Thoughts on the current state of the VX Experience?

Old Apr 13, 17, 11:36 pm
  #1  
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Thoughts on the current state of the VX Experience?

So I know I'm setting myself up to be bashed here, but as a regular on the UA forum, I'm used to that. ;-)

I submitted this customer service incident via their webform and am genuinely curious if others have noted a drop in the overall Virgin experience since the merger? I know that #1 is minor, #2 is largely irrelevant, but it's the state of #3 and the experience that I found key.


Hi there,

I flew on VX 273 today (4/12/17, PVR-SFO) with my husband in first class as we chose this as an alternative to the United nonstop, for obvious reasons. I haven't had the opportunity to fly VX in awhile, but I have always held you in very high esteem. Sadly, I feel that you just don't care anymore.

Here are just a few examples:

1. The RED system's audio was inoperative. The flight attendant suggested trying my personal headphones instead, as they often work, while the ones you supply don't. I tried 2 of yours and 1 of mine, with all 3 failing. No RED today.

2. Even though seated in 1A & 1C, we were the last to have our meal orders taken, which resulted in my husband (vegetarian) being told that only beef was available. I understand that meal selections are never guaranteed, but he wasn't even offered one of your vegetarian selections from the buy on board service in economy. The lead FA did eventually offer him a cheese plate during the last 30 minutes of the flight from the back, which was appreciated.

3. An obvious drop in service levels from previous experiences. Flying VX used to have a fun and positive vibe to it, but between the RED issue and an additional minor seat issue (those white beauties are really getting a little long in the tooth), it seems that no one cares as much anymore about how VX is perceived. I asked the lead FA if he thought these hard product issues were exacerbated by the upcoming merger, to which he could only shrug, which seems like a yes to me.

I'm not looking for anything from you, but the whole experience was disheartening and I thought that your inflight services department (and your maintenance people for RED) should be aware of what it's like to currently fly VX.

Best,


Last edited by NoLaGent; Apr 14, 17 at 12:34 am Reason: spelling!
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Old Apr 14, 17, 12:14 am
  #2  
 
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No bashing here and relevant question.

1. No sound or the IFE not working at all ?

2. Usually a safe bet to have the veggie option available. I've had exactly one instance where what I wanted was unavailable in > 300 flights in F.

3. Some of the older birds do have issues with some of the seats. They can be manually adjusted when the electrics are on the blink.

As AS now owns VX, it is on AS management to maintain their reputation.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 12:29 am
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Originally Posted by ptownca View Post
No bashing here and relevant question.

1. No sound or the IFE not working at all ?

2. Usually a safe bet to have the veggie option available. I've had exactly one instance where what I wanted was unavailable in > 300 flights in F.

3. Some of the older birds do have issues with some of the seats. They can be manually adjusted when the electrics are on the blink.

As AS now owns VX, it is on AS management to maintain their reputation.
1. No sound. Video and touch screen operated properly.

2. Agreed. It was the lack of a service resolution I found disappointing. No vegetarian wants to hear their only option is dead flesh. For the record, I had the filet, which while it was overdone (what beef on a plane usually isn't?), was tasty with the chimichurri sauce.

3. Agreed, which is why I played the role of mechanic onboard this flight.

Your last sentence is the only one I have a question with. Shouldn't there still be responsibility with VX until they're operating under a single operating certificate?
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Old Apr 14, 17, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by NoLaGent View Post

Your last sentence is the only one I have a question with. Shouldn't there still be responsibility with VX until they're operating under a single operating certificate?
There is no VX except in name only--it is an AS owned company. AS is not keeping the brand and as the AS F experience is worse by every measure, perhaps a slow a painful decline is what they are going for. This way, by the time the VX experience is gone, nobody will miss it.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 2:14 pm
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Regarding #2 , depending on the direction being flown, FAs are directed to serve 1A >> 2F and then 2F >> 1A.

I can't remember which direction applies to which order, but you may have been on a flight where they are technically supposed to start with 2F (and any Gold/Silver members) first. As you also note your husband is a vegetarian, it may be easiest to notify the FA prior to departure so he/she is able to set aside this option for you.

Source: spoke with a VX FA about this specific thing.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 12:55 pm
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Follow up.

I received the following response this am from Customer Svc. The apology is appreciated and even though I made it clear I wasn't looking for anything more, they did issue $75x2 credit.:


Dear John,

Thank you for contacting us regarding your recent experience when flying from Puerto Vallarta to San Francisco on April 12.

We apologize you were not able to enjoy our RED entertainment system due to the audio not working and your husband did not receive a vegetarian option.

Your email will be shared with the in-flight leadership regarding the service provided in-flight.

As a gesture of goodwill, we have issued you each a travel bank credit of $75.00.

Once again, we apologize for your experience and look forward to welcoming you onboard in the future.

Sincerely,

Virgin America Guest Relations
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Old Apr 18, 17, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by FluxTZ View Post
Regarding #2 , depending on the direction being flown, FAs are directed to serve 1A >> 2F and then 2F >> 1A.

I can't remember which direction applies to which order, but you may have been on a flight where they are technically supposed to start with 2F (and any Gold/Silver members) first. As you also note your husband is a vegetarian, it may be easiest to notify the FA prior to departure so he/she is able to set aside this option for you.

Source: spoke with a VX FA about this specific thing.
I've been a Gold member for a few years and don't recall ever being served first or otherwise out of order on that basis in F.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 8:42 pm
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Originally Posted by shza View Post
I've been a Gold member for a few years and don't recall ever being served first or otherwise out of order on that basis in F.
I really don't remember this occurring for myself either but supposedly it's technically part of the routine.
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Old Apr 24, 17, 3:47 am
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My flight had 40 mins remaining, plus obviously initial decent hadn't been called yet, so I asked the FA for a quick soda as I'd slept through the previous hour. Mind you, I was one of two people in F. She told me it was "too close to landing" for a beverage, which is a complete lie - then proceeded to sit in the jump seat with a magazine and sip her Starbucks cup. Not quite the experience of five years ago.
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Old Apr 24, 17, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by USCTrojan83 View Post
My flight had 40 mins remaining, plus obviously initial decent hadn't been called yet, so I asked the FA for a quick soda as I'd slept through the previous hour. Mind you, I was one of two people in F. She told me it was "too close to landing" for a beverage, which is a complete lie - then proceeded to sit in the jump seat with a magazine and sip her Starbucks cup. Not quite the experience of five years ago.
I've had service that bad in the "golden years" of VX. Very rare, though. I would have asked for a "crew cup" if there was any chance of the FA not being able to clear it prior to arrival. I've asked on AS, and received it, with a smile.
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Old Apr 25, 17, 1:03 am
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Originally Posted by USCTrojan83 View Post
My flight had 40 mins remaining, plus obviously initial decent hadn't been called yet, so I asked the FA for a quick soda as I'd slept through the previous hour. Mind you, I was one of two people in F. She told me it was "too close to landing" for a beverage, which is a complete lie - then proceeded to sit in the jump seat with a magazine and sip her Starbucks cup. Not quite the experience of five years ago.
This kind of hits the nail on the head for me. It was the drastic difference from previous experiences that even prompted me to write to Customer Service.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
There is no VX except in name only--it is an AS owned company.
This is actually false. VX is held by AAG (just as AS and QX are). It is still a company.
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Old May 1, 17, 9:44 am
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As a Gold member, flying VX several times for week, I am definitely noticing deterioration in product quality.

1) First class seats are not being maintained properly... at least 25% of the time, recline feature doesn't work properly and requires manual override.

2) RED system frequently malfunctions.

3) Some of the ordering options have been disabled.

4) Food ordering seems to be turned off earlier in-flight.

5) Call center employees are poorly trained and lack knowledge of Elevate program features.

It seems like AS management is taking for granted that top tier Elevate members are going to automatically stick with AS. I'm surprised/disappointed at the lack of proactive engagement from AS to retain high-status Elevate members.
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Old May 1, 17, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by HKG_Flyer1 View Post

3) Some of the ordering options have been disabled.
I only started flying VX in the last year, and am not as familiar with all of RED's functionality. What options have been disabled?
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Old May 1, 17, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by HKG_Flyer1 View Post
It seems like AS management is taking for granted that top tier Elevate members are going to automatically stick with AS. I'm surprised/disappointed at the lack of proactive engagement from AS to retain high-status Elevate members.
It's very odd that they would assume this given how drastically different (really a terrible match) the two airlines are. Although "not being United" obviously gives AS a humongous competitive advantage here in SFO.
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