We usually fly with Easyjet (ok) and Ryanair (ugh, never again), so what a welcome change it was to fly Virgin (heathrow to edinburgh return). Hold luggage included, no extra costs. Easy and pleasant to deal with, UK phone numbers.
Complimentary hot, cold or alcoholic drinks and crisps on the flight - I nearly fell off my seat (which was comfortable and spacious enough). They even handed out Love Heart sweets afterwards. Little gems of attention to detail like that, combined with an excellent service, make it a 5* review from me. Only niggles - would be nice to book in online more than a couple of days beforehand. And please can you start flying from Bristol or Exeter as Heathrow's miles away from us ;)
Flight to Vegas with Pavarotti's twin next to us, culminating in 2 normal sized people squeezed into 1 & half seats. Had paid for extra leg room ONLY because booking in online allocated our 4 party seats as far apart as possible, and we were told on check in the only way for 2 x 2 to sit together was to pay for the extra leg room seats. Due to the man mountain blocking most of the aisle & 1 & half seats in our row, we spent most of the flight standing. Crew were sympathetic but no spare seats to move us to, suggested we contact 'Customer Services' when returning. We have asked only for the extra leg room fee to be returned, as we only paid for these to SIT together, didnt especially want it, and we certainly didnt get to enjoy it! But after making us wait the full 28 days between bland emails, refuse. I wont fly Virgin again, its not worth it.
We were delayed without apology. Plane was tatty, staff uniforms were stained and 'white' shirts grey with age. Food meagre in quality and quantity. Entertainment was no on demand and selection not great. Overall no clue why Virgin have the reputation they have
This is the worst air company!
They forgot my daughter's suitcase at the Heathrow airport, then promised that will deliver it after few hours.
More than 24 hours later she waits her luggage, cries and stay alone in her student room.
They called her 4 hours ago that the suitcase is "on travel" - 4 hours!!! The distance between Edinburgh and St Andrews is app. only 80 km
Her 1st day at the University campus is frustrated from Virgin Atlantic.
Never ever with this cimpany!
They are irresponsible!!!
Do not fly with Virgin Atlantic!!!
I traveled from Manchester to Mumbai on 22/07/2013 and returned on 10/08/2013. I was under the impression that Virgin was a globally reputable Firm.How wrong was I!!
I was traveling with a 14 month old daughter, a 4 year old daughter and my wife. I must say that this was my first time traveling with your airlines and I must admit I would not be using Virgin Airlines anymore. Below are the events that made my travel really unpleasant.
I booked my ticket well in advance in Feb 2013. I contacted customer service to ensure that we were given the seat towards the front where we could have the bassinet and also requested that we be seated together. On our flight from Manchester to London we were seated together however from London to Mumbai,8.5 hour flight, I was seated in another row which was really bad for my wife as she was alone minding 2 small kids on her own. The middle row of 4 seats where we should have been seated, were given to 2 couples flying without any kids. Maybe they requested extra legroom (paying extra money) and they were given those seats and by doing so in-inconvenienced a family traveling with 2 small kids. We were not given any bassinet nor were my child given any back pack of goodies as promised on their website.
The return journey was even more hell with the incompetent staff at Mumbai airport. First they checked us in and when we were boarding the plane at about 1:35 in the morning we were asked to step aside as they had some problems with my passport. This they could have mentioned at the desk when checking us in. I had 2 little kids all sweating and distressed,crying and they could not explain why there was a delay in letting us on the flight. Two staff gave me two different reasons for not letting us board. Total lack of communication as neither of the staff knew what was happening. Moreover when checking us in, they wanted additional form of ID for reasons beyond my logical thinking as a British passport is a valid form of photo ID. Finally got on the flight and landed in London. To my horror when I checked the boarding cards for London to Manchester I found that the guy who checked us in at Mumbai had given us seats in 3 different rows, that is my 4 year old daughter was given a seat next to a total stranger. How can this happen? Any person with a bit of common sense would have seated a young child with his/her parents. This was totally unacceptable and unprofessional and moronic on behalf of Virgin’s staff at Mumbai airport.
To top all the above, we lost 2 checked in bags. One of them had a very fragile photo frame which we had packed carefully and mentioned it at Mumbai airport and a fragile label was tied to it. Yet the contents were damaged including the suitcase itself. All the above proves that Virgin Airline staff are uncaring, unsympathetic and very unprofessional and last but not least lack customer service and common sense. I must say that we did get the baggage but as mentioned the contents were damaged.My advise to fellow passengers is pay little bit extra and use Ethihad, Qatar airways or any middle eastern airlines and you will be treated like a royal. This I can say from personal experience especially with Qatar Airways where they always paid more attention to families travelling with small kids to make it stress free for the passengers.
We splashed out on business clas for our holiday in Canada. Service at check in was off hand and we had a long wait for the pr ordered assistance. Service in the "Club" very slow as they had more customers than they could really look after.We only just had time to eat. The promised assistance arrived and dropped us off with still a long walk away from the aircraft which was hard for my unwell wife. The seats were like sitting in a cocoon I did not have enough room to hold a newspaper up. To make the bed mean't standing up and to reconfigure The food most certainly was not as good as expected. It sounds great to have an open bar on the flight howver the younger guests and the staff partied very loudly disturbing many who like quiet. But then I am an oldie. There was not even AVOS just films that you had to tune in to.
We encountered the same problem with assistance on arrival and departure from Vancouver. To just make our day we saw a rat5 in the lounge on the way back. ladies were standing on the seats to keep them safe.
All in all compared to EVA air which I travel with frequently Virgin just do not compare.
Poor value,poor service old aircraft poor entertainment
I've flown Upper Class numerous times but this recent flight will be the last - unless I am ever upgraded. Annoyingly, we were subjected, as usual to the "we have an excellent crew on board today..." speech - this time from the captain who, I really don't think is in the best position to judge what service is like for the fare paying passengers. After a disappointing experience a couple of weeks ago I was hoping to better enjoy the new upper class on a day flight and I did to some extent, happily watching a couple of good films. There were no children screaming uncontrollably this time, which was a huge bonus and the cabin temperature was very comfortable. However, the standard of service and comfort left much to be desired and that's why I won't be paying for it in the future. Regarding the service; there seems to be little emphasis on dignity or grace in the way Virgin train their crews. A couple of the women looked and carried themselves as if they had been hired straight out of the back of a black maria police van! I know that sounds horribly harsh and is probably unfair - but talk about tacky! I also know Virgin don't pay their staff very well so I guess you get what you pay for. Careering down the aisles being “jolly” and gossiping with each other, whilst delivering indifferent service is hardly appropriate when customers have paid thousands of pounds for a calm and comfortable experience. Twice, flight attendants accidentally knocked my foot which rested well within the boundaries of the ottoman, without even acknowledging it. Having said that, the aisles are so very narrow with the new seating configuration on the A330 that it’s easily done. Even so, had it been me, I would have apologized. The other impression I get from the service is that the overriding objective is to get everything finished and put away as quickly (and noisily!) as possible. I can understand them wanting to do this but on an 8 hour flight, it’s not fair, nor is it really necessary to rush everything, making it feel like a race - especially in a premium cabin. Even the toilets were locked more than half an hour before landing. As for comfort; I find the new seat poorly designed and less comfortable than the old one. So, in future, if I fly Virgin it will be Premium Economy because at least you get roughly what you pay for, with it more or less living up to what is promised. Upper Class doesn’t, I’m sorry to say.
A very positiv experience flying with Virgin. Flew from Manchester to Las Vegas july 11 and back july 25 a pleasant trip both ways, very competent and friendly crew, looking forward to fly with this company Again.
Gavin Ayling found this review useful
It's never fun flying long haul in economy but it was certainly more enjoyable with Virgin. The food was on a par with other airlines but the service and entertainment was way above average.
Excellent and thanks
Gavin Ayling found this review useful
Not sure why some people love Virgin.
Off-line their customer service is poor. Had a couple of bad experiences and they failed to respond appropriately.
On board ... the food id mediocre, the seats average, service variable.
The entertainment is the only good thing - the rest is sub standard - no matter which class you choose!
For 8 years I have flown with Virgin Holidays / Virgin Atlantic, there is always a fiasco with them with seat allocation at Orlando because the ignorant Americans re-arrange the seating plan of the flight. This year it was worse than ever, coupled with a 2 hour delay. We pre-allocated our seats as usual which is always fine the Gatwick end but at Orlando we were refused our pre-allocated seats. It seems at Orlando they have someone who moves the whole seating plan of the plane around to what they think is best and over riding the whole pre-allocation. Usually they will re-allocate the seats back at check in but this year a flat refusal by the lazy Americans who refused to do anything. All they offered me was a complaint form which I hastily ripped in half and through back at them as they never respond anyway.
My 13 and 14 year old are now adults according to Virgin but they refused them alcohol on the plane, adults when it comes to extorting money eh!
"Rock Star Service" as they call it, this is what you get:-
Seat pre-allocation ignored
An argument at checking
Adult prices for kids
Apparently they are going to start charging for seat allocation so this will make it even worse!
I tried Virgina Atlantic for the first time to NYC after hearing all the wind of how snazzy they are. Well, they aren't. Upsold us some 'extra legroom' seats for £100 in a corridor aisle to the toilet - had to sit feet retracted all the way, because of the constant onslaught of people. Crew sympathetic, apologised, and brought us a complaint form because they said they had the problem all the time -- but not Mr Branson's customer service - carefully worded, arrogant emails back only offering half the money. AND, the other people in the row DID NOT PAY PREMIUM for their seats. It is one giant rip off.
Return form JFK: people at check in could not have cared less. "Supervisor" simply walked off when I tried to ask her to address the situation. NO ONE CARES at this company once they've got your cash.
Then, there's the actual Airbus seats - they herald this new Airbus as something to be proud of, when it is a shameful testament to micromanaging and profit-scrounging. THERE IS LESS THAN 20cm between the seat ant the pocket full of junk in front of you. No one over 5'5" can fit comfortably in them. The game: up-sell you their 'Premium Economy" that are on either side of you for double the price, in exchange for a seat that is standard on BA or KLM or even Crappy Continental size wise. Even *choke* Ryan Air and Easyjet have bigger seats than these tuna cans.
If you fly this sham of an operation, the only thing that's going to sparkle is Mr Branson's video of himself he forces you to watch.
Gavin Ayling found this review useful
When we arrive in London, to switch flights to Virgin, we ask for our luggage has come on board, they look at us and say yes, we are going to board a plane to Miami.Da we come to Miami, our luggage not and there is no representative present, after a while procures the airport one and the first thing he says is shut up, your 3 suitcases are in London and come tomorrow, we'll call you, we as written a report which he otherwise tried to avoid (but we have worked for an airline for 20 years and know the rules), nothing happens the next day and not the next so we call again, but no message, then suddenly there comes a sour man and deliver our luggage after 3 days, when we saw contacted Virgen of kompentation where we both called and wrote mail several times, but there was never anyone who answers ready.
We hoped then that it was a one-time experience, so we tried to fly with Virgin next time we were going to the U.S., but it is obvious the way one treats its customers in order that the same thing happened again.
So if you do not have to use his luggage the first 3 days then can it be safe enough fly with Virgin, But it shall not become me, similar to the service you have to look long after, wondering if it's the same with the safety of their aircraft
Virgin Atlantic A340-600 Upper Class, Hong Kong Sydney return. Worst long haul flight I've had in years. Incredibly bad food, indifferent service, slovenly hostesses terrible pre-flight music etc etc. I would like to mention though that the single steward was calm friendly attentive and pleasant but sadly had nothing to offer to make up for the rest.
When I read all the bad reviews here and on other review sites what strikes me as particularly pertinent is that many are American ones. Whether you choose to believe it or not America has some of the worst airlines in the world with extreme shoddy service so for Americans to find Virgin Atlantic bad one has to realise just how bad that is in fact.
So I thought it worth mentioning here at start that In Europe and Asia we don't have to buy drinks both soft and alcoholic or food or movies on board they are free. We get priority speed service at customs with every business class ticket its not a particular single airline perk. Flat beds are a standard on business class long haul flights as are vanity packs duvets and covers.
All the above come in varying degrees of quality but mostly good to excellent.
The vanity packs or cosmetic bags are usually very nice and worth keeping for years of further use, not on Virgin Atlantic they are cheap ugly reinforced paper material things with nothing of particular interest inside. A cheap throw away pen the same in foot sock and not much else. The alcohol is very limited so forget it if you want Gordon's gin, there will be just the one kind usually the cheaper Bombay same as the tonic etc etc. The food is at best disgusting and at worst inedible and don't expect to see it all laid out for your perusal you get what you order blind and that's that. If it looks unlike the description in the menu like almost every VA product and unappetising expect the hostesses to get testy if you ask for something else. This applies to your pillow even if it was vomit encrusted as mine was.
I can go on and on and on but I reckon long reviews are boring even juicy bad ones.
What I fail to understand is how Virgin Atlantic can possibly hope to compete in the Asian region an already cut throat industry with such extremely bad service and with the likes of Cathay pacific , Singapore airways , Qatar, Thai Airways etc etc offering such superb quality flights and ones where your dollar actually gets what you what you expect it to?
I think VA has to stop pushing peripherals like pick up and lounge etc and concentrate on actually offering a quality product. The flight begins at check-in and then take off, this is where it counts, the rest is mere window dressing and hype. Everyone can feel tase hear the short cuts and penny pinching going on while the flights are not particularily cheap.
Upgrade the whole so called actual flying "experience" or slash the prices in half.
Bottom line VA is a budget airways charging quality prices whether you go economy, premium economy or Upper.
I will attach a copy of the letters/emails I have written to Virgin about our two pre-book premium economy tickets & how they want to sell on one of our reserved seats rather then changing the name on our ticket so I could fly with my partner.,
Virgin would not even allow us to purchase a new 3rd economy ticket at £630 to enable us to sit together in Premium economy in the seat that my partner has already paid for. This is customer exploitation.
FAO MR LIAM TUCKNOTT - MANAGER - URGENT PLEASE
RE TELECOM WITH LAUREN WILLIAMS
Dear Mr Tucknott,
I hope you are keeping well and that matters are going to plan.
Following my phone call to Lauren Williams earlier today. I urgently need your help on a matter which appears to be an absolute shambles and a very unreasonable policy.
My partner Mrs Karen Farquhar has booked 2 return airline tickets last September to fly to St Lucia with a friend. Unfortunately her friend can no longer take the time off due to unforeseen business matters, so she has asked for the ticket to be transferred into my name. Apparently Virgin say they are not allowed to do this due to some airline legislation ?, although I have looked into this matter and other airlines such as BA and formerly BMI, will make a name change for a fee and so will a Travel Agent if your flight was booked as part of a package holiday.
There does not appear to be any consistency with this policy. . We stand to loose £830 plus the cost of a replacement air line ticket, which will now be more expensive, to enable me to travel with my partner. Surely this cannot be right, Virgin are taking advantage of us as they will sell a new ticket to me and also sell the pre-paid ticket from last September to another customer thereby selling an additional fare that does not exist...?
You will see from your records that both I Mark Petersen & Karen Farquhar are frequent flyers to St Lucia where we have a holiday home. We have always flown with Virgin and wish to continue to do so.
We would like to change the ticket name of Clive Moore to My name Mark Petersen. My passport number is 540382099. I am also prepared to take my passport along with a letter from Clive Moore, if necessary, to a Virgin Office or Flight shop to confirm & validate this request.
Please would you be good enough to have someone look into this matter as we are due to fly on Tuesday 26th February 2013
Tel 07801 236174
Tel 07801 236174
mein flug von GEO nach BGI war 1 Stunde verspätet, so daß zum Flugzeugwechsel auf Barbados/BGI, eher kleiner Flughafen, nur ca. 1,5 Stunden zur Verfügung standen. In der Zeit mußte das Gepäck vom Band und eine Bordkarte geholt werden (online check-in wurde zwar angeboten, funktionierte aber nicht; wegen airline-wechsel wurde das durchchecken des Gepäcks bis zum Zielort in Georgetown verweigert). Obwohl die freundliche Crew des verspäteten Fluges von unterwegs eine Assistentin zur privilegierten Eilabfertigung angefragt hatte, - es war die gloriose Anette Lorde, gepriesen sei sie! - waren deren bemühungen und die entscheidung aller weiteren Umsteigewilligen, nicht ewig auf ihr gepäck zu warten, sondern gleich zum check-in zu eilen, vergebens: Obwohl Virgin Airlines wußte, daß wir sozusagen im anflug waren, war der check-in mind. 45min vor Abflug geschlossen, zuvor waren unsere Plätze vergeben worden. Der unermüdlichen Anette Lorde vom Flughafen Barbados gelang es, nachdem wir bereits alle Hoffnung auf baldiges Abheben hatten fahren lassen, uns auf einen nur ca. 1 Stunde später BGI Richtung Gatwick verlassenden British Airways Flug umzubuchen. Wir konnten sogar noch unser Gepäck vom Band holen und erreichten das Gate mitten im Boarding-Prozeß.
Klar erwarte ich kein verspätetes Abheben eines Fluges, das wäre aber dank unserer Beschleunigungs-Assistentin auch gar nicht nötig gewesen. Im Nachhinein verstehe ich jetzt auch, warum unser Gepäck nicht durchgecheckt wurde...
I have the fortune of using Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for flights to and from LA with work...and all I can say is "wow". From check-in to arrival nothing is too much. Whether it's the desk staff, the clubhouse staff, the in-flight staff....all of them treat you like royalty.
Quite simply top class customer service...
While I'm sure the 'Rock Stars' in Upper Class were having a great time, the plebs in steerage, who paid a months wages for the flights, were made to feel as if they were lucky to be on the plane at all.
The Cabin crew were terrifying, psychotic false smiles did nothing to hide their contemptuous rage. Twenty minutes after eating finishing my 'food', which balanced precariously on a broken tray, I was finally and reluctantly offered a drink. Two minutes after that I was being huffed at because I hadn't finished my drink. And then the cabin crew vanished. After eight hours in the air, dangerously dehydrated people left their seats and wandered the aisles in search of water. The oppressive atmosphere in such a confined space was overwhelming, desperate people counting down the seconds until they could leave.
All I wanted to do was get off that plane, however, disembarking within a reasonable amount of time appeared to be a additional perk which is not included in the price of a lowly economy ticket. 45 mins after landing, and 35 mins after our arrival time, I was finally able to leave my seat. With creaking knees I could at last experience the glorious feeling of leaving a Virgin Atlantic flight for the last time in my life.
I have returned from my trip to las vegas.
the whole experience was just prefect.
from the easy booking of the flight, the ability to book your seat, not happy about not able to use the v room ( only available if you book though virgin holidays)
the fight ladies were all very attentive, the food was of good quality, the choice of films was good and reasonably up to date .
So all very good, i would defintely recommend to others.
Joanne Thomas found this review useful
Having previously travelled in BA's World Traveller Plus, Virgin's Premium Economy wax a revelation of what this class can be. With Virgin Atlantic you get a separate cabin with much more comfortable and spacious seating, dedicated food and drink service, and priority boarding and disembarkation. This more a 'poor man's' business class than an upgraded economy class
Have used virgin Atlantic many times over the years to fly to America. Most recent being last month. Good service onboard. All that I would say is that the inflight entertainment needs to be brought up to date in line with other airlines.
Flew upper class to Dubai, excellent clubhouse pre flight and easy access via own taxi to terminal. Flight good, comfy bed and food fine, as was service, same on the way back. Interested to see what they do with the new dream suite that is being launched
I flew from Cape Town to London on 1st Feb, travelling Upper Class. I Had just had the holiday of a lifetime - travelling to Cape Town on Queen Mary 2 - been on a wonderful safari - had a great week in Cape Town and I thought we would end the holiday travelling Upper Class. What a disappointment. Dinner was disgusting - I wouldn't have served it to my dog.They were short of wine - no Shiraz or Chardonay - we had just left one of the biggest wine producing areas in Africa for goodness sake. The seats/beds were far too small for my husband (5ft 10" & 13 stone) - fine for me (5ft 222 & 9 stone). The Air Stewardesses had a "couldn't be bothered" attitude and were no where to be seen during the night. On the plus side breakfast was good and the landing excellent.We paid almost £4000 for 2 one way tickets which in the event was an outrageous sum for the very poor service.We have flown many times to Australia & NZ with Emirates and our flight with Virgin Atlantic no way compared with the service and comfort & food that Emirates provide/
I've only flown with them twice and the service from all the Virgin staff was first class but the legroom in economy is distinctly lacking and I'm only 5'6" so I don't have the world's longest legs!
Oh, and having our seats changed on from those we'd selected (on both flights) was a less than welcome surprise.
May be beaten (just) at on-board service occasionally but they have the best pricing policy, great back-up teams and some of the nicest prople I deal with on a regular basis. I just wish they flew to more places, especially Canada - that's a hint by the way!
I travel to the UK often and find Virgin Atlantic planes and crews amoung the best in the world. Cabin crews care about the needs and comfort of all the passengers. Flight Deck gives just the right amount of interaction with the cabin and the ground staff on both the US and UK sides are above all the others in care and professional treatment of their customers.
Flew to Florida with my husband and 3 children last year using Virgin - NEVER AGAIN!!
Their plane was "tatty" to say the least. 2 of the TV screens did not work properly. 3 out of the 5 seats did not have a night pack (blanket, pillow etc) and when we queried this with the staff they said they had run out!! Surely they know how many seats they have on each plane???
The flight back was very similar - again one of the seats did not have a night pack and there were no spares. This time while all the TV screens did work one of them had a dodgy sound system and if you moved around on the seat you lost the sound altogether.
We asked about the gaming consoles for the children that their beautiful glossy brochures said were available on long haul flights but were told that these were only on "selected flights" and surprise surprise they were not available on the 9 hour Florida flight!!
We had pre-selected our seats so that we could sit together but when we checked in at Orlando airport for our flight home we were told our seats had been allocated to someone else and that we had to sit apart - for a 9 hour + flight with 3 kids this was a total nightmare.
When we returned to the UK I wrote to Virgin customer services to let them know about the problems experienced and to ask why our pre-selected seats had been given to someone else but the answers were "vague" to say the least and we were simply "fobbed off".
Their planes are poor, their air stewards didn't seem to care and their customer service department doesn't give a dam!!
One company I will NOT be rushing to fly with again in a hurry.
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