Thursday, 2 October 2014

Virgin Holidays, Virgin Atlantic & Virgin America, My experience | travel


Almost exactly a year ago me and my best friend Sally decided to take the plunge and book out first big trip together. I had travelled a lot throughout Europe before and always booked everything separately and even on trips to America before, however I had never flown to one location and out home from another before and looking online it looked like it was going to cost way more. This is what made us decide to look into the option of using an agent to book all our flights for us so we had one ticket and everything was done.


When we went into the travel agent we spoke about where we were going and what we wanted to do  whilst we were there, after various sales pitches we were given the price for all of our flights and a car hire with insurance and it was way lower than I could figure out from doing it separately, just a little back ground as to why we decided to use Virgin Holidays. 


Virgin Holiday.

Pros:
+ We were able to get a better deal on the cost of flights that if we booked individually online.
+ Our car hire included platinum insurance for under 25's included and we go to skip the line when we picked it up which is amazing if you know car hire waits.
+ We booked everything under one 'ticket' on the same day and were good to go.

Cons:
+ Although they operate under the Virgin name they are separate to the airlines and communication is really poor.
+ They seem to give mixed messages as to the practises of the airline depending on who you speak to, again really poor communication between companies and they are not apologetic about this.
+ They will try and sell you extras so just be careful of this, go in knowing you do or don't want certain things.

Overall, I think they are a weaker link in the Virgin brand, it was useful to have it all under one booking once travelling but this made certain arrangements very difficult before hand and I was let down having chose Virgin purposefully for service.  I would probably try and do it myself in the future and do more research into prices.


Virgin Atlantic.

Pros:

+ Reliable Airline
+ Good Safety Rating
+ Food & Drink Included
+ Clean, well kept Planes
+ Easy Online Check In
+ In experience with UK staff, they were friendly, helpful and caring
+ Good care for nervous flyers
+ Baggage was not lost
+ Good Baggage allowance for both checked baggage and carry on
+ Nice meal options
+ Great inflight entertainment
+ Amazing friendly, experienced Pilots, a special mention to Mike out Vegas - London Pilot who sat and spoke with is for about 20 minutes

Cons:
+ Poor communication with Virgin Holidays and Virgin America regarding requirements
+ American Ground staff were very poor even leading to complications during my flight which the air staff then had to deal with in flight
+ Lack of continuity throughout the company, the company is really let down by head office and in our experience American ground staff, even though air staff were brilliant 

Virgin America.

Pros:
+ Meals and drinks included even on short haul
+ Entertainment even on short haul
+ Great in air staff
+ Relaxing plane decor
+ Reliable service
+ Comfortable seats
+ Easy online check in

Cons:
+ Poor ground staff
+ Over packed cabin
+ Bad leg room
+ Poor office staff
+ Bad communication between airline regarding special requirements 

I love Virgin and have travelled with them on every flight I've ever taken to America, which has been about 30 flights in my life so far but this summer I was saddened to see certain parts of the company put the amazing hard work and professionalism of the Atlantic in air staff at risk of bad reviews. They're the ones holding it together and the only part of the traditional Virgin experience left.

I would still recommend them as the air staff are great and make for enjoyable, safe and comfortable flights but make sure you check all your bookings before hand. 

Until next time, 

Love&Kisses,

Mel

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