alaska / virgin same day flight change

Old Jan 26, 17, 9:04 am
  #1  
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alaska / virgin same day flight change

kind of annoying / frustrating but i booked a flight on alaska airlines for virgin america. i booked a first class ticket. i got called into another meeting last minute so i need to leave a few hours later.

i am aware of the same day change fee of $25. i am within 6 hours of my flight (about 5 1/2 hours). i tried going to virgin america online but there was no option to make the change (no "earlier flight / later flight" option like alaska). so i tried calling alaska airlines to make a change but they told me that since it's a virgin flight i need to call virgin. she didn't know much but went to the virgin website to find out that they have a similar same day change fee (i'm on a short haul flight).

i called virgin and they told me that i need to call alaska or go to the airport in person. they said that 1.5 hours after the flight leaves if i miss it the reservation will cancel so i can go to the airport after my flight but must be there before 1.5 hours after my flight. i actually can do this but felt a bit uneasy about missing my flight and going to the airport (i'd rather get this taken care of before going to the airport). they said that since i booked on alaska, alaska must make any changes.

so i called alaska again and the agent said that virgin is correct and alaska is the only one that can make a change but my options are:

pay the fare difference since a first class seat now (last minute) is more expensive than the 2 week advanced fare that i purchased. i bought a ticket for around $230 and it's $550 now so i'd have to pay around $320.

or downgrade to economy and get the fare difference as a credit but pay a $125 change fee.

i opted to do the latter and downgrade to economy.

the fare is about $30 cheaper so i'll have an ewallet credit of $30 but paid $125 so i'm out a net of $95 but also got downgraded from first to economy.

is this correct? i guess it looks correct by reviewing the virgin website but wanted to post here in case others weren't aware of the differences in change policy.

http://virginamerica.custhelp.com/ap...etail/a_id/722
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Old Jan 26, 17, 9:12 am
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Its a pain in the rear that has been around for many years. Only AS metal is eligible for SDC. VX is still considered a partner and separate airline at this point in the merge.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 10:55 am
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It's confusing because the fees on the virgin website says it should be $100 since my flight is LAS->SFO but i was charged $125.

https://www.virginamerica.com/cms/vx-fees

Virgin also seems to have a SDC policy that depends on the length of your flight and it should be $25 but might be less flexible than AS.

Hopefully the merger will fix some of this someday?
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Old Jan 26, 17, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by Rock72 View Post
It's confusing because the fees on the virgin website says it should be $100 since my flight is LAS->SFO but i was charged $125.

https://www.virginamerica.com/cms/vx-fees

Virgin also seems to have a SDC policy that depends on the length of your flight and it should be $25 but might be less flexible than AS.

Hopefully the merger will fix some of this someday?
Good luck....I said it in another thread but I think we are better off thinking of VX as a partner, totally separate from AS....you actually get more benefits as an AS elite flying AA than VX....if we think of VX and AS as the same company, it's only going lead to disappointment and frustration like you mentioned in your post.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by Rock72 View Post
It's confusing because the fees on the virgin website says it should be $100 since my flight is LAS->SFO but i was charged $125.

https://www.virginamerica.com/cms/vx-fees

Virgin also seems to have a SDC policy that depends on the length of your flight and it should be $25 but might be less flexible than AS.

Hopefully the merger will fix some of this someday?
You bought the ticket from AS, so if you want to change the ticket, you deal with AS's rules on that. VX is the one you have to deal with when it comes to same day change because on the day of the flight, they are the ones who will deal with the ticket because they are the ones flying the plane, and they will control the ticket at that point. (They are still two separate airlines as far as that goes).

This is a really common problem on FT we've seen: people assuming "oh, Airline X bought Airline Y yesterday, so it's really the same airline and I should get to pick and choose how things work". Well, no, it's not and no you don't. It's a good reason to avoid doing a "I buy a ticket on Airline X from Airline Y" scenario to avoid these sorts of situations.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 12:04 pm
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Today is the day of the flight so maybe that's why AS sent me over to VX who sent me back to AS.

I also find it a little odd that there are still things that can only be done at the airport. I called this morning at 8am and VX wanted me to go the airport, make the change before my 1:50pm flight, come back, and then go back to the airport again a few hours later at the time of my new 3:55pm flight? They said that's my only option as they can't make changes for this flight via phone.

If that's the case, VX (and other airlines who have this issue) should be able to route me via phone to someone that's at their counter at the airport.
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Old Jan 27, 17, 12:58 am
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SDC on VX in F have been historically IME free for standby, $25 for confirmed seat in F. No fare upgrade or anything else.

Perhaps I am missing something, but that has been my experience with 4 yrs with VX and F at any fare I've bought, including upgrades.

I should add, all of these changes were done at the airport, even after contacting the VX Gold line, who recommended changing at the airport.
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Old Jan 27, 17, 12:04 pm
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So I went to the airport at around 2pm and explained what happened to the VX rep at the counter. She said that she doesn't know the AS rules but her recommendation was to just go standby since there are some open seats including 1 open seat in first that I can get if no one takes it. She said that I should not have had to pay $125 and that she'd try to take care it.

She went to the back and after awhile came out and said that she can't figure out how to put $125 back since AS did that and I think she tried calling, etc. but said that's hard. She said that she tried to give me a confirmed seat in first but in the meantime, someone took that first class seat so she got me a seat in main cabin select.

So at the end of the day, I paid for a first class seat 2 weeks in advance, changed to a main class select seat on a flight 2 hours later, paid $126 more out of pocket (for some reason that's the final charge on my credit card), and got $36 credit in my alaska airlines ewallet.
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Old Jan 29, 17, 8:46 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
You bought the ticket from AS, so if you want to change the ticket, you deal with AS's rules on that. VX is the one you have to deal with when it comes to same day change because on the day of the flight, they are the ones who will deal with the ticket because they are the ones flying the plane, and they will control the ticket at that point. (They are still two separate airlines as far as that goes).

This is a really common problem on FT we've seen: people assuming "oh, Airline X bought Airline Y yesterday, so it's really the same airline and I should get to pick and choose how things work". Well, no, it's not and no you don't. It's a good reason to avoid doing a "I buy a ticket on Airline X from Airline Y" scenario to avoid these sorts of situations.
I second this wholeheartedly.

Now that I have some experience with AS coming from VX, I can strongly recommend if you are AS elite flying on VX, buy your tickets from VX.


As I have learned, AS and VX operate differently, sometimes very differently, as well as, unique to each, rules and procedures. Until such time as more integration of these airlines is more complete, I stand by this advice.

Last edited by ptownca; Jan 29, 17 at 8:55 pm
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Old Jan 29, 17, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Rock72 View Post
So I went to the airport at around 2pm and explained what happened to the VX rep at the counter. She said that she doesn't know the AS rules but her recommendation was to just go standby since there are some open seats including 1 open seat in first that I can get if no one takes it. She said that I should not have had to pay $125 and that she'd try to take care it.

She went to the back and after awhile came out and said that she can't figure out how to put $125 back since AS did that and I think she tried calling, etc. but said that's hard. She said that she tried to give me a confirmed seat in first but in the meantime, someone took that first class seat so she got me a seat in main cabin select.

So at the end of the day, I paid for a first class seat 2 weeks in advance, changed to a main class select seat on a flight 2 hours later, paid $126 more out of pocket (for some reason that's the final charge on my credit card), and got $36 credit in my alaska airlines ewallet.
From my experience, the VX rep mostly did the right thing, but I would have paid the $25 immediately to confirm the seat, once there was only one seat open. VX elites can grab any open F seat for a paid upgrade online anytime from T-24-T12 before departures. This is the likely thing that happened in your case.

Now, in this mix up, I think it is on AS to rebate you the change fee, as it not VX SOP.

Good luck.
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Old Jun 10, 17, 4:43 am
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Does anyone know if this has changed yet? E.g. Can you do a $25 SDC from VX metal to AS metal, or vice versa?
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Old Jun 10, 17, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by dordal View Post
Does anyone know if this has changed yet? E.g. Can you do a $25 SDC from VX metal to AS metal, or vice versa?
No. They are still two different airlines and until they aren't, expect two different policies.
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Old Aug 4, 17, 5:41 pm
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Unhappy

Originally Posted by dordal View Post
Does anyone know if this has changed yet? E.g. Can you do a $25 SDC from VX metal to AS metal, or vice versa?
My friend just tried to do this today and it didn't work. AS need an AS record locator number to do anything and VX couldn't provide her with one.
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Old Aug 4, 17, 7:25 pm
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Originally Posted by dmk11 View Post
My friend just tried to do this today and it didn't work. AS need an AS record locator number to do anything and VX couldn't provide her with one.
I've booked quite a few VX flights with AS flight numbers through my corporate TA this year. They have all been on AS ticket stock with AS flight numbers but VX metal. I have always gotten both a VX and an AS record locator. I can see both of the on the AS web site and app but only the VX one on the VX website or app. But I can use the AS record locator to find the VX flights on the VX site and app.

And as anther data point I changed the date of a return flight on VX metal with AS flight number. Am AS 75K. Was only charged the $8 fare difference, not change fee. Made the change through my corporate TA so not sure how they did it.

Granted I have not tried to do a same day change yet.
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Old Aug 5, 17, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by dordal View Post
Does anyone know if this has changed yet? E.g. Can you do a $25 SDC from VX metal to AS metal, or vice versa?
It is not published policy, and you cannot do it online AFAIK, but you are supposed to be able to do this now by calling the call center of the airline whose ticket stock you are on

(AS call center is probably better trained/more consistent with this than VX)
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