Priya says Virgin Atlantic sprung a hidden $220 fee on her for a flight to India late last year. She paid the fee but started fighting for a refund immediately.
Virgin told her it sent the refund, but Priya says she hasn’t received it and the airline is no longer responding to her. She writes:
So I have a problem: I took a Virgin Atlantic flight in December 2008 to India and had to get an earlier flight than the one scheduled because of an emergency. When I had to purchase the amended ticket, Virgin Atlantic said on the phone I would be charged 100 pounds (150 USDs) to change my flight. I was fine with paying that. When I got to the counter at the airport to pay, they said that it was 100 pounds + 220 USD. I said I would pay but only if I could fight it because it wasn’t fair that I wasn’t informed of the charge. They said to go ahead and do it. I had no choice but to take the flight. Here is where the problem comes about.
When I got back, I went through Virgin Atlantic and their crappy customer service: this is what it is – an e-mail which you ONLY get response MAYBE every 21 days. After not hearing from them for a while I went through to my bank. Virigin Atlantic gave them a copy of my 100 pound receipt and NOT the 220 dollars so my bank didn’t help. After I was told by someone else they would pay me via e-mail (see attached image), then after a week, I was told I wasn’t.
Here is the timeline:
December — Flight was taken, charge was made.
January — sent message via their online e-mail.
Februrary — after not hearing back for 4 e-mails I went through my bank.
March — bank says that Virgin Atlantic doesnt have to pay and shows me their merchant copy of the charge I agreed to.
April — said they would pay but wouldn’t.
May — said they wouldn’t.
June — said they would pay.
July — said they sent me my money.
August — never got and they claimed I have received it.
September — they tell me they refunded another account and I am supposed to jump for joy.
October — I tell them to send it to me but they said I have received it.
November — I reach out to you.
I mean, what company, especially Virgin Atlantic, that claims to care so much about their customers, has Twitter accounts but doesn’t provide NORMAL customer service? I think there is something seriously shady going on with major corporations willing to become friendly with consumers in the online space but yet abdicate their responsibility to regular customers just because some of them don’t have the power to be online to make a public statement. Well I am online and just sick of their fakeness. Only after I told they I would expose them online did they care, did they notice. And now, they claimed they have paid when they have not.
It’s been 1 year since my flight. Where is my refund money?!
It seems as though Priya had to take the flight and was willing to pay anything to lock it down, but her plight serves as a warning that any time you knowingly give a company more money than you should, it will be tough to get it back.
How have you handled a refund conflict with an airline?
(Photo: So Cal Metro)