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Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

Orange, California
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8 posts
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Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

First, my story. My question is at the very end of this post.

I just had what was likely the worse experience flying from LA to Cancun flying with Virgin America Airlines. I had heard many positive comments about Virgin America, so I thought I should try them for our family vacation to Cancun this year. I flew out on July 25, 2014 and returned August 1, 2014. The online check-in for the flight out of LAX did not work because it was not permitting entry of the passport information. I called customer support and after spending over two hours on the phone with a representative and then her supervisor and Virgin America IT, they manually entered the information in the system and I was able to check in online. The story I was given was that they just upgraded some portion of the website the previous week and since then the website was not allowing online check-ins. Since I was traveling with 2 young children and my elderly parents and we had only carry-on luggage, being able to check in online was a necessity.

We checked in online returning from Cancun, only to find out at the airport that Virgin America was not yet approved by the Cancun airport authority to use online check in and issue boarding passes online. The Virgin America website has no notice to warn passengers that online check-in flying out of Cancun is not possible, on the contrary, the website permits online check in and printing of boarding passes. So, after getting to the end of the security line, 2 screaming children and 2 elderly parents in tow, we had to head back to stay in line with everyone checking in luggage to turn in our "boarding passes" to receive the "real" boarding pases. At least 1.5 hours wasted. Had we not arrived 3 hours early, we would have missed the flight.

Virgin America seems to have no regards for its customers' time. Not even enough regard to provide notice that online check-in is not working for international flights due to their incompetent website and inability to obtain proper authorization (like other airlines flying out of Cancun) from the Cancun airport authority for online check-ins.

Long story short, I doubt I will fly Virgin America again based on this experience.

I am curious, have others had different experiences checking in online flying from LAX to Cancun and back from Cancun to LAX?

Edited: 2:40 am, August 03, 2014
London, United...
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1. Re: Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

Seriously, you think the worst experience you could have flying is some trouble with on line check in?

That's disturbing.

norway
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2. Re: Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

UA and probably every other airline is the same for checking in at Cancun. You can check in online but you still have to queue up at the check in desks as they need to staple your entry permit to the boarding card.

It would help if airlines stated this when doing online check in but I dont think Virgin are any different to other airlines by the looks of things.

vinndy

Watford, United...
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3. Re: Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

I just had what was likely the worse experience flying

------------------------------------

Online check in issues and lining up for an hour and a half. Worse experience? Are you for real?

I hope one of the relatives of the passengers of MH370 or MH17 comes on here and tells you what 'worse experience' really is.

Unbelievable.

Portland, Oregon
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for Air Travel
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4. Re: Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

I've not been to/from Mexico, but I have seen similar issues at other airports where boarding passes have to be reissued at the airport, even if you've OLCI'd or checked in at another airport and are just connecting. Like vinndy my experiences have been with United, but they're airport or country specific. It IS annoying and frustrating, especially when you don't know about it in advance, but ultimately there's not much that can be done, apart from avoiding that country or airport.

That said, .....

<<Virgin America seems to have no regards for its customers' time>>

<<Long story short, I doubt I will fly Virgin America again based on this experience.>>

... Hopefully, now you know WHY you had to wait, and that it's not VX specific, you may want to reconsider the above quotes.

Edited: 4:56 am, August 03, 2014
Orange, California
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8 posts
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5. Re: Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

To those replying with useful information, thank you.

Edited: 10:30 am, August 03, 2014
Brechin, United...
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for Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallee
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6. Re: Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

Considering all the "horror" stories on this forum, with respect, a 2hr delay is nothing. Some people have lost thousands booking through dodgy sites, been stranded abroad for days on end, lost their luggage,etc etc. that is without mentioning events of recent months, so basically arriving safely with your luggage and only 2hrs late is good IMO.

Orange, California
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7. Re: Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

I flew out of Cancun last year but don't remember having issues with the boarding passes printed after checking in online. If the online check-in at Cancun is useless, it should be disabled by the airlines, or at least the boarding passes should print out with a note stating they need to be exchanged for new ones at the airport due to whatever reason.

I find it amazing that some here seem to think wasting hours due to an airline's incompetent website upgrade and then again due to lack of notice on either the website or the "boarding passes" is perfectly fine or just a minor issue. The comment about Malasian Airlines is really out there.

I think that airlines should be held to a higher standard. Prices go up, leg room goes down, they nickel and dime you, and in the end I guess I'm supposed to be happy as long as I only waste close to four hours due to their lack of notice/incompetence?

Watford, United...
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8. Re: Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

The comment about Malasian Airlines is really out there.

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It was there to attempt to help you see things in some sort of perspective.

We would all like things to work a bit better but hey sometimes they don't. It is called being realistic. You must be really lucky if this is your 'worse experience'.

Bloomfield, New York
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9. Re: Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

I have no problem being compassionate to your ordeal. We all realize that others have had worse experiences, but it doesn't negate the fact that you have valid point - if it is a normal practice that the boarding passes need to be handed in for the "real" ones, why would they not state that on the pass? For those of us who do not fly several flights a year and try to follow all the rules and regs to the best of our ability to make the flying experience as easy as possible for all, it is an ordeal.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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10. Re: Virgin America Los Angeles to Cancun experience

I am sorry you had a problem with the boarding passes. It is very confusing because I flew from Cancun to Phoenix last year on US Air and was able to check in on line and print my boarding pass with no problem. I know that in Europe it is common practice to be able to check in on line but need to actually go to the check in desk to get a "real" boarding pass instead of using one you print yourself. I did not need to do that in Cancun. Sorry you had that experience!