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From first class to third class
Member Name: jeanjeannie
Date: 26/01/01, updated on 17/02/01 (506 review reads)
Advantages: Become an expert on airports
Disadvantages: Too numerous to mention
We have travelled with Virgin Atlantic many times & have sung their praises but they now have a very serious problem. The aircraft are old & keep breaking down resulting in more & more delays. We had a 24 hour delay from Gatwick to Orlando , annoying enough in itself but it was so badly handled. The left hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing. My family & I felt like animals being herded from one place to another. We were eventually transported to a hotel in Brighton for the night & picked up the following morning ,driven back to Gatwick in an old coach with no heating & arrived absolutely frozen only to be told that our plane was delayed for another 3 hours.! We had already lost a day of our holiday.
Surprisingly the flight was no longer full – several spare seats – strange I thought. Then it clicked, the missing passengers had probably stood their ground & had been flown out on other airlines. Worth bearing in mind if this happens to you!.
After 2 weeks ( less one precious day )in Florida we flew home from Miami & , guess what? Yes, another delay of 4 hours. Again due to “technical problems” ie) broken down old aircraft.
We finally arrived back at Gatwick & breathed a sigh of relief until we heard the announcement – “due to technical difficulties the baggage on the flight from Miami cannot be unloaded & we regret the delay".Two hours later we finally retrieved all our baggage & made a sorry sight as we left the terminal , 4 adults 2 children all thoroughly fed up with Virgin. Definitely not the service we had come to expect.
Advice ? delay travelling with Virgin until the new aircraft are in operation or, be prepared to stand your ground or - wait & wait & wait ad infinitum.
UPdate - 16/2/01
Finally a result -
Virgin Holidays have sent me a cheque after I refused the vouchers & I am satisfied with the amount which is to compensate for the poor accommodation on Marco Island.
Virgin Atlantic however sent me yet another standard letter of apology which made my blood boil ( not a pretty sight) so I felt I had no option but to try phoning again.
The Gods were with me this time – I got through to a living, breathing person after 15 minutes on hold & she appeared genuinely concerned that I had been given the run around. She found my last letter, answered my queries regarding the offered vouchers & gave me an even better option – I could exchange four 50% offer letters for 2 FREE economy class tickets to anywhere Virgin fly plus £400 worth of vouchers.
Well worth the effort & all the aggravation.
Summary – correspondence by letter or e-mail seems a waste of time. Persevere with the phone &,at all times, be polite & try & keep a sense of humour.Bon Voyage !