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#963287 by sjp13
28 Dec 2021, 17:00
Sorry, I originally posted in the MAN-ATL thread but have had no response so thought I would put it into a new one:-

I have a two leg flight MAN-ATL-FLL return booked for April next year. Obviously, having read here, I am sure this will not happen (and thanks to everyone as I have learned some really useful stuff here!).

I logged on to my booking this evening and notice the first leg has been moved to exactly 24 hours earlier. I cannot see any availability for this or my date now for rebooking so can only assume they have been taken off sale.

When I originally read about MAN-ATL being cancelled for 2022 I thought they may reroute us via JFK or MCO. It would have been our first time in upper and we were really looking forward to it.

Is it official yet that the route is cancelled? If not, there is no point me contacting customer services as they will only deny any knowledge. What are my options as it stands? I got the flights at a good price and would prefer to be re-routed if possible as I doubt I would get such a good price again if I asked for a refund or voucher. Am I being cynical in thinking this is a deliberate move, hoping I would cancel before they were forced to cancel the flights, as they have moved me to a date that also stands no chance of getting off the ground.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
#963293 by David1946
28 Dec 2021, 22:51
Just did a quick check and the 109 is on in November so I assume it is only off over the summer
#963297 by gerryt
29 Dec 2021, 11:37
I have a reward booking for April 11 2022 MAN-ATL. This direct flight is no longer showing on Google flights or VA website.
Spoke to an agent yesterday after waiting 45 minutes. He said he had not been informed of VA dropping MAN-ATL for summer 2022. I was then cut off ???
Will be calling again this morning. I am minded to switch to LHR-ATL as reward flights are still showing for my dates.
I will update.
#963306 by G3FEL
30 Dec 2021, 22:52
I have been flying this route at least twice a year for 5 years now and like many people on here I am frustrated with VA management for their lack of communication about what is going on. We also have a trip booked for April 30th - May 21st (MAN-ATL return). The flight still shows as scheduled to fly on my VFC App and via my booking ref #, but after reading other peoples posts and from my own research, I don’t think it will be going.

By searching flights on the VA website, I have discovered that the direct MAN-ATL route begins again on January 4th and ends on March 26th but no longer on a daily basis, they will be flying it 3 x times a week (Tues, Thurs, Sat). It begins again on October 30th (increasing to 4 x times per week, Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun). Probably explains why some people have been bumped to VS127 or back 24/48 hours from original date?

So it would seem that they are effectively suspending the route from April through September 2022 and have known this since my own flight disappeared from sale in September 2021!! However, on speaking with CS several times and because they have not been informed of the route suspension, they cannot/will not move us to another route without charging us change fees etc , until the cancellation has been made official on their system.

This is my real bug bear with VA because like everyone else, we have airport parking in the UK and hire car and accommodations in the USA booked that will all need some kind of rearranging due to new arrival time(s). The frustration and stress that this alone causes when you cannot find out what your airline is planning, is colossal! On top of this, you would surely think that loyal customers who have already booked and paid for their seats, would be the first on the list to choose their best available alternative route, not the last.

As a customer I forgive any Company for unforeseen changes they need to make provided that they communicate quickly and effectively and do their utmost to limit the damage. In VA case, not only are they frustrating and alienating their loyal customers, they are placing their CS employees in the direct line of fire of very unhappy and disgruntled people……. I think that this is irresponsibility of the highest order on all counts.

Every travel forum or company review site (trust pilot reviews especially) is full of VA customer complaints, so management must be aware of feelings out there. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be listening.
#963314 by sjp13
31 Dec 2021, 14:50
G3FEL - these are my sentiments exactly! If it was just the flight change (we have been moved back 24 hours to a Friday from Saturday though), I could cope with it. Unfortunately, we are due to join a cruise from FLL on the Sunday so I am extra nervous about how little notice I will be given to get the flight rearranged if I wait for Virgin to cancel it.
#963316 by gerryt
31 Dec 2021, 17:07
gerryt wrote:I have a reward booking for April 11 2022 MAN-ATL. This direct flight is no longer showing on Google flights or VA website.
Spoke to an agent yesterday after waiting 45 minutes. He said he had not been informed of VA dropping MAN-ATL for summer 2022. I was then cut off ???
Will be calling again this morning. I am minded to switch to LHR-ATL as reward flights are still showing for my dates.
I will update.

Update:
Called again and spoke to an agent. He wasn't aware of the MAN-ATL route not running in the summer. I decided to switch my reward flight to LHR-ATL whilst there is availability. Fortunately I have some Avios I can use to fly MAN-LHR.
#963320 by David1946
01 Jan 2022, 00:34
We have the 109 booked to go out on Tuesday February 1st, originally Monday 31st January but changed a couple of months ago. Our return is booked for Monday March 28th and is still showing on our booking but having read the above this seems to be incorrect. We didn't receive any notification from VS over the change to our outbound flight and only noticed it ourselves on the booking. At that time VS changed our VS109 date by 1 day but didn't also change our onward DL flight to RSW. I had to call them, wait about 90 minutes, and they made the correction.

VS seem to be in a real mess with their bookings and lack of communication. I will leave our return flight for now and see if VS wake up, but I doubt it. It's a shame as we have been loyal customers for 15 years
#963345 by EstelleB
03 Jan 2022, 13:42
Please can anyone clarify what is happening here with Virgin? We have return reward flights to ATL in August, with connecting flights onwards when we go (also reward with Delta), and we've had no word whatsoever from Virgin that these flights aren't happening?

What is annoying me even more is that we could have switched to MCO flights but now there is no reward availability and I know what VA are like at switching for you if no reward availability is showing.

I just wondered if anyone had any concrete information on what is happening here? Cheers
#963350 by G3FEL
04 Jan 2022, 00:45
EstelleB wrote:Please can anyone clarify what is happening here with Virgin? We have return reward flights to ATL in August, with connecting flights onwards when we go (also reward with Delta), and we've had no word whatsoever from Virgin that these flights aren't happening?

What is annoying me even more is that we could have switched to MCO flights but now there is no reward availability and I know what VA are like at switching for you if no reward availability is showing.

I just wondered if anyone had any concrete information on what is happening here? Cheers



That is the problem EstelleB, there is no concrete information from VA, only rumours and anecdotal information from other posters who are having their flights/routes changed or cancelled (mainly finding out by checking their own bookings, not by VA informing them!) or by checking their own flight only to find that it is no longer available for sale.

If you look on the website, there are no flights for sale direct to ATL from March 26th - October 30th and nobody in CS/Sales can tell you why. Neither will they change your current booking until the flight is officially cancelled, which is where the real problem lies. Most people will need to rearrange itineraries, which might have penalty costs attached, so the sooner passengers are informed of changes, the better.

The concern and stress from the black out in communication from VA on this route and what is happening is unforgivable, customers need to know what they are planning to do!
#963355 by sjp13
04 Jan 2022, 12:29
Just to update on my situation:

I decided to call customer service this morning. Took over an hour to get through but spoke to a very helpful lady. She said they had not been informed about MAN-ATL but she did take quite a few enquiries yesterday about the route.

Anyway, she has reinstated my original outbound date and rerouted us via JFK outbound and return with no fuss.

Hope this helps anyone with a similar dilemma.
#963366 by EstelleB
04 Jan 2022, 20:05
Thanks folks

Another update - I've had conversations on the FB messenger channel with 2 different operatives, both of whom are adamant that our flights in August are running, despite that being clearly not the case. The last one did say something a bit strange about a new schedule to be confirmed 'soon' but not sure what this means!

In a quandry now though - there is still reward availability to JFK which is an option, but for our return leg we are actually coming back up from MBJ, so was holding out for some PE availability on the MBJ-LHR route. Just had a message on my other post that VA have in the past re-booked customers with cancelled flights onto routes where reward availability isn't showing, so long as there are actual seats.

So I now have to decide - do I opt for JFK when I know that there are seats, or hold out? Decisions, decisions!
#963368 by FLYERZ
04 Jan 2022, 20:29
Maybe naive on my part but my understanding was that similar to if a flight is cancelled it would be down to Virgin to offer youh a re-routed itinerary. I would have though then that whether you booked with money or miles VS would be obligated to book you onto to flights to your final destination that suit your timings e.g. if you have a cruise to catch on the other side. I think the only possible snag is that based on seat (not reward) availability at the point of Virgin rebooking i.e. once they confirm flights are cancelled/no longer operational, it may be that there are no more seats in your choisen class of travel, in which case VS may offer you a paritial miles/monetary refund.
#963371 by EstelleB
05 Jan 2022, 09:55
Cheers - this is my major concern, that our options are dwindling whilst VA delays informing customers of what is actually going on, but that we will be in a stronger position if they cancel!

Update this morning - received another response from a different operative who has now acknowledged that the flights have been withdrawn from sale as they are 'being reviewed' which is the most movement that I've had so far - may wait now to see if my email arrives quite soon!
#963372 by VS075
05 Jan 2022, 10:34
I find it very poor that the flights have been dropped from the booking pages but nobody is singing from the same hymn sheet as to what's actually happening. That said, when I flew MAN-JFK and back in late-2018 there was a short period when the flights we were booked on were taken off-sale and then only available in PE before being reopened for bookings. This was when the 787 engine issues were biting and VS were trying to work out what to do with MAN-ATL and MAN-JFK given the A330s were needed out of London. In the end, when they worked out what to do that winter we got an extra day in New York (albeit we had to pay for it) and it was a 747.

If I was in your shoes, I too would want a straight answer as soon as possible whether the flights you're booked on are happening or not. It's so tempting to hedge your bets and re-route via JFK given it's a bit of a Hobson's choice for any new bookers, but at the same time you would be kicking yourself if your original flights run as scheduled after all. Good luck!
#963373 by EstelleB
05 Jan 2022, 14:33
Cheers - just read on another forum that the Chief Commercial Officer of VA confirmed back in December on Twitter that these flights had been removed due to a shortage of planes, but they clearly haven't updated staff or systems.

I will wait a short while as we will have better options I think if they cancel, but I will start to get jittery if they take too long!
#963438 by OCdreamin
07 Jan 2022, 20:03
My sympathies for your stress and uncertainty over the least bad 'choice' here.
There is really no excuse for conflicting information and prolonged uncertainty for customers like this; it suggests VA want customers to 'blink first' and reduce the airlines obligations.
Disgraceful.
#963613 by mitchja
18 Jan 2022, 16:56
Just booked another trip to Fort Lauderdale here for the end of Oct 2022. Nothing available from MAN so had to book from LHR.

I just get the
Sorry, no flights are available for that search. As some flights don't operate every day, try selecting flexible dates or nearby airports to see more availability.#101639R
error with no results coming back at all.

Whilst the MAN>JFK flight seems to be op'ing on the dates I fly, VS don't seem to want to route me through JFK for another destinations. I even looked at booking separately, however, DL JFK>FLL return First Class flights are very expensive making that approx £250 more expensive then flying from LHR via ATL or JFK on the same ticket.

Looks like there's no MAN>ATL for the Winter season this year either >-(
#963615 by G3FEL
18 Jan 2022, 18:49
That is really odd mitchja because MAN-ATL direct is available to book on the website from October 30th? When you input any other destination, like FLL, the website comes up showing the error you mention in your post so it is obviously not acknowledging the ATL flight is back on? Is this because it is still not definite or a web error?
I have had a similar problem as I am travelling to Charleston at the end of September and, like you mention, the website does not want to offer anything via JFK, even though the daily direct flight from Manchester seems to be unaffected. Again the error you mention is all that appears. I had to get my flight by ringing CS to book it!
I am still getting no joy for my direct flight to ATL in May either, CS reckon the flight (VS0109) is scheduled to go but there is no direct flight available to book on the website after March 26th, until October 30th?? The difference with this versus the examples above are that CS cannot even book this flight anymore? If they know a flight will not be leaving, why do they not contact affected passengers immediately??!!!
#963616 by mitchja
18 Jan 2022, 19:21
Doh....I didn't think to try MAN>ATL directly. Just tried it for my dates (Oct 27 - Nov 1) and there's no direct flight and I get a MAN>LHR>ATL option with a BA domestic flight connecting to the DL LHR>ATL flight for >£6K (which is a full flex J fare) :-O and not even the VS LHR>ATL flight?

Screenshot 2022-01-18 at 18.19.33.jpg
Screenshot 2022-01-18 at 18.19.33.jpg (58.89 KiB) Viewed 1710 times


Nov 1 is showing a direct ATL>MAN Z fare flight so MAN>ATL must still only be a few times a week.

I'll stick with my LHR>ATL>FLL flights! I'll need a train and a hotel but at least the VS103/104 is also still showing as being an A351 then as well :cool:
#963629 by Joshl257
19 Jan 2022, 16:04
Hi all so I flew the VS110 on the 8th of January had a bad flight in Premium dirty plane even though we had an extra hour delay for the cleaners and they forgot to load the cutlery. Anyway the FSM came and chatted to me quite a bit the usual thanking me for my loyalty anyway toward the end of the flight I asked her did she like flying the ATL route and she replied we get 2 to 3 days layover currently so lots of time to explore. I then asked did she know Virgin was pulling the route and said I had just been looking in the sale before I got on the plane. The FSM then told me Delta wanted the route back and Virgin are trying to keep it. So it seems that there is some JV politics going on here It might be just a summer thing or permanent. We need some clear communication from Virgin about all Manchester flights because I saw a lady on Twitter not best pleased her trip to BGI had been cancelled.
#963632 by VS075
20 Jan 2022, 10:32
Joshl257 wrote:Hi all so I flew the VS110 on the 8th of January had a bad flight in Premium dirty plane even though we had an extra hour delay for the cleaners and they forgot to load the cutlery. Anyway the FSM came and chatted to me quite a bit the usual thanking me for my loyalty anyway toward the end of the flight I asked her did she like flying the ATL route and she replied we get 2 to 3 days layover currently so lots of time to explore. I then asked did she know Virgin was pulling the route and said I had just been looking in the sale before I got on the plane. The FSM then told me Delta wanted the route back and Virgin are trying to keep it. So it seems that there is some JV politics going on here It might be just a summer thing or permanent. We need some clear communication from Virgin about all Manchester flights because I saw a lady on Twitter not best pleased her trip to BGI had been cancelled.


That might explain why it's all gone silent for the spring/summer as I'd have thought DL would have quickly stepped in to fill the void in the absence of VS metal.

My view is that if VS are unable/unwilling to operate the route over the summer months for whatever reason and DL want to see the route maintained, then DL should be able to step in and operate with their own metal. After all, it was historically a DL route for many years and VS would have never contemplated operating MAN-ATL if DL hadn't bought their stake, plus DL are probably wise to the threat posted by Aer Lingus at MAN.

I must say though, if VS really want it then they would have ensured bookings wouldn't have been taken off-sale for the summer months and especially for this long. I can see from posts made by others that sales are already being bled in the absence of an ATL flight.

I agree about clarity regarding MAN this summer. I've already posted more than once what I think on the subject.
#963633 by ColOrd
20 Jan 2022, 11:12
Is there something in this with the Delta pilots union?
I believe there was some agreement had to be reached with them as part of the original VS/DL JV that the company wouldn’t just turn all TATL flying over to VS?
#963635 by VS075
20 Jan 2022, 13:43
ColOrd wrote:Is there something in this with the Delta pilots union?
I believe there was some agreement had to be reached with them as part of the original VS/DL JV that the company wouldn’t just turn all TATL flying over to VS?


I seem to recall reading something on a.net a few years ago about the unions wanting agreements around how many US-UK flights DL would give over to VS and how many would remain with DL aircraft and crew. I wonder if that's linked to it?
#963636 by mitchja
20 Jan 2022, 14:05
For The U.K. market, VS is always going to do better than DL as VIrgin has a much wider brand recognition this side of the Atlantic compared to Delta.

Whilst DL will feed some pax from the US end, I suspect VS biggest market is based in the U.K. especially at MAN.

From a brand recognition perspective, I would imagine the same can be said when comparing VS with EI at MAN as well.
#963637 by VS075
20 Jan 2022, 14:26
Absolutely. I suspect that was the driver between MAN-ATL and later MAN-JFK being handed over to VS to operate instead.

As for Aer Lingus, given they've been present at MAN and other UK airports for many years and given they're quite a popular option for UK-US travel via Dublin, I would say their brand recognition isn't that weak. They also benefit with passengers being able to connect onto AA flights in the US. This year will show whether their decision to operate direct TATL flights from MAN was the right one or not.
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