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Katie's complaint against Virgin Holidays
School trip stranded.
Complaint against Virgin Holidays
Arrived in NYC feb 13th 9pm after a long day of travelling for the hotel to tell us they had no booking for us. That virgin cancelled it back in may 2015. Without us knowing. There was 28 of us, 16 of those being kids 13 - 17. Contacted virgin who simply said they were 'looking into this' and would call us back. Hours and hours passed and every time we called to see if there was any progress all we got was 'we are still looking into it bear with us' it got until 2am we had been waiting 5 hours!! Still nothing. It was -14 degrees outside. Luckily the hotel manager took pity on us and offered to lay some camp beds in one of the conference rooms. With literally no where else to sleep but the streets, we had no choice but to agree. We settle into our botched accomodation to find broken glass on the floor and cockroaches. With still no better offer from virgin we had no choice but to deal with this ourselves, being super careful of glass and searching the room before we allowed the children in. The kids finally settle but we realise we wont all fit in the room. So 6 of us are set up outside in the corridor. Glaring luminous lights above and no security or safety for our belonging laid out next to us in an open corridor. Virgin finally call at 3am to say, we found you a hotel but its on 109th street. We are not happy with this because our school was performing on times square so needed to be as close as the hotel we originally booked for them to be able to change and get ready for thei performance. As well as having a close by base should any groups loose each other. Also one of our parents has extremely difficult walking/mobility difficulties so that hotel again was not an option. We refused this hotel and virgin decided that was ok, stay where we are until morning and they will call us with our new hotel address we wont have to worry all will be sorted. Come 6am after little to no sleep due to worry, stress and lack of feeling safe. We realise we are on the same floor as the gym, and the corridor is getting increasingly busy as early risers wake for their morning workout, predominantly men, not something a dance school of girls feels comfortable with around them trying to sleep. We give up on trying to rest and wash as best we can in public toilets in the hotel. With a few flannels to go round us all. We return to the hotel lobby and call virgin, they should have a hotel by now right? WRONG. We call and they say office is closed until 8am can we call back then. Like we were some sort of inconvenience. This worried us as if the person answering the phone could not just see in our notes the new hotel details as promised, they clearly were not done. And that was correct, we called at 8am after more tired waiting around to find some one new merely clocking in and picking up where last nights person left off. 10.30am until they find us a hotel, nearly 14 hours later. Bear in mind we have now missed our first morning in NYC at our booked and paid for trip to the empire state building. 2pm we finally get into our rooms, and not wanting to waste any more time stuck inside we jump at the chance to shower and explore the city we came to see. By 6pm we were at our previously booked and paid for trip to the theatre, but due to our lack of sleep we slept straight through it. Another loss. We contacted virgin since the holiday who offered us £100 each compensation. Having lost the first evening and near enough first day of our holiday. We also asked for our empire state tickets, theatre tickets and phone bills reimbursed. They agreed to the phone bill but wouldnt budge on the £100. And said that they did not feel at fault for our excursions and that they were not booked through virgin. The most angering thing about this whole experience is that virgin did nothing but point the finger all night, trying to blame the hotel. The hotel accomodated us in every way they could, and they certainly didnt have to, we were not their problem really. Bur virgin knew kids were stranded and still didint have any urgency to relocate us. Even being middle of night and -14 out!!! We are aboaloutley disgusted and hope this never happens to anyone or any other schools our kids were heartbroken about their first trip to the big apple.
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