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Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
640 posts
96 reviews
Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

Made a booking several months ago with Virgin from Edinburgh via LHR to Cape Town. Have been saving miles for ages and got a got upgrade deal.

Booking was made, bit of a faff but got there in the end.

HOWEVER only this morning I've been told that because their "system" wont allow them to book air miles flights and paid for flights on the same ticket, and my EDI-LHR legs were not able to be paid for with miles (their rules!) that now I've got to pick up and recheck my bags in LHR on both legs! Oh, plus change terminals!

If I'd paid cash for the whole flight then oh yes, all bags would have been transferred for me - no worries!

Appears that they are penalising me for using miles. Anyone got any advice how to influence this so I don't have to collect and recheck the bags - because there is not enough time between out 2 flights to do this!

Fredericia, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
37,503 posts
7 reviews
1. Re: Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

That is not unusual when travelling on separate tickets.

Cardiff, United...
Level Contributor
235 posts
20 reviews
2. Re: Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

I would phone them again and ask the same question again. I thought they had a deal where you can book an International flight and little red together for the international legs miles... Unless of course you can't because of availability. Passengers travelling on VS to VS connections (whether domestic or international) will have their luggage checked through regardless of whether they have separate tickets or not.

Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
Level Contributor
27,845 posts
74 reviews
3. Re: Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

I suspect when you get to the airport the check in agent will just link the bookings and check your bags through

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
28,617 posts
4. Re: Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

pretty common on many airlines - thus the numerous threads on the London forums on people flying to London to get to Paris and wondering how to get to the Eurostar

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
20,754 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

Hans is correct. This is not a unique issue when separate tickets are involved, even if both tickets are with the same airline.

British Midland (BMI) had exactly the same policy, with a point blank refusal to through check bags on separately ticketed flights, even BMI to BMI.

One would think that the airline would be more flexible with VS to VS, and maybe the check on agent at EDI will be. Remember however that you are on your own if you miss the onward separately ticketed international flight to CPT, even if it's due to a delayed inbound EDI-LHR with the same airline. That part is pretty standard across the industry (with only OneWorld breaking the mould). So allow contingency for that (alternative ways to get to LHR).

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
640 posts
96 reviews
6. Re: Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

Thanks everyone for your input - agree that there is some really unhelpful practice around from airlines - I'm particular p****d off because this is the same airline we are flying with and they are still not willing to be responsible end to end for our trip and our bags!

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
20,754 posts
5 reviews
7. Re: Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

Littlejon,

What are your flight details (flight numbers and times)? Or in other words, how long/tight is your "connection"? And when (date) are you traveling?

If you post them we'll be able to guide you as to whether your "connection" (it's not a true connection) is doable. And if not, we can guide as to what to consider next.

Good luck.

Edited: 2:05 pm, September 07, 2013
Fortaleza, CE
Level Contributor
8,441 posts
378 reviews
8. Re: Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

The airline isn't penalizing you for using miles (misleading subject line). You could say they penalize you for booking two separate tickets for your trip because you didn't have enough miles. Is this stated anywhere in the terms and conditions?

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
640 posts
96 reviews
9. Re: Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

Sutter - I actually had more than enuf air miles so this was not the issue - however Virgin did not allow me to spend them on the Edi-LHR leg of my trip despite me wanting to and despite them operating Little Red flights between the 2 cities. When I booked the journey they were not offering these flights to be purchased via air miles - annoyingly they are now!

Had I been able to spend them on this leg I obviously would have.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
640 posts
96 reviews
10. Re: Virgin - penalising me for spending airmiles!

Thanks for your offer of your experience US Business traveller -

I'm booked on VS3008 out of EDI to pick up the 2105 VS603 to Cape Town. (The flight has now also been brought about 20-30 minutes earlier than when originally booked). With checked straight thru bags I was still comfortable we'd have plenty of transfer time between the 2 terminals, however with having to collect bags - I'm far, far less confident. (This is all happening in early March '14)