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Friend Caused Virgin America Divert  
User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 22
Posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 15458 times:

so i heard from a friend that at some point on a LAX-JFK virgin america flight that she got up, hit her head, passed out, threw up for an hour--when the crew decided to divert to STL.

once on the ground she was checked out, but the flight continued as she and her friend were left in STL and told to find their own way to JFK--despite being told on the plane that virgin would take care of it.

while this is a casual friend, i asked her to repeat the facts, which are as i stated them above--and i told her YEAH because she cost the airline several thousands of dollars--yet if virgin said they would help, why an about-face?

is it common for passengers booted off to be required to find a way to the final destination?

51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlinePlanesNTrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5582 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15359 times:

I don't know what their specific policy is, but in the service industry businesses that I've managed, we try to instill in our employees not to promise or take responsibility for an injury incurred by a guest - let the manager/owner do it. It's not because you don't care - you certainly aid them in any way you can - but if they start blurting out promises that they aren't in a position to deliver on, it creates all sorts of problems.

I'm not sure what happened here, but certainly it's possible that an F/A suggested that they would be taken care of, as that would seem like the logical customer service thing to do. However, they aren't in a position to deliver on that promise themselves, so probably shouldn't be making it, at least without supervisor approval.

Just a scenario anyhow.

-Dave



Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1352 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15347 times:



Quoting VSLover (Thread starter):
yet if virgin said they would help, why an about-face?

That's an odd one. Part of the problem might be that Virgin America doesn't serve STL (I believe), and so the airline would have to buy your friend an off-line ticket.


PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineMattnrsa From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 393 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15258 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Reply 2):
Part of the problem might be that Virgin America doesn't serve STL (I believe), and so the airline would have to buy your friend an off-line ticket.

I agree. If this had happened on any airline with ticketing agreements (UA, AA, DL, etc.), rerouting would have been arranged, especially if the diversion went into a city where the airline had existing mainline or express operations.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21534 posts, RR: 60
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15233 times:

But if she agreed to the diversion to get checked out on the recommendation of the crew with the promise that they wouldn't be left behind, yet then were left behind, VX would be completely at fault in my book.

So did they as her if she thought she needed a doctor?



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1352 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15180 times:



Quoting Mattnrsa (Reply 3):
Quoting Aviateur (Reply 2):
Part of the problem might be that Virgin America doesn't serve STL (I believe), and so the airline would have to buy your friend an off-line ticket.

I agree. If this had happened on any airline with ticketing agreements (UA, AA, DL, etc.), rerouting would have been arranged, especially if the diversion went into a city where the airline had existing mainline or express operations.

Right, and Virgin America, like Southwest, doesn't have those cozy interline relationships that the legacy carriers have, which makes it difficult for them to do deal with these sorts of irregular situations.

Still though, I dunno.... they should have bought the girl a ticket.


PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineDL777LAX From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 521 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15154 times:

Slightly unrelated, but... I lol'd at the advertising.

Big version: Width: 936 Height: 569 File size: 209kb


That sucks for your friend, did they get to New York, or were they stranded in St. Louis?



Blindly following anything is bad, unless of course your blind and your following a guide dog.
User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4042 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15148 times:

I would have thought that the crew would have been in contact with an organisation such as Medlink who would then have made the decision to divert.

It isn't normal in this day and age for the crew to make that sort of decision without first seeking qualified medical assistance/advice, as if they do divert and it is unecessary they get their asses kicked by the airline, but if they don't divert and the pax gets worse or even dies, then the airline and crew are in a heap of trouble so normally they would seek medical advice before making the decision - although this does depend on each individual airlines procedures.

They were probably left stranded as Aviateur suggested, no Virgin America staff in STL to deal with them, and I doubt another airline would have taken on that responsibliity. Best bet would be to contact Virgin's Customer Services and see what they say, or claim of their travel insurance for extra expenses incurred.

 Smile



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently onlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13610 posts, RR: 61
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15121 times:
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Quoting DL777LAX (Reply 6):
Slightly unrelated, but... I lol'd at the advertising.

Me too!  rotfl 

http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/imgad?id=CLvyg4eM8v31SBDYBRhPMgiZ-jDQWlBIAQ



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineHPAEAA From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1024 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15048 times:

personally, I think it makes perfect sense... onboard she was dealing with Virgin Employees... in STL, there are no virgin employees who can speak on behalf of the carrier, so what could they promise? nothing! exactly what she got... I suggest having here touch base with Virgin HQ in SFO or at the destination to sort things out...


Why do I fly???
User currently offlineCV880 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1132 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15041 times:

Have Her send a letter to Fred Reid, CEO of Virgin. (555 Airport Blvd, Burlingame CA, 94010)


You may ask, would Delta have stranded me? (Ex President of both DL & LH)


User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days ago) and read 14830 times:
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Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 7):
I would have thought that the crew would have been in contact with an organisation such as Medlink who would then have made the decision to divert.

It isn't normal in this day and age for the crew to make that sort of decision without first seeking qualified medical assistance/advice, as if they do divert and it is unecessary they get their asses kicked by the airline, but if they don't divert and the pax gets worse or even dies, then the airline and crew are in a heap of trouble so normally they would seek medical advice before making the decision - although this does depend on each individual airlines procedures.

I'm sure they did contact Medlink, but I already questioned the crew training as far as medical emergencies goes. I'm really starting to link VX, minus this incident. In a nutshell, we were on the night flight from IAD-SFO on dec.19th and a girl hit her head HARD on the overhead bin and was flat on the ground. They asked if there were any docs on board, which my mom was, so she dinged the button. I'm going to make a full posting in trip reports or something but I was just appalled at how clueless the (very nice and friendly) crew were when it came to dealing with Medlink. Turned out the girl had low blood sugar but they really tripped up from a customer service point of view when they didn't comp my mom a bag of chips or something (not that she was expecting anything, but she bought the girl a few cookies off of RED to get her sugar back up).

Other

Quoting CV880 (Reply 10):
Have Her send a letter to Fred Reid, CEO of Virgin. (555 Airport Blvd, Burlingame CA, 94010)

Might have better luck if you send it to Cush..seeing as how he's the new ceo and all  Smile



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlineAV8orWALK From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 14760 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Reply 5):
Right, and Virgin America, like Southwest, doesn't have those cozy interline relationships that the legacy carriers have, which makes it difficult for them to do deal with these sorts of irregular situations.

True that WN does't interline, but I can't think of a part of the United States that WN would be flying over for more than an hour (while I was throwing up) where they didn't have the opportunity to land at one of their stations. Hmm...maybe over Montana? GEG isn't too far away.  Smile

Proves more difficult for Virgin America, who doesn't have a single station not on a coast!

Cheers!
Drew



The safest place to be in an airplane crash is on the ground.
User currently offlineCVG2LGA From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 632 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 14675 times:



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 11):
Turned out the girl had low blood sugar but they really tripped up from a customer service point of view when they didn't comp my mom a bag of chips or something (not that she was expecting anything, but she bought the girl a few cookies off of RED to get her sugar back up).

Thankfully your mother did what is called a "good deed" by helping the girl get her sugar back up, Naturally when performing good deeds anything back isn't expected, but I fail to see how they "tripped up" in a customer service way by not comping her something in return. Thats the problem in the world today, espcially with the damn airlines- everyone is about comping and "i deserve, I should get". When did a Thank You become not enough?!

Tchau
DA-



They don't call em' emergencies anymore. They call em' Patronies.
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 14635 times:

I thought* that the generally accepted rule with airlines/trains/busses was the once the carrier accepted you for transportation and undertook to provide that transportation, absent you violating the contact of carriage (thereby breaching the contract first) they had a duty to either fufill the contract and get you to your destination or return you to your point of origin.

In any event, it's deplorable for an airline to leave a passenger stranded in a city that's not served likely without luggage

And if the crew did promise to "take care of" the passenger that opens up all manner of other liability questions (Did the passenger consent to/request the diversion? If that did, were they induced to do so because of the representation that they would be 'taken care of'? Can the respondeat superior doctrne be applied? [I would have a hard time saying no] Is there something about the VX cabin design that makes one more likely to strike their head? )

Lincoln
* - This is one of those things that I've heard over and over, and makes sense from my (limited) contract law knowledge, but I've never seen it spelled out in a contract of carriage DOT rule, or case law so who knows... I may be completely imagining things here.

[...and of course...not a lawyer, but I occassionally play one on the Internet]



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineD328 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 14339 times:

You get what you pay for! That is what LCC's do for you, nothing! Because you buy the ticket for nothing!

User currently offlineCitrusCritter From Pitcairn Islands, joined May 2007, 1106 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 14201 times:



Quoting D328 (Reply 15):
That is what LCC's do for you, nothing!

Both FL and F9 have interline agreements, so not completely accurate.



TLH
User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4328 posts, RR: 35
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 13288 times:



Quoting CVG2LGA (Reply 13):
but I fail to see how they "tripped up" in a customer service way by not comping her something in return. Thats the problem in the world today, espcially with the damn airlines- everyone is about comping and "i deserve, I should get". When did a Thank You become not enough?!

The airline let her pay the cookies, at least they should have given them for free. It's just a $2 difference which make the airline seem quite cheap and coldhearted.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineBramble From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 12310 times:



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 14):
And if the crew did promise to "take care of" the passenger

perhaps the crew were ex another carrier who did have a policy of 'looking after' their pax. The crew may have naturally assumed that VA follow the same policy without realising that ther is no company presence i


User currently offlineATCtower From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 542 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11345 times:



Quoting Bramble (Reply 18):
perhaps the crew were ex another carrier who did have a policy of 'looking after' their pax. The crew may have naturally assumed that VA follow the same policy without realising that ther is no company presence

The whole idea in the sales world is to under promise and over deliver. If they were told they would be taken care of, it should be so. I would imagine at all levels of management, she would get a favorable response. Likely, she would receive the cost of the airfare to the destination, and probably a couple VX tickets for future use. I dont believe the second part of that is entirely necessary, but when considering the unfavorable press the woman could produce for VX, it would be much cheaper to satisfy/silence her from a business standpoint.

my twocents 



By reading the above post you waive all rights to be offended. If you do not like what you read, forget it.
User currently offlineViscount630 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11268 times:
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Who handled the diversion at STL? Surely they accepted the pax into "their care" and they could/should have arranged onward transportation to JFKonce the passsenger was declared fit to fly? If it was a carrier that actually operated on that route from STL themselves - or at least to a NYC area destination - a simple call to either SFO or their own powers-that-be would have secured a complimentary/compassionate ticket....... If nothing else, taking details of the passengers insurnace (assuming they had any) for later billing would have got them on their way. Or has concern for ones fellow human beings completely left the commercial airline world in the US??


RIP Dan-Air. Where the Secret was SERVICE.
User currently offlineChase From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1054 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10089 times:



Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 17):
The airline let her pay the cookies, at least they should have given them for free. It's just a $2 difference which make the airline seem quite cheap and coldhearted.

I agree. I was once writing with a pen on an AA flight IND-DFW, and my pen leaked ink all over my hands. In other words, a situation that comes absolutely nowhere near comparing to the low blood sugar situation described above. But as I was walking back to the lav, and F/A noticed what happened and brought me packets of sugar, and two bottles of vodka, and said that to get the ink off I should mix the sugar and vodka together with the liquid soap that is dispensed in the lab, and then scrub. It worked pretty well, but not completely, so she even put two more bottles of vodka and more packets of sugar into a paper bag and gave it to me to use after the flight. That really, really impressed me - if AA can do that for such a trivial problem, VX should be able to comp a $2 cookie for someone with a medical need!


User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9481 times:

well thank you all for your insights.

apparently she was not offered the choice to be checked out/off-loaded--BUT thats because at the time the decision was made, she was still throwing up--her travelling companion says though that they werent given any choice in the matter.

and one the plane landed in STL and she was checked out, she felt OK and that it was unnecessary to go to the hospital and once the medics cleared her and checked her out--she was free to find her own ticket on AA to NYC.

while i do think it was the responsible thing for VX to divert, it is all just an odd situation that i really never gave much thought to until it happened to someone i know.


User currently offlineQblue From Canada, joined Jun 2004, 157 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 9204 times:

Many airlines are very hesitant to carry a passenger again due to a medical divertion. It has cost the airline money and do not want it to happen again. Some airline requires you to have a clearance letter from an airline approved doctor to continue on travel.

User currently offlineBlatantEcho From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1913 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 9116 times:

why is the customer not responsible in any way?


They're not handing trophies out today
25 Star_world : Where was the customer in breach of their obligations under the contract of carriage? If the a/c is diverted for something that you have voluntarily
26 777fan : Passing out (aka "losing consciousness") and throwing up repeatedly are strong indications of a serious head injury. The crew was wise to divert with
27 GT4EZY : How did you about the dealings with Medlink when this is dealt with in the flightdeck?
28 SJC4Me : I'm surprised no ones asked but, how fast do you have to be standing up to knock yourself out?
29 Post contains images Leezyjet : That isn't the passengers decision to make anyway. The airline also has a responsibility to all the other pax on the plane, as well as all the pax wa
30 CV880 : [quote=Leezyjet,reply=29]VX did absolutely the right thing, and I don't think they can be faulted in any way. The pax should have been given info abou
31 Post contains images Leezyjet : We don't know if they were given that info, this is a 2nd hand story from a members friend, so it is not possible to acertain the facts other than th
32 Mymiles2go : Actually, I do fault them. They should have provided some way for the passenger to continue onto her destination. It would cost VX what? A couple hun
33 Post contains images Leezyjet : On top of the several thousand it had already cost them to divert in the first place !!. Not sure what industry you work in Mymiles2go, but the airli
34 Jetdude : When I was a FA, it was company policy to not comp anything to someone who helped out....but...we gave the contact information of the "helper" to our
35 JetSetter629 : Looks like you need Mozilla's Add Blocker Plus...
36 ArcrftLvr : I agree. Obviously, they are not obligated to pay for the ticket from STL-JFK, especially considering the injury was 'self-inflicted', but I would th
37 Post contains images Nkops : I think the hard thing here is that VX doesn't serve many cities... any other airline, you could probalby land in a city you serve and eventually get
38 N1120A : Yeah, VX screwed up there and almost certainly breached their contract of carriage. For this kind of situation, Southwest can rather easily send you
39 Mymiles2go : That is actually how the airline indusrty works here in the US with carriers who at least pretend to care about thier customers. Airlines like United
40 Arffguy : Absolutely. hmmmm? Yep. The sick person becomes the priority, flight diverts, and once sick pax is off the flight the flight continues. Nothing unusu
41 Luv2cattlecall : For the record, Dr. Mom didn't feel she deserved any special treatment or anything like that. It's just that she's given medical aid on an aircraft s
42 N1120A : Well, they can't just leave them half a country from home and say "here's your money, see ya." They left her there, they have to either refund her an
43 AIR757200 : That is incorrect. It doesn't matter how many people are booked in a "reservation." The contract of carriage always applies individually (as reflecte
44 Tripleboom : You'd be surprised how often you get more from a LCC than a legacy. While working as a Customer Service Coordinator in the OMA station for F9 I was n
45 BWilliams : I wish that more airline employees were as helpful as you. I was stuck in JFK back in February because of a screwup with DL's international arrival b
46 Farnborough24 : Sorry to go back off topic, but this is a bit of a raw nerve. My understanding is that owing to the marvels of the human body, it is almost impossibl
47 N1120A : Being on the same reservation means people have the expectation that they will travel together. Even if the CoC is applied separately, the reliance b
48 Luv2cattlecall : Don't worry about "appearing to have a go..." you're expressing a valid point so no need to worry! My mother and brother are also diabetic, which she
49 ADXMatt : I think that Virgin should have given the girl a cookie and some juice for free. Just as they would have given her medication from the EEMK if it was
50 Carfield : I agree that VX could have done a better job... 1. The girls should be given a direct number (not a reservation number) to a VX supervisor at either S
51 Luv2cattlecall : The bump in the head was due to the girl falling over while walking because her hypoglycemia made her too weak to walk - and in a way it was a good t
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