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Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas FF

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reniklaf

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I have been a VA Gold FF for many years and I have offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. When I fly between Sydney and Melbourne (as I do 2 or 3 times a month) it is usually at short notice, and I take the cheapest economy fare I can get for the one hour flight. Longer flights e.g Perth and internationally (Europe or USA), I take Business or First, and I have made at least 4 First Class international flights in the last 12 months, two of them on VA partner airline Etihad (excellent service).

Over the years I had accumulated a lot of VA FF points so last year I started to use some of the points to redeem flights on VA. I redeemed a number of domestic flights and also some International Business class on VA ( from USA). The net result of all this (non paid tickets), was that my membership status with VA was lowered late last year from Gold to Silver which annoyed me immensely. I wrote several letters to VA FF requesting they review my position. Although I received an immediate response to my letters (advising only that I would get a response within a short period of time) I waited weeks and often much longer to get a response. In the end I received a phone call from the VA FF offices in Brisbane (after I had complained to the head of the FF program and still not received a response), advising the my downgrade would still stand, so I am now Silver.

I still have access to the VA lounges as I am a Centurion member so my complaint is both about the woeful speed and lack of response to my correspondence, and also my strong belief that my detailed emails were basically not even really considered by anyone with a brain and a customer service mentality.

I have also been a Gold/Platinum member of Qantas FF for many years (as well as a foundation member of the Qantas Club), and when a similar situation arose with my Qantas FF membership due to many flight redemptions, I received a delightful letter from the Qantas FF program advising that my Gold membership had received a complimentary continuation of status even though I had not strictly met the criteria for same. So much for Virgin's consideration of loyalty, and number of flights taken!

Due to a recent death in the family I have just this week returned from DFW, flying First class with my wife, and with my four adult children in Business class - guess which airline got my business!
 
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yohy?!

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I have been a VA Gold FF for many years and I have offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. When I fly between Sydney and Melbourne (as I do 2 or 3 times a month) it is usually at short notice, and I take the cheapest economy fare I can get for the one hour flight. Longer flights e.g Perth and internationally (Europe or USA), I take Business or First, and I have made at least 4 First Class international flights in the last 12 months, two of them on VA partner airline Etihad (excellent service).

Over the years I had accumulated a lot of VA FF points so last year I started to use some of the points to redeem flights on VA. I redeemed a number of domestic flights and also some International Business class on VA ( from USA). The net result of all this (non paid tickets), was that my membership status with VA was lowered late last year from Gold to Silver which annoyed me immensely. I wrote several letters to VA FF requesting they review my position. Although I received an immediate response to my letters (advising only that I would get a response within a short period of time) I waited weeks and often much longer to get a response. In the end I received a phone call from the VA FF offices in Brisbane (after I had complained to the head of the FF program and still not received a response), advising the my downgrade would still stand, so I am now Silver.

I still have access to the VA lounges as I am a Centurion member so my complaint is both about the woeful speed and lack of response to my correspondence, and also my strong belief that my detailed emails were basically not even really considered by anyone with a brain and a customer service mentality.

I have also been a Gold/Platinum member of Qantas FF for many years (as well as a foundation member of the Qantas Club), and when a similar situation arose with my Qantas FF membership due to many flight redemptions, I received a delightful letter from the Qantas FF program advising that my Gold membership had received a complimentary continuation of status even though I had not strictly met the criteria for same. So much for Virgin's consideration of loyalty, and number of flights taken!

Due to a recent death in the family I have just this week returned from DFW, flying First class with my wife, and with my four adult children in Business class - guess which airline got my business!

Condolences on your loss.

Agree there's some room to consider your commercial value with respect to status however you may need to adjust your expectations regarding your value to VA with respect to revenue being only a gold member.

QFF do seem to do this better with respect to dropping status levels and comping on the basis of averaged spend over several years but to be honest being at the level of Gold indicates you're one of many many fish in the sea with respect to revenue to both QF and VA.

Not sure either that you would have gotten any faster response from QF submitting similar customer service complaints also.
 

williamsf1

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

I am confused .... you mentioned you travelled on EY in first class 2 times in the past 12 months..... From your profile it says you are in SYD.... based on that info, even if you only travelled to AUH, those 2 journeys would have given you 320 status credits per trip based on return .... so in 12 months you would have received 640SC alone for EY.

You need 4 eligible sectors to maintain gold ... and you say you do 2-3 trips per month .. even at the cheapest fare you would be getting 20 SC each time.... If they are all on VA ... that's 60SC per month or 720 per year ....

Am I missing something ?
 

Grimace1

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

Am I missing something ?

If the OP is using reward seats which doesn't earn points/SC then that would explain a lot.

"Over the years I had accumulated a lot of VA FF points so last year I started to use some of the points to redeem flights on VA. I redeemed a number of domestic flights and also some International Business class on VA ( from USA). The net result of all this (non paid tickets), was that my membership status with VA was lowered late last year from Gold to Silver"
 

toowongman

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

This isn't an example of bad customer service, it's just VA sticking to the T&Cs of their FF program.
 

Supersonic Swinger

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

Last year I fell just short of qualification for Gold on QF, partly because of an award flight which, if it had been a revenue flight, would have tipped me into Gold. Being aware of the QFF T&Cs, I hadn't made the cut and didn't think it would be worth appealing to them to ignore their published rules to which I'm signed up.

I'd be interested in the reasons that OP thinks that Velocity should ignore their rules for them versus everyone else who came close.
 

Limewood

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

Last week my wife and I drove out to the Cairns airport with a friends mother who is 96 years old and walks with the aid of a cane, as one is not allowed to wait anywhere near the airport anymore without paying, my wife walked her into the VA terminal in Cairns as i took a drive.

I kept circling the airport looking for my wife at each drop off point pass for 30 minutes or so until she finally appeared, she told me she went to the help desk, politely told the lady had not booked a wheelchair or assistance to get her to the gate so would need to join the queue as they could not help her, so they both joined the long queue as no seats were available for the old lady sit down on, finally booking her in 15mins later, on asking the check in person she also said should have booked assistance too.

My wife walked her slowly though security and to the boarding gate, when asked about not booking assistance the dear said she had no idea she needed to book help ahead, well yeah she's an oldie, lucky it wasn't me at the help desk I would have exploded.
 

jackthomas

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

While I can understand your frustration ( I'd be annoyed also) It is is common knowledge that most reward fares don't earn SC..
This is not bad customer service, it is the rules of the program.

It's great that QANTAS assisted you with maintaining status, however that doesn't mean VA should do the same.

Very strange to have such a long wait time on your enquiries though.. I usually always get a call back within a day or two regarding complaints.
 

Denali

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

I ....last year I started to use some of the points to redeem flights on VA. I redeemed a number of domestic flights and also some International Business class on VA ( from USA). The net result of all this (non paid tickets), was that my membership status with VA was lowered late last year from Gold to Silver which annoyed me immensely.....

...., she told me she went to the help desk, politely told the lady had not booked a wheelchair or assistance.....


Im only a newbie at all of this but it seems in both cases, for somewhat "experienced" flyers, you didn't read the small print. ?
 

Pleb Status

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

After years of throwing status at anyone who came within 1km of an airport, VA (and QF) are finally starting to enforce the actual rules of their program/s.

The rules are very clear and if you want status, you need to follow/satisfy them. I am actually very happy with this new situation and the more stories like the OP, the better it will be for those who actually earned our status the hard way (without DSC, comps etc).
 

maninblack

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

I am confused .... you mentioned you travelled on EY in first class 2 times in the past 12 months..... From your profile it says you are in SYD.... based on that info, even if you only travelled to AUH, those 2 journeys would have given you 320 status credits per trip based on return .... so in 12 months you would have received 640SC alone for EY.

You need 4 eligible sectors to maintain gold ... and you say you do 2-3 trips per month .. even at the cheapest fare you would be getting 20 SC each time.... If they are all on VA ... that's 60SC per month or 720 per year ....

Am I missing something ?

Yes clearly...and so am I ?
 

williamsf1

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

If the OP is using reward seats which doesn't earn points/SC then that would explain a lot.

I bet he had better luck getting reward seats on VA and partners than he did on QF ...... But that's going OT
 

Demon_fan

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

If the OP is using reward seats which doesn't earn points/SC then that would explain a lot.

Having read his post, it seems like his reward seats were to the USA and his European flights may have been paid tickets via Etihad in first.

Have no idea how he hasn't remained Gold.

Also, for someone who does so much flying they should be able to play the FF game and maintain it without much issue.
 

robd

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

I have also been a Gold/Platinum member of Qantas FF for many years (as well as a foundation member of the Qantas Club), and when a similar situation arose with my Qantas FF membership due to many flight redemptions, I received a delightful letter from the Qantas FF program advising that my Gold membership had received a complimentary continuation of status even though I had not strictly met the criteria for same. So much for Virgin's consideration of loyalty, and number of flights taken!

Due to a recent death in the family I have just this week returned from DFW, flying First class with my wife, and with my four adult children in Business class - guess which airline got my business!

There are several anecdotes of QF members holding Platinum (or other) status for a few years and being comp'd that status for a further year after that. I am interested to know what status you were given after that comp year ended? QF does not have a soft landing like VA.
 

markis10

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

QF does not have a soft landing like VA.

On the contrary they do have soft landing, just not something that is formalised.
 

markis10

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drron

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

Im only a newbie at all of this but it seems in both cases, for somewhat "experienced" flyers, you didn't read the small print. ?

You should read Limewoods post again.They were helping a friend's 96 year old mother who probably couldn't even read the fine print.I am with limewood.A little common sense on the VA agent's part would have been much better.
Though I have an incident where VA staff did use their discretion.I was flying on VA MCY-SYD.A LOL was crying-turned out the JQ had cancelled her flight.She was in her 90s and was flying to SYD for her last grandchild's wedding.I took her to the VA counter who put her on the flight,got her families mobile number who were meeting her in SYD to tell them of the change in flight.Now that was customer service.
 

robd

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Re: Woeful Virgin Australia Velocity FF [Customer] Service in comparison with Qantas

Quite a few threads on it, they even give it to partner golds:

I stand corrected. Not being a QFF regular, I seem to have missed the positive threads
 
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