Virgin Atlantic Airways
Crawley, England, West Sussex
United Kingdom - RH109DF
I wanted to file a complaint against virgin atlantic airlines wrt to a lost baggage. Since the last 36 hours all they have to tell me is that they are trying to locate my bag. No updates whatsoever. All I get is folks in a call center who probably have no clue besides looking into the computer to see for any updates.
I have in fact told the folks that there was one unclaimed bag at the airport when I left (This was very similar to my bag). So I would have thought that they'd try to contact the owner of that bag and find out if he/she took my bag instead. But they have no updates on that either.
At least they should be able to tell me if my bag left the previous airport and was received at the destination airport or not. Otherwise what's the point of the baggage tags?
Anyways, i'm quite disappointed with the level of urgency that virgin atlantic is showing to resolve my issue.
I received this e-mail in my inbox and then this follow up as copied below. It appears to be a scam as I have checked with Virgin and they know nothing about it.
'This is a notice from Virgin Atlantic Airways for you to receive the sum of£800, 000.00 Contact us
now.Email:[protected]@live.co.uk for assistance'
'Virgin Atlantic Airways
The Office Manor Royal Crawley
West Sussex RH10 9NU, United Kingdom.
Virgin Atlantic Airways private international e-games organizers and co-sponsors, NATIONAL LOTTERY BOARD, officially bring to your notice the final draw result of September, 2008 NATIONAL LOTTERY BOARD-wheel E-game which was conducted at our international corporate office complex in The United Kingdom, You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of(800.000.00 GBP).
Your Email was selected Based on an internet random Selection Exercise and further information on requisites associated with the Processing and remittance of your £800, 000.00 entitlement alongside the provision of your qualification documentations will be disclosed to you by this organisation after you forward your informations to us which is stated below:
1.Name in Full:
4.Date Of Birth:
WE HEREBY, REQUEST FROM YOU, SOME ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AND ALONG WITH THE REQUESTED DOCUMENTS TO ENABLE US FINALIZE THE APPROVAL OF YOUR WINNINGS PRIZE TO YOUR BANK UPON YOUR REQUEST.
(A). HAVE YOU TRAVELLED WITH OUR AIRLINE BEFORE...(YES/NO)
(B). HAVE YOU WON ANY LOTTERY OR EVER APPLIED FOR ANY LOTTERY BEFORE... (YES/NO)
(C). HOW WILL YOU ULTILIZE THIS FUNDS(800.000.00 GBP)AND HOW WILL YOU RATE OUR AIRLINE FROM NOW ON.
(D). KINDLY SEND TO US VIA E-MAIL YOUR SCAN PASSPORT OF YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE OR YOUR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT.
I AWAIT FOR YOUR E-MAIL, ALONG WITH MY REQUESTED DATAS. ONCE AGAIN, WE THE ENTIRE STAFF OF VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS SAYS CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU.
THANKS AND HAVE A NICE DAY.
This communication is confidential to VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS and is intended solely for the use of the individual or organization to which it is addressed.It may contain privileged or confidential information. If you have received this message in error, please notify the originator immediately. If you are not the intended recipient, you should not use, copy, alter, or disclose the contents of this message
ALERT !!! Fraudulent emails are circulating that
appears to be using VAA logo and infomation, but
are not from us. If you receive similar email that is
not from us, kindly disregard/discard it immediately.
Do NOT reply any such email but genuine email from us
via this email address.'
Below is the letter that I sent through to Virgin Atlantic Customer Service. Prior to reading the letter, pplease note that it is now over a week since I sent this letter and I have still had absolutely no contact from the Virgin Atlantic Customer Service department. My suitcase is yet to be found, and I continue to struggle liaising with the Virgin Atlantic Indian call centre, that is responsibe for tracing lost luggage. I was promised a 50 pound reimbursement (more of an insult than any form of compensation) due to the fact that my bag was not located within 24 hours; I am still battling to obtain this money from Virgin despite my receipts being submitted to the relevant claims department over a week ago.
'To Whom It May Concern
Re: Complaints regarding Virgin Atlantic Airlines flight number VS602 on the 13th April 2008.
On the 13th April 2008 my friend Ian Jones and I opted to fly to London from Cape Town on Virgin Atlantic Airlines. Never, have I been so astounded by the innumerable incompetencies and lack of customer service provided by a single airline carrier.
Our Virgin Atlantic bookings were done online. It took me four days and numerous phone calls to Virgin Atlantic Airways to finally obtain confirmation of my credit card payment being received, and subsequent approval of our booking. This is unacceptable seeing as your automated email response to customers specifically states that no booking is final until payment is confirmed. In my experience, all other online airline bookings and payment confirmations are instantaneous.
Virgin Atlantic assigned us seats on a connecting South African Airways (SAA) flight departing Cape Town at 17:10 and arriving in Johannesburg at 19:10. Our Virgin Atlantic flight was scheduled to depart Johannesburg at 20:40. Thankfully, our SAA flight was not delayed. However, knowing the timely processes at O R Tambo International Airport we literally ran from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. Upon arrival at the Virgin Atlantic counter we were told that the flight was closed! The gentleman behind the Virgin Atlantic counter had to make some enquiries to see what he could do to get us on the flight. When I asked him if this happened regularly, he said all the time! I ask you, why do you allow your Virgin Atlantic passengers so little time between the connecting flights when daily there are numerous flights on SAA from Cape Town to Johannesburg?
On board the flight the entertainment system did not operate fully, and the system had to be rebooted on two occasions with a downtime of an hour after each reboot. The food served is the worst food I have ever eaten on board a flight, and I have never experienced such slow service from flight attendants. All I can think is that Virgin Atlantic is cutting costs in every direction, from staff numbers to the basic flight provisions of your customers.
On arrival at Heathrow International, Ian Jones was called to the Virgin Atlantic Customer Service Baggage Desk. He was informed that ‘his’ bag had not arrived on the plane. The bag was, in fact, my bag - a point I relayed to the man behind the Virgin Atlantic Service Baggage Desk. We were told that we would be contacted by Virgin Atlantic to advise on the status of my bag during the course of the day. I eventually contacted Virgin Atlantic Baggage Services at 18:00 to find out if my bag would be put on that evening’s flight. I was informed that the bag had not yet be located but that they would contact South Africa and get back to me. When speaking to the Baggage Services again, the point of contact, Tazim, could no longer provide me with any information without first speaking to Ian Jones! When speaking to Ian Jones he said that he had had no feedback from South Africa, however he would ensure that someone contacted me first thing in the morning. No-one contacted me. I called Virgin Atlantic just before 10:00 and was told that they were still waiting for information from South Africa! I have just arrived in London, with absolutely no clothing or toiletries, and not to mention that I also have several interviews set-up for tomorrow with subsequently no suitable attire. But, of course, this is of little importance to Virgin Atlantic, who cannot even tell me if they have found my bag or when I can expect it to be delivered! Tazim, requested that perhaps I should list the contents of my bag so that they could identify some of distinguishable items – will Virgin Atlantic Airways or Customs really have the audacity to go through my things without me being present? Tazim, also seemed to have difficulty understanding what I was saying, he kept requesting that I phonetically spell items for him! Pravin (another contact from Baggage Services) suggested that I contact the claims department; however Pravin was unable to tell me if they will reimburse me for the basic incidentals between now and my bag arriving, as Claims is ANOTHER separate department at Virgin Atlantic Airways! Pravin advised me that Virgin Atlantic would keep me updated on a two hourly basis regarding the status of my bag – he must have been joking, as I am yet to receive a call from them!
Not only have I arrived in London without my bag, but also without my Virgin Atlantic unaccompanied baggage! I was advised by Virgin Atlantic to liaise with MMA Consolidators regarding the process and costs of sending unaccompanied baggage, as they are Virgin Atlantics ‘agents.’ I dealt with Craig Bailey from MMA Consolidators who gave me a COMPLETE quote and advised that I drop off the baggage on Thursday the 10th April so that there was good time to arrange the necessary for the cargo shipment that was to be sent on the 12th April, arriving in London on the 13th April in time for us to collect the baggage on our arrival in London on the 14th April. All baggage was actually delivered to MMA Consolidators by Monday the 7th April to ensure that there were no delays regarding my cargo. When asking about collection of my shipment at Heathrow, Bradley Van Wyk from MMA Consolidators advised that I just needed to go the Virgin counter at Heathrow! On arrival at Heathrow, it soon became apparent that this WAS NOT the case. We had hired a car for the day, so that collection of my shipment would be easy, however after making our way to the Virgin Atlantic Cargo depot we realised that the car was not necessary seeing as none of my cargo had been sent to London! The gentleman at the reception of the Virgin Atlantic Cargo depot directed us to another warehouse, where we needed to go to clear the goods (a process that had never been explained to me in clear terms despite numerous requests for an understanding of the process involved in shipping unaccompanied baggage from both Virgin Atlantic Airways and MMA Consolidators). The gentleman that we spoke to at the second warehouse directed us back to the Virgin Atlantic Cargo depot, as he had absolutely no record of the baggage waybill number. We returned to the Virgin Atlantic Cargo depot, where Sandy Ridges helped as much as she could. She contacted Douglas Macdougau who is responsible for Virgin Atlantic cargo in Johannesburg to explain the situation. Douglas Macdougau then contacted Bradley Van Wyk from MMA Consolidators to find out what is going on. Eventually, Bradley Van Wyk gave me a call to say that he was off sick and that he had, therefore, not been aware that the goods had not been sent! This is totally unacceptable. The problem I now have is that Virgin Atlantic is blaming MMA Consolidators, thereby ensuring that this issue now becomes my problem to resolve directly with MMA Consolidators when, in fact, it should be Virgin Atlantic resolving this mess up, especially since as a Virgin Atlantic customer I have no choice but to use MMA Consolidators if I am to send goods as unaccompanied baggage on Virgin Atlantic airways – a service that is described by Virgin Atlantic Airways as being cost effective and simple!!! Bradley Van Wyk said that he would contact me yesterday evening or first thing this morning to confirm when my unaccompanied baggage would be arriving – I am still waiting for his call. Sandy Ridges from Virgin Atlantic Cargo stipulated that I am unable to clear my personal effects without a UK Agent; however Bradley Van Wyk insists that this is not true! So please tell me which is the correct procedure? And why isn’t this procedure clearly outlined to your customers?
The above not only reflects negatively on Virgin Atlantic Airways but on the entire Virgin brand. I await your urgent response in light of all of the above.'
My husband Mr Malcolm Ronald Silk and myself are regular fliers with virgin as you will see if you check your records. We have always been so impressed with virgin that we both took out virgin credit cards and joined the flying club with promises that we would be able to use our points earned for upgrades. However on December 6th 2007 we had booked to fly out to Barbados from Gatwick Airport on VS29 and to return on the VS30 flight to Gatwick on the 4th January 2008. Despite numerous phone calls to yourselves requesting we upgrade to premium economy we were repeatedly told that we could not do this so far in advance. We tried again nearer the date only to be told that it was fully booked. We arrived at Gatwick Airport on the 5th of December to make use of your day before check in and to make sure we were at least in with a fighting chance of getting extra leg room seats. When we got to the early check in desk we managed to get the extra leg room seats however whilst this was being processed we over heard staff saying about all flights were going to be changed to Heathrow airport which was news to us. I asked the staff member dealing with our seating arrangements about this which she seamed rather surprised and said "haven't you been informed about this because you are in fact returning to Heathrow airport and that it should say it on your tickets". We produced all of our paper work and she agreed there had been a terrible error because someone had failed to notify us. This was not a good start to our holiday as we had arranged to stay over night at a nearby hotel and leave our car there for the duration of our holiday. We would never have agreed to fly with virgin from one airport and then back to another.
It was obvious that nothing could be resolved at this short notice so the girl arranged for some coach tickets to transfer us on our return from Heathrow back to Gatwick so we could pick our car up. Because we had requested extra leg room seats we were to go to the ticket desk the following morning and pay and pick up our new designated seat tickets. I was very upset by all this but thought we'll make the best of a bad job. The following morning we went to the ticket desk and I was explaining to the young lady on the desk about our dilemma, she then informed us that we could in fact upgrade to premium economy (so called full) great we said there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We asked if we could pay with our virgin flight club points to which we were told that we could if we paid another £230.00 and then 10,000 points each deducted from our flight club. I couldn't understand why the whole upgrade could not be taken from the points as we both have thousands of them. She was very nice but explained it was company policy. I think my husband by this time just wanted me to be happy so he paid it and we upgraded. After a couple of days in Barbados my husband checked his email which is [protected]@syp2000.freeserve.co.uk, to find that an email from yourselves was sent out to us only ten minutes after we had left your day before check in counter informing us that our return flight had changed to Heathrow. On the 30th of December we filled in our check in and chill out forms and posted them in the virgin box as we were to fly on the 4th of January, on the special requests we wrote upgrade to premium economy if not extra leg room seats please. However we know from past experience that no one ever takes notice of the comments on the form. On the 4th of January we took our suit cases earlier than the designated time to Cocomos Beach club on the West Coast in Barbados so we could take advantage of the check in and chill out, we thought going early would again give us a fighting chance of extra leg room seats. Whilst we were waiting we were told by other virgin users that they had booked premium economy seats for the return journey whilst they were back in England, in fact one couple told us that virgin had actually rang them a few days before they left England and offered them the seats as they also had been told previously that they couldn't pr-book them. All these people had originally booked all their virgin flights after us. As you can imagine I was not happy at all again. When the virgin representative arrived with all the tickets I did not complain to her I just asked if there was any chance of us upgrading to premium economy if not then could we please have exit seats for the extra leg room. She then phoned the airport and said yes we could upgrade to premium economy. I asked her three times in front of other witnesses if she was sure they were premium economy seats and she said yes each time and informed us to pay and pick up the tickets from the ticketing area of virgin in the airport. Halleluya I thought at least we'll have a relaxing comfortable journey home I couldn't praise her enough. This was very short lived as when we got to the ticket desk we were informed that there were no premium economy seats for us as they had all been taken weeks before, my heart sank. Are you sure and explained all about that morning and how I had checked three times with the girl. They replied no definitely no upgrades for us and to add insult to injury there were now no extra leg room seats either which we new were available that morning because other people after us got them. I was now in tears but there was nothing we could do about it. I asked for the girls name who had supposedly booked us the seats that morning but no one new it but said that she was a new girl and must have been mistaken and given us the wrong information. Both my husband and I are very disappointed and feel that virgin have really treat us shabbily from start to finish. My biggest concern now is that we are due to fly to Palm Springs in America on the 29th of February and return on the 17th March with virgin, this time both flights are to and from Heathrow which I am not looking forward to all the hassle with virgin flights again.
Flying back to London Heathrow from San Francisco with Virgin Atlantic, my wife and I packed our house and car keys into our checked luggage, given the heightened security situation at the time.
Whilst in Virgin's charge, my bag was opened and our keys were removed. Virgin's ground staff refused to offer any practical help, and wouldn't even call a locksmith to get us into our house. The cost to us of replacing locks etc came to £358, only £155 of which we were able to claim back through insurance.
When I wrote to Virgin about this, they at first simply ignored me. After several attempts and nearly two months, they replied but have never apologized for losing our keys and say they are not legally obliged to offer any compensation. The offhand manner in which they have dealt with this incident is, in my view, disgraceful. I won’t be flying with them again and recommend that others avoid them too.
Incidentally, our flight was also delayed for 6.5 hours on the way out. As I said, there was a heightened security situation at the time but Virgin Atlantic seemed to have the biggest queues and the longest delays.
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.