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“Disappointing experience with customer service and refund.”
Review of Virgin Atlantic Airways


Reviewed January 30, 2024

Asked for a refund a month ago and was told it would be up to 12 working days but am still yet to receive it. Reached out to them on chat and was told it was not actioned and still have not received it. Make sure you read the terms and conditions as they do not offer name changes or vouchers so they will take £230 per ticket off of the value of what you paid….. awful customer service - would not use.

Date of travel: January 2024
1  Thank T2743CJrobertd
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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122 - 126 of 16,160 reviews

Reviewed January 28, 2024

Flew to Vegas on New Year’s Day for my partner’s 40th birthday with an indirect flight via Seattle. The layover was only 1hr 15min and when arriving at Heathrow we were told we had to collect baggage in Seattle and get through immigration then check it back in. We knew this would be impossible in that time and sure enough we missed our connecting flight. No more flights to vegas that day so we had to go via Salt Lake City and lost our first evening in Vegas. We then found out the day before returning home that our direct flight was cancelled and they had booked us onto an indirect flight that left later with a 10 HOUR LAYOVER in Atlanta. We would be arriving home 26 hours later than planned. We contacted them and none of the other options would get us home on the Saturday as planned, all would get back on Sunday. We had 2 dogs in boarding and there was no way we could do that, plus we would have no accommodation in the gap between leaving. We ended up having to cut our holiday short and leave Friday morning just so we could get home on an indirect flight. Contacted customer care when we returned and they were very unhelpful, no compensation offered for our awful experience where we only ended up with 2 decent days there as the rest was either cut short with delays and cancellations or spent desperately trying to get a flight back which just ruined our holiday for my partner’s special birthday. The flight was also very uncomfortable on the way out, very cramped and less space than Ryanair! Will not book with Virgin again!

Date of travel: January 2024
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Thank Sarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 21, 2024

My trip, both flights, was substandard and incredibly disappointing. On my outbound flight from MIA to LHR MY KOSHER MEALS WERE INEDIBLE IN regard to FLAVOR, APPEARANCE, CONSISTENCY AND TEMPERATURE. my seats did not have leg rests as they promote online for premium seats. I paid $1100 trip for economy and an additional $980 to upgrade to premium. I tried to change my outbound flight to an earlier one on same day and the airline offered me the option for $8000 extra. Who has ever heard of that fare for an uncomfortable premium seat. Food and snack options were also significantly lacking. They had no fresh fruit, they had nasty limited bagged and prepackaged options. Overall an epic fail. same experience on the return flight from LHR TO MIA on January 20, 2024. Disappointed and feel I g very ripped off

Date of travel: January 2024
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    • Check-in and boarding
2  Thank 1bme
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 21, 2024

WARNING: Virgin Atlantic have a policy they keep hidden - which means they can cancel the return leg of your trip and leave you stranded with no way home. And they won't even inform you that they have cancelled the return leg, until you try and check in!
I know because it happened to me...

Virgin Atlantic cancelled the return leg of my flight with no notice and left me stranded in the US. I had to purchase a separate single fare ticket at over $1000 (original return flight booking had cost £580). Virgin refused to help, said they were just following their policy and even hung up on me once I had finally got through to a customer service team. (which takes ages and cost me £42 in phone calls.)

It turns out there is a reason Virgin Atlantic have a Trustpilot rating of 1.8/5!!

The full story is that 9 months after buying a return ticket with for myself and family, I realised I needed to fly out the US for business and would not be on the outward flight, I planned to meet my family in Florida and so I would still need the return flight. We let Virgin know via email (sent to their customer.care@fly.virgin.com address) and stressed that I would still need the return leg. We did this out of decency more than anything else as we did not think it would matter, we just felt it was the polite thing to do. My wife also mentioned the situation at the Heathrow check-in for the outward leg, where the Virgin representative said "OK".

Here is the important bit you need to know... Virgin has a policy that if you don't take the outward leg, they will cancel the return leg, but they will not tell you about it this policy.
- I only found out about this when I tried to check in for the return flight. I was really shocked, and explained that I had informed Virgin of my plans, so why was this happening? Their response was that I had contacted the wrong customer service team. Instead of informing the customer care team, I should have informed the customer centre. (I had no idea there where two different teams, let alone that they would not be able to communicate between themselves). Important note here: ... They also said though that this would have made no difference as it was their policy to cancel the booking! So it would have happened anyway, no matter who I informed. When I asked why they didn't at least let me know they had cancelled my booking (they clearly had all of my contact info!) , they said there policy was their policy and it was up to me to know about it!!
- I have since checked... there is no reference to this policy on the ticket or with the booking information. The policy is noted in the legal details on their website, you have to click through a lot of links to find it.
(If you are curious, go to the very bottom of the Virgin website where it says terms and policies and click on "conditions of carriage", then scroll through and select "Article 6 - your ticket", in the fine print of the new pop up window there are two clauses 6.5 and 6.6 plus a whole load of sub clauses b), c) d) i) ii) etc. You would need to be a lawyer doing deliberate discovery work, or already know this clause exists in order to find this.)

Once back in the UK just under £900 poorer, and having had a pretty stressful time, I contacted them for an obvious refund on the extra ticket.
No. - They said they are unable to do this, as the policy is the policy.

The most galling bit of all of this is not that they could have told me about the policy, or even that policy stinks (it probably breaks UK consumer law), it is that when I realised I was stuck in the US, while my wife, young children and my elderly mother and mother-in-law would be boarding the flight without me there to support them, I asked "how do I get home then?". The response from the virgin customer care person was. "I don't know. I guess you will have to speak to a travel agent." - They didn't even have the intelligence or decency to recommend other flights or look at whether there were seats available on the flight I should have been travelling on.

FYI - As a final note I wrote the CEO of Virgin Atlantic (Shai.weiss@fly.virgin.com) and the head of customer experience (siobhan.fitzpatrick@fly.virgin.com). I did this because Shai and Siobhan have a public stated goal of making Virgin Atlantic "The most loved travel company.". I did not receive a reply from them, but I did receive a reply the executive office saying that: "Having reviewed this again for you it’s with regret that we are unable to refund the additional ticket that you purchased. ... Please be assured that we are aware of your disappointment, and I am sorry I can’t offer a more positive response."

I am deeply shocked by just how bad customer service can get. I will be pursuing legal action and will never be flying Virgin Atlantic again.
If you are considering booking with Virgin, my personal opinion would be don't. Book with BA or JetBlue instead. I travel to the US two or three times a year and in my experience both BA and JetBlue are cheaper, have much nicer seats, facilities, food and entertainment. They also have much, much better customer service.

For the 9 hours of my Virgin Atlantic flight home the earphone jack on my seat didn't work and the food was disgusting, but that stuff isn't even rating in the top ten of my complaints about Virgin Atlantic.

Date of travel: December 2023
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3  Thank H1035QBnickw
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 21, 2024

Seating is so tight no place to put anything. Coffin like seating and something I would never repeat. Food on board was average at best and service not great. More interested in talking to each other than servicing customers.

Date of travel: December 2023
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service
    • Cleanliness
    • Legroom
    • In-flight Entertainment
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and boarding
2  Thank Timothyfrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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