Virgin Blue Change to new Reservations System It may affect you! 12-13 June

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markis10

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This was mentioned in another thread however here is the formal notice and information about what will happen to those affected by travelling on those dates:

VIRGIN BLUE IS SWITCHING TO SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE FUNCTIONAL
Migration to Our New Reservations Platform

Dear Valued Client,
Virgin Blue is on track to migrate to our new reservations system over the weekend of 12-13 June (the Queen’s Birthday weekend in all Australian states except WA). The actual cutover is scheduled to take 24 hours from 9.30pm Saturday to 9.30pm Sunday.

We are upgrading our reservations and distribution systems to allow us to provide a higher level of service to our trade partners and to provide greater flexibility and a wider range of options to our Guests when making bookings with us online at virginblue.com.au.

Ultimately, over the coming months, benefits of the new system will include:
Improved Guest recognition capabilities, which will enable us to enhance the Guest experience.
The ability for Guests to more easily switch to earlier flights, if available, when they get to the airport earlier than originally planned. However, for Guests travelling with us during the 24-hour system migration period there will be some unavoidable changes to the usual level of service we provide. Rest assured we have a comprehensive program in place to minimise these impacts to our Guests.

We will also be embarking on a direct communication program with all of our Guests travelling during the cutover period to make sure each and every one of them is aware of the temporary changes to our operations that day. In order to assist your travellers when flying with Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue or Polynesian Blue at this time we have outlined below the key service changes you need to be aware of for the 24-hour period and to minimise the chance of delays:

All reservations systems including websites / GDS inventory and API connected sites will be off-line for the 24-hour cutover period;

We encourage all Guests travelling during the cutover period to use our Web Check-In service prior to 6.30pm on Saturday, 12 June, rather than checking in on Sunday, 13 June, if possible;

During the cutover – 9.30pm Saturday, 12 June, to 9.30pm Sunday, 13 June – we ask that all Guests ensure they allow 2 hrs to check-in for their flight;

Minimum connection times will be longer than usual, so please make sure your Guest are aware of these changes:
- Domestic to Domestic flights – was 30 min, now 90min
- Domestic to International flights – was 90 min, now 120min
- International to International flights – was 90 min, now 120min

Through check-in for connecting flights will not be available. Guests will need to collect their bags at the connection point and re-check, unless connecting from one international flight to another.

To minimise chances of delays, please ask your travellers to avoid travelling with checked-in baggage if at all possible. Carry on luggage is recommended (within current weight and size restrictions, of course).

We will not be able to offer Premium Economy or Blue Zone seating during this period.

The Lounge will be open; however, there will be no ability to check-in at The Lounge during cutover, as the team there will not have access to a reservation system to process it.

Any changes for Guests travelling during the cutover period will be managed via the Guest Contact Centre (GCC Phone: 13 67 89).
Again, we will be contacting all Guests booked to travel over this period to advise them of any impacts to their booking and we will have extra team members on hand at airports on Sunday, 13 June, to lend a helping hand to our Guests.
Over the coming weeks we will be communicating further information to you about the migration to our new enhanced reservation system and the support structure we will have in place during the cutover weekend.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions relating to this change, please get in touch with your Virgin Blue Account Manager who will assist you in getting answers to your questions.
 

haydensydney

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We will not be able to offer Premium Economy or Blue Zone seating during this period.

I wonder why? Seems odd.
I'm curious to know if this applies to those who have booked/paid PE?
 

republicau

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I had a call from VB this morning telling me they were refunding the dif between PE and Corporate as they were unable to process PE for that day. Cant offer me a seat in the first three rows, no food or entertainment but I still have access to the lounge and the 32 kg bag allowance. Oh and could I be at the airport 2-3 hours before departure!!!!!!!!

Kudos for calling but I'm so unimpressed they cant process 6 pax per flight in PE.
 

haydensydney

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I had a call from VB this morning telling me they were refunding the dif between PE and Corporate as they were unable to process PE for that day. Cant offer me a seat in the first three rows, no food or entertainment but I still have access to the lounge and the 32 kg bag allowance. Oh and could I be at the airport 2-3 hours before departure!!!!!!!!

Kudos for calling but I'm so unimpressed they cant process 6 pax per flight in PE.

That seems ridiculous. I've vented on here previously regarding their so called "compensation" for a downgrade to Y from PE, as the difference in fares can be something in the vicinity of $50. DJ really need to get with it if they are going to attract more premium passengers from QF.

There must be method behind their madness to specifically note "No PE" during the cutover period, perhaps CrazyDave can comment?
 

republicau

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Main thing that annoys me is I might well end up in the back row despite having paid for PE and being given a $50 refund. I'll try to check in online the day before and get a good seat but if I cant then my experiment with Virgin Blue will be well and truly over.
 

jsd

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Qantas
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Procedures for Persons with SSR's over 11-13 June

Hey all,

I have just spoken with the DJ priority asistance centre to get clarification as to what is happening over the weekend, I have been advised the following so keep these in mind if you are flying with DJ over the long weekend:

  • Velocity Gold & Silver Members - if you are travelling with checked baggage take your velocity card to the airport with you on the day of departure to show proof of your addtional baggage allowance that you are entitled to
  • Passengers in Blue Zone seats - if you have not yet been contacted by DJ but still wish to sit in a blue zone seat, you will need to take a hard copy of your itinerary to the airport with you again this so staff know that your seat in the Blue Zone has already been paid for. also if you have prebooked a blue zone seat you will need to show up earlier than usual if you want to sit in one as they may already be pre allocated to people who show up before you do
That was all the information that i was told because that is all that affected me but if you need further information please call the GCC, explain the situation to the person who takes your call and they will put you through to the priority assistance centre.


Cheers,

Josh:p
 

republicau

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Sounds like a bit of a nightmare. Went through manual processing with BA a few years back and it was an excruciating 2.5 hours in a que and 20 minutes at the desk before I got a boarding pass. Flight ended up being rerouted to another port and had to go through the who process again. Will cancel the Virgin flight tomorrow and go with Qantas. Pity as it was my first flight experience with Virgin.

If they can sort something for blue zone why not honour the PE bookings they had??
 

republicau

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Just cancelled my booking and rebooked with Qantas. Charged me $30 pp to cancel which is ok as its in the TC (even though technically they were in breach as they couldnt provide the service paid for. Also charged me a $7 credit card fee to refund to my card. Virgin told me the $30 was a bank imposed charge for refund so I'm wondering what the excuse is for the $7 extra fee is?? We live and learn.
 

Standby

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Just cancelled my booking and rebooked with Qantas. Charged me $30 pp to cancel which is ok as its in the TC (even though technically they were in breach as they couldnt provide the service paid for. Also charged me a $7 credit card fee to refund to my card. Virgin told me the $30 was a bank imposed charge for refund so I'm wondering what the excuse is for the $7 extra fee is?? We live and learn.

$30 bucks to give you your money back for a service they decided they couldnt offer...I think I'd be asking for that to be waived.
I have no idea what QF do with their J product (no mention of a "Bank fee" if actioned online on the website)
But DJ(David Jones) refunded my credit card for a $350 purchase last month and I got the whole amount back. If a retailer can do it so can an airline
 

republicau

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I feel a tad lucky i got a refund at all as they seemed to think the $50 they refunded me for my downgrade meant my whole booking was now only refundable as a Virgin credit. Got my point across and swallowed the $30 but I'm furious they charged me another fee for a refund. Very hard to press a point to an overseas call centre. Perhaps thats what they 'bank' on . Never had a problem with the few Qantas J flights i have had to cancel in the past or been charged a fee!!
 
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Jeffrey O'Neill

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Depending on how much money you might want to lodge a claim with your state's Fair Trading Department - it's free and usually a call from them turns things around.
 

republicau

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Thanks but its fine. VB can comfort themselves with the $7 after losing my $1000 to Qantas. I have to credit them with spot on communications even though I didn't like what they told me and immediate refunds which is something airlines rarely ever manage. Kudos to them for that.
 
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