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#934971 by Silver Fox
05 May 2017, 16:17
Sadly I think my days of only looking at VS for a trip to Vegas using miles plus money in UC are coming to an end. I really do not like BA though, and especially detest T5. I couldn't care less about the lounges - which are rubbish too - but it is the getting to them and the whole theatre associated with that which is just appalling for me.
#935017 by Maximus
07 May 2017, 08:50
I am wondering when I will ever fly VA again. Partly because I have not saved the miles- hovering around the 65,000 mark and not increasing significantly- and also because the destination choice is so limited (we won't visit the USA when Tweety McTangerine is in office).

So we have booked a return to Vancouver in BA First with Avios for next Spring.

On reflection the only thing I miss about Virgin over BA is the LHR Clubhouse.
#935027 by honey lamb
07 May 2017, 20:55
Like many of you, I too have started booking BA....

....and Singapore Airlines.....

....and Emirates......

.....and Aer Lingus

....and Ethiopian Airlines

....and Garuda Indonesia....

....and any airline where the price is right and is going to where I want to go.

It all started in or around 2011 when VS raised the re-qualification level for AU passengers from 30 to 40 TPs. Up to then I had managed to do do 3 round trips in UC per year but knew I'd never be able to make 4. I thought that perhaps I might be able to hold on to silver and still have my trips in UC and at that stage booked a trip to SFO using miles. Those of you with long memories will recall that the night before that trip my home was flooded and effectively that ended my long-standing relationship with VS. OK I was able to make the trip and insurance covered a major part of the cost of repairs but the work uncovered some major structural problems which weren't covered and ate into my savings and the HLHF (honey lamb holiday fund). It was therefore with great reluctance and sadness that I waved goodbye to my gold card and possibly to my long term relationship with VS.

To a certain extent, it has given me the freedom to pick and choose between airlines. I have booked BA based on price and have been able to experience First on the occasions when it was even cheaper than Club World. Sometimes it has been an ex-AMS flight, others it was the only airline offering a direct flight from LHR. Nothing has made me say it is now my airline of choice.

Flying from Dublin, I have used Emirates to fly to Durban both in Business and Economy. In spite of their huge advertising and their status as the world's best airline, their model on lesser routes in Business is more akin to PE than UC, although I have to own that they pulled out all the stops on the Dublin-Dubai leg when my niece and I flew in economy at very short notice for her mother's funeral.

Ethiopian Airlines was one of necessity thrown up by a third party site as a return trip from the aforementioned funeral. It was an experience. Let us leave it at that! :lol:

Garuda Indonesia took us to and from Melbourne via Jakarta in J thanks to Aer John sourcing a Black Friday sale on the Secret Flying website which offered us flights in Business at £1089!!! We couldn't pass it up! It was a mixed bag and the trip reports are in the pipeline.

Aer Lingus - well to be fair, Aer John works there so it would be unfair of me to judge. I have done TRs on my TATL flights being as objective as I could be and am delighted that Sealink has mirrored my experience on a flight to Boston.

Finally, I did have one flight to JNB where the price was right (albeit ex-AMS) and it was like a home-coming but also like a new experience! It was my first flight since the joint adventure and my first flight in VS for three years and it brought back to me how much I miss VS. I sincerely hope it will not be the last .
#935076 by Silver Fox
09 May 2017, 09:39
Nice post honey lamb. With the increase in miles for rewards and "loyalty" only being one way these days, it is obvious to me that VS really don't know what business they are in anymore. Delta is obviously the driving force now, sadly. 67,500 miles for an UC G to Vegas/west coast now just pushes it over the horizon for me now as I find it difficult to reach those miles each year (I need 135k miles for 2 of us). So, time to look around. But, I really like the LGW clubhouse and the onboard service and will hate to say goodbye to it. I am too soft beneath this rough exterior. :)
#935088 by tontybear
09 May 2017, 17:05
Like HL I too at least look at other airlines when I am searching for fares and booking.

The last paid VS flight I did was in January 2016 - and AA paid for that after they cancelled the flight I was due to be on!

I did VS March lat year to BOS using my miles and my next will be IAD in November again using my miles. Am looking forward to the refurbed A330 (well in theory!)

Any more will likely be only because there is a good price.

More recently I've done AA flights and have generally been impressed by them (other than last week when thing were just 'off').

I loath the BA ying/yang and when you can get a seat where no one steps over you the service issues make it less of a premium product.
#935091 by Smid
09 May 2017, 18:09
We'll be on our first VS trip for about four years this summer, as the 280 odd K miles got burned down and out on 2 full G's before the devaluation. Long gone were the days of upgrading from economy for a fair cash and miles price which earned most of those miles, and that's what lost my custom. That and no decent fares for the bucket and spaders recently in Upper for a long time, which was my other weakness....

Since then I've flown oneworld and mainly BA. Done BA 380, 787, AA 320's to Honolulu and Maui, 777 and 330 on AA . Redeemed 3 2 for 1 vouchers and see First, and was "ho hum" about it. Got to BA Gold twice, having never got past Silver on VS.

Oh I did do a PE trip to Vegas a couple of years ago. As much about what I hate about PE than me not liking VS.

But the one which did turn my head was QR. Got the £1100 PSA to AKL J over christmas, which was rebooked on QR and CX/QF due to the longest flight in the world being delayed a few months. QR was lovely, food and champers excellent onboard, the words "no more champagne" was actually uttered (after 24 hours of it), and the A380 bar knocks the socks off of VS's bars. The DOH J lounge is more BA GF without the self pour champagne.

However, I don't expect much from our Upper G flights in August. The Clubhouse will be the star. It always was, and we'll see the Washington Clubhouse for the only time. But I see that as the end of things for VS for me.

Perhaps it they knock out a wonderful Clubhouse in Manchester and then do some of the recent interesting ex-MAN fares, maybe. But by that time the memories of flying far and wide might be gone, and the world being an affordable place if you have pounds sterling a mere dream...
#935094 by LHRrules
09 May 2017, 19:59
It's only depressing slimpy if you're silly enough to let your heart lead your head. Today's savvy travellers look at all options availiability to them, rather than limit themselves to one airline which will cost them more and constrain their options.

There's a big world out there, go explore...
#935104 by Smid
10 May 2017, 08:51
SlimpyJones wrote:God, this thread is depressing.


I guess what is the most depressing is how it hasn't got better. Airlines go through phases, cut backs, devaluations, then little period of glory, decent sales, great service. Despite it all going a bit pear shaped, I'd say about four years ago, VS hasn't really had the little period of glory (yet).

I do remember seeing decent sale fares to the likes of Cancun and Montego Bay. Those dragged me in again when I'd sworn off the ex-LHR routes due to bad service. But I can't remember a decent sale in Upper to the Carribean for a few years. Indeed, Upper has often just not featured in sales...
#935106 by catsilversword
10 May 2017, 09:15
LHRrules wrote:It's only depressing slimpy if you're silly enough to let your heart lead your head. Today's savvy travellers look at all options availiability to them, rather than limit themselves to one airline which will cost them more and constrain their options.

There's a big world out there, go explore...


Not sure it's a question of being savvy or otherwise - we know there are other airlines, but most of us will have arrived at this site simply because we do like VS. Which is why, for me at least, it just feels rather sad...
#935174 by property1925
13 May 2017, 12:30
I think for me the point is that VS FC is now just like any other programme/airline. Once, it was distinctive, which perhaps is why many of us went with it and stayed with it.

Now, it's just like any other flyer - so it feels like a loss. We've dumbed down. So I now also fly by convenience and cost rather than airline
#935194 by Silver Fox
14 May 2017, 10:53
property1925 wrote:I think for me the point is that VS FC is now just like any other programme/airline. Once, it was distinctive, which perhaps is why many of us went with it and stayed with it.

Now, it's just like any other flyer - so it feels like a loss. We've dumbed down. So I now also fly by convenience and cost rather than airline


Could not agree more.
#935196 by PeterStansfield
14 May 2017, 18:25
As an amusing tale, I'd like to recount our next LAS trip. We go every year in April for a business event, and since I know the dates well in advance, we book immediately the flights become available
This year we went Virgin, and I got my favourite 6A/6K in the nose, using points. A great flight, really excellent!
However for next year, I noticed that BA have availability in First for LAS using points, so I booked it. We'd been BA earlier this year in First, and were pleasantly surprised at the Concorde room etc. So after booking the BA LAS tickets, I immediately phoned YouFirst, and booked a Cabana again in the Concorde room, quoting my flight number and reference. Cabana was confirmed.
Now I notice that BA LAS flights go from T3. So why did the dumbos let me book a Cabana in the Concorde room in T5?

There some good things about BA, but they don't seem as pro-active as Virgin!

Peter
#935198 by gumshoe
14 May 2017, 19:36
I'm sure I read on Flyertalk that the cabana booking system is basically a book. Old school. And I suspect it's not BA staff who handle the bookings, so if you just give them a flight number they're unlikely to know whether it's a T3 or T5 departure.

FWIW the new CX F lounge in T3 (which you'll have access to) gets rave reviews - many people rate it higher than the CCR and it's certainly streets ahead of the BA Flounge in T3 so you'll be fine.
#935200 by PeterStansfield
15 May 2017, 00:04
Gumshoe

Thanks for the suggestion. I knew that with Star Alliance you can (and we have) used any (or all) of the Star Alliance lounges. But didn't realise that One World did this. But I've checked and you're right....

Perhaps I ought to visit both on that trip and report on the differences?

Thanks

Peter
Virgin Atlantic

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