Virgin Atlantic has sent out this notice to customers:
Changes to Economy Advanced Seat Assignments
We know how important choosing a seat is to you and your passengers. Over the past couple of years we’ve been investing in ways to improve this process.
As we’ve launched our new Advanced Seat Assignment (ASA) process, we’ve listened to your feedback and have made significant changes so that we can continue to better serve your business and our mutual customers.
Travel agents can now carry on assigning seats in the GDS for exempt booking classes.
To clarify, here’s how it all works:
Agents can use GDSs to pre assign seats for:*
- Upper Class bookings: booking classes J,C,D, I, Z
- Premium Economy bookings: booking classes W, H, S, K
- Y & B class Economy bookings
Booking in Virgin Atlantic Economy (Booking class Y and B are exempt)
Passengers in Economy booking classes will need to assign seats through Manage My Bookings and enter their Booking Ref/ E-ticket number. This should only take a few minutes.
The cost to assign a seat will be $40 per person per sector ($80 per round trip) on Virgin Atlantic long haul flights.
Bookings on Virgin Atlantic Little Red
Passengers on Little Red will also need to assign seats through Manage My Bookings and enter their Booking Ref/ E-ticket number. This should only take a few minutes.
There is no charge on Virgin Atlantic Little Red UK domestic flights.
As of April 1 2014, the below will be exempt from ASA charges but seats will still need to be assigned through Manage My Bookings if flying in an Economy booking class other than Y or B:
- Bookings made on a corporate deal code**
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold Members
- Bookings made on Virgin Atlantic Little Red
- Bookings made between LHR & NRT (marketed and operated)
So basically, if you buy the discount tickets you will have to pay $40 each way for a seat assignment. Otherwise plan on getting to the airport early so you can get the seat or seats you want, especially if you have more than one person in your party. This is just another example of the airlines nickel & dimming passengers to death. It's not like this is a fuel surcharge where the the airline's might have a legitimate claim that due to the rising cost of fuel they need to add this extra fee but it cost them absolutely nothing to assign a passenger a seat. Its just a ridiculous way for them to get more money out of you. But they are inline with airlines like Spirit Airline who are charging for carry on now. Is it really a wonder why passengers are so cranky these days? Can agents and flight attendants really be baffled when a passenger becomes so angry so quickly, we started getting screwed long before got to the airport.