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    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 10th Nov 18, 10:02 AM
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    Cottage Economy
    0 WOW
    Fees for cancelling/changing Virgin Atlantic flights
    • #1
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:02 AM
    0 WOW
    Fees for cancelling/changing Virgin Atlantic flights 10th Nov 18 at 10:02 AM
    Does anyone have any advice on how to mitigate the costs of changing travel arrangements?

    A couple of months ago we booked two return flights for Cuba in the middle of January. We chose Virgin Atlantic as it flew direct to Cuba and we wanted to spend as little time flying as possible. We had to book through the customer services team as they would not allow online booking to that destination.

    A old friend has just got engaged In Australia and we have decided to change our plans, book another week of leave and go to see her and her new fiance instead, among many other plans for the trip.

    Just spoke to Virgin Atlantic and have been told the following:

    1. Our tickets (paid in full) are non-refundable and we will suffer a full loss if we cancel. If we had booked a holiday, not just the flights we would not. We could have cancelled no problem at all. I've just checked our online booking and it says that it would only cost 9 to cancel the booking and we would lose 30% of our deposit as we are between 57-84 days before flying. What's going on here? I'm thinking the flights, operated by Delta Airlines, has stipulated full loss?

    2. We can put the costs paid (1100 in full for both flights) towards two new flights to Australia and pay the difference, but we will have to pay 185 per person 'change' fees as the tickets have been issued.

    First, the tickets have not been issued yet, and it says so clearly on my booking when I went onto the website last night. They will not be available to download/print until 14 Dec. Customer services say they have been issued so i must pay the fees.

    Second, I have to do the change of flights, which means I'm stuck with whatever price Virgin Atlantic choose to sell to me at and can't go through a comparison website.

    I do have travel insurance but I doubt 'changing your mind' counts as a suitable criteria for claiming loss of the tickets if I cancelled outright.

    Any idea please on how to mitigate the loss and get a decent price for two new tickets to Australia without being held to ransom?
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 10-11-2018 at 10:59 AM.
    'Save 12k in 2018' 4500/6,000 (75%)


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Page 1
    • bagand96
    • By bagand96 10th Nov 18, 10:10 AM
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    bagand96
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:10 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:10 AM
    Unfortunately you booked non-refundable flights and agreed to the T&Cs at the time of booking. Pretty much all cheap airline tickets are the same. You could’ve booked fully flexible refundable seats but you would have paid a lot more.

    Some airlines wouldn’t even allow you to change the booking so at least that’s something. Get a price from Virgin for changing to the flights you now want. Then use comparison sites to see if a new booking would be cheaper and work out what you want to do.

    As you say, change of mind is not an insurable situation.


    That said.....

    I've just checked our online booking and it says that it would only cost 9 to cancel the booking and we would lose 30% of our deposit as we are between 57-84 days before flying. What's going on here
    That seems very strange, does it definitely say that for your booking? Sounds more like the conditions for holiday booking rather than flight only. Have you asked Virgin why it says that?
    Last edited by bagand96; 10-11-2018 at 10:21 AM.
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 10th Nov 18, 10:25 AM
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    Cottage Economy
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:25 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:25 AM
    Unfortunately you booked non-refundable flights and agreed to the T&Cs at the time of booking. Pretty much all cheap airline tickets are the same. You could’ve booked fully flexible refundable seats but you would have paid a lot more.

    Some airlines wouldn’t even allow you to change the booking so at least that’s something. Get a price from Virgin for changing to the flights you now want. Then use comparison sites to see if a new booking would be cheaper and work out what you want to do.

    As you say, change of mind is not an insurable situation.


    That said.....



    That seems very strange, does it definitely say that for your booking? Sounds more like the conditions for holiday booking rather than flight only. Have you asked Virgin why it says that?
    Originally posted by bagand96
    I've had a look at the documents that came in, including the T&Cs and it doesn't say they are non-refundable. It just says contact Virgin to get the costs when it happens.

    And with respect, these are NOT cheap tickets. I went direct to Virgin Atlantic and paid the market price, 1061 for the two, not a comparison site. Virgin are the only carrier to offer a direct flight to Cuba. That was the price of them. the only 'better' seats were business or first class, but I shouldn't have to book that to get refundable tickets. I certainly wasn't asked if I wanted a refundable ticket or I would have said yes.
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 10-11-2018 at 10:58 AM.
    'Save 12k in 2018' 4500/6,000 (75%)


    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 10th Nov 18, 10:30 AM
    • 984 Posts
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    Cottage Economy
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:30 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:30 AM
    I'm going to ring them again because something is not quite right here.

    If cancelling loses me the full ticket price, how is it possible for them to transfer the amount left after cancellation fees to another flight? They still have to cancel my flights to Cuba and issue me with new tickets to Australia.

    There's still a supposed loss involved.
    'Save 12k in 2018' 4500/6,000 (75%)


    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • newuser86
    • By newuser86 10th Nov 18, 11:49 AM
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    newuser86
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:49 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:49 AM
    You will not win this, you paid the going price for a flight to Havana, the economy price is non refundable as with pretty much every airline unless you book a flex ticket.

    Only suggestion is go to Cuba, enjoy it and go to Australia another time
    ..
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 10th Nov 18, 12:03 PM
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    Cottage Economy
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 12:03 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 12:03 PM
    You will not win this, you paid the going price for a flight to Havana, the economy price is non refundable as with pretty much every airline unless you book a flex ticket.

    Only suggestion is go to Cuba, enjoy it and go to Australia another time
    ..
    Originally posted by newuser86
    I'm not looking to win. I'm looking to understand what the real costs are and mitigate the costs involved in doing the change. If i had known there was a flex ticket i would have taken it, i simply wan't offered.

    I live with my 84 year old MIL, who is suffers from health issues and anxiety. My BIL is living 20 minutes away for six months so this is the time to do it. We may not get the chance for many years after BIL moves away. We need to grab the chance with both hands, because when she starts to need care it will be rare for us to get away for any length of time
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 10-11-2018 at 12:15 PM.
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    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 10th Nov 18, 12:13 PM
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    shaun from Africa
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 12:13 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 12:13 PM
    If cancelling loses me the full ticket price, how is it possible for them to transfer the amount left after cancellation fees to another flight? They still have to cancel my flights to Cuba and issue me with new tickets to Australia.
    Originally posted by Cottage Economy
    Because in that instance, your tickets are not being cancelled, they are being amended. Even though the original destination and dates of travel will be changing, the contract itself won't be cancelled.

    In reality it's no different to going into a furniture shop and paying 1000 for a sofa then deciding that you made a mistake and popping back in to get a refund.
    That store may not allow change of mind refunds but they might allow you to pick a different sofa if you pay the difference in price and cover their paperwork fees.
    • photome
    • By photome 10th Nov 18, 12:14 PM
    • 13,595 Posts
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    photome
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 12:14 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 12:14 PM
    as has been said, nearly all cheap (yours were cheap) economy tickets are non cancellable/refundable etc


    fully flexible tickets costs thousands not hundreds.


    option 2 is a fair offer considering they dont have to do that.


    do as bagand says and price up flights both ways.


    bear in mind it is you that has changed your mind not Virgin
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 10th Nov 18, 12:18 PM
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    Cottage Economy
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 12:18 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 12:18 PM
    Because in that instance, your tickets are not being cancelled, they are being amended. Even though the original destination and dates of travel will be changing, the contract itself won't be cancelled.
    Originally posted by shaun from Africa
    Ok, that makes sense.

    as has been said, nearly all cheap (yours were cheap) economy tickets are non cancellable/refundable etc.

    fully flexible tickets costs thousands not hundreds.
    Originally posted by photome
    That's ridiculous. What exactly are the extra thousands for? I've had a look on the VA site and popped in a couple of dates in January for Cuba and the difference between Economy and Economy Flex is 676 vs 1936. I had to know it was there though - the Flex option was buried in a 'advanced options' expanding' section and not a standard offering to choose from.

    Thinking about it, it's probably to put people off buying Flex tickets so the airlines can more tightly control their schedules and margins. Makes sense I suppose.

    I'll come back next week after I've made the changes and update the thread so anyone else in the same boat has an 'ending' (if you like)
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 10-11-2018 at 12:37 PM.
    'Save 12k in 2018' 4500/6,000 (75%)


    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 10th Nov 18, 12:44 PM
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    shaun from Africa
    What exactly are the extra thousands for? I've had a look on the VA site and popped in a couple of dates and the difference between Economy and Economy Flex is 676 vs 1936
    Originally posted by Cottage Economy
    Flexible tickets are more often than not purchased by business travellers who require tickets that can be changes on short notice as very few non business travellers will be willing to pay more than they have to for the slight possibility that they have to change their travel plans.


    Thinking about it, it's probably to put people off buying Flex tickets so the airlines can more tightly control their schedules and margins
    Originally posted by Cottage Economy
    Any aircraft can only take a fixed number of passengers and flight schedules are planned a very long time in advance so controlling schedules won't be the reason for the increased price and a fully flexible ticket is only useful if there is space available on the flight that you wish to change to.

    As for margins being the reason.
    Any airline would probably much prefer far more passengers to pay for more expensive, changeable tickets knowing that not too many of them would be taking advantage of the flexibility.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 10th Nov 18, 1:49 PM
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    Voyager2002
    - the Flex option was buried in a 'advanced options' expanding' section and not a standard offering to choose from.

    Thinking about it, it's probably to put people off buying Flex tickets so the airlines can more tightly control their schedules and margins. Makes sense I suppose.
    Originally posted by Cottage Economy

    More likely, it is because the vast majority of passengers want the lowest possible fare: if they make it easy to find the Flex option then that uses website space that could otherwise be used to highlight something that more customers will want.
    • bagand96
    • By bagand96 10th Nov 18, 2:42 PM
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    bagand96
    And with respect, these are NOT cheap tickets. I went direct to Virgin Atlantic and paid the market price, 1061 for the two, not a comparison site. Virgin are the only carrier to offer a direct flight to Cuba.
    And with all due respect, 1061 for 2 flights to Cuba is cheap. Especially considering they are direct.
    • Sharon87
    • By Sharon87 12th Nov 18, 4:39 PM
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    Sharon87
    On your manage my booking page on the virgin website there will be an option for amending/changing a flight. Choose this, go through it, pick some new dates and before checking out it'll tell you how much it will be to change the flights - the change fee and fare difference.

    Do it might be 100-200 as a fee to change the flight and if the ticket prices have gone up then that will be added on top of that. I have changed loads of flights for work and for personal (although not with virgin for personal use).

    FYI if you're worried about money for changing flights, then is it a good idea to go to Australia? those flights can start from 800+ per ticket at non peak times!
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