Frustration with forced seat changes

seat-changeThis week one member’s selected seating was arbitrarily changed at the gate leaving them frustrated and resentful at Virgin ground staff. Our member was flying Darwin to Brisbane on a Virgin flight and requested, and was then duly allocated seat 5C upon check-in. When our member proceeded to the gate, the gate scanner flashed red and indicated that a seat change was necessary. Our member is perplexed as to why the last minute change occurred and questions the quality of the customer service he received.

Our members have reported similar experiences and similar levels of dissatisfaction when booted from their allocated seating. One member reports being moved only to board the flight and note that no one was seated in their original preference. Our members seem to concur that these situations are often poorly handled by Virgin gate staff. In one situation it has cost Virgin one members ongoing business with them.

Some single travellers resent families being given seating preference. Many also suggest that they should not be penalised for being organised. A further criticism of Virgin is that they appear not to be treating status members with the courtesy they feel they deserve.

When comparing the response by airlines, one member has had a seat change occur on both a VA and QF flight and found that QF dealt with the situation better. Qantas was apologetic and supplied free wine, whilst Virgin did nothing until a formal complaints was made.

Some members make some valid points in Virgins defence and argue that at times there are special and unavoidable circumstances that lead to last minute seat changes. They also point to weight and balance issues occasionally making last minute seating changes necessary.

Follow the discussion HERE.

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