I had awful service from Virgin America recently. A flight cancellation, a software system disaster, and many mistakes from agents on the ground all worked together to make a truly awful travel day. I like what Virgin is trying to do, but until they get their act together after their disastrous switch to a new reservation systems I suggest avoiding them.

On Nov 2 Ken and I had Main Cabin Select tickets from JFK to SFO. That morning I called and paid extra for first class upgrades (score!). Then two hours before departure, the flight was cancelled. The scene at JFK was chaos because Virgin has just that week changed its online reservation system and it wasn't working. The staff didn't know how to use it, the system didn't work, customers were sitting on the floor waiting for things to get straightened out.

Rebooking us was beyond the JFK staff's ability to cope. The nice woman at the desk kept saying "we have this flight, do you want it?" and then spending ten minutes trying to book it, only to find some other agent had grabbed the seats while she was typing. She finally rebooked us on a different airline. Only they booked it wrong, twice, and I spent 90 stressful minutes going between terminals three times trying to get the flight booked correctly.

I will say the agent we talked to was pleasant and professional. She just was unequipped to make their own software work. And then they were so stressed and rushed they kept screwing up the booking on a different airline. Poor service is de rigeur for airlines but Virgin America claims to be something different. Sadly it wasn't last month.

  2011-12-05 16:35 Z