Stuck in Orlando by Virgin Atlantic

Old Dec 17, 18, 7:17 pm
  #1  
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Stuck in Orlando by Virgin Atlantic

My sister and I have used Virgin and Virgin Atlantic for over 30 years. Over the advancing years, we have sadly succombed to various ailments and illness, and have needed Special Assistance for the past 4 years, and have always been treated with understanding and compassion. I am now wheelchair bound, and my sister walks (badly) with a cane.

At present it is 9pm and I am stranded by Virgin in Orlando. On trying to book in online we have found we have been placed upstairs in the 'bubble', and are unable to book our normal reserved seats allocated upon booking. Contacting Special Assistance in Orlando, and having explained, and given complete (private and personal) medical information to the representative, has led us nowhere, their attempts to solve the situation have fallen way short of the service we have previous received and expected. What can we do, nothing, we are out of our accomodation at 10am in the morning and on the streets. We will try early bag drop at Disney Springs, but have been told not to expect any change in the situation.

We are in our 70s and do not know where to turn, so thanks Virgin.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 12:01 am
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When you initially requested special assistance did you mention that you cannot do stairs? If so, then they should have included the code WCHS in your booking which clearly indicates this.
I would recommend going to the airport early and explaining your situation at the check-in desk there. In the unlikely event that they will not change your seats, they can arrange to have you carried up the stairs in an aisle chair.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 12:57 am
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There are so many missing, and important, details here but lots of eemotion. It is the former we need to offer advice not the latter.

When you say ‘stranded’ has your flight been cancelled and you have been rebooked or has their perhaps been a plane change?

Once it is clear to the VS agent at MCO airport that you can’t climb stairs they will move other passengers upstairs. You may not get your original seats back though.

i also don’t understand why suddenly you are ‘on the streets’ at 10am. Surely you knew the checkout time when you booked your accommodation.

The sooner you respond the sooner you can get some detailed advice to assist you.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 1:47 am
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I don't see signs of any stranded passengers. I do see an OP who should go to the airport and take their flight to London. VS is responsible - especially if special assistance is pre-booked - for getting the passengers into their seats and to move other passengers if necessary. Many passengers would volunteer to move up into the bubble. If the OP is on VS 16, it looks to me like there are both PE and Y seats upstairs and downstairs.

If Virgin Holidays hasn't made arrangements for the OP between hotel check-out and airline check-in, then that's an issue to raise with Virgin Holidays based on whatever was promised at the time of booking. Otherwise it's just poor planning and an additional night in the hotel should have been booked to allow for a late check-out.
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Old Dec 24, 18, 9:11 am
  #5  
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I am now home after spending 2 days in hospital helping me straighten my knee after my flight.

Thank you for your replies.

I was considering us 'stranded' because at 8.05 the previous evening upon trying to check in online I was told the given seats, and upon contacting Special Assistance they confirm they would not be able to change my seating to downstairs. I attempted early check-in the following morning after checking out of my privately rented villa at 10am and was again told, accept those seats or don't travel. Of course I am not as stupid as some of you think, I did not plan any accommodation between check out and flight, I fully understood what I booked except that I did not expect what happened, I wonder if any of the passengers who did not get flights last week thought to book Airport Accommodation in case a drone caused their flight to be cancelled/delayed.

I now know the cause of the upheaval, a full row had been emptied because of a party of Virgin employees/family/friends, much to the disgust of others who were also moved. As someone said, there appeared to be spare seats, but there were actually none available to the paying public.

I apologies for not being a 'perfect' poster, I was, and am still, very upset about this, but I guess that comes with being old and disabled. Gone are the days of pleasantness and understanding, I sincerely hope this affliction never affects any one posting a pompous response to my query. I will know better next time, but there will not be a next time, so I will not need to given you any ammunition.

I do hope you never encounter such problems when my ailments finally 'hit' you and you think back to my request for help.
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Old Dec 24, 18, 2:55 pm
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another good option is to call up Virgin and have them put you on a WAMOS flight back home.
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Old Dec 25, 18, 8:19 am
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The U.S. Air Carrier Access Act also applies to foreign carriers departing the U.S. That might not guarantee your 'normal' seats but it will get you a door level bulkhead or moveable armrest aisle seat - even if they have to move somebody with a reserved seat.
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Old Dec 25, 18, 12:07 pm
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Hopefully OP made it out of MCO long ago. But, because this is a public board and issues related to disabilities do occur, the following information may be helpful. Pretty much every carrier has a "desk" which handles special assistance and regularly handles requests such as OP's. Both EC 261/2004 and the ACCA have roughly similar requirements and both would require VS to accommodate a reasonable requirement, particularly when it simply involves shifting passengers around within a cabin.

In the case of VS, it has an entire section on its website and specifically advises passengers with seat assignment issues related to a disability to call a trained team. It is entirely possible that OP simply booked the seats he booked online, through customer service, or a TA. That would leave the seats "unflagged" and subject to reassignment.

To discuss the seats that could be best for you, give our Special Assistance team a call on 0344 412 4455 and they’ll do their best to give you the seat you need.

Further, if VS Special Assistance refused to help, every carrier operating out of the US is required to have a Complaint Resolution Officer (CRO) available at all times when there are terminal or flight operations. This need not be someone physically located at MCO and might well be someone located elsewhere and available by phone. But, a CRO must have training and the authority to order changes such as to seating. DOT rules require that one have exhausted the local option, so if at the check-in counter, one explains that one has a disability which makes one unable to walk up stairs, and is refused, simply ask the staff member to get a CRO on the line. More likely than not, that will generate a local manager and a seat reassignment for something as simple and standard as this.
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Old Dec 25, 18, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Hopefully OP made it out of MCO long ago. But, because this is a public board and issues related to disabilities do occur, the following information may be helpful. Pretty much every carrier has a "desk" which handles special assistance and regularly handles requests such as OP's. Both EC 261/2004 and the ACCA have roughly similar requirements and both would require VS to accommodate a reasonable requirement, particularly when it simply involves shifting passengers around within a cabin.

In the case of VS, it has an entire section on its website and specifically advises passengers with seat assignment issues related to a disability to call a trained team. It is entirely possible that OP simply booked the seats he booked online, through customer service, or a TA. That would leave the seats "unflagged" and subject to reassignment.

To discuss the seats that could be best for you, give our Special Assistance team a call on 0344 412 4455 and they’ll do their best to give you the seat you need.

Further, if VS Special Assistance refused to help, every carrier operating out of the US is required to have a Complaint Resolution Officer (CRO) available at all times when there are terminal or flight operations. This need not be someone physically located at MCO and might well be someone located elsewhere and available by phone. But, a CRO must have training and the authority to order changes such as to seating. DOT rules require that one have exhausted the local option, so if at the check-in counter, one explains that one has a disability which makes one unable to walk up stairs, and is refused, simply ask the staff member to get a CRO on the line. More likely than not, that will generate a local manager and a seat reassignment for something as simple and standard as this.
ok great, WFBF
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Old Jan 30, 19, 10:18 am
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Victor, is that you ?
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