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Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

London, United...
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Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

I've encountered real obstruction and arrogance from Virgin. I was booked premium economy to Tokyo. The dates were critical as I was to speak at an international conference. They've just cancelled the flight 'for operational reasons' and told me I can either cancel and have a full refund - not possible for me - or travel the day before - and lose a day of my participation - or a day later - involving extra hotel night. I said would they pay for the extra hotel night? 'No'. Would they fly me on the third party flight they advertise on the correct day? Only economy class; there's no premium economy and they they won't upgrade me to business. I'd never had this experience but what it means is that a flight booking is a kind of entrapment. You can't change airline (I wouldn't have booked Virgin if I'd known that day there'd be no flight) because you have to pay the earth on another airline at this late stage. You can't cancel because you've a reason for your journey. So you incur loss as a direct result of their action. What should be done about this kind of response?

Liverpool, UK
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18,831 posts
34 reviews
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1. Re: Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

What should be done about this kind of response? - Unfortunately every airline can cancel flights but depending on how much notice they have given you (less or more than 14 days) prior to your original departure date then EU 261/2004 might apply.

Shoalhaven...
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2,807 posts
178 reviews
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2. Re: Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

Are you kidding? If the conference is so important to you, then just stay an extra night.

Then, if you are entitlted to compo, seek it later.

If not, then maybe your travel insurance covers this.

An extra day/night in Tokyo - I can think of much worse things

Loughborough...
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4,339 posts
33 reviews
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3. Re: Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

If the cancellation is notified to you less than 2 weeks before travel, lodge a claim under EC261/2004. If it's more than 2 weeks before travel be aware that despite the extra-chummy image Virgin Atlantic cultivate, they're exactly the same as all the other airlines, and will cancel flights if it suits them.

If the cancellation is less than 2 weeks, and the reroute they offered you involves you arriving more than four hours later than booked, or departing more than 2 hours earlier than booked, you can make a claim. If it's less than a week, these limits drop to 2 hours later or 1 hour earlier.

In either of these cases if you are involuntarily downgraded to economy, you're also entitled to a refund of 75% of the fare.

London, United...
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4. Re: Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

You ignore the issue I'm raising - which is that (as the other respondents note) I'm not 'entitlted' to anything. That's what I'm questioning. I don't think most people booking airline tickets realise that they are placing themselves entirely in the airline's hands. I didn't, and that's why I'm making the point.

London, United...
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27,178 posts
28 reviews
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5. Re: Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

I'm in the " are you kidding" group,

You can fly the same day in economy, you can fly a day earlier or a day later or have a full refund.

What do you want ,,that they should reinstate the flight for you or upgrade you to business, with no cost to you? ? Do you logically think all pax in premium economy on your cancelled flight could get that ? Or would that be just you because you are special?

Either fly a day later and claim on your insurance, take a refund and fly with a different airline or fly in economy for goodness sake.

Adelaide, Australia
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12,451 posts
36 reviews
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6. Re: Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

Yep +1 froggy.

Loughborough...
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4,339 posts
33 reviews
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7. Re: Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

Well anyone who spent more than 15 minutes looking at this forum before booking would know that airlines are for ever retiming flights or cancelling them altogether, so it wouldn't come as a surprise when that happened to them.

It doesn't stop it being annoying, inconvenient or personally disastrous, I agree.

There are all sorts of reasons, some quite acceptable (destination airport is in a war zone or has an infectious disease outbreak), through late delivery of the brand new aircraft to operate the flight, where the airline has no other suitable aircraft, to the less acceptable - they can find something more profitable to do with the plane.

London, UK
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1,772 posts
192 reviews
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8. Re: Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

+2 froggy. I think the OP's sense of entitlement has overridden their common sense. Virgin Atlantic is a business, not a public service and they have the right to change schedules and cancel services altogether if they want to.

London
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2,576 posts
73 reviews
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9. Re: Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

You should email Sir Richard himself, and request the use of his private jet.

I'm sure if you explain that you are unable to fly in anything less than premium economy, he will be more than willing to help you out.

Liverpool, UK
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18,831 posts
34 reviews
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10. Re: Virgin flight to Tokyo cancelled

"I don't think most people booking airline tickets realise that they are placing themselves entirely in the airline's hands."

I disagree with your conclusion - I think most people who book airline tickets or at least those who take the time to read the terms & conditions accept, but may not like, the fact that the airline has them in their clutches as far as schedule changes, cancellations or equipment changes are concerned.