Virgin Atlantic, I like you. I really do. In fact I even wrote a blog post about you praising your customer service when a flight with you was cancelled a few years ago. I didn’t “kick off” despite losing a day of our holiday. Paying for a day of hire car we didn’t need. Yes, we could have claimed on our insurance but we decided that in the grand scheme of things we wouldn’t bother. We could have pursued you under whatever that legislation is that allows people to get compensation for delayed flights. Given there were five of us, booked on transatlantic flight and we were delayed for 24 hours at Gatwick we would have been entitled to the thick end of £400 each apparently. Yes, you put us up (hence my blog post about you, but let’s face it, Gatwick is not Barbados, is it?).
We could have sworn to never fly with you again. After all, BA do the same route for the same price. We aren’t like that though.
However, we might be now.
This week you have really pushed me to the point of “that’s it, never again” . Except it means we would never fly again as you are not alone in this policy. A policy that I can only describe as actual day light robbery that is in place for no other reason than to fleece your customers. As Easyet, Ryanair etc have been doing for years. I can sort of stomach it with a budget airline when I am only paying £35 for a flight, but you? Not so much.
Let me explain, dear reader. We have booked a holiday, last minute. We are off to Barbados to stay in my parents villa. We can’t afford this holiday but we have decided that for our sanity we need to get away. I cannot tell you how badly we need to get away from it all. Don’t get me wrong, I know we are very very lucky. That many people can’t afford any such holiday. I do know that, and believe me, I don’t take our good fortune for granted. We have worked damned hard and are rewarding ourselves with two weeks away. The flights alone for four of us are close to £4000.
Yep, four grand for just flights. I know. It’s a huge amount of money for a holiday. We are on a tight budget and when there, we will not going out for posh dinners or having the sort of holiday you expect people to have when in Barbados. We will be lying on a beach and eating fish from the local market and it will be perfect. We have even begged Caity to house sit and look after the dog so we don’t have to pay £400 for kennels.
Which is why I am now pissed off, yes readers, an actual swear, that Virgin Atlantic want to charge us £25 EACH to allocate seats so we can sit next to each other. One hundred quid, each way to make sure we can sit beside our family.
I am sorry but that stinks.
I don’t want to sit next to other people on the flight. Well I don’t mean I don’t want to sit next to other people, I am not a princess, what I mean is that I want to sit next my family. We are about to spent two weeks together and on the flight I want to share excitement and chatter about what we might get up to with my family. On the return I want to reminisce about our trip. Compare “Ooh which film are you watching” stories. Say cheers over a drink. I don’t want to be next to another family that have, presumably, been separated from their family members. I don’t want be on a return night flight, sleeping next to somebody who might need the loo every ten minutes. I know my family don’t do that. They know we get off the flight and I am going straight to work, they will do their utmost to let me sleep. Uncle Tom Cobbly wont give two hoots about that, and nor should he, it is not his problem.
What difference is it making for people on one booking to be seated next to the other people on the booking? None. It is the same number of people on the flight. But you are just splitting people up because you can. And charging them for the privilege of wanting to know they can sit together. I don’t want my kids split up and thirty rows away from me. I don’t want my 16 year old daughter sitting next to men I don’t know.
This policy is ridiculous. In fact, here’s another swear. It’s bollocks. It is simply there to get more money out of people. It adds £200 to the cost of our flights. Yeah, because £4000 isn’t enough already is it?
Yours spectacularly pissed off from Fleet
Photo of plane seats courtesy of Shutterstock