Recent Decline of VA service

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Denali

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I don't care about suit or jeans, but ....

Saw something similar on our last VA flight to NZ but the FA wasnt going to allow the guy to move and the fact he asked 2 other FAs to get around her only made her more uptight about it. Hubby was silently cheering her on, meanwhile a solo pax in the aisle opposite us, as she was sitting the FA notice her husband was seated about 20 rows back. The guy didnt even mention it, she picked it up by their surnames and without being asked the FA told him to sit next to his wife (there was no other passenger in that row).
 

toowongman

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...but such behaviour supported by the crew is simply annoying and not correct.
VA don't care. I've witnessed FA and CS "upgrade" a friend to J after take-off, and another from the back to row 3. Tablets, welcome kiss, etc. Complained, blergh answer from VA.
 

hummel

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Or belongs to a Plat. For every WP whining about a non-WP sitting in Row 3 there's another WP whining that they can't get their non-WP travelling companion in Row 3 to sit with them. VA are damned if they do, damned if they don't.

*I always wonder if I get this kind of disapproval from WP types. I'm WP, sit in Row 3, but as my work allows it I dress for comfort and usually wear casual jeans/shirt and have backpack carry-on. Have been asked a few times by neighbour "how did I get Row 3" after boarding - they look surprised when I tell them it's because I'm WP. People shouldn't assume people that "don't look WP" aren't WP.


Glad i'm not the only one who wears his bintang singles, footy shorts and thongs in row 3. I dress for comfort.
 
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anat0l

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I don't care about suit or jeans, but another thing annoyed me last week on BNE-MEL: I was in 3F, another WP in 3D, and luckily 3E remained empty. On the other side of the aisle, same scenario: 3A and 3C occupied, 3B vacant.

Gentleman walks in as one of the last to board, spots empty 3B (lucky he didn't have is eye on 3E), and asks FA if he could sit there instead of [whatever his assigned seat was, he was in row 6 or further back]. No idea if he was WP or SG or something. Anyway, FA tells him to take his assigned seat for take-off but she would check with the cabin manager if he could relocate. I saw FA have the chat with the manager, don't know what the verdict was but it included a lot of head-shaking by the manager. FA then went to talk to the gentleman.

Fast-forward 15 mins: Up in the air, seat-belt signs go out, and voila, 30 seconds later, Mr. X politely asks lady in 3C to please let him through and take "his" seat in 3B. Lady in 3C was definitely looking at him a bit annoyed but didn't say anything nor consult crew, just let him proceed. Not sure what 3A's reaction was.

What would you make of such a situation? Had he tried to sit in 3B I would have called used the call button. WP perks are scare and rare on VA so I value this bit of extra space, it's occurring rare enough in row 3. I know there is no such thing as a WP shadow or I don't have any "rights" over the empty seat next to me, but such behaviour supported by the crew is simply annoying and not correct.

This kind of thing happens on all airlines.

If you pressed the call button, you may or may not have a hard time actually asking the FA to make the culprit move, let alone the time and grief involved between the culprit, the FA and yourself. The culprit likely doesn't understand that row 3 is "Platinum territory" (and even then, this is a rather "soft" definition - there is no hard definition in any T&Cs, and certainly the seating of non-Platinum passengers in row 3 is not against the rules, unlike a passenger who tries to sit in Business Class when they are clearly not entitled in any way). The culprit is more likely to think you have a problem with him/her personally (i.e. the way they look, the way they are, "just because", etc.), rather than actually due to the fact they have rapaciously procured the seat. On those grounds, the culprit is unlikely to move unless the FA enforces it on the grounds of following crew instructions (and would have a hard time trying to justify any detention once on the ground), or you spilled red wine on them.

Perhaps the only grounds that the FA could possibly move them on is by informing the culprit that row 3 is reserved for Velocity Platinum guests. If the culprit then produces a Platinum (or Club) membership, could be awkward from there. Worst case is that they continue arguing the point (i.e. there is nothing in their ticket or website which states that Platinums only can sit in row 3, or they argue the "stupidity" of the rule). I'm not sure how strong the argument of "take your assigned seat" would be, except for take off and maybe landing (as safety/balance can be used to justify those grounds quite easily).

Overall, I am not doubting that Platinums are entitled to row 3 and a shadow is nice (and as you have pointed out, it is not a benefit), but in the situation you describe, although we know what should happen, the difference between what should and does happen is very disparate in cases like these. It's likely just as, if not more, frustrating for the FAs as it is for you.

There are a lot of things that if passengers would just do what they are told to reasonably do (not unlike they would on the ground), air travel would be a whole lot more pleasant.
 

Moopere

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... and would have a hard time trying to justify any detention once on the ground

Its really just basic crowd management skill. As for justification once on the ground, I thought that 'follow crew instruction' was paramount, and refusing to do so, when the requests are legal of course, is a problem - I didn't think it got a lot more complicated then that.

As you rightly say, no-one has 'rights' over an empty seat, but the airline and their own procedure is enough to control access to seating. After all, ultimately, why don't Pax just move into F or J or simple 'take' exit row or other premium (cost) seating if its available? One could make argument and exception to nearly every scenario, ultimately the crew has to control the masses.
 

Michalek

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Glad i'm not the only one who wears his bintang singles, footy shorts and thongs in row 3. I dress for comfort.

Exactly. I remember one flight in particular I was doing MEL - SYD for the weekend. Sat in row 3 and I was wearing trackies and a jumper. I'm 24 btw. The looks from my fellow plats in row 3 were priceless when I went to sit in 3B! A mixture of "omg please don't sit there" and "who does this kid think he is sitting in this row" lol. If that wasn't bad enough for them, I then got comped (only comp that day) to 2A and the looks were even better then :D

Though when I travel for work I'm dressed professionally. Doesn't bother me what people wear and what their status is!
 
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The looks from my fellow plats in row 3 were priceless when I went to sit in 3B!

The looks were probably not about your age or what you were wearing, I'd reckon it was because of the seat you were headed toward. 3B is a shadow seat......get it right next time! :mrgreen:
 

eastwest101

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I got the Feedback Questionaire link emailed to me after a recent VA flight and gave them some credit where it was due and a few brickbats as well - pasted below.

The VA lounges are a work in progress and generally good, quality of the food is okay, but the lack of variety make it seem like 'prison food' and probably drives people to drink! Once you are in the air VA generally has a good product and service. The Cheese Proscuitto Pancetta served recently in business class was very bland and heavy, not up to usual standard. Get someone to fix the accuracy of FIDS at some airports. Still need to fix the buggy and clumsy VA and VFF websites that don't talk to each other and send you round in circles, before declaring that they can't locate your booking, if Tripcase can locate you own VA booking better than the VA web site, then you still have an IT problem. Keep business class prices real and plausible given the mix of great new J seating on the new A330s, the average seating on XFA and XFB and below average on the B737s for transcontinental flights. At least do the BYO IFE device properly, and have software and apps that are compatible with Android and other operating systems that are still in widespread usage. Priority boarding is always done well and consistently (unlike your competitor). Join a real airline frequent flyer alliance (preferably Star Alliance) to attract customers - especially as your competitor seems intent on self destructing into a spiral of cost cutting. Don’t rest on your laurels as competition will arrive eventually, either with new competent management at Qantas, or with another competitor.
 
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