You are viewing brits_americans

Brits Americans
changing flights on virgin atlantic 
11th-Oct-2010 09:07 am [travel]
enjoy
has anyone had experience changing a flight on virgin atlantic? was it hard? how much did it cost?

i'm looking to book a flight back from the states in january (i'm going home for christmas), but since i want to come home at some point in the summer, i thought i'd do a round trip. trick is, i'm not sure exactly when in the summer i'd be coming back (i should know well in advance, i just don't know yet).

i tried emailing them, but i haven't gotten a clear answer yet.

thanks so much!
Comments 
11th-Oct-2010 08:32 am (UTC)
While some people may have got an exception to ticketing rules in the past, it is not a good idea to rely on such a thing.
Therefore, check the ticketing rules - start making a booking on a travel search website and look for the ticketing rules. They tend to be written in a very turgid condensed style. For example on Virgin's website when you start making a reservation, when you see the matrix of departure days and fares, there is a link "Fare Conditions" at the bottom.
In general you will be wanting a "flexible" fare, but there are many sorts of flexible and it can be the case that the cost of changing a less flexible fare is less than the higher cost of a more flexible fare initially. In particular some fares are so flexible you can change them up to departure or even after (i.e. not bother to show for one flight and go on the next), while some can only be changed some time ahead of travel but after purchase.
As an example I searched for a departure JFK-LON Thu 6 Jan return LON-JFK Wed 8 Jun on the "Economy - lowest price" fare and found these restrictions for the return flight:

"Advanced reservation / ticketing
Reservations for all sectors are required at least 7 days before departure. Ticketing must be completed within 72 hours after reservations are made or at least 7 days before departure whichever is earlier.
Minimum stay
Return travel from last stopover must commence no earlier than the first sun after departure from fare origin.
Maximum stay
Travel from last stopover must commence no later than 12 months after departure from fare origin.
Penalties
Changes any time charge usd 275.00. Waived for illness or death of passenger or family member. Note - before departure of the outbound journey for changes made prior to the departure of the scheduled flight - reprice using current fares. After departure of the outbound journey for changes made prior to the departure of the scheduled flight - reprice using fares in effect at time of original ticket issue. No show - for changes made after the original scheduled flight charge usd375 and reprice using current or historical fares as above. Infants - no penalty - reprice fare as above. Children - no discounts - apply as per adult. Waiver - for death/illness of pax or immediate family member as evidenced by a death/hospital certificate - keep the original fare and rebook as required. Upgrades - prior to departure of the original scheduled flight - may be upgraded to a higher cabin without penalty. Reprice using current or historical fares as above. Resulting fare must be equal or higher than original fare. Residual amounts - no refund will be given if repricing results in a lower fare. Multiple charges - apply the highest charge of all fare components within a pricing unit regardless of whether that fare component has been changed. Cancellations any time ticket is non-refundable. Waived for illness or death of passenger or family member.
"

Which, as I am reading it now, implies that if you want to change the return after you depart the outbout it will cost you:
$275 + difference in fare
based on the fares at the time you book (this is quite nice of them, fares are sure to go up in the mean time) and you will have to get it changed 7 days before you want to get on the aircraft.

This is one example, there are many slightly different fare rules for different fares issued by an airline. If you have a definite plan for changing a ticket, you should ask them, perhaps after placing the ticket on hold but before paying for it (unless you are very confident in your understanding of the ticketing rules or can afford to make a mistake).

Edited at 2010-10-11 08:32 am (UTC)
11th-Oct-2010 09:11 am (UTC)
i had to deal with them when i went back for a visa, here's how it works.

if you want to change the date and time of your flight BEFORE the original flight leaves, it's £90.
if you want to change the date and time of your flight AFTER the original flight departs, it's about £150.

you have up to a year to change your flight back, but i would do it BEFORE the original flight comes back to the UK as it saves you money. :)

by original flight i mean the one that you would take BACK to the UK. they are very considerate and easy to deal with. :)

hope this helps! :)
11th-Oct-2010 10:08 am (UTC)
IAWTC -- this has been my experience in the past and I've changed flights with them many, many times. They've always been super helpful and made the change with no issues at all.
11th-Oct-2010 11:46 am (UTC)
however, i think this is ONLY if you've booked with Virgin DIRECTLY??? not quite sure but when i went back to the US to get my marriage visa in the summertime i ended up having to stay a month longer than i wanted to and Virgin were awesome about me changing my flight. i wish i could say the same about the British Consulate!
11th-Oct-2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
I've done this when booking with Virgin via Student Universe (aaaages ago!) too and didn't have any problems on those trips, but you may be right, since now I book directly with Virgin at pretty much all times. :)
11th-Oct-2010 09:14 am (UTC)
My best suggestion would be to check with a travel agent and ask about tickets with 'open return' dates. I believe they cost more than a regular round trip but probably less than changing your flight, if they still do such a thing now days with security what it is.
11th-Oct-2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
I'd speak directly with Virgin, as opposed to the agent/website you booked through--I flew Virgin Atlantic when I moved to the UK, and had to cancel a leg of my flight (I was originally scheduled to fly Chicago-London-Brussels and had to change to just Chicago-London). Orbitz wanted to charge me $250 for canceling that last flight, but Virgin did it for free.
11th-Oct-2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
It depends on the fare type of the ticket you have booked. In my experience, even when changes are permitted, it's very expensive ($275 plus any difference in the fare). What about an open return?
This page was loaded Oct 1st 2014, 2:30 pm GMT.