed out connecting flight to LAX. Freezing cold on the flight. The heater was turned on while we're descending. After landing, VA staff advised me that there are no flights available to LAX. All were oversold but can fly us to Palm Springs on next Tuesday, 12/22/15. I was extremely livid! VA staff also advised me that flights to Las Vegas and San Diego were also cancelled. My kids were crying because their flights were delayed.
The VA staff were unhelpful, they were using profanity at the service center, eating jelly beans AND could not offer resolution. They lied to me and said my luggage was already in Los Angeles when actually it was sitting in the luggage center at SFO. As a result, I gathered our luggage and hopped in a cab to Oakland Int'l airport (fare was $105). I booked travel to LAX via Delta. They were so nice to us. Greeted us with blankets, water and pillows. I felt like I was in very good hands. We arrived to LAX 7:30am on 12/19/15. Do not fly Virgin American!
The main thought that I have when I think about my experience is: how could two people treat, not only a customer, but a PERSON like that. It didn't seem right at the time, and it doesn't seem right now. I was on flight 337 from Ft. Lauderdale to LAX, and I was sick. I even upgraded my seat to main cabin select because I felt that I needed to be more comfortable since my body ached so badly. Anyway, I got on the flight just fine, but after an hour or so I was freezing. Like noticeably cold; shivering and teeth chattering. I asked for a blanket (which I've done before in main cabin select), and the flight attendant informed me that blankets are only for first class. Confused, I ask, "Really? I've gotten blankets before..." To which the male attendant replied, "Well, I don't know what to tell you."
"Please, I'm really cold and I don't feel well." The attendant just looked at me and said, "No, sorry" and then walked away. It was so callous that it definitely took me aback. Later, I asked another attendant for a blanket and she said, "Actually, we don't have ANY blankets on this flight." Puzzled, I asked, "Not even for first class?" "Nope! But I can turn down the A/C in the cabin." I'm not one to inconvenience others, so I said "No, I don't want everyone else to be hot because I don't feel well and I'm really cold." She then shrugged said "okay" and walked away just like that.
Hours later, the flight ended and I walked past first class only to find that the attendant flat out LIED to me. There were blankets EVERYWHERE. It would be different if she had reiterated the policy to me, but because she just LIED to someone who very obviously needed help, it blew me away. Just insensitive and mean. I used to love flying this airline. Virgin was my absolute favorite and I would exclusively fly Virgin. I would encourage everyone I knew to fly this airline. However, now I can't say that. And it saddens me to said that I haven't flown with them since the incident. Maybe some of the attendants need sensitivity training. I don't know. All I can hope is that this doesn't happen to anyone else because I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone. Ever.
The airline staff was very trendy, and the ones that I did come into contact with were all relatively nice and friendly. Except two of the flight attendants who were unruly and disrespectful, one who I had to put in his place as he was being very nasty to the older lady I was sitting next to who had a jammed seat. To add I tried to change my ticket, they absolutely would not help me and kept saying to call the travel agency I booked with. I've never heard this before. So because I don't have the funds to change my ticket through the travel agency an amount of $450 (flight change fee + difference of new ticket) when I already paid $400 for this ticket, I cannot stay to see my grandmother in the hospital. Very unhelpful staff.
Erika ArmstrongAirlines 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.
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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.
Virgin America Airlines Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Virgin America