Tag Archives: Virgin America

My Virgin America / Hawaiian Airlines Award Ticket Disaster

Good morning everyone.  Last week, I wrote this post: PSA: Check Existing Reservations for “Silent” Schedule Changes.  In that post, I talked about checking existing reservations to confirm flight times.  Sometimes, airlines make schedule changes, sometimes airlines will email you to tell you about the schedule changes, and sometimes airlines silently make schedule changes and do not inform passengers.  I, unfortunately, found myself in the last category recently with an intra island Hawaiian Airlines flight.

My girlfriend and I had a flight that was originally scheduled to depart at 1:03pm, but the new flight time was 2:41pm.  If we had booked a paid ticket, we could have easily called Hawaiian Airlines, explained that we needed to be on an earlier flight, and switched to the 12:31pm flight.  Unfortunately, I booked the flight with 3,000 Virgin America miles + $5.60 in taxes/fees per person.  But the really unfortunate thing is that since Alaska Airlines and Virgin America merged, Virgin America and Hawaiian Airlines are no longer partners, so they cannot book new award flights or modify existing reservation.

Long story short, Virgin America is no longer a partner of Hawaiian Airlines, so they cannot modify an existing Hawaiian Airlines reservation.  Likewise, since the tickets were booked through Virgin America, Hawaiian Airlines was not able to make any changes to the reservation.  I would call one airline, explain the situation, and they would tell me to call the other airline.  I bounced back an forth a few times, growing more and more frustrated.  I ended up spending 3-4 hours on the phone with various agents from Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin America, and Alaska Airlines before I finally received a refund of my miles.  In this post, I will share the information I learned and the steps I took to fix this situation.

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PSA: Check Existing Reservations for “Silent” Schedule Changes

Good morning everyone.  A few weeks ago, I wrote this post: PSA: Check Existing Airline Confirmations for Cancelled Flights a Few Days Before Travel.  In that post, I talked about checking existing flights to make sure your flights weren’t cancelled.  Then yesterday, I had a similar situation regarding my Lihue (LIH) to Maui (OGG) Hawaiian Airlines flight.  Even though the flight was not cancelled, there was a schedule change of more than 1.5 hours.  Schedule changes happen, I’m not (that) mad about that, but what really annoys me is when I do not receive an email alert regarding the schedule change.  How difficult is it to send an automated email about a schedule change?

Let me back up a little bit and explain how I found out about this schedule change.  Every Tuesday morning, Southwest Airlines sends out an email about their latest sale.  I then check all my existing Southwest Airlines flights for price drops (pretty rare these days) and rebook any flights that drop in price.  I usually only check Southwest Airlines, but I decided to check all my upcoming flights to see if there were any schedule or routing changes.  When I checked this Hawaiian Airlines reservation, I was surprised to see the 1.5+ hour schedule change.  I immediately called Hawaiian Airlines to see if they could move me to an earlier flight because I am connecting to an Alaska Airlines flight from Maui (OGG) to Oakland (OAK) and this schedule change made my connection very tight.

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Comenity Virgin America Credit Card Partial Annual Fee Refunded (Prorated Based on Cancellation Date)

Update: The ACH transfer from Comenity to my bank account posted the next business day.


Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend.  Over the weekend, I received an email from Comenity regarding my Comenity Virgin America Credit Card.  According to the email, I had a $35.43 credit balance in my account.  That was strange, I closed my Comenity Virgin America Credit Card back in October 2017.  I logged into my Comenity account and checked out the recent credit card statement to see what was going on.

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Most of my 2017 Travel Predictions Were Wrong (Who Could Have Predicted That?)

Good morning everyone, happy almost New Years Eve.  Earlier this month, Doctor of Credit wrote how bad travel bloggers are at making predictions (I came in last at 33% correct), but he only reviewed our credit card predictions.  I made a lot of other predictions in January 2017, so let’s see how good or bad my predictions were.  I covered airlines, hotels, credit cards, and MS.  I will put my thoughts in bold at the end of each prediction.

Airlines

  • Southwest seems bent on making the Companion Pass very difficult to get unless you fly Southwest every week.  I believe credit card signup bonuses will no longer count toward the Companion Pass and Southwest might kill the whole concept of the Companion Pass entirely or switch to a certificate program similar to the Alaska Airlines companion fare or Virgin America companion ticket.  Southwest Airlines did eliminate hotel transfers counting toward the Companion Pass, but credit card spend and sign up bonuses still count toward the Companion Pass.  I am also the proud companion on my girlfriend’s Companion Pass.
  • Other airline credit cards will adopt the Alaska Airlines companion fare (you pay full price and your companion pays up to $120) or the Virgin America companion ticket (you pay full price and your companion pays full price minus $150).  No, I don’t think any other airline added a companion fare as a credit card benefit.
  • American will introduce a basic economy fare class to compete/copy Delta and United.  Yes, I got this one right!
  • Alaska Airlines will introduce a new level of elite status (maybe MVP Gold 100K?)  No, Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K is still the highest elite level.
  • More airlines will get away from the 12,500 one way domestic ticket and start to introduce 5,000, 7,500, and 10,000 mile awards.  Yes, I think Alaska Airlines announced cheaper awards on shorter flights.
  • British Airways will kill the 4,500 Avios award band globally and possibly remove one of their lower award tiers.  No, 4,500 British Airways Avios tier is still available outside the US.
  • Singapore Airlines will allow us to book Star Alliance awards online, rather than calling in.  Partially true, but not rolled out completely.
  • Hawaiian Airlines will get bought by a low cost airline, Southwest Airlines or JetBlue.  No, no one bought Hawaiian Airlines.
  • We will see 1 or 2 more mileage matching promos, this time from a big legacy airline.  No, no mileage matching promo like the JetBlue / Virgin America match last year.
  • My ~20,000 Spirit Airlines miles will expire and I won’t care.  Sort of, my Spirit Airlines miles did expire, but I still shed 1 tear.

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View Legroom on Google Flights by Adding Legrooms Extension

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  I was in freezing Chicago over the weekend for the FTU Travel Expo / Signature travel conference.  I arrived late Saturday afternoon because I took a $500 bump from United Airlines, stayed the night at an SFO airport hotel and got on a Saturday morning flight to Chicago.  When I finally arrived, I picked up a few travel tips from the sessions and one on one conversations.  I will try to cover some of the public travel tips I learned this week.  Don’t worry, your secrets are safe with me.

Question… wouldn’t it be cool if you could see legroom for different flights on different airlines in Google Flights?  Yes, it is possible.  All you need to do is install the Legrooms extension to your Google Chrome browser.  I will walk you through all the steps the 1 step.  Also, while researching this post, I realized this was covered months ago by several travel blogs, but somehow I missed all those blog posts, so maybe this helps a few people like me.  Here is the basic Google Flights view:

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