Bits: Good Virgin compensation, Business Traveller charity auction, collect Avios with Trenitalia

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News in brief:

Excellent Virgin Atlantic compensation on offer

Following on from our piece last week on Virgin Atlantic’s lease of ex-airberlin aircraft into Manchester to cover for defective Boeing 787 planes, a reader sent me his compensation offer.

The reader had been booked to fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class from Manchester to Barbados in May.  He was called by Virgin and told that his aircraft would no longer have an Upper Class cabin and that he would be downgraded to Premium Economy.

(I have no idea what aircraft he will now be on, because the ex-airberlin planes DO have a business class cabin but do NOT have premium economy!)

However, the compensation offer for accepting the PE downgrade was:

a Virgin Atlantic Upper Class ticket to ANYWHERE on the Virgin network, valid for three years, taxes included, or

100,000 Flying Club miles

Not surprisingly, our reader and his wife both took the free flight.  Looking at the document they gave him, this is the standard compensation for readers bumped from Upper Class for operational reasons on the day.  I think he got very lucky to be offered this for a downgrade five months in advance.

How nice it would be if British Airways offered a free Club World flight as compensation to everyone downgraded to World Traveller Plus ‘for operational reasons’.  Instead, we have a situation where BA appears to prioritise Club World passengers flying on BA Amex 2-4-1 vouchers, pays only the legal minimum in compensation to the lead passenger and refuses to give anything to the 2nd passenger on the grounds that their ticket was ‘free’ ……

Business Traveller charity auction

Business Traveller magazine is running its regular Christmas charity auction.  As ever, they have persuaded an impressively wide range of companies to offer up prizes.

Full details are on their website here.

The more ‘obvious’ deals tend to go for full value but there are often deals to be had elsewhere.  You can also bid on items from the separate auction being run by the Asia-Pacific edition of the magazine.

The UK version of the auction has another four weeks to run whilst the Asia-Pacific lots close in a fortnight.

Collect Avios with Trenitalia

This will be a very niche one for most HFP readers, but Avios has launched a new partnership with Italian rail operator Trenitalia.

You can now convert your CartaFRECCIA points into Avios at the following rates:

1.000 Punti CartaFRECCIA = 500 punti Avios 
6.000 Punti CartaFRECCIA = 3.000 punti Avios 
10.000 Punti CartaFRECCIA = 5.000 punti Avios

Conversion can be made into either a BA, Iberia, Vueling or Meridiana account.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Bits: A free hour of BA in-flight wi-fi, Eurowings adds business class, last day for 50% off Avios economy tickets
HFP reader story - how Peter used 650,000 points for a holiday in Barbados (+ Hilton Barbados review)

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  1. Hugely impressive compensation, how much confidence would that give customers who were deliberating whether to make a future booking?

    Well played Virgin, credit where credit is due.

    • Hmm – from what I can see Virgin haven’t told the truth here – some flights are operating on the 747 which have 14 seats vs 31 on the A330-300 usually stationed at Manchester. So assuming the 747 is the replacement aircraft – it’s not that the 747 doesn’t have UC – it’s that it is already full!

      Not sure if you have any flexibility but there is availability on most days in May in UC

      As an aside it looks like these aircraft will be visiting London – e.g. May 15th LGW-Barbados VS29 is operating on one

    • P.P.S. – unless it’s changed, those vouchers can be tough to use. They have their own availability and you had to call in. One colleague ended up taking an offer to switch them back to 100k miles.

      Though Manchester may actually be better for that

  2. Rob – whatever happened with the person taking BA to court over the downgrade on a 2-4-1 voucher?

    • BA lost but a confidentiality was signed. However BA was forced to pay (at their selling price of 1.6p per Avios) the equivalent of EU compensation.

      • the_real_a says:

        It doesn’t sound like a judgement was made, more like a settlement before court action. If a judgement WAS made it would be great to read the synopsis which would be available as public record.

  3. Rob are we comparing like with like. Was the reader using VFC miles for his MAN-BGI trip or cash? If it was miles then that is definitely better than what BA offered TripRep when they downgraded him using his 2-4-1.
    If it was a cash fare then Virgin aren’t being that over generous in my opinion.

    • Miles ticket.

      • Well done Virgin. Let’s hope the reader finds suitable availability.

        • Nicholas says:

          I am the reader in question, I wanted to add that my original ticket was ‘one way UC using miles’; I am flying back with BA. Needless to say my wife and I were delighted to get a free return UC ticket to anywhere on Virgin Network.

  4. I make the answer in the Marriott NFL trivia tweeter is
    because they started using a tablet.

  5. Prins Polo says:

    Oh wow, that makes BA look so obscenely cheap.

    Nice gesture from Virgin.

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