Virgin Atlantic Website Issues – Should We Be Concerned?
Virgin Atlantic has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons lately. The news has mostly centered around Virgin’s financial issues and how much the pandemic has affected their operations. But today I want to talk about the Virgin Atlantic website issues. As in account access has been locked for a week now.
I tried logging in on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and every time I was met with an error. At first I thought it was me and tried logging in on an incognito browser but was met with the same fate. I then went to Twitter to see if anyone else had the same experience and that is when I noticed tweets from earlier in week sharing the same experience. All Virgin Atlantic would say is they were having technical difficulties. No time frame of when it would be fixed or what was going on. When you throw this in with the money issues it gives people an uneasy feeling.
UPDATE: Access has been restored – 6/2/20 at 1PM ET.
Why This Matters
This is an issue for a few reasons. If you have a flight you need to cancel or wanted to check the status of you are unable to get into your account to check on it. Or if you recently canceled a flight and want to make sure everything was redeposited properly, like me, then you are out of luck. Lastly, booking a future award flight is pretty much out of the question right now too. This is happening just as things start to open back up and people are looking to book travel for later in 2020 or early 2021. And their miles are pretty much being held hostage right now.
Other Issues Dealing With Virgin Atlantic
Everyone has been kind of forced to adjust on the fly during this pandemic. Most people are stuck working from home and had to make adjustments for that, including airlines. But for the majority of airlines I have dealt with their social media teams or call centers have been able to assist. Virgin has been one of the more difficult to deal with.
When I called in to cancel my flight I was encouraged to text in my issue (97634 is the text number) instead and they would take care of it via that route. Great I thought, no need to wait on the phone. It ended up taking a little over 2 days to get a response. Not great at all but manageable if it isn’t an urgent need. I would have expected something a bit sooner since text interactions are fairly quick but it is what it is. I also reached out to their Twitter team at the same time and their response was even slower in case you were wondering.
So getting through to a person is a real struggle and now gaining access to your account is not possible. That is a frustrating experience for sure. Ben at One Mile at a Time has also pointed out that bank transfers to Virgin Atlantic have been paused as well. It looks like the option has been disabled which would make sense if their system is all kinds of jacked up.
What Does This All Mean?
When you put all of these things together (financial trouble, blocked transfers, account access down) it doesn’t look good at all. It looks like they left the building and forgot to turn out the lights. I don’t know how a major company could have their website functionality be compromised for such a long period of time but here we are.
I know when Virgin’s financial issues started bubbling to the surface that people debated whether or not they should transfer their points from Virgin Atlantic to Hilton Honors points. You get 1.5 Hilton points for every 1 Virgin Atlantic miles. That is a loss of value for sure but people wondered if one in the hand was worth more than two in the bush. I considered it but decided to hold off.
Virgin Atlantic is one of my favorite currencies, being a Delta hub captive and all. I also like their very friendly award cancellation policies, well when they actually work. With the recent cancellations I made I (think I) have a nice stash of miles with them. And I am left wondering should I continue to risk them being worth nothing or should I take what I can get now? That is assuming I am able to get back into my account anytime soon.
What do you make of the Virgin Atlantic website issues? Does it change your decision making process on what to do with your miles at all?