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Virgin - Flight Cancellations

Melbourne, Australia
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Virgin - Flight Cancellations

Last weekends newspaper luckily ran an article mentioning Virgin would be cancelling all flights to and from Learmonth in 2014 - starting half way through our fully booked vacation.

After a week of speaking to multiple Virgin customer service operators who knew nothing of the cancellation, we have been refunded the cost of our return flight (ex credit card and booking fees).

The cost to book a new flight home with Qantas at this late stage is an additional $300. Who knows how much we might have saved if we had be able to book the flight earlier - prices are still rising.

If Virgin is not going to honour existing bookings, not going to work with other airlines to ensure passengers are catered for and not going to cover any passenger costs incurred as a direct result of their actions - not even ones that lay with Virgin, such as booking fees - then at very, very least do they not have a responsibility to advise travellers that their flights have been cancelled?

I've noticed that the time for the first flight has been pushed back an hour as well - why aren't they contacting passengers to ensure we're aware of these things?

Going forward we will be adding the cost of travel insurance onto any Virgin flights we book, so most likely we will be flying Qantas.

Loughborough...
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5,138 posts
34 reviews
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1. Re: Virgin - Flight Cancellations

First of all, was this flight booked directly with Virgin (Australia?) themselves, or through an agent?

Second, how far in the future is the flight that has been cancelled - you say 2014, which we're over half way through already - did you mean 2015, and what is the effective date of the cancellation?

If there are agents involved, on-line or otherwise, then any notification by the airline would go to them, not you.

If the Virgin call centre staff didn't know about the service ceasing the chances are that the newspaper report was an unauthorised leak. In other words the airline was working out the best way to deal with existing bookings before they went public on the news, so that they had an offer in place for each passenger, but someone jumped the gun before this was ready and before any notifications could be sent out.

With cancellations several months in the future it would be unusual to be offered alternative flights on a competitor airline, so if there are no flights on their own or partner airlines a refund is all you would be offered. Pretty much airline standard practice I'm afraid, and when Qantas cancel a route entirely do they transfer passengers to VA?

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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31,663 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: Virgin - Flight Cancellations

Are you really a hopeless virgin, or are you just signing up to post one rant?

All airlines cancel routes from time to time. If they have partners, or can find an airline to take on the "displaced" pax they do. Virgin ATLANTIC did this earlier this year when they ceased HKG-SYD, and Cathay Pacific agreed to take the displaced pax. But it doesn't always work out that way, in which case the SOP is a full refund.

Some countries/regions have laws governing minimum standards of care in these situations, notably the EU (EU261). In those that don't you're often at the mercy of what the airline offers. This could just as easily have been Qantas doing the same.

Melbourne, Australia
2 posts
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3. Re: Virgin - Flight Cancellations

I use the site often for info, rarely to post. Signing up is usually easier than figuring out old logins. Apologise if my disorganisation and fondness for a rant annoys. Yes, I'm upset. I had to spend half my weekend speaking to multiple customer service personnel who didn't really seem to understand or care about the problem.

The flight was booked directly through the Virgin website.

The flight route has been cancelled from the 13th of October 2014.

Assuming the route cancellation was leaked early and Virgin are off the hook for not providing a better option for those on cancelled flights, we were still not notified that our first flight time was changed.

Changes/cancellations can obviously create a myriad of problems for a passenger - not even being notified is ridiculous. Airlines should be legally responsible to contact customers and ensure they are aware.

London, United...
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4. Re: Virgin - Flight Cancellations

Hopeless virgin?

Seriously? That's your username?

5. Re: Virgin - Flight Cancellations

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