Distraught pensioner correctly 'offloaded' by Virgin

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BAM1748

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A supervisor flexing the I'm in control muscle, anyone saying something to me when I walk away I just ignore. Why pour petrol on a match.


As others have said, either there is more to it or this lady should have been left to fly.

Matt
 

mannej

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The article is extremely one sided. Reading between the lines, there is more to the story then what is being told.

She had raised her concern with staff at the departure gate and was asked to wait for a supervisor while other passengers boarded.
"I told the attendant not to worry about my complaint. I'll just get on board the plane and we could forget all about it," she said.
But the woman had been directed to sit and wait. Finally a supervisor had said the error with the boarding pass was not Virgin's fault as the passes were issued by a separate organisation. It seemed other passengers had been subject to the same error.
"I did notice as I was talking to the supervisor other Virgin staff were herding other passengers onto the plane."
She had recognised them as having also been at the wrong departure gate.
"The supervisor ended the conversation by walking away. It was an incredibly frustrating situation to be in. In addition, I was exhausted; I'd travelled many kilometres in two days to bury my mother. I was distraught and tired. No allowances had been made for extenuating circumstances like this."

The thing that I find interesting is the fact that there were other Pax at the wrong gate, yet they were let onto the plane. It also mentioned that she raised concerns. I am going to take a stab (reading between the lines) that she did a bit more than raise her concern. Why would they get let onto the plane, yet not her?

I agree the fact that she may have been stressed etc, but name calling, especially at an airport isn't the way.

Is it harsh that she was offloaded? Who knows, we don't have both sides of the story. Just because the staff get trained to deal with difficult customers, it does not give us free license to call them names and fob it off as frustration etc.

It is hard to say if Virgin handled it appropriately considering that we only have the version of events from the disgruntled Pax.
 
A

Andrew MacDonald

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I have to say that I have had experiences with JetStar and Virgin staff that have left my blood boiling. I work in a people / executive client engagement role for a major corporation and usually do very well working with service professionals - I start off with and maintain affable and clear communication in my interactions. However there is nothing quite as off putting as the opinionated control freaks/ chip on the shoulder specialists you come across from time to time.

I have had someone at JetStar try to refuse to check me in - with 10 minutes to go before check in closed for an international flight and a Virgin staff member try to tell me that I needed to sit in a Y seat even though I was booked in Y+ (before they introduced business) as they had *staff* (a pilot) moving from location to location who was supposed to sit in Y+... the mind boggles on the stuff they try to pull.

If you were emotional, didn't travel a lot and maybe not from an empowered socio-economic group I would be suspicious that this lady was getting the raw end of the deal and the "explanations" were being delivered in a particularly poor manner and with attitude...

The lesson here - don't mess with these turkeys unless you have the firepower to make their life very difficult..
 

mannej

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I have to say that I have had experiences with JetStar and Virgin staff that have left my blood boiling. I work in a people / executive client engagement role for a major corporation and usually do very well working with service professionals - I start off with and maintain affable and clear communication in my interactions. However there is nothing quite as off putting as the opinionated control freaks/ chip on the shoulder specialists you come across from time to time.

I have had someone at JetStar try to refuse to check me in - with 10 minutes to go before check in closed for an international flight and a Virgin staff member try to tell me that I needed to sit in a Y seat even though I was booked in Y+ (before they introduced business) as they had *staff* (a pilot) moving from location to location who was supposed to sit in Y+... the mind boggles on the stuff they try to pull.

If you were emotional, didn't travel a lot and maybe not from an empowered socio-economic group I would be suspicious that this lady was getting the raw end of the deal and the "explanations" were being delivered in a particularly poor manner and with attitude...

The lesson here - don't mess with these turkeys unless you have the firepower to make their life very difficult..

Airlines are able to downgrade you due to operational requirements. If that is the case, then the passenger should be entitled to compensation.
 

Joshua

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If you were emotional, didn't travel a lot and maybe not from an empowered socio-economic group I would be suspicious that this lady was getting the raw end of the deal and the "explanations" were being delivered in a particularly poor manner and with attitude...

I'd actually agree with this sentiment. Obviously the article is one sided. But consider 'who started it', she wasn't drunk or rampant so they screwed her over in some respect and lacked the ability to deal with it. I would like to hear how much of a conversation was had between the ground staff and cabin crew before making the decision and whether the pax was warned. For it to escalate to that suggests both an individual severely struggling with the situation and professionals failing miserably at their (albeit difficult) job. I also think some of the other comments display how difficulty it is for most on this board to relate. I can however relate to some extremely negative experiences and problems between contractor and DJ staff, so that is my bias.

I would imagine most Australian staff would struggle with some pax from Asia, the way I've seen other airlines 'pacify' their customers.
 

mannej

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I'd actually agree with this sentiment. Obviously the article is one sided. But consider 'who started it', she wasn't drunk or rampant so they screwed her over in some respect and lacked the ability to deal with it. I would like to hear how much of a conversation was had between the ground staff and cabin crew before making the decision and whether the pax was warned. For it to escalate to that suggests both an individual severely struggling with the situation and professionals failing miserably at their (albeit difficult) job. I also think some of the other comments display how difficulty it is for most on this board to relate. I can however relate to some extremely negative experiences and problems between contractor and DJ staff, so that is my bias.

I would imagine most Australian staff would struggle with some pax from Asia, the way I've seen other airlines 'pacify' their customers.

What I don't get, is why the other pax that went to the wrong gate had no issues getting on the flight, yet she was "singled" out.

The article is extremely one sided.
 

medhead

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What I don't get, is why the other pax that went to the wrong gate had no issues getting on the flight, yet she was "singled" out.

The article is extremely one sided.

Read again. She got on the flight and was then kicked off. So she had no trouble getting on the flight at all. The [-]gate agent[/-] supervisor then decided to take it to another level and remove the passenger.
 
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mannej

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Read again. She got on the flight and was then kicked off. So she had no trouble getting on the flight at all. The gate agent then decided to take it to another level and remove the passenger.

Point taken.

Begs the question what happened to get it to that level.

One side of the story says nothing. We don't have the other side of the story, so who knows if she was still carrying on like a pork chop for it to get to that level.
 
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medhead

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Point taken.

Begs the question what happened to get it to that level.

One side of the story says nothing. We don't have the other side of the story, so who knows if she was still carrying on like a pork chop for it to get to that level.

Who knows. And my memory was lacking as well the story actually says the supervisor removed her. I was thinking it strange for a gate agent to "chase" a passenger onto the plane. But a supervisor could be the CSS, which kills my assumption.
 
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TonyD

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[Finally a supervisor had said the error with the boarding pass was not Virgin's fault as the passes were issued by a separate organisation.]


I agree there was probably much more to it - but i find this part - unacceptable yet so typical of som many "suppliers" these days. YES it is YOUR fault Virgin!! That seperate orgainisation works for you and you as as responsible for them and their actions as Granny was for saying cough.
 

whatmeworry

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At the end of the day it is Virgin's fault as it is their supply chain, and they cannot misplace blame because they choose to use a 3rd party. At the end of the day the buck stops with them!
 

mannej

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At the end of the day it is Virgin's fault as it is their supply chain, and they cannot misplace blame because they choose to use a 3rd party. At the end of the day the buck stops with them!

The original mistake may lay at the hands of Virgin, however there were others who had been issued boarding passes with the same mistake, yet they still were carried.

You can't blame Virgin for her behaviour, that is where she needs to take some responsibility.
 

I hate Alan

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I reckon she was just frustrated that her retro claims request for points hadn't come through?
 

TonyD

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You can't blame Virgin for her behaviour, that is where she needs to take some responsibility.

Whatmeworry & I cannot possibly be accussed of blaming Virgin for her behaviour. Simply commenting seperatly on a different aspect of the topic. That is Virgin needs to take FULL responsability for their staff AND contractors! There are too many in the world these days who try anything to deflect to or blame others. ( same as Granny was trying to blame her mums funeral - not on!)
 
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