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Follow twitter.com/VirginAmerica for a super-duper fast way to get fare-drop info. [via Xeni Jardin]
Dear Virgin America:
I love you. Please fly to Boston and Chicago. No, please fly everywhere.
Disgruntled former United flyer.
I stopped flying Virgin after they charged me $40 to change my $49 ticket.
That and they charge to $3 book through a real person, and $15 to sit by the emergency exit.
@DarkForest: A $40 change fee is SUPER CHEAP. No other airline has a fee that low. (Except SW and their no-fee.) The reason they can have $49 tickets is because of a lower overhead. A lower overhead is achieved by having people book online. And ALL airlines charge money to book through a real person and, again, no other airline has a fee that low. And, again, $15.00 to sit in the emergency exit row is a freakin’ bargain. Look at what other airlines are charging. It’s NOT $15.00, that’s for sure. If you don’t want to pay it, then there’s an easy solution: sit in a regular seat. Even if you paid every fee that you mentioned, that still makes the total ticket cost under $110. Which is a BARGAIN by today’s prices. If you’ “stopped flying Virgin” because of that experience, I’d like to know who you are going to fly on instead?…
@Fly Girl: Ditto. I used to love JetBlue because their change fee was only $25. Then it went to $50. Now it’s $100. Because JetBlue’s tickets are cheaper to begin with, changing is now too expensive. Sigh. I knew it wasn’t going to last.
Now, we return you to your topic . ..
@Mr_Human: I know it’s not going to last forever (who can sustain these prices and this level of service?!) but at least for the time being, Virgin is my most favoritist airlines. I fly a lot, and on a lot of different airlines, and every Virgin experience I’ve had has been amazing. Even when they’ve messed up (been a little late, didn’t have functioning entertainment centers, etc…) they went above and beyond to repair the situation. (Free snacks on board, movie vouchers, etc…) And every Virgin agent I’ve talked to/worked with has been so.damn.nice. Seriously.
@Fly Girl: Southwest. All the above fees mentioned are free.
@DarkForest: Southwest isn’t cheap, not anymore. In fact, they’re rarely even competitive. And while they don’t charge a change fee, if there’s a fare difference, you have to pay that. Often, the fare difference on WN will be higher than the standard change fee. Plus, there’s an inherant risk in flying WN– if the flight is delayed or cancelled, no one else will accept WN’s tickets and WN won’t/can’t FIM you onto another airline.
Personally, I refuse to fly WN. I find it trashy. (I know, I know– everyone on Consumerist is a WN fanboy and I’m totally going to get flamed for saying it. But it’s true– it’s IS trashy!) I am NOT a fan of the cattle call, they skimp on their maintenance, and the majority of the people that fly WN are the once-a-year travelers that I cannot STAND. No thank you. I don’t know a single FREQUENT flier that will use WN. In the industry, people say, “You know why their call letters are WN? Way Nasty.” So, ya… I’ll stick with Virgin thankyouverymuch.
@Fly Girl: I frequently fly the SFO – LAX leg with occasional trips to NYC. Whenever I have booked, SW has been cheaper or the same price as VA. Plus, in the event of a canceled flight I never have to wait more than a couple of hours, since SW has almost hourly flights. SW has also fixed the “cattle call” — you get a number and board the flight accordingly.
If you’re constantly flying transcontinental I can understand why you would prefer VA, what with the new seats, entertainment center and the purple mood lighting. However, you’re also paying for those amenities in the form of the abundance of extra fees that they just LOVE to tack on. Virgin also has a chronic delayed departure issue (at least in SFO where they got stuck in the Intl. terminal).
I don’t deny that VA has some swank planes and some nifty features, but when it comes down to it I just don’t much like their business model.
Glad to see so many Consumerist readers are fans of our airline! Mention the code “Consumerist2-4-1″ to a crew member and they’ll give you two adult beverages with the purchase of one on RED.
Please educate yourself.
It’s VX !
1) Any airline will charge you the difference in fare IN ADDITION to the change fee…in many cases, the entire fare on WN is cheaper than a fare + luggage on a mainline
2) While WN doesn’t interline with other airlines, if a long delay or cancellation is caused by something that’s their fault, all stations have company credit cards which they will use to rebook you on another airline
3) WN isn’t trashy…sorry you feel that way. Despite the Leno jokes, they predominantly fly business traffic – due to the high frequencies of flights, awesome loyalty program, great on-time performance, friendly service, and low fares
4) They don’t skimp on maintenance…the one incident was a paperwork issue. The ONLY fatality in WN’s 30+ year history was a kid that was in a car that an aircraft ran into due to an inaccurate runway traction report by MDW ATC
5) See #3, but most people that fly WN aren’t the once a year travelers that you “cannot stand.”
6) You may not know many FF’s that fly WN, but they have plenty, due to no blackout dates, very few capacity controls, no fees for changing a Rapid Rewards ticket, or any fees for booking the night before, and the fact that you only need 8 r/ts for a ticket – or, if you’re between 18-24, you only need 3 round trips for a free one. Also, after 50 r/ts in a year, you get UNLIMITED companion travel for the next year, no restrictions, no limits…you can be on the cheapest ticket and you still have companion privileges
7) Not sure what your position in “the industry” is, but I’ve never heard Southwest referred to as “Way Nasty” – most industry professionals don’t speak like valley girls, and they look up to Southwest
I can’t believe the extent to which you got me to defend a competitor, but blatant lies do that to me I guess..
@Fly Girl: Forgot to mention that many airlines (Like NW) do not charge for seats in the emergency exit row but instead give them to frequent fliers (Or just people who have the frequent flier cards).
Thanks to Virgin America’s Fare Drop alerts, I just bought my Thanksgiving tickets for $138 per person ROUND TRIP… Two days ago, I was ready to pay $300 a person for the same tickets. Hooray Virgin America! I love you!!!
A virgin American twitter? How rare is that these days?
i’m having problems adding their twitter feed to Google Reader. hmmm…
nevertheless, this is a great feed to subscribe to.
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