Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hey "Virgin America" - go eff yourself

I took a flight on "Virgin America" a few months ago and ended up gushing about it to friends, telling them it was one of the nicer flights I have had recently - and let's face it, flying isn't really fun any more - but, wow, I'm not so happy today; it's amazing how a lousy customer service experience can just totally sour you on a company.

When I looked at my info online last month, I saw there was some weird stuff going on with my "Elevate" account, as they call their frequent flyer program.

I had went round trip, JFK to Las Vegas, first class each way, and they credited me with 3150 points NY-LV, but only 555 LV-NY. Hmm.

So I sent two - count 'em, two - emails to their web address asking what the discrepancy was about.


No response.

Not even an auto bounceback email saying thanks for your email.


So Thursday (April 16, 2ish Eastern time) I finally call Virgin America and ask.

I get Sherry, who looks up my info (after asking for my account number, of course, after I had already punched it in - and why do they have you do that if it apparently doesn't even register?)

Then Sherry puts me on hold for 5 minutes.

Sherry finally comes back and informs me that the reason for the discrepancy is that I booked the NY-LV leg as first class, but the LV-NY leg was originally booked main cabin but later upgraded - so they only give me millage on the original booking. Even though I paid First Class fare!!!

So I calmly - and I swear calmly, I am incredibly pleasant to the phone people, because I know they don't make the company rules - but Jeeeeezus they can be annoying - I tell her the only reason for that was that there was NO first class seat available for that LV-NY leg when I made the reservations, but one opened up while I was in Sin City and I did the upgrade the night before from my LV hotel room.

And isn't that a good thing for them, and why am I not getting first class mileage because I paid for first class no matter what the original reservation was.

You know - normal, common sense stuff.

Sherry could have fucking cared less. She said, and I quote: "Oh that happens that you can't always get it the first time you reserve," and then HUNG UP ON ME without even saying "Sorry."

Fuck you, Sherry (Thurs, 4/16 2ish ET).

But most of all, fuck you Virgin America Airlines.

In the past, I have always gone "Continental Airlines" to LV. I was almost ready to switch and make Virgin America my airline.

Ain't happening now.


memphis red said...

I think Virgin has went way downhill recently.

i want a pony. said...

lol that is true whenever you call a company they make you enter your account number and then when you finally get the live person they make you say it again!!!

Anonymous said...

you only get points on a FARE you purchased, when you do a 24 hour upgrade its a FEE, you dont get points for fees.

J said...

Yeah, whatever, "anonymous" - the point is I had no choice but to do a 24-hour upgrade as there was no 1st class seat available when I originally made the reservation. I still paid for the damn ticket though. And if you had read the rant, I was really pissed off at the dismissive attitude of your agent on the phone when I called to ask about this. When you have people like that repping your company, don't be surprised that you get word of mouth spread like this.

l.w.t. said...

That airline logic doesn't even make sense - you get points on a fare not a fee? A fee is money you pay for the upgrade right, so why no points just because of what they decide to call it? What is next oh you got your ticket through the phone instead of online so no points.

Anonymous said...

what do you mean my agent? i dont work there, i just happen to read the firggin rules of the points system
i took virgin america twice and loved it, one time doing that cheaper last minute upgrade, its FAR less then paying the first class fare, which you could have done too and earned your miles.
finding a good airline is hard these days,and i really enjoyed flying on virgin. it does suck that you got a crumby agent.
the thing about points, is that they are something like extra that are given. what you paid for are the flight and the seats and the entertainment or whatever, the points are a bonus. which now you are gonna think i work for some frequent flyer program.
i was just pointing out something, but YOUR response was assuming and bitchy, i wouldnt be surprised if yer attidude had something to do with how dismissive she was. she prob has to deal with assholes who dont take responsibilty for their our shit and yell at her all day.

i dont think virgin is worried about your word of mouth, blogs and such as these are merely subjective and opinion.

Anonymous said...

Oh Look:
two douchebags fighting over first class airline tickets.

Elitist Swine

J said...

You anonymous commenters are always amusing, I will give you that.
Anon #1 - nah, of course you don't work for Virgin America. You just happened to stumble upon a days-old post and just happened to feel a desire to gush about how wonderful a flight you had, and - best of all - happened to know the details of and AGREE WITH their silly frequent flier rules. Yes, that's totally normal lol.
You social media/word of mouth types and your shenanigans are too funny. Just for that you are banned from the blog. Not only from commenting, you are not even allowed to read it any more. Go ahead, click off. No soup for you.
And anon #2 who thinks that flying first class is "elitist" - well, I guess since you are stuck back in coach with the hoi polloi you don't really have to worry about bumping into us, but if you're on a flight I'm on in the future, I will try to send back to you some free headphones or top shelf liquor that I occasionally order and then don't even bother drinking. You are also banned - no soup for you either!

J said...

Well now I'm not sure this can be cleared from the cache so make sure you check out the update about my experience with Virgin America. They actually turned out to be VERY cool.

tardis said...

Can Virgin do something about the @&*$^# airports? I agree with what you said - flying isn't fun anymore but it's not even so much the planes and the flights, I don't think they have changed that much. It's the airport experience. It is BAD!

Anonymous said...

I agree that Virgin America is a better airline then the rest of the crap carriers flying the skies nowadays, but their customer service and rules for changing flights make me wanna puke.

I went ahead and tried to change a flight and they charge $75 to do so! This is absolutely ridiculous when you take into account the goddamn flight cost $79 to begin with! Most other airlines only charge $25 to do so. I'm not sure what costs VA incurs but I don't think it's anywhere near the price they charge. Arbitrary and just flat out greedy. If it can be helped, I'm never going to fly VA again.

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