Journey of Grief

I too suffered at the hands of Virgin's uncompassionate staff.  I live in San Francisco and got the dreaded call that my 46 year old brother had died suddenly in Ireland.  In shock I left the booking up to a travel agent and expressed my wish to travel on British Airways.  She was unable to get  me on with that airline and the only alternative was to fly with Virgin against my will.

 I had so many problems in the past when I took my three very young children on Virgin, it was such a horrific journey it's too upsettung to go into. With much resentment  I faced the red uniformed young woman at the Virgin counter at SFO, I was visibly upset when I told her I was going to Ireland for my brother's funeral, I have a herniated disc in my spine and hoped she would sympathize and give me a decent seat.  Her Russian accent first of all was very hard to understand but I think what she said was the flight is full, nothing I can do.  When I asked to see her supervisor in the hopes of some compassion she said she was unavailabe.  She then asked for a letter to prove my brothers death and a letter from my doctor to prove my medical condition.  Now for those who have ever had a loss in their family know that it is very hard to function reasonably and tracking down letters for an airline is not top of your list.

  As she was so unhelpful I took down her name ....... big mistake. My husband watched her tag my bags to Heathrow instead of Cork, when he pointed this out to her she said it was too late now.  At this point I could not take anymore, I was sobbing and all the passengers in line behind who saw what she was doing were equally as shocked.  I told her the clothes in the luggage she had incorrectly tagged to London were the clothes I had to wear to my brother's funeral as oon as I reached Ireland.  In a big display of temper she stormed off and 20 minutes later retagged my bag.  For revenge the seat she gave me was directly behind the bulkhead where a little baby screamed for most of the journey. 

The staff on board were no better, to them I explained my situation and my reason for travelling, they could not give me a better seat they said as I had an economy ticket which incidentally cost $960 because I had bought it on that day.  They said if I had paid an additional $500 before I boarded then they could have found a better seat!  As with so many disruntled passengers I too wrote to customer service and was fobbed off with two $25 vouchers and wonder what use they are to me as I would never set foot on a Virgin aircraft again no matter what the circumstances. 

Christina Lorda (by email)

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