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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Virgin America, canceled flights and Twitter

On Friday, as I was waiting for a cab that never arrived, I got a call from someone at Virgin America saying my flight the next day from SFO to LAX was canceled, and that I was immediately rebooked on the next available flight. That gave me a little more time to get ready in the morning and I didn't mind the delay. It also made me think that Virgin America was very on top of their customer service and I'd be notified of any flight delays or cancellations. I booked my 3 flights (JFK to SFO, SFO to LAX and LAX to JFK) via Orbitz, all on Virgin.

However, on Tuesday, I didn't get any notification of the cancellation of my flight due to the weather. I called Virgin, was on hold for about half an hour, and was told that I could input my phone number and they'd call me back if I didn't want to wait. I did that, and two hours later, there was no call. I Tweeted and very soon after got a DM (direct message) apologizing and asking for my reservation number. In short order, Virgin had rebooked me on my flight today, scheduled to leave LAX at 1:45 and arrived at JFK at 10 pm. This meant two extra days I had to take off work, effectively meaning 7 total days off instead of 4, which means fewer trips in 2011, but I understand about the weather delay. I don't understand why Virgin never notified me of the cancellation and wonder, had I not been on Twitter, when I would have gotten notice of being rebooked.



So I think Twitter is definitely a game changer when it comes to travel. I could then log into my Virgin America Elevate account and see the new reservation. That original Tweet was at, I believe, around 4:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday, and I responded at 9:12 pm saying to book me on the flight I'm on, since that was the earliest I could get.

I usually fly JetBlue, but Virgin had the cheapest prices this time around, and since I'd heard so many bad stories about stranded JetBlue passengers during the last storm, I'm grateful. I definitely will not plan to travel in winter months, because I just can't afford so many days off without screwing with other plans. I want to get back to Minneapolis this year, and maybe Milwaukee (and have a free trip on American Trans Air), and will be in Seattle in June and Eugene in August. That's about all I know of for now, but we'll see what comes along. I'd been toying with going to the UK but I think that may have to wait until next year. I need to leave days open for whatever random trips might come up, but I can also schedule trips around holiday weekends. My main focus the next few months is going to be maximizing my writing time so I can justify, if only to myself, the purchase of this laptop, which I am loving, but definitely cost a pretty penny. So that is my little travel story. Typing it from a warm, cozy sunny bedroom in Silverlake after pushing my friend's baby up and down the hills, feeling like I could stay here, if I didn't have obligations to get to, for a good long time.

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