Although both sides were playing coy as recently as a week ago, those with their eyes on the sky business saw this Delta Air Lines/Virgin Atlantic hook-up coming. And as of this morning, they’ve done it — those crazy kids have done it: Delta purchased a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic for a cool $360 million, creating a new joint venture between the two companies. [More]
Singapore Airlines is in the mood to shed a little weight in the form of its 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic, and it seems Delta Air Lines is among the suitors lining up to try to talk the company into handing that nice little slice over. Whoever gets this hunk of the company will gain access to some pretty sweet slots at London’s Heathrow airport. [More]
If you are fan of the relatively chatter-free ambiance of the airplane cabin, this will probably not come as good news. On the other hand, if you’re someone who finds the whole “no cell phone calls from the plane” thing tiresome, this may brighten your day a bit. [More]
A Dead Cow & The 5 Other Most Bizarre Things Passengers Have Tried To Check Onto A Virgin Atlantic Flight
The folks over that the Virgin Atlantic blog recently sent out a request to the staffers working the check-in desks at the airline’s various global destinations. They wanted to know about the strangest items that passengers actually tried to have stowed in the cargo hold, and they compiled a list of bizarre baggage that rivals this one. [More]
The Justice Department has fined 21 airlines in a massive global price-fixing scheme. British Airways, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic were among the airlines indicted. Even four executives have gone to jail. What did they do? The JD charges that the airlines colluded to artificially inflate fuel surcharges for passengers industry-wide, as well as cargo surcharges. The case probably wouldn’t have been broken if Luthansa and Virgin Atlantic hadn’t come forward and confessed under the Justice Department’s amnesty program that provides leniency for finking. In an interesting turn, the scheme was so codified that various airlines had entire committees and sub-committees devoted to managing it. [More]
For the 20th year in a row, the people at Zagat have done a survey of passengers on the major domestic and international airlines. And by the looks of it, travelers are much more pleased with the likes of Southwest, JetBlue and Virgin than they are the old-timers like United, Delta and American. [More]
You can’t expect every person to be up to date on the latest news cycle, especially not on a global scale. But there’s a Virgin Atlantic Airlines CSR who not only somehow missed that Pakistan just suffered its worst flooding in 80 years, but who kept insisting the Elisa, a customer trying to make her way back home to NYC, prove that the flooding happened. Elisa says the CSR “insisted that there were no indications in her notes that a flood had happened in Pakistan,” and that Elisa would have to prove the news or pay $933 for a “service change fee” to get back home. [More]
Passengers were kept aboard a hot plane without food, water or air conditioning Tuesday night after their flight from London to Newark was diverted to an airport in Connecticut. The airplane landed near Hartford at 8:20pm, but the passengers were not bused to Newark until 1am. According to the AP, at least three passengers fainted and were treated by paramedics. [More]
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.
You’re entitled to a small refund if you bought tickets for a long haul flight on British Airways or Virgin Atlantic between August 11, 2004 and March 23, 2006. The amount is $7-$34 per flight taken. This is the settlement in a class action lawsuit contending the two airlines colluded to fix the price of fuel surcharges. More info at airpassengerrefund.com. [via RickSeaney]
Here are email addresses you can use to launch an executive email carpet bomb against Virgin Atlantic Airlines. Good for when you’ve made multiple attempts to resolve an issue with regular customer service but for some reason they just can’t get it right.
Virgin Atlantic and British Airways admitted last week to the Department of Justice that they colluded to levy excess fuel surcharges ranging from $10 to $100. Despite the admission, both airlines claim that passengers weren’t really overcharged.
Virgin Atlantic Charges $110 For Seat Upgrade, Gives Same Seat To Another Passenger For Free, Doesn't Care
UPDATE: Looks like we bungled this one. We asked travel expert Mark Ashley for clarification and he said:
Sir Richard was seen briefly in the original film, passing through an airport security scanner, but can only be seen from behind in the new edit.
The Department of Transportation has dropped its objections to Richard Branson’s latest venture, Virgin America. The domestic version of Virgin Atlantic was blocked in December over concerns the airline was a tad too British. Federal law requires U.S. ownership and control of domestic airlines. Branson won approval by yielding the CEO slot to an American, former Delta executive Fred Reid, and diluting Virgin Atlantic’s presence on the board.
Virgin America, based in Burlingame, Calif., near San Francisco’s airport, said yesterday that it was pleased by the ruling and hoped to start flights between San Francisco and Kennedy International Airport in New York by midsummer. Within nine months of beginning flights, it said it planned to serve Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and Washington.
Finally, competition between New York and San Francisco. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
This is Virgin America’s vision of budget, yes, budget, air travel. And you can’t go on it.
Virgin Atlantic becomes the latest airline to limit laptop use on board, thanks to the threat of exploding batteries. Qantas and Korean Air already have imposed restrictions.