It never hurts to ask for a discount.
On my recent LA trip, as soon as we hit 10,000 feet or whatever the minimum is to turn on your electronics during a flight, I powered up my computer, plugged in to the outlet between the seats, and bought the Internet package for $12.95. For 5 hours of not being bored on a flight, it seemed to be worth the price.
I did some blog work, wrote a few emails, and checked some sports scores. But about an hour in, I realized that my battery wasn’t charging. The outlet I had been using was broken. I tried fiddling with it but got no results. So I turned down the brightness on my computer really low and enjoyed the last few drops before having to power down.
Big bummer. Of course, on Virgin America, you get satellite TV, so I was able to keep busy enough and I took a short nap to pass the time. But I really would have loved a few more hours of being able to do something productive.
When I got home from my trip, I called Virgin America to see if they could do anything about it. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask and that I would be able to get back my $12.95, if nothing else.
Well, the first person I spoke to was pretty understanding. I explained that I chose their airline because I would be able to use their services, and when one of those goes out, I am clearly disappointed. He agreed that the situation kind of sucked for me, and offered a $25 credit toward a future flight. I asked if that’s all he could do, and after a few minutes I got the point that I wasn’t going to get any more money from him, but he did transfer me to the Internet department.
After explaining the situation to them, they checked my history to see that I used the Internet for a little while then not at all for the last 3 hours of flight. So the customer service representative offered me a code to use the next time I flew Virgin. Worth another $12.95.
In total, I got back $37.95. Not bad, but it’s not cash. The reason it doesn’t matter to me is that Virgin America has done right by me and has helped resolve the situation quickly and in a way that alleviated any concerns. I know I’ll be flying with them again, and I’ll just use my credit then!
Of course, this is an honor code thing, so I could complain about the same issue each time I fly, but this is a warning to you all not to abuse your new knowledge. If you do, karma will come back to bite you. But if you ever feel wronged, it never hurts to ask!
In fact, I feel better about flying Virgin now than I did before because I know if something goes wrong, they’ll be there to help me out.
Readers, when you feel you deserve something for less than exceptional service, do you ask for some discount or partial refund?