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a virgin sacrifice
I love Virgin America. It’s my airline of choice. If I have any say in the matter, I take them every time. If they don’t fly to a city, I often don’t fly to that city. Best airline experience in the.....
Alberto Colombo's profile photoM.G. Siegler's profile photoKevin Fox's profile photoChris Atkinson's profile photo
going forward, they shud share the pilots contact no, so that we can confirm with him/her on the flight status.
Sorry but for once i'm with VA on this one. At every stage of the booking process you are told to be checked-in a minimum of 30-40 mins before the scheduled departure time. Delays are never cast in stone, they shift, and the airline needs to be prepared for that i.e. passengers checked-in and at the gate. Yeah their system is borked, and it's worthy of a rant about that, but to try and blag them for a free flight when you've not followed SOP is a bit rich IMO.
@ ^^ I'm not sure I agree with this argument. VA may add the "30-40min before scheduled departure" line as a overarching disclaimer. Then what is point of providing ETA/ETD? What if the flight is delayed by 6 hrs. Would you still go to the airport 30-40min before scheduled departure, just in case?
Hey Prabhu, yes I would because ETA = Estimated Time of Departure
I disagree with Howard. If the board says delayed as the flight is taking off on time that is F... up! I did not see where he asked for free flight, where did he ask for free?
I know ETA is estimated. But to expect a plane load of people to come to the airport to confirm a delay does not make any sense. Then why give an estimate? All you need to say is "DELAYED" and be done with that.
I know i'm the devils advocate here. I can't believe it myself!!!

However, the "guidelines" that Prabhu mentioned are not simply guidelines, they are Terms and Conditions that you confirm you will follow.

Rules are rules and whether right or wrong, you have to play by them.
Any seasoned traveler will have experienced the "phenomenon" of the boards being wrong. Delays, by their very nature, are unpredictable. Following your arguments through, if a flight is announced as delayed for 3 hours, but suddenly a slot appears 2 hours earlier than that - would you, as a passenger who's played by the rules, prefer the airline to take that slot, or wait? I know which I would prefer!

That said, it is high time the boards were more reactive in these situations, it is an issue in the airline industry as a whole, not just VA. Often it's not the airlines fault - it is the airports.

As for the "free flight", sorry +Gary Gill I got the impression that MG was expecting to be placed on the next flight FoC, apologies to him if I misinterpreted that.
Agree with the rant. You relied on something provided in multiple sources to your detriment. I'm sure VA will give you a refund and you probably won't even have to fight very hard for it, but it's pretty bullshit when they don't acknowledge the fuck up like that.
Airlines admonish passengers to check online and contact the airline to see if their flight is indeed delayed. They do this so as not to have logjams of people at the airports. For Virgin America to consistently note via THEIR system (online/mobile messaging) and THEIR departure board that a flight is delayed and then have a customer show up only to learn that the delay was rectified and he cannot get on the plane is damning.
I'd be all up for flexi-check in dependent on actual, rather than scheduled, departure.. but there currently isn't a system in place for this - never has been.

It's rightly assumed by the airline (because you agreed to the T&Cs) that all passengers check-in on time - regardless of what TripIT, FlightStats or even the airport boards are saying. A delay, whether accurately reported or not, doesn't ever give you the right to change your check-in time. Check-in is the one and only thing that is cast in stone. There's a bloody good reason for this too... in case the delay is shorter than expected so that all passengers can be ready at the gate.

It could be down to mechanics, staffing - I've even been delayed because the catering service hadn't provided food & beverages... but an exact time for resolution of the issue is nigh on impossible to predict. The boards are a means of providing the best information they can - and yes, they can be wrong / flaky, which is the very reason why you are supposed to be checked-in and waiting at the gate for the latest info. Kinda makes sense if you actually think about it.

Also, as far as I know, there is only ever one source of this information, and it's not the individual airlines, it's the operator of the airport. Therefore I feel that MG may be railing against the wrong people here.

If you want to be upset, be upset that there isn't a better solution generally for this.

Finally, I'm sure the 100 or so other passengers were happy with the service of VA yesterday.
Airlines. Enough said.

Seriously, it is rare that I have an outstanding experience with anyone other than Southwest these days. I realize that not everyone wants to ride in the air equivalent of a mass transit system, but they treat me pretty well before and during the flight.

With that, I suspect that a lot of airlines are running on archaic systems that are just nightmares waiting to happen, your situation as a prime example. I will give Virgin this, they have earned your respect through execution on the core competency of any airline - getting a plane in the air, providing a high level of service during the trip, and landing the plane safely. Now they just need to work on the "backend" element and they will be pretty solid.

If you're going to get stuck somewhere though, I can think of worse places than Seattle. Okay, well the drive to Sea-Tac and back isn't necessarily cool, but it looks like you found a spot with good beer if your Instagram feed is any indication.

Anyhow, good post on a situation that impacted more than a few people from the looks of it.
I've got to go with Virgin (and every other airline) on this one. Given that there are many reasons a flight may be delayed (weather, equipment) that can simply vanish, negating the delay, the responsible thing is for the airline to give their best estimate of departure, while still telling people (as Virgin and other airlines do) to be there and ready for the scheduled departure time. They say it so often that it gets thrown away as noise, until a person gets burned by not following this guidance.

There are a million reasons why it's important to inform passengers that a flight may be delayed 4 hours. Switching to another flight or changing connecting flight arrangements are two biggies. It should go without saying that a flight might leave earlier than the delay, and it's crazy to think that the airline should hold the plane and all the other passengers up for a couple hours if the delay is shortened, just for the sake of folks who checked for the delay and decided to spend a bit more time at home or hotel a chance to make it to the airport in time for the delayed departure estimate. Not to mention the people on the following flight that plane is due to make, and the flight after that.

In short, if you disagree with this position, tell me what behavior you would prefer (other than 'make planes never be late') that's fair both to the passenger who has a connection to make and the passenger who wants to spend as little time sitting in an airport as possible.
+Kevin Fox sure but the system should have been updated when the delay was lifted and simply wasn't. it never was. virgin has already admitted the mistake and apologized and issued the refunds, etc.
What happened in the end with this? Did it get resolved?
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