OT: VLM is a noddy airline after all

Old Dec 4, 06, 8:38 am
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Angry OT: VLM is a noddy airline after all

So I'm posting this on here because a number of us are fans of LCY/VG and the only activity in the Other European Airlines forum is tumbleweed. Please indulge me?

I had a day return planned from LCY-LPL in a couple of weeks time, booked back in October. Today I received a call to say that they had cancelled my 0815h outbound and rebooked me on the next scheduled flight at 1745h. The problem is my return flight was at 1600h! When I called up they admitted the original flight had been canned for that one day only because of a light load - I honestly thought only the likes of FR did that sort of crap? I asked whether they would rebook me to MAN as I could see availability online, but the answer was that a re-route was not possible (real answer, the fare for the re-route was approx 30 more than I had paid). So I said you will have to refund me then. Fine, he said, but it will be less your 4 booking fee because you have chosen to cancel!!! He tried trotting out the standard "I don't make up the rules, sir" line but even he could see it was ridiculous so put me on hold while he got permission to request a 100% refund.

So I am left crawling back to BA for a last minute fare to MAN. The real problem however is that I had car hire booked out of LPL and so far I can'f find any availability at MAN. So thanks, VG, you have ruined my Christmas visit to see my grandmother. Book at your peril - I have learned my lesson.

[Rant over]
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Old Dec 4, 06, 10:45 am
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How annoying!

I have found VLM on LCY-LPL far more trouble than they're worth... cancelling a "fully flexible" business class ticket still somehow cost me more than 30.

Next time: go Virgin if you're anywhere near Euston. Quick, cheap and convenient.
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Old Dec 4, 06, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by ajax View Post
How annoying!

I have found VLM on LCY-LPL far more trouble than they're worth... cancelling a "fully flexible" business class ticket still somehow cost me more than 30.

Next time: go Virgin if you're anywhere near Euston. Quick, cheap and convenient.
Well amazingly I took a look at Virgin and got a first class return for 82 I think for the same reason that the LCY-LPL flight was empty (ie Friday before Christmas) the Virgin first class carriages are empty. So, all in all not too bad though I would have preferred the flight. Still at VG though.
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Old Dec 6, 06, 7:10 am
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Now they are telling me it will 4-5 weeks for a refund "because they have to reclaim the tax from the authorities before they pay me"! Is this airline running with negative working capital?
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Old Dec 6, 06, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by aristoph View Post
Now they are telling me it will 4-5 weeks for a refund "because they have to reclaim the tax from the authorities before they pay me"! Is this airline running with negative working capital?

Do you know how long it can take to get a refund out of BA?
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Old Dec 6, 06, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by Smirnoff View Post
Do you know how long it can take to get a refund out of BA?
Well the two I have applied for from BA appeared within 2 business days so I have no complaints against them.
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Old Dec 6, 06, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by aristoph View Post
Well the two I have applied for from BA appeared within 2 business days so I have no complaints against them.
If it's a simple fully flexible, no changes made, may be.

If you've made any changes to the original booking, it can be weeks if not months.
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Old Dec 6, 06, 7:21 am
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Still, I can't imagine BA telling me I need to wait till they claim back the taxes from the authorities. (Plus I can't imagine airlines pre-pay on duty in any case?)
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Old Dec 6, 06, 7:38 am
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Crikey, I have always used them for weekends to Manchesterford from LCY and have never had a problem. My only worry is flying on those ancient Fokker thingies and making sure i get a seat in the back because those props are sure noisey.

I too would be

If you are cancelling though, make sure you ask them to refund not only your fare, but the Passenger Service Tax, otherwise they'll keep it.
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Old Dec 6, 06, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by VC10 Boy View Post
Crikey, I have always used them for weekends to Manchesterford from LCY and have never had a problem.
Yep, I have been a big fan too which is why I am not only but also that they turn out like this. I had read reviews in another forum where they abandoned passengers at the airport a la Ryanair with no more than a "You can have a refund or fly next year" type attitude but it didn't gel with their claim to service the business market and my own previous experience with them.
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Old Dec 6, 06, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by aristoph View Post
Now they are telling me it will 4-5 weeks for a refund "because they have to reclaim the tax from the authorities before they pay me"! Is this airline running with negative working capital?
Contact your credit card issuer and register a dispute - they will normally refund you immediately until the airline refund comes through (and should charge the merchant for the privilege - effectively fining them on your behalf).
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Old Dec 6, 06, 9:08 am
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Aristoph,

Since the flight was cancelled due to light load don't you qualify for compensation under the EU rules as well as a full refund?

Also if the ticket was paid by a credit card they may also give yuo some sort of compensation from any free travel insurance that the cardholder may be entitled to. On 6 hours delayed Copenhagen-LHR flight I received ~80 from my credit card's insurance company for flight delay and luggage delay.
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Old Dec 6, 06, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by jahason View Post
Aristoph,

Since the flight was cancelled due to light load don't you qualify for compensation under the EU rules as well as a full refund?
Interesting point - I hadn't considered this angle since I have never heard of anyone successfully claiming EU compensation for any reason ever! The problem now is that the records show that I requested a refund, not that they offered to reschedule me 2 hours after I was due to return and I had no choice but to refund. At this stage I just want my money back.
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Old Dec 6, 06, 10:01 am
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They gave you the seven days required notice I believe, so no comp due under EU rules.
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Old Dec 6, 06, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by aristoph View Post
Interesting point - I hadn't considered this angle since I have never heard of anyone successfully claiming EU compensation for any reason ever! The problem now is that the records show that I requested a refund, not that they offered to reschedule me 2 hours after I was due to return and I had no choice but to refund. At this stage I just want my money back.
IIRC, if they give you 2 weeks notice, they are in the clear. Looks to me like they made this call at 14 or 15 days out. Very poor.

Can I just therefore take the opportunity to plug - yet again - Eastern Airways who ran a flight from BHX-NCL just before Easter for Mrs Swiss, Swiss Jr and myself. Two fare paying passengers on the cheapest seat going (which is still quite pricey) plus the infant! We nearly managed a whole bottle of Champagne, but it was a bit bumpy up there...
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