View Full Version : News on Virgin flights from Manchester

03-06-2002, 01:09 PM
In the travel papers today it said 'Virgin Atlantic has announced that its 2002 programme between Manchester and Orlando will be operated on a lease arrangement by Air Atlanta using a chartered aircraft and crew.This is an inferior service and suggests a lack of commitment towards the manchester-Orlando service.'

Has anyone experienced this change?

I for one wouldn't be very happy about it:(


03-06-2002, 01:43 PM
...... hmmmmmmm, thanks for this Karen, although it's probably unwelcome news for those using Manchester. Wasn't it last year when Virgin had to use a different airline from Manchester due to the planes being utilised for the Delhi route........ or was that the year before :confused: ?

03-06-2002, 02:25 PM

It was two years ago and we had upgraded to pe. We did get a full refund on the upgrade eventually but it was the oldest smelliest plane you had ever seen !!

Guess where we are going from in July ... and we had upgraded again !!:(

I think a phone call to virgin is in order.


03-06-2002, 03:04 PM
Well if it's not a Virgin plane I'll got mad!!! I paid full wack this year because of October half term just because it was a Virgin flight from Manchester :mad: I could've gone ATA for less. I'll be giving them a call tomorrow aswell.

Keeping fingers crossed......


03-06-2002, 03:19 PM
just spoke to Virgin Holidays .....doesn't look good,going to try virgin atlantic next

03-06-2002, 04:28 PM

Guess what ?.... It's true. Just got of the phone to the flying club and was told that Virgin are using an Air Atlanta plane, with Air Atlanta crew but in full "Virgin Livery".

This starts 10th July thro to Oct. Don't know what to do, after the last time i feel like changing it to Gatwick, but it means a shuttle( with all the extra luggage problems on the way back:D ) and possibly an overnight stay, where as Manchester is just 3 1/4 hours down the road.

I feel another refund coming on.


The Murfs
03-06-2002, 04:29 PM
Air Atlanta!!!!!

Just an update on Air Atlanta. I have e-mailed Virgin tonight, hoping to get an answer soon. We will be extremely upset if this is the case.

P S Anybody flown with Air Atlanta before, do we still get seat back tv's etc. I very much doubt.

Will keep you updated when we hear back from Virgin.

Bye for now

03-06-2002, 04:33 PM

Post must have crossed in the night. Will be interesting to hear what they tell you.


03-06-2002, 05:52 PM
I'm going to get on to them tomorrow. I pay more for Virgin because of the quality of the flights. I really don't want to get fobbed off with a different airline. I'm fed up of the Manchester flights being the poor relation to the London flights.
If they continue to show a lack of commitment towards the manchester-Orlando service.' then I'll have to show a lack of commitment to them. Plenty more airlines to choose from :mad:

03-07-2002, 01:51 AM
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news,but better you know now than when you turn up at the airport when theres nothing you can do about it:mad: Which as this information isn't public knowledge its probably what they had in mind:rolleyes:

Can you let me know how you get on?

03-07-2002, 03:27 AM
but better you know now than when you turn up at the airport when theres nothing you can do about it

Kazzie, this is exactly what happened to us in 2000. We were being brought from the hotel by the minibus driver who told us "there's your plane, the one with the green tail" and who I thought had got us muddled up wit Air Pakistan !!

It then went from bad to much worse ...:(


03-07-2002, 04:09 AM
Hi all,

Just been on to VA and she informed me that it was an Air Atlanta plane with full Virgin crew and livery. I asked whether it will have full seat back TV's and she said yes. It will be exactly the same as the old Virgin planes......


03-07-2002, 04:11 AM
Just seen this on the Air Atlanta Icelandic website......

Air Atlanta to take on four aircraft from Virgin Atlantic

Air Atlanta has dry-leased four 747-200 aircraft from Virgin Atlantic. The Aircraft with registration G-VSSS, G-VRUM, G-VCAT and G-VBEE will all be assigned Icelandic registrations TF-ATW, TF-ATV, TF-ATK and TF-ATN respectively. Two of the aircraft are ex Cathay Pacific aircraft powered by RB211-524-D4 engines and will be operating for Garuda Indonesia in the upcoming hajj. The 456-seat aircraft are configured in three classes with 12 first class, 32 business class and 412 economy seats. The other two aircraft are ex Air New Zeeland aircraft powered by RB211-524-D4 engines. One will operate hajj for Air Algerie while the other will replace TF-ATS on the Nigeria Airways contract. Both aircraft will remain in the original seating configuration with 28 first class, 36 business class and 358 economy seats.

Matts Mom UK
03-07-2002, 04:45 AM
Hi everyone,

Like one or two of you, we ended up on an Air Atlanta plane in August 2000. Also didn't know until we arrived at Manchester check-in. It was the worst plane i've ever flown on-no seat back TV's, very grubby, staff who didn't want to be on the plane-some Virgin -some Air Atlanta. Manchester flights seem to be getting a raw deal these days!!!!!

Janice:mad: :mad:

Sue F UK
03-07-2002, 06:26 AM
I got so excited when I first saw this post as I thought that Virgin were going to extend their flights through the winter. I should have known - no such luck!! :(

We flew with Virgin from Manchester last year and ended up having to book through Continental as Virgin share some of their flights with them. Flew out on a Virgin plane and back through Newark with Continental as Virgin had stopped going to Manchester by then. They re-routed us through Gatwick on the way out as the plane wasn't full - of course they didn't tell us this until check-in. The Virgin plane was quite grotty whereas the Continental plane was lovely.

We too had paid a higher price to fly Virgin direct and ended up all over the place !! Sorry, but from now on I'm flying from Manchester through the American airlines. Their standards of service and their planes are much better and the fares cheaper. You do have to change planes in America but you go through customs in the first airport which takes away some of the time and stress once you arrive in Orlando. I just wish that one of these airlines would start a direct service to Orlando and solve all our problems.

Sorry to waffle on.......:p

03-07-2002, 06:27 AM
Well this is just another step down for Virgin in my estimation of them :mad:

What is it about Manchester? They can't even provide flights all year round, now they are messing with the aircraft? It really is not good enough. Customers flying from Manchester pay exactly the same as those flying from London but get a second class service.

We are flying with them in December, but from Gatwick, as they don't fly from Manchester in the Winter.

For our next trip I am seriously thinking of using BA, as they include cut-price connecting flights from Manchester to Gatwick in their prices and their base prices are cheaper too. As Virgin no longer have the captioned videos for the deaf, there is really no incentive for me to go with them anymore.

Poor show Virgin, you are on the slippery slope in my opinion. :mad:

03-07-2002, 06:29 AM
I have spoken to Virgin Atlantic this morning.They confrmed that it would be an Air Atlanta plane starting in May from Manchester.Yes it would be in Virgin livery with Virgin attendants but an Air Atlanta pilot.They said that there were complaints about the standard of the aircraft used in 2000 but that this time it would be of a comparable standard to Virgin aircraft (seatback TVs,same food,films etc).I was concerned as I am flying Club Orlando at the end of May - again the response was that the 'upstairs' seats would be comparable.
I spoke to V Atlantic Head Office - lets hope they stick to this promise or I'll definitely be complaining!!!

03-07-2002, 07:40 AM

We're going club orlando too, I just hope it's not as bad as the last time. I was told last night that the Air Atlanta plane is not starting until July so you maybe be ok, but it looks like every time someone phones they are getting differnet stories.


The Murfs
03-07-2002, 09:33 AM
No reply as yet from virgin. (e-mail sent last night as soon as I read the thread) Went into travel agents this morning who rang virgin and confirmed. We will be flying Air Atlanta in virgin colours (as if this makes any difference) we will still get seat back tv, backpacks for the kids etc but the staff will be Air Atlanta, trained by virgin. The plane is a 747-200. Hopefully our allocated seats will still stand (4 in the middle) I did feel better for hearing this but having read the previous threads about dirty planes etc. still a little peeved.

Will let you know as soon as virgin reply to my e-mail.

Bye for now

03-07-2002, 11:09 AM
We have spoken to virgin and they are saying the same thing about livery, facilities etc.
I said I was not bothered what they wore if we were assured of the same or better as when we booked. I asked for a written assurance from virgin that there would be the same facilities etc and she said I could have one. I will wait to see if one arrives! Our travel agents did not know anything about it and have promised to get back to us. My husband is considering cancelling but I am worried about losing deposits. What does everyone else feel?:(

03-07-2002, 12:19 PM
Update on last post. Husband spoke to virgin at length and we have transferred to a flight from Gatwick on the same day etc. He had to go higher and higher but made his point and they suggested this alternative. We were spending our second week in the Keys and driving back to Orlando for our last night so now we can fly into Orlando and out of Miami which is actually better for us.

Thank you very much for the advance warning Kassie(hope thats correct) and good luck to others if they feel as we did that the North of England is being fobbed off with inferior services.:D

03-07-2002, 12:23 PM
Hi Guys,

All these problems with Virgin has me asking the question, have you tried booking flights and accomodation separately?
It seems to work out cheaper at the moment.
For example four return flights to Tampa, mid July from Manchester via Philadelphia £1600 incl taxes. This beats the ATA fare and I've just got it through ebookers.com.
The airline is US Air and they use brand new A330 aircraft with seat back TV's and 34" legroom.
In fact the aircraft are specced higher then the ones operating on the London route.
Just a thought that maybe if we all shopped around Virgin, ATA and other companies would sharpen up their act when it comes to serving the regional airports.



The Murfs
03-07-2002, 01:20 PM
As promised here is the reply e-mail received today from virgin.

Many thanks for your email.

Whilst I can fully appreciate your comments I would also like to offer you
some assurance of the following.

Virgin Atlantic will wet-lease a Boeing 747-200 aircraft from Air Atlanta
from 01 May 2002 until 10 November 2002. This aircraft will be used on the
Manchester to Orlando route. The aircraft will be staffed by Virgin
trained crew and with full Virgin livery and in-flight entertainment.
( Wet leasing is where one airline has leased an aircraft to another only
to lease it back again from them. )

Passengers should not be affected by this change. The aircraft we are
using in Manchester was part of our own fleet until a very short time ago.
Therefore, it retains its full Virgin style. We leased the aircraft to Air
Atlanta in order to reduce the types of aircraft we owned and subsequently
needed to provide our own engineering support for. The aircraft type
compliments Air Atlanta's extensive fleet and engineering facilities.

The aircraft will maintain the following:

· Full Virgin Atlantic livery
· Full Virgin Atlantic products, catering and amenities on board
· Seatback IFE Matsu****a 2000E "Odyssey" IFE system.
· Virgin trained and uniformed crew

The only noticeable difference will be the Icelandic registration of the

I hope I have been able to address your concerns and may I take this
opportunity to wish you a pleasant flight. We look forward to welcoming
you onboard.

Kind regards

Customer Services

This has put our minds at rest, hope this helps clear up some of those niggling doubts.

Happy again with148 days to go

03-07-2002, 02:07 PM
I know how you all feel.In 2000 I booked to go to Portugal with Virgin Sun.It cost more than comparable holidays with other other tour operators but the Virgin name did it for me.Also the flight provided more than the usual charter flight.

When we arrived at Gatwick the 'yellow 'plane' my DS was so looking forward to flying on was a dirty,smelly old aircraft.On out return from Faro there was the lovely new aircraft on the runway but ironically it was the Manchester flight!The Gatwick flight was the same old aircraft.

There is nothing thta can be done once you've turned up at the airport,wheich is how they plan it I guess.


03-07-2002, 02:07 PM
I know how you all feel.In 2000 I booked to go to Portugal with Virgin Sun.It cost more than comparable holidays with other other tour operators but the Virgin name did it for me.Also the flight provided more than the usual charter flight.

When we arrived at Gatwick the 'yellow 'plane' my DS was so looking forward to flying on was a dirty,smelly old aircraft.On out return from Faro there was the lovely new aircraft on the runway but ironically it was the Manchester flight!The Gatwick flight was the same old aircraft.

There is nothing that can be done once you've turned up at the airport,wheich is how they plan it I guess.


03-07-2002, 03:55 PM
Am I right in believing that we shouldn’t notice any difference to the outside and inside of the planes?

Like most of you are saying we have paid to fly Virgin then I want to fly Virgin, if this is not the case I am going to transfer and go from Gatwick.

03-07-2002, 06:25 PM
I telephoned Virgin Atlantic this morning and spoke to Lynette, who assured me that the planes had seat back TV's, Full Virigin Livery, Virgin Trained Staff, Virgin food, etc. She did say that he crew were Icelandic, so even in Virigin uniform they will obviously sound different.

I have e mailed Virgin registering my objections, but I suppose other than cancelling and losing money, they have us by the proverbial.

DW is already a nervous flyer after Sept 11th, so an Icelandic flight crew will just about put the top hat on it.