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XTCfan Aug 10, 2016 9:44 PM

Virgin America: Deceptive Pricing Practices
I just filed the following complaint with the FTC, and plan on following it up soon. Will be interested if others have experienced this "new, improved" pricing from VA.

Virgin America has started a deceptive-pricing practice: the price they advertise for their trips are only for middle-seat seats behind the wing, with a premium starting at $35 for every other seat on the plane. This means, of course, that the price advertised covers only about one-quarter of the seats on the plane (or less).

When I contacted them about this, they first said they don't charge extra for window or aisle seats, and said their records showed I had purchased seats in their "preferred seating" area (I was forced to spend $70 extra to be able to sit with my children on a trip). Both things are not true, and when I pointed that out, they said that if what I were saying was true (as if I was lying to them! they had my info, they could see exactly where I was sitting), then they would owe me a refund.

When I responded with a screenshot showing that they were charging for window/aisle seats behind the wing, and that my seats were in that section, they then admitted that their seat pricing had changed, and that they appreciated me bringing the problem to their attention (!). All talk of a refund was suddenly out the window, and they said that (even though I'd already paid to sit with my kids) all "preferred seats become available free of charge" "24 hours prior to departure" -- even though there was no indication of this on the reservation page when I booked the seats, or on the "change seats" page when I'd checked on the possibility of changing seats later (that's when I finally paid the $70 extra to sit together, because my kids were upset that we had to sit in different rows on the flight from IAD to LAX).

Beyond "thanks" for my "feedback," I've gotten no other assurances from Virgin that they would change this clearly deceptive approach to advertising the prices on their seats. I'm happy to discuss this further or share with you the emails between myself and Virgin -- I look forward to your assistance with this. Thank you.

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