In January 2020 we paid £1,163 to Virgin Atlantic for return flights for a July visit to see our grandchildren in Boston. When the flights were cancelled in May we requested a refund as, at the ages of 72 and 74, and with health conditions, we could not be certain of our future ability to fly and were therefore unable to accept credits.
Many months on we are still waiting. We feel we have been patient, accepting the situation faced by the airline. The chief executive, Shai Weiss, said all refunds would be completed by the end of October, but not ours, seemingly.
All of our attempts to contact the company have met with no response. We left a WhatsApp text as requested – but still nothing. We are at a loss to know what to do.
We received this letter in late December – long after the company’s boss said all refunds would be paid. However, in fairness to Virgin Atlantic, your refund was paid very quickly after we took up your case.
Last year was horrible for all of the airlines, but Virgin Atlantic had a particularly torrid time.
This week the consumer group Which? named Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair as the worst two airlines for processing refunds. It said 84% of Virgin customers surveyed were dissatisfied with the customer service they received. Just 13% for both airlines were happy with their experience.
Virgin Atlantic said: “We recognise that at the height of the pandemic, the huge volume of refund requests we received, combined with the constraints on our teams and systems, meant that refunds took longer than usual to process, and we sincerely apologise to our customers for this.
“We delivered on our previous timeframe commitments, except for a very small number of administrative issues, related primarily to outstanding bank details that were required from the customer to process the refund.”
You are not entirely convinced, but are happy your money has been returned. It will be interesting to see how airline passengers, and holidaymakers in general, behave when things return to normal.
Will customers who felt badly treated this year rebook with the firms that they feel that let them down? More next week.
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