7 On Your Side

Virgin America's online reservation woes continue

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bugs in Virgin America's new reservation system are now into their third week, and it seems unlikely that things will be back to normal before the Thanksgiving travel crush.

Virgin America's website hasn't been working properly and its customer service phone lines have been overwhelmed. The airline has been apologetic, but it has no definitive word on when the issue will be resolved.

Bo Phillips tried to confirm his flight information on Virgin America's website.

"Even though this is from a link confirming my reservation, the system said 'Currently you don't have any travel booked with us,'" Phillips said.

April Holland tried to check in while at the airport using her mobile phone.

"I don't know if it's because of the airport or because of the website," Holland said. "But we can't get on. I'm getting timed out."

Elena Czarnowski of San Diego had a similar issue.

"I've tried for the last week and a half," said Czarnowski. "I take a lot of flights, so the web site's not working effectively."

Virgin America traces its problem to a new reservation system installed October 28. The company's Facebook page is filled with comments from irritated travelers, and the airliners has apologized to its customers.

A Virgin America representative was not available to speak on camera, but a spokesperson told ABC7 over the phone that the airliner has been "working around the clock to address issues and we hope to have a resolution soon."

Compounding issues, the problem with the website has led to hold times of an hour on its phone lines.

"I fly over a quarter-million miles a year," said Phillips, "and I fly on every major airline, and I've never seen anything that approaches this type of fiasco on the reservation side."

The biggest frustration has been for customers trying to make changes to their reservations.

"When I finally get through, the person on the other line couldn't make my reservation either," Phillips said.

The Burlingame-based company has waived all change and cancellation fees during the transition and is offering 5,000 reward points to affected travelers.

Virgin says it doesn't expect the problems to impact holiday travel and says no flights have been delayed or cancelled because of the new system.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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virgin america, travel, 7 on your side, michael finney
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