Should we protect ourself with ESTA if reroute?

Old Nov 3, 18, 11:21 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: BA/QR/EY
Posts: 59
Should we protect ourself with ESTA if reroute?

Let me start.

I booked a holiday thru a travel agent to Jamaica when the Upper Class discount cheap sales were on at Xmas last year.

My wife & I am going next Sunday to Montego Bay! 2 weeks in Negril, cannot wait.

We have experienced other BA customers being denied Boarding & downgraded to WTP when we went to St Lucia last in First. I don't want that experience but realise they may be no control with Virgin.

I have no status on Virgin & flight appears full. Twilight Check in seems possible from Gatwick Saturday nite before as we are staying in the Sofitel beforehand!

Should I sign up with Virgin miles given its only a holiday flight to help protect !

What do we do at Gatwick if subsequently downgraded to PE which has space?

There appears to be a Business Virgin flight thru Kennedy with an overnight in NYC before an onward connection with Delta to MBJ. It does mean we Arrive in resort an afternoon later. Does that qualify for EU261 if downgraded but refused for a reroute? I'm a BA member and they are always good from Africa in this area.

Business Class is part of the experience, should I insist on that option, and how long to ESTA's take usually if at Gatwick Virgin play hardball cause I'vre bought a cheap TA ticket deal with a Holiday?

Experience advice needed.

Steve & Anne

Cheers
steveggetit is offline  
Old Nov 3, 18, 1:50 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 76
Can't help but feel you might be overthinking this...? Relax and enjoy your flight
Silver Fox and nancypants like this.
mrdini is offline  
Old Nov 3, 18, 1:56 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sydney Australia
Programs: No programs & No Points!!!
Posts: 12,393
I pay $ for first and business and have no status on any airline. I have never been downgraded. You'll be ok.
Annalisa12 is offline  
Old Nov 4, 18, 3:35 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
Programs: BA Gold, TK E+, IB+, VS FC, Hyatt Globalist, MR Plat Prem, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 7,227
There is certainly no harm in having a valid ESTA at all times. It's only roughly 10 quid...


But IMO, flying a short Upper Class flight to JFK, over-nighting there (perhaps at your own expense) and continuing on via DL (mediocre US F presumably) would be a far worse experience than accepting the 75% refund (or an even better deal involving VS vouchers or miles), the PE seats and hopefully crew willing to let you spend time at the UC bar or otherwise make up for the downgrade.
craigthemif is offline  
Old Nov 4, 18, 4:00 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Brighton. UK
Programs: BA Gold / VS /IHG Platinum & Ambassador
Posts: 10,682
I do think that you are definitely over thinking this and worrying yourself unnecessarily.

Do downgrades happen? Yes they do but not as often as people think they do. IF and I emphasise IF they do they will ask for volunteers first and that usually works for VS.

Why do you think you’ll be downgraded?

Your main protection will be to do Online check in as soon as it opens and then to do twilight check in the night before. It will speed your trip through the airport on the day of yiur flight as you can go straight to security and then the clubhouse.
UKtravelbear is online now  
Old Nov 4, 18, 4:08 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, Germany; Toronto, Canada; and SW Florida, USA
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, Hyatt Globalist, and assorted others
Posts: 22,915
You are waaaay overthinking this. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
LondonElite is offline  
Old Nov 4, 18, 10:57 am
  #7  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 42,971
You are on a paid ticket. Before VS gets to you, there will be a call for volunteers, there will be people who upgraded, and people on redemptions. I suppose that there is always a chance that there are no volunteers and everyone else has higher status and paid too. But, that is unlikely.

Should you need an ESTA, you should be able to do that relatively on the spot. But, if it makes you feel better, get one as they are relatively cheap.

As to what VS will do in a specific situation, that really depends on how desperate the situation is. Perhaps facing a 75% refund for a downgrade, it will pay delay compensation and consider the overnight at JFK as a semi-duty of care, but perhaps it won't and perhaps the staff are simply busy so you are downgraded and advised to send in your bank information for the refund.

The real bottom line is that there are any number of other things much more likely to go wrong, e.g. technical, weather, the Captain is ill, than a downgrade. Moreover, I cannot conceive of routing overnight via JFK onto a DL domestic (configuration) aircraft rather than nonstop.
Often1 is offline  
Old Nov 5, 18, 6:22 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
There is certainly no harm in having a valid ESTA at all times. It's only roughly 10 quid...


But IMO, flying a short Upper Class flight to JFK, over-nighting there (perhaps at your own expense) and continuing on via DL (mediocre US F presumably) would be a far worse experience than accepting the 75% refund (or an even better deal involving VS vouchers or miles), the PE seats and hopefully crew willing to let you spend time at the UC bar or otherwise make up for the downgrade.
Just to comment on the Delta flight part of this as I actually did this route in Upper last year; LHR-JFK-MBJ. I thoroughly enjoyed the Delta "domestic" First to MBJ. Service, seat (its only 4 hours flight), food and booze all really good. And they have Woodford Reserve!
brownc is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread