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Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. / unexpected seat change!

1 United States Review updated:

We just flew, for the first time, with Virgin Atlantic to Heathrow. Our one way ticket was very inexpensive and we had a great few days in London because of Virgin's lost cost fare.

I booked this flight way in advance and got a aisle and middle seat for my wife and myself.

I absolutely need an aisle and would not have booked this flight if one wasn't available.

When I got my boarding pass at the airport I noticed that our seats had been changed. Why? It was a light flight and they had to redistribute the load for safety reasons. I'm a million mile flyer on United and never heard of this for a huge 747. Okay, where are we now. Well, sir, you now have a middle seat with someone sitting next to you in the aisle for your 10+ hour flight. What!!.

To say the least I complained. To make a long story short we ended up in the very last row in a 2 seat arrangement. Seats were tight. Service was good and the fight itself was okay especially for the low fare.

However, this seat change at the very last minute is not the way you treat customers. Even if they moved us to a different row, but an aisle seat as I expected, it would have been okay. They just arbitrarily changed the seats without even telling us at the counter. There were plenty of aisle seats available as we discovered during the flight.

Make sure you call Virgin to ensure you're getting the seat you ordered if this is important to you.

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  • Al
      6th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    On Sept 25th 2007, I booked direct with Virgin Atlantic for my family [myself, wife 2 kids (10+13)] to fly Manchester-OrlandoManchester.
    The out flight being Aug 7th 2008 [VS75] and return flight [VS76]Aug 25th 2008.
    The seats were pre-selected using the 'Manage Your Flight' tab on the VA webpage.
    Up until May 29th 2008, the seats for the return flight were still as requested.
    On viewing the wbe page now I find we have been moved and are now longer siting together
    [Three in one row, with my 10 year old a row behind].
    No logical explaination is being given by VA Customer Services, as there are still eighteen seats available
    on the flight.
    Booking eleven months in advance obviously gives the customer no rights !!!

  • Al
      24th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    It began when, a week before our flight, we received an email from Virgin saying our searing had been changed and the new seats would seperate all 3 of us. We had booked the seats 6 weeks before. When we arrived at check in, they put us all together - on the same row as the toilets, and in those noisy European aircraft, that meant we got no sleep. It continued with harassment like, after wrapping the miniscule blanket around my legs because as usual the staff set the temp for themselves, not the customers, and it was cold, I was told to take the blanket off for take off. On the way back, we were ordered to open the shade, despite the sun being directly in our eyes, for take off. I have flown for over 50 years, and NEVER run into this sort of hasslement. But the worst was yet to come. I had booked all 3 tickets at the same time. Our 18 year old grandson was going back before us, and we took him to Heathrow, where we had arrived - only to find that Virgin had changed airports on us without any notice. They had switched him to Gatwick! Unbelievable. When I asked to get him on the first available flight, they said they could not do it, as it was our fault. I asked for a supervisor, and got this very aggressive skinhead, who was extremely rude and confrontive. Going to another agent, we were able to list him on stand-by - they refused to get him on the first plane sending him First Class, despite it being entirely their fault.
    He eventually got on a flight EIGHT HOURS LATER!
    This is the worst airline I have flown in over 50 years, AND HELL WILL FREEZE OVER BEFORE I FLY VIRGIN AGAIN!!!

  • To
      11th of Sep, 2010
    0 Votes

    Virgin has been recommended to me as the best way to fly to the US. I therefore took the risk and did not book up with BA (my normal airline) to fly to the US with my family.

    At the time of booking in Dec, my daughter was 1.5 years but unfortunately due to my illness I could not fly to the states at that time. I later called to change flights and was charged in June to an August flight. We told the agent (seemed to be from India) that our daughter was now 2 years old. A price was given which we payed and thought the holiday was sorted out. But alas to our dismay we arrived at heathrow to be told that unless we forked out an extra £350 pounds we could not fly out as the computer(virgins computer I might add) had not picked up our daughter was now two years old. Total nonsense and a complete holiday spoiler. I mean why had this not been picked up before, why was price quoted then changed at the last minute. Your staff were so inflexible it was baffling to say the least. Why something that was your mistake was being blamed on us, why a price was quoted and then changed. In the end we ended up being let on after asking for manager after manager and persisting and calling our lawyers etc. This was not all, our luggage was then lost when we got to the other side. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME ON BA EVEN ON AFRICAN FLIGHTS. Luggage was recovered the next day but I had to spend my first day on holiday without my pills which were in the suitcase and without a change of clothes. I mean if you ever had this sort of experience with an airline, you would not be taking it again.

    On my way back the stewardesses seemed overworked and extremely rude as a result. The check in desk was due to open at 14:45 however this did not open until 3:15 with the baggage handlers doubling up as customer service. There was extreme confusion and staff looking like they did not know what they were doing . More quality staff could have been a good solution. My daughter was not given a meal until I asked and pointed out it had been paid for. My flight was VS022 on Sept 9th/10th, the announcements were in bad English some collaboration with Singapore Airlines that you are doing and I felt i was such a burden to fly with virgin (having paid with my hard earned cash).

    In this current climate, I am afraid you will have to do even more to convince us the paying public to part with our money. A substandard service is just not acceptable anymore because we are also having to work really hard to get the money needed to pay. Perhaps getting rid of those Indian call centres may also be an idea...but I have never for the life of me experienced such a terrible service for something I PAID FOR. Its not about how cheap but about value for money something which I thought virgin has always stood for. My cable service, phone service and anything virgin are also going as I was so disgusted. I hope my comments will help to improve what has been seen as a flagship in British Aviation. I cannot say I agree since my first and last flight.

    By the way the feedback form on your website is not working...its a miracle we arrived safely to say the least !!!

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