Okay this isn’t an official award but something that needed to be shared in this era of often really bad customer service. It’s the LA Travel Diva’s customer service of the week award to Tera, read on.
While attempting to use Elevate mileage to book flights on Virgin America the weirdest thing happened, it ate up my miles (28,000-plus of them) but didn’t issue the tickets. I was trying to score two aisle seats in Main Cabin Select, the carriers cabin just behind First Class that comes with a little more leg room, free drinks and food plus no fee for the first checked bag. It’s a pretty good deal and not bad for 14,000 miles a pop for a one-way ride from Los Angeles to New York.
Anyhow what happened was I signed off the site and went back on, but to my chagrin my miles were gone, spent but nothing to show for it. So I went the old fashioned route and got on the phone and called Virgin America. The California carrier has a nice amenity that if you don’t wait to queue up to get your call answered they phone you back in three minutes. Well after a couple of minutes on hold a foreign tongued rep got came on the line but so as not to bore you with details she couldn’t help me. All she told me was to wait an hour and the miles would be returned to my account. I told her that those seats were booking fast and I didn’t want to miss out on the aisle. But that was that I had to wait. So for a few hours I attempted to rebook the flight but didn’t have enough miles to do so. It turns out this a cyber-glitch and glitches happen.
Well not one to sit back on my laurels, I dialed Virgin’s 800 number again and this time requested a supervisor, but actually it wasn’t necessary because the woman I got, Tera, handled the whole episode with aplomb and efficiency. She even rebooked our tickets at no fee and got us the requested aisle seats. So kudos to Virgin America’s customer service rep.
If you’ve never flown Virgin America you really should consider this delightfully quirky airline staffed by some of the nicest flight attendants aloft who go out of their way to make your trip as pleasant as possible, at least on the many flights we’ve taken. It also offers one of the best frequent flyer programs, Elevate, that makes it easy to get seats (although not as easy as it used to be with new fees for upgrades to seats closer to the front of the plane).
Virgin also added a lofty lounge at LAX that costs $40 a person, unless you’re in First Class, and offers free WiFi, snacks, top of the line wines and spirits, espresso, cappuccino, and more.