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Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

Old Apr 3rd 2009, 8:59 pm
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Question Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

Hi, this is my first post here. I'm not sure if anyone will have any info relating to a couple of questions I have regarding flying with Virgin Atlantic but I thought I'd give it a shot.

Earlier this evening I booked a flight from Heathrow to JFK with Virgin Atlantic. During the sign up process it asked for my name exactly as it appears on my passport so I entered my first and middle name (both appear on my passport). When I later checked the booking I noticed my first and middle names had been made into one single name! So "John Jack" would have been made into 'Johnjack'. I noted the disclaimer saying:

"For security reasons it is absolutely essential that the name on your booking, ticket and passport are exactly the same. Your booking and ticket must reflect your first and last names only. Middle names are not required... If they are not you will be unable to board the flight."

So I called up the call centre to get it changed (and pay the £30 charge ) but the guy told me there was no problem and all would be fine. Something to do with the boxes where you enter the information. Anyway these two bits of information seem to conflict with one another. I just wondered if anyone else had experience of the situation occurring?

Also, I will almost certainly need to change my return date. I'm in the US over the summer on a J-1 working visa and for various reasons have had to book my flight with a return date earlier than when I intend to return. Does anyone have any experience of changing the return date for a Virgin Atlantic flight once in the US? What is the process and how easy is it to go through?
Any info is much appreciated.

Thanks a lot
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Old Apr 4th 2009, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

changing dates, depends on your ticket, might be able to do it and probably get charged a small fee, or if it's a standby type cattle economy, might not be able to, but it should say in the small print...
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Old Apr 4th 2009, 2:18 am
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Default Re: Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

Originally Posted by paleenigma View Post

Also, I will almost certainly need to change my return date. I'm in the US over the summer on a J-1 working visa and for various reasons have had to book my flight with a return date earlier than when I intend to return. Does anyone have any experience of changing the return date for a Virgin Atlantic flight once in the US? What is the process and how easy is it to go through?
Any info is much appreciated.

Thanks a lot
I have not had to change a Virgin ticket but I've had various experiences with BA and others in the past. It really all depends on the kind of ticket you bought. Unfortunately, with online tickets especially, nowadays it can be quite hard to find out exactly what the terms and conditions are. In one case I bought an ultra cheap ticket from BA which I then wanted to change. I had to ring their call centre, then they told me to ring their 'special' centre for ticketing, who after a long period on hold told me my ticket could not be changed at all. So, I would advise you to call as early as possible to find out exactly what the deal is with your ticket, just so you can plan ahead and have an idea of what the fee would be.
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Old Apr 4th 2009, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

You'll often find names run together (partly because some of the computer systems are decades old). I've certainly had lots of tickets that look like MRFIRSTNAMELASTNA. Also, I've read elsewhere that up to a three letter mismatch due to typos is acceptable according to some kind of international aviation agreement.
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Old Apr 4th 2009, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/us.../carriage3.jsp
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Old Apr 4th 2009, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

From working at Heathrow and also on one occasion having to change the name on a Virgin ticket, Virgins policy is that they accept up to but not more than 3 letters being different in the name on the passport and the name on the ticket.
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Old Apr 4th 2009, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

Thanks everyone for your replies. I can change the date of the ticket, apparently it will cost me £50. Not too bad I guess. I just wonder how easy it will actually be once the time comes that I have to change it. I'm kinda anticipating a call centre nightmare will endless transfers and people who don't know quite what they are talking about!! (I work in a call centre myself, for William Hill. Just got back from a 12 hour shift for Grand National day. Ouch.)

I think I should be ok with the name by the sounds of it. All the letter are correct, it just seems to render them differently in each correspondence they give me.
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Old Apr 5th 2009, 6:41 am
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Default Re: Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

Originally Posted by paleenigma View Post
Thanks everyone for your replies. I can change the date of the ticket, apparently it will cost me £50. Not too bad I guess. I just wonder how easy it will actually be once the time comes that I have to change it. I'm kinda anticipating a call centre nightmare will endless transfers and people who don't know quite what they are talking about!! (I work in a call centre myself, for William Hill. Just got back from a 12 hour shift for Grand National day. Ouch.)

I think I should be ok with the name by the sounds of it. All the letter are correct, it just seems to render them differently in each correspondence they give me.
When ever this has happened to me I have gone into a travel agent abroad and let them make the call for me.

Even better if there is a Virgin office in the area use them
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Old Apr 5th 2009, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

Originally Posted by paleenigma View Post
Thanks everyone for your replies. I can change the date of the ticket, apparently it will cost me £50. Not too bad I guess. I just wonder how easy it will actually be once the time comes that I have to change it. I'm kinda anticipating a call centre nightmare will endless transfers and people who don't know quite what they are talking about!! (I work in a call centre myself, for William Hill. Just got back from a 12 hour shift for Grand National day. Ouch.)

I think I should be ok with the name by the sounds of it. All the letter are correct, it just seems to render them differently in each correspondence they give me.
I've done it twice. The process was very simple and straightforward. You will be given a toll free number to use if calling from the US (if you are unsure, ask the check in staff before you leave the UK). When paying the £50 fee, make sure that you have a credit/debit card that is registered in the UK as this is a requirement.

One word of warning though, the £50 fee is only supposed to cover the admin charge to change the ticket. You SHOULD also be charged the difference in flight proces on top. So if your original flight cost £400 and tickets for your new date cost £650, you should also be charged an extra £250. (Makes sense really otherwise we'd all book the off peak cheap tickets and then just change them to peak). However, we have only ever paid the £50 (a mistake on Virgins part). The check in staff might have a moan about it but I don't think they can actually do anything once you've been issued the new ticket.
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Old Apr 5th 2009, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
changing dates, depends on your ticket, might be able to do it and probably get charged a small fee, or if it's a standby type cattle economy, might not be able to, but it should say in the small print...
If you call over here and change the return date on a cheap economy ticket it'll cost you $80 payable at the desk when you get to the check in desk.
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Old Apr 6th 2009, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: Virgin Atlantic / names / flight dates

My boys have a double barrelled last name, without a hyphen, and their tickets always have the two names pushed together - ie smithjones rather than smith jones - we've never had any problems at all.
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