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#935180 by Chinafish
13 May 2017, 16:53
Hello all,

I am due to travel on 17 Jun. This is my itinerary:
VS121 MAN BOS 1425 - 1655
B6 381 BOS RIC 2112 - 2256 (separate ticket on JetBlue. Last flight of the day for any airlines)

I took advantage of the UC sale for £999 a while back on the MAN BOS segment. Then had to book the BOS RIC segment separately due to no DL flights out of BOS to RIC by the time I land in BOS.

After seeing @Sealink 's posts about his VS121 that got cancelled, and he got rerouted MAN - LHR - BOS, that prompted me to start thinking about, if in the event the same thing happens to me, what my options are.

I don't want to be caught out the day before my trip to then have to start thinking about what I could potentially do. I know it's unlikely, but I like to be prepared.

First off, I live in London, and am going to have to travel up to MAN to take this flight. So a cancellation could work in my favour.

Here's what I've got after doing a bit of research around flights:

1. LHR BOS on VS is on VS11, 1725 - 1925. That would give me at BOS, less than 2 hours to clear immigration, collect checked bag, bag drop at JetBlue, clear security, which is too close for comfort for me.

2. LHR BOS is also served by DL59, 0940 - 1217. This would allow me the option of arranging same day change between myself and Jetblue, to earlier flight of B6 1281 1901 - 2050.

3. BOS RIC is served by DL on these flights. They depart before MAN BOS lands:
DL6090 BOS RIC 0855 - 1045
DL6130 BOS RIC 1450 - 1641

4. Looking at my entire trip of LHR - RIC, these flights operate on that day by VS / DL:
VS3 LHR JFK 0905 - 1140, DL4165 JFK RIC 1459 - 1637
DL1 LHR JFK 1030 - 1330, DL4165 JFK RIC 1459 - 1637
DL31 LHR ATL 1250 - 1722, DL1198 ATL RIC 1914 - 2054
VS45 LHR JFK 1400 - 1640, DL 4155 JFK RIC 1929 - 2125

My questions:
1. I assume VS would be happy to book me to go out from LHR, instead of making me travel up to MAN and fly me back down to LHR.

2. Would VS be only interested in getting me to BOS?

3. If they simply rebook me on the VS11, that will give me no contingency time to change to the last BOS RIC flight of the day. Since it is quite a long travelling day I would prefer a direct flight to RIC after my TATL.

4. If they rebook me on DL I assume that would be on DL 59 in J. How do their TATL J on 767 (DL 59) compare to the VS flights on 789 (VS11) or A346 (VS3)?

5. Would it be reasonable to request to be routed through to RIC?

6. Overall, I think in order of most preferred to least preferred, if there are no restrictions, this is how my itinerary would go (B6 would be on my existing ticket, DL would need to be covered by VS):
1. VS3 LHR JFK 0905 - 1140, DL4165 JFK RIC 1459 - 1637
2. DL1 LHR JFK 1030 - 1330, DL4165 JFK RIC 1459 - 1637
3. DL59 LHR BOS 0940 - 1217, B6 1281 BOS RIC 1901 - 2050
4. DL31 LHR ATL 1250 - 1722, DL1198 ATL RIC 1914 - 2054
5. VS45 LHR JFK 1400 - 1640, DL 4155 JFK RIC 1929 - 2125
6. DL59 LHR BOS 0940 - 1217, B6 381 BOS RIC 2112 - 2256
If VS would not get me to RIC then I would really only have options 3 or 6 above.

Any advice? Any angles I haven't considered?

#935182 by tontybear
13 May 2017, 17:45
1. Strictly speaking VS have to get you from MAN to BOS. They may allow you to start your trip from LHR but they don't have to. They could move you to the MAN-JFK VS127 and then put you on DL to BOS for example though you may be able to negotiate them just getting you to JFK but if not you couldn't just skip the JFK-BOS leg as that would cancel your return.

2. Yes. That's what you booked with them to do for you. They have no concern about any other separate bookings you may have or what your actual destination is.

3. See above. VS have to get you to BOS not RIC. Your ticket BOS - RIC is of no concern to VS.

4. If you are asking about onboard service then have no worries. DL offer an excellent on-board service. I prefer the DL seat over the VS one.

5. Again VS only have an obligation to get you to BOS. If your trip was on a single ticket then they would have to get you to RIC but it isn't so they don't.

6. Having a list of options is good. But what if the flight is cancelled on the actual day not the day before - you'd be in MAN for starters. So that should be your starting point not LHR.

When a flight is cancelled very close to departure airlines will be more flexible with rebooking options (they have the incentive of avoiding EU261 compensation for starters but also a desire to get you on your way) but it is not carte blanche to change the entire trip. Your separate ticket complicates matters. If it had been on DL then there could be some flexibility by DL but it's not.
#935191 by TimCrawley
14 May 2017, 08:48
Hopefully you won't get cancelled or rerouted and while you are wise to think ahead / prepare options I would not overthink it at this stage.

However, just to add to Tontybear's very helpful comments, if you make sure you have all your booking info for both legs to hand as well as all the VS phone numbers then if they do contact you it's possible to lay out your case / issues clearly.

Joeyc had already arrived and we had agreed to try and get an earlier flight with BA to maximise time in the Clubhouse. British Airways helpfully moved me from a 2.15pm departure to a 12.00noon departure. They explained this was possible because I was on a J class fare, which must have cost Virgin…

As per Sealink's TR that you quoted, you can see that these cancellations / reroutings are not without cost to VS (either in booking potentially very expensive connecting flights with other carriers or, worst case, copping for some EU261 payments as well as rebooking). That means that if you do have some options you can offer to them e.g. I can save VS the cost of a last minute (very expensive) Business class fare MAN-LHR by going direct to LHR myself if only you could see your way clear to rebooking my US connecting flight that I will now miss etc

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