Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reply from Virgin Atlantic Customer Relations

After the fiasco at the end of October with getting to India, I wrote to Virgin Atlantic to complain about the confusing lack of customer service at JFK after the flight was canceled.

I got a reply from one of their customer service representatives today:

Dear Mr Rubin Thank you for your email regarding your recent experiences when your flight home from New York was delayed. 

This flight was delayed as a direct result of the inbound service being diverted to Bangor. This was due to excessive holding times at JFK airport caused by light snow, wind and low visibility. Due to on-going delays while the diverted aircraft was waiting for ground provisions, and clearance, the crew ran out of their legal operating hours and it was therefore necessary for the flight to be delayed in Bangor. 
I can make no attempt to justify the lack of communications with passengers and the poor service you experienced with us on this occasion - it was unacceptable.  However, I would like to assure you it was not intentional or the result of any lack of effort by our ground and operational teams, we were simply overwhelmed by the task in hand.  We are of course taking this matter up in the strongest possible terms internally, so should something similar occur in the future we will have better contingencies in place.  
Mr Rubin, I appreciate that this experience may not have given you a great desire to fly with us again, however we would very much love to welcome you back onboard in a bid to restore your faith in us.  
With Kind Regards, 
Lee Pope
Customer Relations Executive 
Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd, The Office (GSW),
Manor Royal, Crawley, RH10 9NU, UK

Well, that sounds like they're looking at what went wrong.  In my message to them I made sure to not complain about the flight being canceled because of the snow, that my complaint was strictly about the problems in the airport after the flight was canceled.

In my complaint I suggested that more uniformed Virgin Atlantic staff to direct the crowd from the gate to the baggage claim to the ticketing area would've been nice.  And as the wait in line was several hours, uniformed Virgin Atlantic staff to at least periodically go along the line and reassure customers that they were in the right line, since that wasn't at all clear.  Nothing that seems huge or drastic, small things that would've made the process less confusing and stressful.

That last sentence, though, makes it sound like they should be offering me an incentive to fly with them again, " a bid to restore your faith in us."  I interpret that as there should be more coming, like a discount or an upgrade to upper class or something if I fly with them again.

Probably not, though...

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