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No alternative but to be SCREWED due to a Virgin Schedule Change !

No alternative but to be SCREWED due to a Virgin Schedule Change !

Old Nov 20, 18, 7:33 am
  #1  
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No alternative but to be SCREWED due to a Virgin Schedule Change !

Received email notification that my flight from MCO to LGW been re-scehduled to arrive 2 hours later. My next flight was from LHR and I'd allowed 3+ hours to transit from LGW-LHR. But, with the 2+ hour schedule change, there is no way I would make the LHR flight.

I contacted Virgin and the VERY helpful representative said there's nothing they could do in to LGW from MCO, but he could switch me to ATL to LHR. Fortunately, I spend time in both ATL & MCO so this wasn't a problem for me. However, after checking with his supervisor they 'insisted' this change would need to be paid for by me !

So, with the choice of an almost certain mis-connect, or an EXPENSIVE change to my LHR flight, I opted to pay for the Virgin change (So no real choice).

Is Virgin correct that this change is my responsibility ?
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Old Nov 20, 18, 7:36 am
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Was your onward flight from LHR all on one ticket? Or was it a separate ticket?
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Old Nov 20, 18, 7:37 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
Was your onward flight from LHR all on one ticket? Or was it a separate ticket?
Completely separate, and with BA, so not exactly a 'friendly' combo :O
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Old Nov 20, 18, 7:40 am
  #4  
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Unfortunately, with separate tickets, this is simply a two-hour schedule change at your final ticketed destination, e.g. LGW. VS has no obligation to reroute you so that you can transfer between tickets. Has nothing to do with the corporate relationships.

Not to berate OP, but for the sake of others, booking a three-hour transfer between tickets and LGW / LHR leaves no room for changes, delays, or anything else in a situation where 100% of the risk is born by the passenger. I try to stay away from separate tickets, but always allow at least double, if not overnight, the MCT for an online connection.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Surely the change drops your connection at LON below MCT with a LGW-LHR transfer? Presuming so, it is the carrier's responsibility to rebook you (presuming that this is what you want). That rebooking might not be exactly what you want, but it still must be a rebooking without fee.

Having said that, given the drop below MCT, you would be entitled to cancel for a refund. If you were to purchase new tickets via ATL, might those now be cheaper than what you had before? If so, book the new ticket and take a refund of the old one and save some money in the process.
On separate tickets though there is no responsibility to rebook due to being below the MCT. The two hour change should entitle the OP to a refund if they want that, but it wouldn't entitle them to an automatic rebooking to originate from a completely different departure city.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 10:31 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
On separate tickets though there is no responsibility to rebook due to being below the MCT. The two hour change should entitle the OP to a refund if they want that, but it wouldn't entitle them to an automatic rebooking to originate from a completely different departure city.
Of course. That is the whole problem with the separate tickets. No reroute unless he pays and presumably not wanting a refund as that gets him nothing.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 2:52 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
Was your onward flight from LHR all on one ticket? Or was it a separate ticket?
Originally Posted by BritBoyInFL View Post
Completely separate, and with BA, so not exactly a 'friendly' combo :O
Au contraire. You can buy a single ticket on BA/VS routings that give the usual advantages and protections. People make this assumption that you can't and that BA and VS are enemies all the time but it is an incorrect assumption

Though it is often a more expensive than separate ones - just as it would be if this was a BA only routing - you do get the protection of a single ticket.

BTW BA can also be less than sympathetic with routing changes even if both separate tickets are with BA

Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
On separate tickets though there is no responsibility to rebook due to being below the MCT. The two hour change should entitle the OP to a refund if they want that, but it wouldn't entitle them to an automatic rebooking to originate from a completely different departure city.
.

VS policy is apparently not to refund unless the schedule change is >5 hours. That is what they regard as 'significant' other airlines have shorter periods but that dosen't help the OP.

It would have been different if the MCO-LGW had been cancelled but it hasn't. If it had been cancelled then the ATL-LHR reroute would have been allowed for no extra charge or take the refund but I do appreciate taking the refund isn't always ideal though it sometimes can be.

Buying separate tickets is always a risk. Even buying BA-BA separate ones is (let alone the no through checking of bags).

The 3 hour MCT that BA has for LGW-LHR transfers is also tight but doable. But the OP isn't connecting he has two separate tickets so that 3 hours does not apply.

Last edited by UKtravelbear; Nov 22, 18 at 11:33 am
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Old Nov 21, 18, 3:14 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
Au contraire. You can buy a single ticket on BA/VS routings that give the usual advantages and protections. People make this assumption that you can't and that BA and VS are enemies all the time but it is an incorrect assumption

Though it is often a more expensive than separate ones - just as it would be if this was a BA only routing - you do get the protection of a single ticket......
Thanks for the insight. I know I could have got a single ticket, but the 'under statement' of your reply was "Though it is often a more expensive than separate ones" ..... How about close to 500 quid more ! :O

Overall, this isn't that big a ball ache, I've swapped $150 for not having to do LGW-LHR with National Express

I was just surprised that as the change was a direct result of VA, I had thought they would be more receptive to a no cost switch. But, I don't have status with VA, and so TKIAN (They Know I Am Nobody)
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Old Nov 21, 18, 3:17 am
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It's rather sad when the pitchforks come out on matters such as this.

You book separate tickets at your own risk. You also book non-refundable tickets at your own risk. If you are uncomfortable with these risks you either buy the appropriate ticket or invest in excellent travel insurance. You don't buy ground beef and complain that you didn't get filet mignon.

The only rant that has some merit is the inability to get a refund for a 2-hour schedule change, but I suspect that the value of the MCO ticket was applied to the ATL ticket, rendering that element irrelevant.

P.S. We would all love to buy tickets to a cheap destination then switch to a more desirable one for free...
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Old Nov 21, 18, 3:42 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
It's rather sad when the pitchforks come out on matters such as this.

You book separate tickets at your own risk. You also book non-refundable tickets at your own risk. If you are uncomfortable with these risks you either buy the appropriate ticket or invest in excellent travel insurance. You don't buy ground beef and complain that you didn't get filet mignon.

The only rant that has some merit is the inability to get a refund for a 2-hour schedule change, but I suspect that the value of the MCO ticket was applied to the ATL ticket, rendering that element irrelevant.

P.S. We would all love to buy tickets to a cheap destination then switch to a more desirable one for free...
Hmmmm, not sure I can support the sentiment of your response. I'm not asking for more than I purchased (mince/filet analogy). If they can the flight, they'll change it to ATL for free, rather than lose the business with a full refund. If they move the time by 24 hours, I'm pretty sure they would move the flight the flight for free ? again, to avoid a cancellation with a full refund to me, and possible loss of business to them. So, what we can see here is that they can make the change for free, but there are obviously some guide lines. I know a 15 minute change will not warrant a free change. So, the ONLY question I pose is wasn't a 2 hour plus change sufficient justification ? for a ONE a day flight ? with no other alternatives ?

I'm certainly not asking consideration from VA about connections, other airlines, etc. And who mentioned buying a ticket to a cheap destination and wanting to change it for free ?
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Old Nov 21, 18, 3:01 pm
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What's VS' actual policy with regard to rescheduling/refunds for schedule changes? Are there EU regs on the matter? Domestic USA airlines are generally pretty lenient on this. UA, for example, allows rescheduling for >30min changes (but typically not origin/destination changes, although there have been exceptions reported on FT) and complete refunds for >2hr changes.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by BritBoyInFL View Post
Hmmmm, not sure I can support the sentiment of your response. I'm not asking for more than I purchased (mince/filet analogy). If they can the flight, they'll change it to ATL for free, rather than lose the business with a full refund. If they move the time by 24 hours, I'm pretty sure they would move the flight the flight for free ? again, to avoid a cancellation with a full refund to me, and possible loss of business to them. So, what we can see here is that they can make the change for free, but there are obviously some guide lines. I know a 15 minute change will not warrant a free change. So, the ONLY question I pose is wasn't a 2 hour plus change sufficient justification ? for a ONE a day flight ? with no other alternatives ?

I'm certainly not asking consideration from VA about connections, other airlines, etc. And who mentioned buying a ticket to a cheap destination and wanting to change it for free ?
Airlines generally clue in quickly about how "travel hackers" take advantage of things.

Flights to/from Gatwick are cheaper than flights to/from Heathrow. So, a viable strategy would be to buy the cheapest flight from US-UK, hope for a schedule change, and then request a change to both departure and destination airport.

In the very short run, sure... a refund of your money might cost them. But in the long run and/or multiplied by thousands, a flexible change policy gets travel hacked to cost the airline substantial revenue...

For similar reasons European airlines don't tend to release last-minute award seats in J. People would book PE and expect to upgrade, costing the airline revenue...
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Old Nov 22, 18, 9:15 am
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FYI - and for info- VAA sent a memo to all travel agents that they have changed their schedule change policy - they have 'put the customer first' by reducing the timeframe from 5 hours to 3 hours to where they consider the change significant and offer a full refund or reprotection (e.g: Travel Day before)

This said, I would except the poster still to pay any fare difference even if his schedule change is more than three hours as he is changing the routing of the ticket. From my experience with VAA only the change fee would be waived. Appreciate the poster is upset; but don't think it is VAAs responsibility for the misconnect given seperate tickets to seperate airports.
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Old Nov 22, 18, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by RedRooibos View Post
FYI - and for info- VAA sent a memo to all travel agents that they have changed their schedule change policy - they have 'put the customer first' by reducing the timeframe from 5 hours to 3 hours to where they consider the change significant and offer a full refund or reprotection (e.g: Travel Day before)

This said, I would except the poster still to pay any fare difference even if his schedule change is more than three hours as he is changing the routing of the ticket. From my experience with VAA only the change fee would be waived. Appreciate the poster is upset; but don't think it is VAAs responsibility for the misconnect given seperate tickets to seperate airports.
Thanks RedRooibos, exactly the information and clarification I was looking for. It seems my situation may have been handled differently had the change been > 3 hours. I agree, if I'm suggesting a change a routing as a solution and that routing has a fare difference, that's my responsibility. FYI : The misconnect can be ignored, anyone (me included) booking separate tickets accepts the risk. But what's important is what should an airline do when there is a change of schedule, and where is the line drawn ? 2 hours, 3 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours ? I can't argue that 3 isn't reasonable (as per your information) and unfortunately this issue just fell short of that.
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Old Nov 22, 18, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by BritBoyInFL View Post
Thanks RedRooibos, exactly the information and clarification I was looking for. It seems my situation may have been handled differently had the change been > 3 hours. I agree, if I'm suggesting a change a routing as a solution and that routing has a fare difference, that's my responsibility. FYI : The misconnect can be ignored, anyone (me included) booking separate tickets accepts the risk. But what's important is what should an airline do when there is a change of schedule, and where is the line drawn ? 2 hours, 3 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours ? I can't argue that 3 isn't reasonable (as per your information) and unfortunately this issue just fell short of that.
Yes, I agree. Five hours seemed very harsh; and I think this was the timeframe when they were mainly a point to point leisure /NYC Business airline rather than now we're they collaborate with DL and other JV members more. Three hours does seem fair; and in line with industry practice. I'm not sure if you've already paid the change but perhaps press to see if they will waive the change fee if you pay the fare difference. Hope you have a good flight.
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