Virgin Flexi domestic fare does not include food for kids.

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bennyff

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We have retuned from a winter Whitsunday family holiday flying Sydney rtn to Hamilton Island. I had booked all 6 of us on a flexi fare, hoping that the kids would all get a feed. On the flight up the adults got food, but none of the 4 kids. We complained and they said that the kids are not on the manifest and must be booked on a cheaper fare. I protested saying, I paid for the flexi fare for all of us, and, showed them the boarding pass. After some time they came back and said, yes there does seem to be a problem but we don't have catering. At least we got a drink and nibblies for the kids.

On the way back, surprise, surprise, the same deal, but this time, rudeness, You are not on the manifest!!! We we had to deal with the hungry irritable kids no thanks to Virgin.

One of the main reasons for getting this fare (twice the cost of the standard) was to ensure that the kids had a feed, as the flexibility was not as important as we had booked our stay in advance. They failed in delivering their product.

I made a complaint (as we didn't get what we paid for and for them to address why this had happened, also seeking some level of compensation for the meals we did not receive) and was directed to the web forum to make the complaint.

We get a response after 3 weeks, we have passed your concerns on to cabin management and any reimbursement does not meet our criteria[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]. Sorry about your experience, hope next time you fly with us is better....

Not so happy and not knowing what else to do, I just thought I would warm everyone, if you have kids and book a flexi fare, don't expect Virgin to feed them... your wasting your money.


[/FONT]
 

williamsf1

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I would complain again and demand some sort of compensation.... considering if you were to buy the sandwich + drink + small snack you would be looking at about $20 each so 4 kids that's $80 and 2 flight $160.

A flexi fare appears to be the same price for a adult and child ( no discounts apply) so they should have got the same as the adults.
[h=5]CHILDREN DISCOUNTS[/h] CNN/ACCOMPANIED CHILD PSGR 2-11 - CHARGE 100 PERCENT
OF THE FARE.
TICKETING CODE - BASE FARE CODE PLUS CH.
MUST BE ACCOMPANIED ON ALL FLIGHTS IN THE SAME
COMPARTMENT BY ADULT PSGR 15 OR OLDER.
 

Princess Fiona

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That's simply not good enough, I would write back and say as much, including a copy of your BP's and a please explain. You should get what you paid for.
This is a very LCC response to a complaint and shouldn't be expected from a full service carrier if that's what VA want to be.
 

Joshua

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That's simply not good enough, I would write back and say as much, including a copy of your BP's and a please explain. You should get what you paid for.

And if that fails then it could well be taken further. They've failed to provide what they've offered, regardless if your reason for purchasing the flexi was for just the meal or not.

I'd expect no less than a credit for the entire value of their tickets or otherwise a 50% refund if that was the fare difference.

A whinge on twitter couldn't go astray.
 

bennyff

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Thanks I will push the cause, it has been very disappointing having Virgin act this way, it is very LCC, considering how much money I send on them. Will let you know how I go. Unfortunately it is just waist of time, and, to be honest I have had my share of issues with qantas over the years but I never been treated like this.
 

docjames

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Adding support to the consensus of take it further.

When booking, there's nothing to suggest a child on a flexi doesn't get food. If that's the case, either the fare should be discounted and no food declared at booking, or they should give you food.

Did the cabin crew give you the option of purchasing food? I'm surprised they couldn't see the error and find something for the kids to share.
 

777

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That's appalling service and even worse recovery from Virgin. Definitely take it further.
 
D

Deleted member 29185

Guest
I'm amazed to hear this. As a parent with kids myself, I'd be cranky if I bought full service for all, but did not receive the full service for all. I'd go from cranky to angry if the cabin crew did not immediately fix the issue (as the first crew did) and I'd shift to livid if I was told their failure to supply the product purchased didn't meet their criteria for compensation.

It might be news to VA, but their criteria is in breach of fair trading law. Last time I checked, it was illegal to sell a product which is less than what is advertised. I've never seen a T&C that states a child will not be fed on a fare that's advertised as including food so this unfortunate situation could so easily have been dumped on my family.

Poor effort VA and yet another example to add to the rapidly growing list of recent examples where you have absolutely no idea whether you want to be a full service airline or the most over-priced LCC in the world. Well done. Hearty congratulations..........NOT.
 

Sojourner

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Agree with what everyone else here is saying. Nothing I can see on the ticketing terms and conditions saying that kids don't get food on a flexi fare. Sounds like a breach of the trade practices act if this is always the case. Advertising food on a flexi fare, but then not providing it.

I am very surprised the FA did not at least try to offer something for free off the paid menu. Appalling response all round - ticket not coming with food as advertised, poor response from FA, even worse response from the formal complaint response. Failed every step of the way.
 

DGW

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I just thought I would warm everyone, if you have kids and book a flexi fare, don't expect Virgin to feed them... your wasting your money.

I'm not one to leap to Virgin's defence but is it not possible that your experience may have simply been the result of an error somewhere along the line (with the ticketing/manifest etc) rather than a deliberate decision to deprive your kids of a meal? The response from Virgin wasn't great but I'm not surprised.

I flew two sectors on Monday on Flexi fares and wasn't offered a meal on either. I didn't raise it at the time as based on past experience I knew I wasn't missing anything and I'd already eaten in the lounge anyway. These things happen.
 
D

Deleted member 29185

Guest
These things happen.

Which is very true, but that does not explain the rudeness received by the rtn crew, nor the total lack of surprise by the official VA email where they didn't even state that must have been an error and quickly offer at least some form of compensation. These things happen is not an excuse that business can rely upon to not compensate for loss.
 

N860CR

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That's pretty poor and another example of Virgin's continuing downwards spiral. We all know Qantas Customer Care can be absolutely shocking sometimes, but in my experience (and as this example shows), Virgin is worse. It's fine for mistakes to happen, however they need to be resolved afterwards. To simply blow off a serious complaint like this is unacceptable.
 

anat0l

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I'm not one to leap to Virgin's defence but is it not possible that your experience may have simply been the result of an error somewhere along the line (with the ticketing/manifest etc) rather than a deliberate decision to deprive your kids of a meal? The response from Virgin wasn't great but I'm not surprised.

I flew two sectors on Monday on Flexi fares and wasn't offered a meal on either. I didn't raise it at the time as based on past experience I knew I wasn't missing anything and I'd already eaten in the lounge anyway. These things happen.

So then the problem then also becomes how do some Flexi fare holders not make it onto the manifest?


Probably even more surprising is how was it only the OP's kids who happened to not make it to the manifest. (Not saying freak coincidences can't happen....)
 

dk4

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Probably even more surprising is how was it only the OP's kids who happened to not make it to the manifest. (Not saying freak coincidences can't happen....)
My guess - Sabre error :rolleyes:

Customers identify kids 2-11 when booking with Virgin... so who ever set up the Free Flexi Feed report printout (for the onboard manifests), probably forgot to include a check of the "kids subsection" when setting the parameters for said Flexi Feed report.

Simple error, probably easily fixed by someone who knows how to recode the report parameters, poorly handled in terms of recovery by both the second flight crew and the complaints department.


Extrapolating further, despite the problem being identified three times to Virgin staff, twice onboard and once formally as a complaint, no one in the relevant department at Virgin (capable of flicking the switch to fix the problem) has been told that there is a problem!!! = Problem will continue to occur.
 

williamsf1

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My guess - Sabre error :rolleyes:

Customers identify kids 2-11 when booking with Virgin... so who ever set up the Free Flexi Feed report printout (for the onboard manifests), probably forgot to include a check of the "kids subsection" when setting the parameters for said Flexi Feed report.

Simple error, probably easily fixed by someone who knows how to recode the report parameters, poorly handled in terms of recovery by both the second flight crew and the complaints department.


Extrapolating further, despite the problem being identified three times to Virgin staff, twice onboard and once formally as a complaint, no one in the relevant department at Virgin (capable of flicking the switch to fix the problem) has been told that there is a problem!!! = Problem will continue to occur.

If only Sabre was that simple to "fix" hearing about some of the issues that from the outside may seem small..... Sabre would require a 3-6 month development...... then a possible outage ... In other GDS systems it would be a simple configuration update...... sad but true
 

anat0l

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My guess - Sabre error :rolleyes:

Customers identify kids 2-11 when booking with Virgin... so who ever set up the Free Flexi Feed report printout (for the onboard manifests), probably forgot to include a check of the "kids subsection" when setting the parameters for said Flexi Feed report.

Simple error, probably easily fixed by someone who knows how to recode the report parameters, poorly handled in terms of recovery by both the second flight crew and the complaints department.

Extrapolating further, despite the problem being identified three times to Virgin staff, twice onboard and once formally as a complaint, no one in the relevant department at Virgin (capable of flicking the switch to fix the problem) has been told that there is a problem!!! = Problem will continue to occur.

That doesn't quite explain DGW's missing the service, unless DGW is a child.

Has anyone else been in this boat before - bought a flexi and missed out on a meal by mistake?

I would've thought they just run a report based on who has a flexi fare, i.e. certain class codes. There's no distinction between adults, children and infants (though infants not occupying a seat would have a class code which is not flexi anyway).

That said, rather appalling response by the crew on the return sector, especially if the fare basis could be clearly demonstrated by virtue of the boarding pass.
 

Blackswan

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Posts
569
That's pretty poor and another example of Virgin's continuing downwards spiral. We all know Qantas Customer Care can be absolutely shocking sometimes, but in my experience (and as this example shows), Virgin is worse. It's fine for mistakes to happen, however they need to be resolved afterwards. To simply blow off a serious complaint like this is unacceptable.

Agree with this. My recent complaints with Virgin have been very disappointing. Apparently their Rep on FB say's they're handling a larger than normal volume of complaints - sounds like they don't have enough staff to deal with them. I swung across after the QF status match (and kept my SG for a year) - this year I'm letting it drop away.
 

quokka77

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Feb 21, 2013
Posts
698
Very shabby and I would raise it in the Virgin rep section here on aff if I were you. Can't hurt and probably a lot easier to do than some other options (eg further internal complaint).
 
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