Dear Virgin Australia,
I don’t know what is about Virgin Australia, but I’ve always held them in higher esteem than other competitor airlines such as Jetstar and Tiger Airways. It must be because I’ve always admired their cheeky brand and have a crush (purely professional of course!) on their founder, Sir Richard Branson.
However, I can now tell you that this love affair is definitely over and that I’m moving on.
It’s not me, it’s you!
On Thursday 25th of July, my fiancé and I were getting ready for sleep as we were looking forward to catching our early flight to Nadi, Fiji. At 10.41pm we received a text message from Virgin Australia (keep in mind our flight was leaving at 9.30am the next morning). The text message told us to “Call Virgin Australia regarding our flight”, so of course we did.
After being placed on hold for approximately 10-15 minutes (while freaking out at the same time), we were finally put through to a Virgin Australia Consultant. I have never spoken to such an unfriendly customer service representative in my life. Despite telling this staff member that we needed to be on that flight to attend a wedding on Saturday, we were told that there was nothing they could do. No offer to put us on another flight or provide a refund. Instead they said they can put our money into a Virgin Australia travel bank which we must use within 12 months.
Now, when it comes to travelling, I like to go on my own terms. I found this ‘solution’ by Virgin Australia utterly atrocious. As we were extremely stressed out we agreed to the terms. We then tried to find another flight. To our relief we found a Jetstar flight that was leaving at 6am on Friday 26th of July. The fight although dearer, at least got us to Fiji so we could attend the wedding.
As the flight was leaving at 6am in the morning, we had to organize for a cab to pick us up at 3am. As much as my family love me, there was no way they were going to drive me at 3am. So there went another $106.
Throughout our relationship, I have spent various amounts of money trying to ensure our relationship thrived. In this instance alone I had spent $1187.56 on return flights. Taking into consideration our out of pocket costs of $380.48, your airline has cost me $1568.84. Is this anyway to treat a customer?
- Virgin Australia airline tickets (MDXJOP): $593.78
- Taxi fare: $106
- Jetstar tickets $868.26
Find out what it means to me
I am not an overly demanding consumer, all I want is what any customer wants and that’s to be treated with respect. So if you want me back, show me that you care and want me to fly with you again. If you don’t, I will move on to another airline (one is wooing me at the moment).
The least you can do is provide a full refund that covers my out of pocket expenses.
Your ex, Julia Makin (aka Cents and Sensibility)
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.