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Flight-change forced overnight stopovers with no assistance?

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juddles

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G´day everyone,
just have a bit of a question re a Virgin problem with a flight reschedule. (If this is not the correct fórum -please move)

Last year my mother-in-law booked a flight from Mackay to Nadi with Virgin. They were purchased as one-way tickets for her and her partner. The original booking included a short stopover in Brisbane as the following:

4th April MKY-BNE06:30-07:55, BNE-NAN 09:30-15:00

She has now been advised by Virgin that the flights have changed, with the new details:

3rd April MKY-BNE19:05-20:30
4th April BNE-NAN 08:25 – 13:55

They have changed a simple 1:35hr stopover, to a 13hr overnighter, due to them changing the second leg to an earlier time.

She is quite elderly and meek, and when she called them to ask about this, they told her Virgin would not provide accomodation. They suggested that she try to stay with friends or family! When she explained she has no family in Brisbane, she was told she should book a ¨cheap hotel near the airport¨ but that Virgin would not pay for that.

Apart from the gall of anyone mentioning ¨cheap hotels near Brisbane airport¨ (do they exist??), I am unsure that it is very fair for the airline to forcé this stopover without assisting with accomodation.

Is this standard process? Is she eligible for accomodation assistance?

Any advice greatly appreciated!
 

clazman

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When QF dropped Perth of the PER-HK route a few years ago, they changed our flight PER-SYD-HK with a 1/2 night stay.

QF never offered us accommodation or assistance

So I called and after speaking to them, I changed the PER-SYD flight to a different time and spent the day in Sydney being a tourist.

QF also gifted us IIRC about 26,000 points after the fact.

Have you spoken to the contact center to see if there any other flight options?
 

Mattg

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I have no idea what Virgin's policy is but if they think it's okay to turn a short stopover to an overnight transit, and not provide any assistance such as accommodation, then they need to get a new policy. I don't think this is acceptable.
 
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Does your Mum have travel insurance? If so, that should cover the accommodation (I think).

EDIT: There is a thread about these changes (which also talks of NAN so appears to not be an isolated incident). Here's the link
 
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markis10

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I have no idea what Virgin's policy is but if they think it's okay to turn a short stopover to an overnight transit, and not provide any assistance such as accommodation, then they need to get a new policy. I don't think this is acceptable.

By definition it's still a transit, not a stopover, just a longer one.
 

juddles

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thanks swanning.

And thanks markis10 - Any idea best way to search for this sort of thing in terms and conditions?
 

phat-dave

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When you mention one way bookings can you elaborate:

One PNR Mackay > Nadi and separate PNR return or individual tickets Mackay > Brisbane > Nadi.

I could only foresee them refusing if the latter otherwise it's extremely poor service (and scheduling).
 

juddles

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When you mention one way bookings can you elaborate:

One PNR Mackay > Nadi and separate PNR return or individual tickets Mackay > Brisbane > Nadi.

I could only foresee them refusing if the latter otherwise it's extremely poor service (and scheduling).
phat-dave, it was a single PNR, MKY-BNE-NAN. (They continue on from there to LAX on separate ticket)
 

RooFlyer

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Sadly there is this ...

"* Compensation does not apply if we have informed you of the cancellation 14 days or more before the scheduled date of departure "
Just a reminder to all that an airline's (or any merchant's) T&Cs do not over-ride consumer law (I'm not nay-saying your post, serfty). One assumes that the airline has tested their T&Cs under a third party 'fairness' type of test, but if I find something "bloody-well not right" then I don't accept T&Cs as a reason not to challenge. Even if a consumer advocate / regulator can't intervene in this case, it hopefully adds to a database or 'red flag' score and might help to get something like this situation addressed.
 
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bullerdude

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One could argue that the 14-day policy is not lawful in this circumstance as VA as effectively tried to limit consumer guarantees, most predominately in respect to consequential loss.

I would start simply by writing to velocity platinum and the guest experience office and expressing that the indicated flight changes and inclusion of an overnight transit aren't acceptable and request that act to remedy the situation.

See what they come back with, and at least you will have something else in writing.
 

anat0l

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Is the early flight gone?

If it is not, then I'd call Virgin and ask why your MIL was changed. There would seem little reason to do so and involuntary changes grant you a bit of a carte blanche to get flights fixed, especially by explaining the circumstances.

If the early flight is gone then you need to work on other options. Either go down the suggested pathways as mentioned about consumer bodies and paper trail, otherwise consider a refund and rebook on other services that would suit. Alternatively, call and renegotiate a new set of flights similar to what was originally booked.
 

markis10

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Is the early flight gone?

If it is not, then I'd call Virgin and ask why your MIL was changed. There would seem little reason to do so and involuntary changes grant you a bit of a carte blanche to get flights fixed, especially by explaining the circumstances.

If the early flight is gone then you need to work on other options. Either go down the suggested pathways as mentioned about consumer bodies and paper trail, otherwise consider a refund and rebook on other services that would suit. Alternatively, call and renegotiate a new set of flights similar to what was originally booked.
It's a change in the NAN departure breaking what was a legal connection. Now you have to arrive the night before if you want to go to NAN from another port. Clearly got the work experience kids in VA flight schedules looking at ways of reducing yields .
 
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