I am complaining about the lack of service I received once VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRLINES had got their money. The lack of business protocol from a company who owner has his own island.
I purchase a ticket from Heathrow to Cape Town return.
My return ticket was changed to the 22 July at the Virgin offices at Cape Town airport. I as told that Virgin Atlantic do not fly out of season and I would be on a South African Airways flight. I was told to pay for the ticket at a later date.
This was confirmed by a print out received on the day from the Virgin Airline representative. A week before my departure date, I went to the Airport to be told by South African Airways that I had to go to Bidvest Services to make the payment. They reluctantly let me use their phone to call the UK. I could have done all this from home if I had of been made aware of the procedure. I paid for the change of date (£120.00) via credit card. I then received email confirmation from Virgin to my Inbox.
On that day (22/07/2010), on arrival at Cape Town International airport, I was told by South African Airlines staff that they new nothing of me or the reference number I spoke of.
The lady at the desk, Cecelia and when I asked what I should do she said I was to phone Virgin Airlines and tell them to assign a ticket number to the reference number that I had been given by Virgin Airlines. She said I could not use their phone and had to use a pay phone. I used my fathers mobile phone – which he was not very happy about as he had to pay for the call and phone calls from mobiles to landlines are very expensive. I sat on the phone for 1hr10min trying to convince Virgin Airlines to do what was necessary and after being transferred back and forth the gate close and I missed my flight. The South African Airlines representative was unhelpfull, argumentative and downright rude at times, even getting into an argument with my father.She was more interested in the blame game making herself look self-righteous that i told her everything she said was all good and well but it gave me absolutey no solution She at one stage held up your confirmation sent to me and told me that it could be a forgery and she could replicate it using word on anyones pc. I was dumbfounded and felt like i had bee ripped off.
On leaving the airport I had no idea how I was going to sort this problem out. To my surprise I received a second receipt/email confirmation for the same payment, this one was sent whilst I was standing at the airport…2 receipts with different reference numbers…that’s ridiculous!! I had no way of printing the confirmation before I caught the flight.
The next day I contacted a local travel agent in cape town who contacted Virgin Airlines In Johannessburg and then I was contacted by an agent. The next date booked was on the following Monday but I did not receive email or a phone call and was told about it on that Monday afternoon when I once again had to phone and find out just what was going on, The Virgin representative had a family decease and he had been off work, but no-one else bothered to pick up his work to keep the Virgin business protocol – if there actually is one – going.
We agreed on a flight for the Wednesday night and another email confirmation was received.
On the Wednesday, at Cape Town Airport I was once again told that no one from Virgin had assigned a ticket number to my reference number that I had been given.
I all started again, the phone call to Virgin landed me to a call centre in India, this was the worst part of the whole experience and after 40 minutes I was told that my reference number was not a Virgin Atlantic ticket and I should contact the Airline who I am flying with…by then I was fuming and ended the conversation. Right then the lady from South African airlines came out and told me that I would have to pay a £100.00 penalty, I told her I had already paid a £120.00, to which she gave me an
Un- assigned ticket.
I ran to get the plane…I was the last passenger to board, very flustered and very angry. I got no sleep on the plane and arrive with severe back pain. Over the last 14 years I have travelled the same journey 18 times and this by far was the most costly and the worst experience I had.
Worst of all the whole process I was put through on trying to get the ticket number assigned was a 2wild goose chase” as nothing got assigned by the time I got on the plane.
The experience cost me £4500.00 in lost revenue from my work her in the uk, my partner who has her own hair dressing salon had to cancel clients so she could come fetch me, only to find out that I had missed the flight – she lost £600.00.
The cost of the phone calls to my retired parents and the inconvenience, stress and anxiety it caused to them.
How do you justify South African Airlines charging £100.00 penalty and for the exact same ticket you charged me £120.00 for?
How do you justify £120.00 for simply changing the date and ticket number on your computer system?
How can a company take a payment and NOT have a procedure in place for the rest of the business transaction?…SHOCKING.
I have sent this letter to yourselves and my parents only for now...
I will not trust your procedures in the future
Awaiting your response
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