Captover From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 87 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 12480 times:
I am planning on traveling on Virgin Atlantic from IAD-LHR and back on a ZED employee fare. I was wondering if I need to do anything before traveling. I have my ZED ticket but I was wondering if I need to contact Virgin Atlantic first or if I should just show up at the ticket counter when I want to fly. Also, is a ZED ticket good for available seats in all classes or just economy? Can anyone help me with some information?
Baw716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2034 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 12406 times:
You airline issues the ticket at the ZED fare. Then you contact the airline you intend to fly on and list yourself, stating that you are an interline employee flying on a ZED fare. They will meal list you.
You go to airport, check in as you normally would, if you check luggage, expect it to have standby tags put on it, you wait at check in counter...if your name is called, then you are cleared to security with your boarding card in hand.
In USA, you are cleared through security to the gate with a boarding card with no seat. If you are cleared on board, it is done at the gate, then your bags are boarded, usually in the bulk pit.
Your priority will be the LOWEST boarding priority. Plan on that. Upgrades are at the discretion of the gate agent and based on the policy of the airline relative to upgrades. DO NOT ASK ABOUT UPGRADES. If you do, you will certainly end up in Economy, if on the aircraft at all.
One last thing, dress nicely. Carry a jacket and a tie. Wear it in the airport on the off chance that they elect to upgrade you. If they don't, then you can lose it onboard. Best to be prepared, since the agents are instructed to select the nicer looking people to be upgraded, so they fit in with the rest of the passengers who are sitting in Business Class.
Oh and on a 3 cabin aircraft, forget First Class....you will almost never see it.
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
MEL From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1104 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 12382 times:
I have flown Washington-London on VIRGIN 22, on a ZED ticket, and was not only given a Premium Economy seat on checkin, but was also given a lounge invite, as the flight was running about an hour late because of the late arrival of the equipment from LHR, which is rare for Virgin at Dulles. Checking in with the lounge agent, I was then handed a boarding pass to Upper Class. They treated us (UAX) extremely well, and I was very greatful. I hope you get treated in a similar manner, but as suggested by others, don't ask, just wait, and you might receive.
However, on another ZED ticket on Virgin, this time VS12 from Boston to Heathrow, I was given an Economy seat even though Premium Econ and Upper were booked extremely light (744)... I ended up having 3 seats to myself on the left window side. So you win some, you loose some.
Make sure to list for the flight a few days in advance. I always ask what the loads look like, when listing.
Fbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3767 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 12176 times:
Thank you for the insights of staff travel. I have sometimes seen a few people dressed a little too smart for an overnight flight standing in the First line and have their bags tagged as standby although knew little about the process itself.
Quoting Baw716 (Reply 1): Oh and on a 3 cabin aircraft, forget First Class....you will almost never see it.
Especially in this case since VS don't have a First Class
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
Ozvirginuk From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 396 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 12148 times:
When travelling on a ZED ticket you will have the lowest possible boarding priority. All VS staff on duty travel and then those on concessions will be boarded, then other airline staff if space permits. I would think it highly unlikely that you would sit anywhere other than in Economy, as even VS staff don't get to sit in Upper Class until a few years service.
However, you just don't know what will happen on the day. Also, when are you going?? The LHR-IAD-LHR route is scheduled to be fitted with Upper Class Suite by the end of the year, so if you do get lucky....... then you'll be getting really lucky!!!!