This is the main V-Flyer Forum for general discussion of everything related to flying with Virgin-branded travel companies.
#934688 by zenithar
26 Apr 2017, 22:27
I've been flying to the UK once or twice a year to visit my family for the past 20+ years. In that time, I've accumulated about 70k miles (unfortunately, did not have miles claimed back when I was a child/young adult...). I read "Losing my Virginity" when I was 13, and have been an admirer of the brand, and Richard Branson, ever since.

As the title suggested, I've switched to BA (at least for my upcoming flight). Two reasons:

1) Flying Club Points usage - every time I've ever wanted to fly, my dates are blacked out. This is true when booking many months in advance, and when trying multiple airports (EWR, JFK, Boston). It's absolutely absurd.

2) The cost. I just booked my BA flight last night, and it was $820/roundtrip from JFK > LHR, for daytime flight. The equivalent flight on Virgin Atlantic was $1100.

It pains me to say it - but, having flown WOW, Lufthansa and United internationally (within the last 6 months), I'm just not sure the Virgin product has kept pace. I would typically spend a bit more to book Virgin, with the mindset that I was helping the 'little guy'. But I just can't do that anymore - not since they partnered with Delta (they're not the 'little guy').

Anywho, just wanted to vent a bit. I feel like a traitor, and that I've been forced into it :-(
#934691 by Bretty
26 Apr 2017, 23:23
[tongue firmly in cheek here] First of all, sit down dear and make yourself a stiff martini. The sky is not falling down ;-)

I'm a big fan of the Virgin brand too, and quite possibly might be tempted to spend a little more with the them over other airlines, but sometimes it makes sense to go with the best deal, and even try something new. I think it's very difficult to stay loyal to one specific brand these days, far more than it maybe was 10 or more years ago. Also you have to bear in mind that pricing is dynamic and dependent on numerous factors using algorithms that calculate pricing in various fare buckets dependent on sales and capacity, whether there's a T or an R in the day etc. Also, Virgin is a small guy with far fewer aircraft compared to BA or even Delta, therefore more flights to choose from can also affect price.

Hope you enjoy your flight.
#934693 by SlimpyJones
27 Apr 2017, 05:17
LHRrules to post in 3..2..1.. :-P

From their​ dirty tricks campaign all those years ago to the cost cutting on board (not to imply VS aren't guilty of this as well) I swore I wouldn't hand over a penny to BA. Still clean after 31 years!

Still, you do what you have to do :-)
#934695 by catsilversword
27 Apr 2017, 07:52
Found ourselves doing similarly. In the not so distant past, the thought of flying BA would have been unthinkable - we'd often fly on a VS route and then either drive or take an internal flight. However, definitely feel the landscape has changed, partly I'm sure since Delta came along, along with the changes to flying club. Definitely feel somewhat marginalised this side of the pond. That, plus prices....

All that said, I'd still far sooner fly VS. Have experienced some of the BA lounges (including one time in their first) and feel you just can't beat a clubhouse,

However..... money talks.... prices are silly and sales really sketchy..... and that's IF the site even works.... gosh, all sounds so negative, I long for happier Virgin times.....
#934702 by mallin
27 Apr 2017, 11:22
We had been faithful to Virgin for over 15 years, but two years ago with the decreasing availability to get direct flights to where we wanted to go, we thought about BA. So started collecting Avios and took out the Premplus card which is a no brainer in our opinion. Then they devalued the Avios which makes it more difficult to collect the number required but the 2-4-1 helps enormously. We have been on numerous flights with them since including two Firsts. although the lounges do not compare with Virgins they are more than adequate and the First product is superior. Then Virgin also devalued the miles but with no free companion ticket only at stupid prices, all our remaining flights are with BA.

We have good and bad crews on all flights with BA and Virgin and it seems loyalty these days counts for nothing, so do not worry about who you book with. We still have some Virgin miles left so hoping to use them in the next couple of years. Linda
#934713 by Maximus
27 Apr 2017, 16:34
Loyalty has never been my thing (well not when it comes to airlines anyway). So I could never say I would never fly BA, as being a Brit in the UK, one can not get away from the fact that they are convenient (I fly out of London usually), they have a great range of destinations, the flight crews are professional with a good safety record and to be honest, so far touch wood, I have never had a bad experience with them. When things have gone pear-shaped (missed connection, delayed luggage) they dealt with it all superbly. Finally, collecting Avios on the ground is relatively easy for us and allows us to upgrade for our holidays, which we appreciate very much.

Looking forward to trying them out again in a few days.
#934743 by ultreen1
28 Apr 2017, 12:29
I have gone to the dark side...I've booked BA!
As much as i love my VS flights it came down to the aircraft and price this time.
A380 vs A330, a good first fare vs a high upper fare...guess who won!?
I'll be on VS in the not to distant future most likely, till then ill have to slum it in BA First class. in the words of girls aloud..."what will the neighbours say!"
#934756 by Edinburgh Castle
28 Apr 2017, 21:07
so i am currently monitoring prices for my next business trip to China

For the dates I want in mid June departing and returning on a Monday Virgin are charging £5092 to Hong Kong compared to Lufthansa£2121 and Emirates £2247; if i a go via Shanghai Virgin are charging £5473 compared to £1984 Lufthansa and £2219 Emirates; BA are £3643

i really cannot understand why Virgin do not want any customers for these flights at the prices they have been charging the last 5 days; what is the point? they may as well say £15000 per return as no-one will buy - does someone not say 'Sorry boss, no bookings so far at these prices'.
#934813 by zenithar
01 May 2017, 01:55
Thanks for all of your responses.

Hopefully Delta isn't using their influence to marginalize Virgin Atlantic in some capacity (non-competitive pricing, etc). I would love to see the remaining 49% bought back by Branson, to once again be a trend-setting airline.
#934814 by gumshoe
01 May 2017, 04:52
Sad to say but without DL's investment I'm pretty certain VS would no longer exist. Trend-setting is great but it requires deep pockets (see the ME3). The fact is most passengers just want to get from A to B safely and for the lowest possible fare.

So there's little motivation to innovate or improve, particularly on the TATL routes which the ME3 can't (yet) access. As BA have shown, it's a race to the bottom not the top.
#934847 by Eggtastico
02 May 2017, 13:57
i fly whichever works out best value for money & convenient flight times.
I have zero brand loyalty. I have 100k virgin miles, but with the current exchange rates, etc. I cant see me using them anytime soon.
Plus long haul is off the radar for me atm after moving home.
I had 180k BA miles & just burned 12k & wasted my 2 4 1 voucher for a flight to Sofia next year.
Find Avios are so much easier to collect somehow! Especially if you flip through the BA Amex cards, the other Amex cards & the Avios mastercard options.
#934917 by pjh
04 May 2017, 13:21
catsilversword wrote:Have just booked BA again. Difference in prices between them and VS was eye-watering.... don't VS want passengers??? :-O


Or VS has sold all of the seats in the cheaper fare classes.
#934920 by SlimpyJones
04 May 2017, 13:36
pjh wrote:
catsilversword wrote:Have just booked BA again. Difference in prices between them and VS was eye-watering.... don't VS want passengers??? :-O


Or VS has sold all of the seats in the cheaper fare classes.


^^This. BA on some routes have larger capacity than VS and can therefore afford to sell a greater number of seats at lower prices. Eventually when those sell out then the prices will be more on-par. It's unreasonable to expect VS to be consistently cheaper or matched price-wise. This shouldn't shock anyone, it's simple supply and demand.
#934944 by Edinburgh Castle
04 May 2017, 21:12
i agree the price differences are very large. You can do a dummy booking and see the cabin is wide open so all i can surmise that some muppet believes that non-competitive pricing is a cunning plan.,

Its now over £5000 return business to Hong Kong on my mid week dates £1500 more expensive than BA and £3000 more than other good quality brands.

just bizarre
#934946 by Olas86
05 May 2017, 06:18
As a British expat living in NY I take about 6 trips back to London a year, normally in business, either cash or using miles to upgrade. I had been exclusively VS but after last years changes to the FC I decided to give BA a go.

I have to say the BA hard product disappoints in almost every aspect; priority security at LHR T5 and JFK T7 is a joke, the lounges are no clubhouse (even the concord room) and the face to face business seats are awkward. Status also doesn't entitle you to complementary upgrades on AA the way VS gold does on DL

On the flipside their first product is another level and they still fly 747s to NY 8-) . Their website and mobile app is better plus I find their crew more profesional and consistent. There are also great Avíos redemptions on Oneworld partners (CX J JFK-YVR return for 55k Avios and $50 in taxes/surcharges). Plus being BA gold will enable me to fly around around the world on a Oneworld explorer ticket in economy with all the benefits on the ground of flying in first.

Ultimately, now that I have status with both I just go with whatever ticket is cheapest in a sale, taking into consideration the value of any FC miles/ Avios spent and earnt. Ironically my remaining flights this year are on VS because it was cheaper, contrary to most observations on this thread. Saying that, I flew VS on Wednesday for the first time since September and everywhere was eerily quiet. VS9 only had 101 on board (believe an A346 holds ~300). I know it was only a Wednesday but economy was only 20% full so they must be doing something wrong - either pricing or scheduling.
#934947 by catsilversword
05 May 2017, 08:15
I don't disagree olas, I much prefer VS over BA - but customer loyalty (or not) will only go so far. I don't think you can beat a clubhouse but, for me at least, the flight and lounge have become just a necessary means to an end, rather than a pleasurable part of the trip.


Sigh....
#934948 by gumshoe
05 May 2017, 08:28
Airlines will only charge what they think the market will bear.

If VS choose to charge £5,000 for a UC ticket but only sell three of them, as opposed to nine tickets at £1,500 each, they're ahead however frustrating it may be for us.
Virgin Atlantic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cooperman, daviis, mitchja and 17 guests

Itinerary Calendar