I felt Christmas came early today when I received a refund note from Virgin Atlantic for an award flight operated by ANA that was cancelled back in early April.
Back then Virgin Atlantic agents already told me that it would take months to finally see the refund showing up on my credit card with the miles being credited back immediately.
Little did I know it would actually take 5 months to see my money back in my own pocket.
This was the message in my mailbox this morning:
Please find confirmation attached that your refund has been processed, and payment should be made within the coming days. We know you’ve been waiting longer than you expected to receive this, and we sincerely apologise that your refund was not returned to you sooner.
With the significant cancellations to our flying programme, we continue to be inundated with an ever growing and unprecedented volume of refund requests. Managing the huge volume we’ve received remains challenging, and we know we’ve been unable to provide the clarity you needed on timelines. This fell short of the highest standards we hold ourselves to, and we want to reassure you that working through these has remained a priority for us.
Everything is in hand so you don’t need to do anything. The refund will be returned to the original forms of payment, even if you used a number of different ways to pay. Please do bear in mind that, depending on the payment method, it could take anywhere between 1 and 14 working days for the money to show in your account.
We are so grateful for all of your patience, and we hope to welcome you onboard when you choose to travel again.
The refund note itself contained a variety of errors though:
Not sure where they get these amounts from because I never paid this much. I said jokingly maybe the excessive amount ( ~ $110 in excess) is interest for the five months wait but I seriously doubt it’s intentional.
Let’s see how much money will eventually end up on my credit card.
During this entire situation Virgin Flying Club has always remained accessible for new bookings, changes to existing ones and even cancellations. Flying Club has had however a two week period of “technical issues” which prevented members from logging into their accounts online. After the two week period access has eventually been restored.
Virgin Atlantic creditors accepted a rescue deal this week which included a haircut on existing debt and a new, substantial cash injection for the airline from the Virgin Ground and a U.S. hedge fund. I’m sure the timing of this refund note is no coincidence and that the airline would have eventually slid into bankruptcy with all outstanding refunds voided shouldn’t the creditors have come to an agreement.
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