Cipango
Posts: 1451
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:55 pm

Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:58 am

Just browsing through airlinequality.com and saw that VS is no longer a four star airline, but has in fact been downgraded to a three star airline.

I understand that service onboard VS can be a little inconsistent, but the airline advertises and thrives off its image of style and class.

When was VS downgraded and why? Im sure this must be damaging for its image.
Let's fly! Unless it's on a CRJ 200, then I'll stay down here.
 
anstar
Posts: 2872
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:07 am

Try this thread from last year when they were downgraded

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...eneral_aviation/read.main/5216275/

Lots of info there - but in fairness to VS they have rehauled their economy catering and do so with UPPER from1 March.

They are also refitting all 747 leisure fleet with new interiors and have a new J coming online in April.
 
my235
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:21 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:56 am

Why they have not improved their website is beyond me. It looks like it's 3yrs old!
 
jwhite9185
Posts: 1581
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 10:34 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:24 am

The website is in the process of being updated - Its kind of in line with their fleet - half new and fancy and the rest of it is still the old style.


New parts of the site:
http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/us/en/the-virgin-experience.html
http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/us/en...vel-information/flight-status.html
http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/us/en/travel-information.html

While the rest of it is still the old style. I can understand public beta, but the way they have done it just looks a mess. Been like that since the summer.

[Edited 2012-02-26 02:26:15]
@mytripreport
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:47 am

I am not a fan of Virgin. I think they are a solid three star airline. They led once, with personal IFE in economy and other innovations, but I would much rather fly BA these days, especially Club World which runs rings around Upper Class.

Those Upper Class herringbone seats are absolutely awful! Can't see out the window, can't see your travelling companions. My sister flew it with her kids and my niece freaked out cos she woke up in that little coffin and freaked out, couldn't see Mummy. How is this a good product?

Worst thing about them is, you can't just recline to a flat bed (unlike, say, a similar seat on Air Canada), it reclines some of the way, then, when you want it to be a flat bed, you have to GET UP and a flight attendant has to come over and TURN IT OVER which is totally useless, so then you get back in your flat bed and you're wide awake! Whereas on all other airlines, you can recline a bit, recline a bit more, keep the red wine flowing, eyelids getting heavy, recline all the way, credits on movie roll, zzzzzz. I enjoy that process a lot! Would be well f***ed off if I got to the penultimate stage then had to GET UP and STAND AROUND IN THE AISLE while a hostie did some stuff to the seat. Whoever thought this was a good idea was out of their mind.

BA all the way for me! THAT'S a four star airline.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
L410Turbolet
Posts: 5443
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 9:12 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:09 am

Quoting cipango (Thread starter):
When was VS downgraded and why?

Why? Perhaps they are guilty of not advertising with Skytrax enough...?

Quoting cipango (Thread starter):
Im sure this must be damaging for its image.

I thought Skytrax ranking was generally considered a joke.
 
mikey72
Posts: 1439
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:31 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:12 am

Oh it's a silly site.

For a start people in economy that pay a few hundred $$$ to travel half way around the world have no business complaining about anything on any airline if they get to their destination in one piece.

Business and First is a different matter but I think we can all agree you don't exactly 'slum it' in these cabins on any of the major airlines these days.

It was Moet not Krug, my Steak was overdone...get a life !
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
slinky09
Posts: 594
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:03 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:17 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 4):
I am not a fan of Virgin. I think they are a solid three star airline. They led once, with personal IFE in economy and other innovations, but I would much rather fly BA these days, especially Club World which runs rings around Upper Class.

Which is a matter of opinion, I'd say the VS UC experience runs rings around BA J and in some regards knocks off BA F (but only on the ground).

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 5):
Why? Perhaps they are guilty of not advertising with Skytrax enough...?

Indeed, alledgedly (he says carefully) I know people, myself included, who have written positive reports on Skytrax only to have them edited, or even deleted ... alledgedly again, I wouldn't want to infer any editing to suit whether any airline spends ad money there.

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 6):
Oh it's a silly site.

Mikey, we agree  
 
tonystan
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:39 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:18 am

Skytrax is bought!

When I first heard of them I was working for QR....all of a sudden our magazine racks onboard and in the lounges were full of Business Traveller and Skytrax branding! Skytrax coincidently held some sort of awards ceremony in Doha sponsored by the airline and before you know it we where suddenly "the 5 star airline"! Clearly these people never flew on one of the airlines sub-continent flights to the likes of Dhaka, KTM and Delhi where I can assure you the service was anything but 5 star and usually ended in organised chaos!

But suppose if an airline has a limitless source of funding it can not only afford to build a 5star airline, it can afford to buy the title too! LOL!

...Can I jsut add...the service is brilliant on them...on certain routes!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
freeskies
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:14 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:19 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 4):
While the rest of it is still the old style. I can understand public beta, but the way they have done it just looks a mess. Been like that since the summer.

The irony of the statement on their site "we get all the details just right".
 
planejamie
Posts: 564
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:41 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:21 am

I'm not a Virgin fan at all, and to be honest this doesn't surprise me, I did not enjoy my flight with them from MAN-MCO a few years back. The only good thing I could find with the flight is that it was on a 747. I felt the service was awful, the food awful, the IFE system very dated etc, and this was a good 5-6 years ago so this doesn't surprise me. The only reason we chose it was price and that it didn't require a connection. Compared to BA the year before through LGW (before it got updated etc), we found that had no problems.

This is of course going back a fair few years, but out of my 3 trips to Orlando, I found BA to be the best compared to other trips with VS and US.
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:24 am

Quoting tonystan (Reply 8):
But suppose if an airline has a limitless source of funding it can not only afford to build a 5star airline, it can afford to buy the title too! LOL!

I'm not disagreeing outright, but I would have thought that there are two pretty significant arguments against that...












...Emirates and Etihad!!!!
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
virgincrew
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:40 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:26 am

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 6):
Oh it's a silly site.

Couldn't agree with you more !

People only put things on those sites when things go wrong ! I would say 10% of passengers leave a review and it will be the passengers that had a bad experience. The passengers that had a good experience are unlikely to leave a review, so these sites are not truely factual !

I agree that Virgin may have slipped in latter years, but they still offer a solid soft & hard product ! You cannot slate Upper Class and I feel it is miles ahead of BA Club.

Most of the reviews on these sites are based on the LGW / MAN leisure routes & the 747 aircraft based at these bases, VS have listened to their customers and are spending £100 Million to re-fitt the entire LGW / MAN fleet and service throughout the entire VS fleet.
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
lhr380
Posts: 2453
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:39 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:30 am

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 6):

That first paragraph I don't agree with at all. There are still set service standards even in Economy. Be it crew, meals, Service levels, seats, IFE etc so if something does go wrong, or tastes bad etc, EVEN economy customers have a right to complain, no matter how much has been paid,
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
tonystan
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:39 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:33 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 11):

I'm not disagreeing outright, but I would have thought that there are two pretty significant arguments against that...



...Emirates and Etihad!!!!

Yeah but niether of these are rated "5 star" by Skytrax!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
virgincrew
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:40 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:38 am

I have just proved a point - Sky Trax rates 'Emirates' as a 4 star airline - same as BA etc..

How can you say Emirates is only a 4 star airline. Surely they should be on level with the likes of Singapore Airlines which are a 5 star airline.
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
tonystan
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:39 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:41 am

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 15):
I have just proved a point - Sky Trax rates 'Emirates' as a 4 star airline - same as BA etc..

How can you say Emirates is only a 4 star airline. Surely they should be on level with the likes of Singapore Airlines which are a 5 star airline.

EASY...Have you actually ever flown EK?

Inconsistent hard product, inconsistent cabin crew, terrible ground staff in DXB (mind you QR has some horrific customer service in the shed it currently uses as a hub terminal in DOH) and way too much emphasis on its new aircraft without reminding the advertising agencies that the bulf of its fleet still has old products and services onboard! You should see the shocking state of many of the A330s still flying about!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
lhr380
Posts: 2453
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:39 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:42 am

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 12):

I do agree to a degree. I have never flown VS, but have been on board and had a look at the product. w was nice, Y is Y, J, well, I felt very... I had no space at all. I had now where to put my arms except on my lap, hearing how the bed is made already brngs the BA seat up a few pegs. I have only a few times had it lie flat, mostly I have the seat in the Z Postion, but knowing all I have to do is press that button and it goes all the way down should I want it is nice. I struggled to turn all the way round and see out the window, and if I can I like to see what's going on and sometimes at a window seat I will just stare out the window and see the world go by, look at the clouds, stars etc. no where in J on VS can you do that except if your not sat down.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
L410Turbolet
Posts: 5443
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 9:12 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:50 am

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 6):
For a start people in economy that pay a few hundred $$$ to travel half way around the world have no business complaining about anything on any airline if they get to their destination in one piece.

Trying to play O'Leary wannabe?

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 15):
How can you say Emirates is only a 4 star airline. Surely they should be on level with the likes of Singapore Airlines which are a 5 star airline.

I don't know if experience of those untermensch like me who fly economy only because the flights are paid out of their own pocket count for the overall ranking (that is if any passenger experience counts at all). But imho there is a huge difference between perception of EK they managed to create and actual experience. EK (and DXB) left me underwhelmed to say the least and any airline that stuffs 10-abreast in 777 should be automatically disqualified from being even considered anything above 4* regardless what perks they offer in other cabins. Period.
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:51 am

Quoting tonystan (Reply 14):
Yeah but niether of these are rated "5 star" by Skytrax!

THAT is my point. Both have deep pockets and a generally good product. But both are 4 star.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
Cipango
Posts: 1451
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:55 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:54 am

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 15):
How can you say Emirates is only a 4 star airline. Surely they should be on level with the likes of Singapore Airlines which are a 5 star airline.

On the Skytrax page for Emirates it lists the negatives about EK. 10 abreast in economy on the 777 and rapid expansion leading to a decline in service levels.

On the page for VS it states "Incosistant and declined standards of service" and "Poor economy class onboard catering levels" as its weaknesses.





[Edited 2012-02-26 04:00:29]
Let's fly! Unless it's on a CRJ 200, then I'll stay down here.
 
anstar
Posts: 2872
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:07 pm

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 6):
Oh it's a silly site.

For a start people in economy that pay a few hundred $$$ to travel half way around the world have no business complaining about anything on any airline if they get to their destination in one piece.

Business and First is a different matter but I think we can all agree you don't exactly 'slum it' in these cabins on any of the major airlines these days.

I agree - some of the things people moan about is ridiculous. Especially in economy.

Quoting cipango (Reply 21):
On the page for VS it states "Incosistant and declined standards of service" and "Poor economy class onboard catering levels" as its weaknesses.

And these are the areas in which virgin are improving. They brought in a new economy meal service, and have a new J service starting next week as well as sacking the old caterers and have new ones for this new J service.
 
LondonCity
Posts: 988
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:57 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:41 pm

Quoting tonystan (Reply 8):
When I first heard of them I was working for QR....all of a sudden our magazine racks onboard and in the lounges were full of Business Traveller and Skytrax branding!

There is no connection between Business Traveller in the UK and Skytrax. Both are totally separate companies.
 
tonystan
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:39 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:30 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 20):
THAT is my point. Both have deep pockets and a generally good product. But both are 4 star.

Ah but thats another wildely misheld belief. Both EK and EY are profit driven organisations who are now publishing their results in a relatively open manner. They are maintaining a transparent business (well sort of) and therefore are more concerned with staying above water then they are trumpeting awards! QR on the other hand literally has the nations assets behind it, has no intention of posting results for all to see and can in some way, get away with it!

I strongly believe Kingfisher also bought their 5 star rating which I notice is now "under review"! I wonder why?

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 23):
There is no connection between Business Traveller in the UK and Skytrax. Both are totally separate companies.

Ah but at the time LC, BT and Skytrax had a marketing agreement with Skytrax issueing material about themselves in several issues of BT...and oddly enough one of those issues heavily focused on QR! I actually have the copy in my home!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
Gabrielz
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 3:36 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:40 pm

Whether they bought it or not, VS is one of the most disappointing airlines in premium cabin I've flown. It was dated, tacky and too self-assured. It's a 3 star at best, though the clubhouse is a 4.

-G
 
virgincrew
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:40 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:57 pm

Quoting gabrielz (Reply 25):
Whether they bought it or not, VS is one of the most disappointing airlines in premium cabin I've flown. It was dated, tacky and too self-assured. It's a 3 star at best, though the clubhouse is a 4.

When you say Premium Cabin - do you mean Premium Economy ?

I think the new Premium Cabin & service on VS is better than any premium product out there ... you get many more extras compared to other airlines.

Although, I agree that service levels are sometimes inconsistant at VS (same with other airlines though) - this is being addressed with cabin services training.

Bottom line, VS have listened to all 'constructive feedback' and they either have or are actioning the issues raised. By the end of the year, silly sites like Skytrax will hopefully see a decline in negative comments, because the main issues on there are the LGW / MAN fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft (which are being totally re-fitted, Launch of new Upper Class Cabin & the upgraded Premium & Economy Cabin Seats & New IFE)
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
flytuitravel
Posts: 489
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 2:46 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:59 pm

Regardless of whether VS deserves to be a 3 or 4 star airline, Skytrax is a load of rubbish! They'd rate Nepal Airlines as 5 star if the price was right.
 
virgincrew
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:40 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:17 pm

The problem with sites like Skytrax for ALL airlines, not just VS - is that you can have 400+ passengers on an aircraft and no matter what you do, you will never please all 400+ passengers.

Unfortynately for airlines, the passengers you can't please are the ones leaving airline reviews on Sky Trax.

My view is that airlines aren't interested in sites like Sky Trax as they just aren't accurate enough.

VS survey a % of passengers on all flights and these passengers are not chosen by the crew - the questionnaires are allocated to certain seat numbers in each cabin and these seat numbers are pre-selected by the customer relations department in advance of the flight. So they can't be given to chosen passengers by the crew on the flight.
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
WY101
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:47 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:34 pm

Quoting tonystan (Reply 8):

I totally agree with you in every word you say.

If VS was downgraded for inconsistency so should EY and EK.

I think that a new Airline quality research should replace skytrax.
Why did Air China and China Southern get a 4* rating??!!


Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 30):
Agree. I ignore rating sites like Skytrax which are biased and rarely accurate. I've had very good and very bad flights on every airline I've ever flown on. It's the same with hotels, restaurants and every other service industry where the quality of service largely depends on the individual employees you happen to come in contact with that day.

I agree, how come QR never has a bad review they are all excellent in the other hand SQ and CX seem to be getting some bad reviews. I just don't get it.

[Edited 2012-02-26 14:37:43 by SA7700]
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19065
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:34 pm

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 15):
How can you say Emirates is only a 4 star airline. Surely they should be on level with the likes of Singapore Airlines which are a 5 star airline.

Completely disagree. EK's service is often inconsistent, and in Y class on SQ you will never wind up in a cramped 10-abreast 777, unlike all EK 777s.

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 28):
My view is that airlines aren't interested in sites like Sky Trax as they just aren't accurate enough.

Agree. I ignore rating sites like Skytrax which are biased and rarely accurate. I've had very good and very bad flights on every airline I've ever flown on. It's the same with hotels, restaurants and every other service industry where the quality of service largely depends on the individual employees you happen to come in contact with that day.
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:57 pm

Quoting flytuitravel (Reply 27):
They'd rate Nepal Airlines as 5 star if the price was right.

I like Nepal Airlines!
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
BestWestern
Posts: 7079
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 8:46 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:36 pm

Quoting WY101 (Reply 29):
Why did Air China and China Southern get a 4* rating??!!

They deserve a four star rating. China Southern onboard service is quite good. Excellent, modern aircraft, meals on 1hr plus flights, flat beds on long haul. Proper short haul business class.

In comparison to AF or KL from Europe to China, the seats are better, IFE more modern, and aircraft straight from the factory.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
staralliance85
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:29 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:48 pm

I don't think Skytrax is 100% at all!! I think they should be downgrading LH to a 3 star rating before VS. LH's Business Class is more like Premium Economy. LH's Economy Class on the 747 is one of the worst. They rate EK as a 4 star and should be a 5 Star airline. (W should be 4 Stars. CX nowadays is a 4 Star, Not a 5 Star airline. Worst of all, they rate FRA as a 4 star airport and is a solid 3 Star airport!!!

With respect, VS cannot get away with being a stand alone niche airline anymore. They pulled it off really well up until these alliances became so powerful. With IAG taking over BMI it is about to get a whole lot worse. VS Upper Class in my opinion is one of the Best! Premium Economy is ok. However, their Economy Class tends to have less legroom than other carriers. It is more like steerage class. VS is retrofitting their fleet so hopefully they could earn back their 4 Star rating.


Two things that VS needs to do desperately.

1. Start a European Network: VS needs to add destinations like CDG, FCO, MAD, BCN, NCE and others. They need feed their long haul customers to destinations besides LHR. Without BMI, VS needs to get going on this like RIGHT NOW!!!

2. Join an Alliance: VS needs to get over their niche market and just join an alliance. OW is out of the question so that leaves them *A and ST. VS has close ties to *A members but the two largest ones UA and LH just doesn't seem into them. With SQ as a part owner they just might seal the deal. ST really needs a good partner and I think VS would be good for them. A partnership with VS/DL US routes, VS/AF on LHR-CDG routes, VS/ KL LHR-AMS routes and VS/AZ LHR-FCO and MXP. UA snubbed VS so they might be more willing to DL/ST. DL/AF-KL should strike a deal to SQ and have VS join ST.
brad Fitzpatrick
 
mikey72
Posts: 1439
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:31 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:53 pm

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 19):
Trying to play O'Leary wannabe?

No. I'm just saying that for the price you pay I think economy on all the major carriers is perfectly acceptable these days.

Round trip LHR-JFK...7p a mile approx !!

Christ knows what it works out at LHR-SYD.

Mind you in economy running that gauntlet they should be paying us.
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
tonyban
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:55 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:07 pm

3-Stars is about right. Flew them over Christmas 2011 and the service was about as bland as can be. They still show the same safety cartoon from the early 90's which now looks just plain silly.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15326
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 35):
No. I'm just saying that for the price you pay I think economy on all the major carriers is perfectly acceptable these days.

  

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 30):
I ignore rating sites like Skytrax which are biased and rarely accurate

That's Skytrax' biggest problem. They're irrelevant. Perhaps to 1% of 1% of flyers Skytrax is helpful in making decisions, but a Skytrax rating is way down the list of things people factor into travel related purchase decisions.

Quoting WY101 (Reply 31):
I agree, how come QR never has a bad review they are all excellent in the other hand SQ and CX seem to be getting some bad reviews. I just don't get it.

The site competes with FIFA for transparency 
Quoting WY101 (Reply 29):
Why did Air China and China Southern get a 4* rating??!!

And HU 5 stars? The Chinese carriers could all have the best hardware in the world but the soft product from the ground up is still a mess across nearly all carriers.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
L410Turbolet
Posts: 5443
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 9:12 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:25 pm

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 33):
China Southern onboard service is quite good. Excellent, modern aircraft, meals on 1hr plus flights, flat beds on long haul. Proper short haul business class.

Four star airline should have at least a semblance of customer service. Almost bought a ticket to BKK with them but needed to clarify situation regarding visa requirements for layover at CAN because info provided by the ticketing agent (based on GDS) and the airline§s website were in total contradiction. Several efforts to contact one of their European offices failed, no one bothers to even answer the call (and I can only speculate what sort of "English" they would speak if they did).
E-mails ignored as well.
After three days I gave up on them, screw any SkyTeam miles, and booked with Finnair instead. After reading testimony of someone who claims to fly for CZ in the other thread that involves Skytrax where he admits he does not trust the maintenance and safety culture at that airline I am really glad I did.

[Edited 2012-02-26 08:30:10]
 
skipness1E
Posts: 3400
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:39 pm

The reality is that when one reads through the data, the number of times one reads of the same basic errors suggests there are structural weaknesses in the delivery of the service at VS.
Top gripes are people being moved from their seats that they picked and split up from friends.
Cabin crew service is seen to be poor.
Actually running out of food.....
Hard product falling apart.

It's the same gripes for the last few years, so I think the downgrade is a fair reflection. Even if only 2% moan, one should not see the same rather obvious failings reported time after time after time. As to Slinky09 posting good things and having them vanish, well I don't know you but reading your postings here and on v-flyer I assumed you worked for VS given your level of knowledge, perhaps the editor does too and that's why you were moderated?

[Edited 2012-02-26 08:40:32]
 
BestWestern
Posts: 7079
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 8:46 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:42 pm

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 38):
E-mails ignored as well.

So when was the last time a European carrier answered your emails?

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 38):
no one bothers to even answer the call

Just like the hours spent on hold for BA, or shudder - An english CSR on AF....
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
virgincrew
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:40 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:04 pm

Quoting tonyban (Reply 36):
3-Stars is about right. Flew them over Christmas 2011 and the service was about as bland as can be. They still show the same safety cartoon from the early 90's which now looks just plain silly.

What on earth has the safety video got to do with the star rating of an airline ?!?!?!?   

Why waste money on a new safety video, when surely the priority is the product.


Quoting skipness1E (Reply 39):
The reality is that when one reads through the data, the number of times one reads of the same basic errors suggests there are structural weaknesses in the delivery of the service at VS.
Top gripes are people being moved from their seats that they picked and split up from friends.
Cabin crew service is seen to be poor.
Actually running out of food.....
Hard product falling apart.


I agree that these issues have taken time to resolve, but these issues cannot be resolved overnight - the hard product itself is now being addressed and the LGW / MAN fleet is being totally re-fitted. The Premium Economy service was totally overhauled because of feedback that the only difference was the seat and check in - now you get a totally different product to Economy service. The Economy service has been totally overhauled.

The Cabin Crew service / training is being addressed. I can personally say the training is of a very high standard - it obviously needs more on-line regulation / assessment by the Flight Service Manager.

The customers have fedback and the airline has listened. No airline will change a whole product based on aprox 10% feedback on Sky Trax, the feedback would have to be looked at over a period of time to check its relevance.

I can asure you a VS flight will never run out of food - it may run out of choice - Economy passengers are currently offered 3 meal types and the way the cabin service is designed, the majority of the cabin gets first choice - but some people won't get their first choice - no airline can cater every choice for every passenger.

If passengers want to guarantee to be seated together - there is a pre-bookable service.

[Edited 2012-02-26 14:41:44 by SA7700]
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
boeing773er
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:23 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:19 pm

Quoting tonystan (Reply 8):

Now that I look at it, Kingfisher and MH currently are "5 Star Airlines" that are "Under Review" according to Skytrax.

That got me thinking when I read your comment. Are they currently "Under Review" because of their service or is it because they don't have the finances to keep paying Skytrax?
Work Hard, Fly Right.
 
slinky09
Posts: 594
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:03 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:27 pm

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 34):
They rate EK as a 4 star and should be a 5 Star airline.

I've been Au Skywards for years, and EK is most certainly not a 5 star airline - it may be 4 star on Skytrax thanks to whatever bungs they might throw ... but inconsistency, and declining standards are rife at EK.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 34):
1. Start a European Network

Insane.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 34):
2. Join an Alliance

Now you're on the right track.

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 39):
The reality is that when one reads through the data

You call Skytrax "data", oh dear, I'll put this down to you being a Spurs fan this Sunday and slip, usually I read your posts with interest!

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 39):
I assumed you worked for VS given your level of knowledge

Not at all, I fly VS from choice, and average 40-50 flights a year on VS alone. So my only comment comes from experience of what the service actually entails, not perception based on report, or once in five years to mouse land. That said, I have never flown on the 'leisure' fleet and I do believe it desperately needs the upgrade that is coming. VS gives me fantastic service, from their head office team to ground staff to in the air. In the past three years I've flown in the premium cabins of CX, BA, AA, VS, 9W, SQ, EK and others, and I try to post based on experience not viewpoint (though I am sure not always), I would always prefer to fly VS given a choice but of those 9W is consistently excellent (apart from the thimbles they serve the Dom in).
 
lhr380
Posts: 2453
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:39 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:39 pm

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 40):
Just like the hours spent on hold for BA

Having worked in the call centre, I can say that is true "only" when something has happened meaning lots more customers are calling in, IE weather etc. And recently when having to call in and not using a short-cut, its only been 5 or 10 minutes holding for somewhere like BA Holidays etc.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
1stfl94
Posts: 1082
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:33 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:44 pm

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 41):
Quoting tonyban (Reply 36):
3-Stars is about right. Flew them over Christmas 2011 and the service was about as bland as can be. They still show the same safety cartoon from the early 90's which now looks just plain silly.

What on earth has the safety video got to do with the star rating of an airline ?!?!?!?   

Why waste money on a new safety video, when surely the priority is the product.

I think this is one of the things about VS that were once a bit innovative, not many airlines at the time were using animated vids or ones that tried to be a bit fun but of course the competition has caught up. The same goes for IFE, I've been on VS flights where the crew have heavily advertised the PTVs but these days PTVs are becoming the norm and even carriers that never used them are now retrofitting (IB, LH), whilst upper class has lost a few of the unique services like the IFBT.

Also in the last few years, VS has either been losing money or just about profitable which means that cost has to be prioritised. Cabin crew numbers have been reduced (747s used to have 18 crew, now 15 typically) which must have some impact on the service but help to reduce and the fleet is worked pretty hard, especially at Gatwick.

I do think the Skytrax ratings are bit a rubbish, the site is similar to trip advisor which has been criticised by the hotel industry recently. Hopefully this will improve for VS now that the Gatwick 747s are being refitted and the new A330s at Heathrow, and what looks a new Upper Class (see seatmap on link)

http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/gb...aboutus/ourfleet/index.jsp?type=15
 
Cipango
Posts: 1451
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:55 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:56 pm

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 46):
and what looks a new Upper Class

Theres nothing different with the shape/colour/layout of the upper class seats on the seat map. Not to rule out a new upper class, but if going by the seat map alone, there is no new upper class seat.
Let's fly! Unless it's on a CRJ 200, then I'll stay down here.
 
slinky09
Posts: 594
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:03 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:00 pm

Quoting cipango (Reply 47):
Theres nothing different with the shape/colour/layout of the upper class seats on the seat map. Not to rule out a new upper class, but if going by the seat map alone, there is no new upper class seat.

Erm it's four across whereas all the other Airbus aircraft with current UCS are three across - quite a difference.
 
anstar
Posts: 2872
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:09 pm

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 33):
They deserve a four star rating. China Southern onboard service is quite good. Excellent, modern aircraft, meals on 1hr plus flights, flat beds on long haul. Proper short haul business class.

Hahaha the funniest thing I think i've ever read on A.net.... check out most review sites... China Southern do not get positive reveiws!

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 34):
1. Start a European Network: VS needs to add destinations like CDG, FCO, MAD, BCN, NCE and others. They need feed their long haul customers to destinations besides LHR. Without BMI, VS needs to get going on this like RIGHT NOW!!!

BA feed more VS flights than BD... so I dont think losing BD as a feed is going to hurt that much.

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 46):
and the new A330s at Heathrow, and what looks a new Upper Class (see seatmap on link)

Definately a new UPPER is coming on the first LHR 330 in April... G-VRAY... Miss Sunshine.
 
virgincrew
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:40 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:14 pm

Quoting slinky09 (Reply 48):
Quoting cipango (Reply 47):Theres nothing different with the shape/colour/layout of the upper class seats on the seat map. Not to rule out a new upper class, but if going by the seat map alone, there is no new upper class seat.
Erm it's four across whereas all the other Airbus aircraft with current UCS are three across - quite a difference.

You are indeed correct - they have loaded on the new A330 seat map with the 3 class cabin

Hello Beautiful !!!
 
WY101
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:47 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:51 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 37):
The site competes with FIFA for transparency 

Haha, Exactly!!!


Quoting bestwestern (Reply 40):
So when was the last time a European carrier answered your emails?

Umm, LX does.
I think LX deserves a 5* rating. They have modern A/C, Excellent service, Excellent hardware and software as well as one of the most convenient and efficient hubs in the world keeping in mind that they are a relatively big airline.

[Edited 2012-02-26 14:45:28 by SA7700]
 
RVV2011
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 10:22 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Downgraded To 3 Stars?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:18 pm

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 40):
So when was the last time a European carrier answered your emails?

I sent 3 emails to Lufthansa, in English, and all were answered the next day.