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Question re: Delta & Virgin Atlantic

If I book a flight through Delta, but it on Delta's website it says the flight is operated by Virgin Atlantic, whose baggage rules etc. apply? I noticed they have different policies.

Edit: And just to add to the confusion, I'm looking at American's flights operated by British Airways, which are actually a wee bit cheaper than flying British Airways.

Very confused!

Thanks!

Posted by
16883 posts

Once you actually buy the ticket, it should include or link you to information specific to your flights.

Posted by
504 posts

Thanks for the info!

Unfortunately, the baggage thing is a deal-breaker for me. In other words, if I don't know ahead of time what the exact rules are, I don't feel comfortable booking with that airline.

Posted by
8625 posts

In your situation, you will have to see what each airline's policy is and make sure your bags conform to the most restrictive policy. When looking for fares be sure to look carefully to see what airline you will be on.

Is it checked or carry on that is your concern?

Many airlines give you a free checked bag if you have their credit card. Many offer the credit card free the 1st year.
Even with an annual fee, it may be cheaper than paying the bag fee for each trip.

Posted by
419 posts

As far as I know, it is Virgin’s baggage rules, Virgin’s boarding priority rules, and Virgin’s seat assignment policies that apply.

Earlier this year I had booked through Delta flight to London that ended up being on Virgin. I had to pay a separate fee through Virgin to get a confirmed seat assignment. My delta silver medallion zone one boarding privileges apparently wouldn’t apply to the Virgin flight.

In the end, for other reasons, I had to change the flight, and ended up going on Delta’s equipment. As much as I would like to experience a Virgin Atlantic flight, I just soon stay on Delta and keep my (meager) privileges.

Posted by
504 posts

Joe--What I'd prefer: a free checked bag, a carryon cabin bag and a personal item. And a seat I can choose without having to pay for it.

I posted the other day about "jumping on the frequent flyer bandwagon," which launched a lengthy discussion about whether or not I should get a credit card so I can earn some of the benefits for flying. I decided against it (for various reasons).

Choosing an airline seems to involve a large amount of research. I'm actually feeling really negative about it at the moment. I'm almost at the point where I will just pay whatever the airline that offers me all I want, asks. The last two years I tried to save money by flying airlines that had one stopover. This time I want to fly nonstop.

Just feeling overwhelmed. It has not been a good week. I've actually been questioning my decision to go (if you look at my earlier threads, you'll see why). Perhaps this has all been a mistake and that's why I'm having such trouble choosing an airline.

Thanks for listening and for the input.

Posted by
21067 posts

I was ticketed by Delta for flights on KLM (to Nice with a change in Paris) and Virgin Atlantic (back from London) this year. I had no baggage issues; I checked my fairly small bag (free on all flights) and just carried on a large tote. Both KLM and Virgin Atlantic charge a fee if you want to choose your seat more than 24 hours before departure time. KLM's fee is a bit lower. I think Virgin is charging £25 for an ordinary seat, which is edging up toward $35.

I opted to choose a seat for my first leg since I was making a connection in Amsterdam and wanted to avoid being the last one off the plane. I didn't pay for advance seat selection on the other two flights, just praying that I wouldn't get stuck in a middle seat, and was able to get my preferred aisle seat when I checked in about 23-24 hours before departure.

The fee for selecting a non-premium seat is an annoyance; you just have to add that to the advertised fare when you're price-shopping.

Posted by
315 posts

I feel your pain. I think the rules for baggage and seats may be changing day to day. Spring travel Delta/Transavia service rep quoted no charge for checked bag if our carrier on was not allowed on the plane. Delta policies were to remain in place for the entire trip. I wrote the person's name and the date in my travel log. I did have to pay a fee for seat assignment on the return KLM share with Delta. I was watching fares and posting regarding fare sales. Our fares were dirt cheap even with a seat charge. Fees for seats and baggage remain in place due to dollars generated among other supposed issues. My suggestion is pay the charges and save somewhere else in the trip. It will possibly provide peace and an end to the problem.

Posted by
504 posts

Yes, it is beginning to look like I will not get everything I want from one airline. None of them seem to have all the features I'd prefer.

Posted by
8625 posts

Have you looked at American , JFK-LHR, a bit over $600 RT /coach/ non stops/ ( May 2018) 1 free checked bag, 1 cabin bag and 1 personal item-- free seat choice at purchase

Posted by
1759 posts

Hi Sandra, I ran into this problem last night when I purchased tickets online. I bought directly from Delta but realized too late that the return from London was on Virgin Atlantic. I paid $40 to reserve a seat in economy. Not happy. I still have one flight (AMS-BGO) with no seat assignment. I couldn't figure out how to do it so I guess I'll have to call Delta tomorrow. I wish I would have known this up front.

Posted by
4666 posts

You'll have free checked luggage, free carry-on and a personal item with Virgin (probably Delta too but I flew with them too long ago to confirm what the current situation is).

Seat selection is only free if you check in online from 24 hours prior to departure.

If it's a choice between Delta and Virgin then Virgin wins hands down every time. I have vowed never to fly an American carrier again after too many awful experiences.

Posted by
1759 posts

I don't like the hidden fees. I think the airlines should honest up front and just tell you what you're paying.

Posted by
3661 posts

It's common for airlines in the same partner pool to offer flights on other airline's flights in the same team for less, sometimes 50% less.

American does not offer all booze free transatlantic as the other 3 airlines do.

Note that both BA and AA are casual about airport changes at connections (LGA to JFK or Heathrow to Gatwick) which Delta would never do so book carefully.

Posted by
324 posts

I don't think any of the European carriers have fee seat selection before check in opens at 24 hours, so if you want to fly one of them, factor it into your flight cost, or fly a US-based carrier.

Posted by
3304 posts

Unfortunately, the baggage thing is a deal-breaker for me. In other
words, if I don't know ahead of time what the exact rules are, I don't
feel comfortable booking with that airline.
What I'd prefer: a free checked bag, a carryon cabin bag and a
personal item. And a seat I can choose without having to pay for it.

Sandra, if you're concerned about the specific carry on rules like carry on measurements and weight, the rules of the actual carrier apply so in your case, British Airways' rules apply, not American Airlines. When you're at the gate, you might see a baggage template of BA's specifications. The gate agent might have you put that bag inside the template to prove it meets BA's rules. If the bag doesn't fit, you'll pay BA's penalty, not AA's penalty.

For checked bags, when you buy your tickets on AA's website for a BA codeshare, the checked bag fee on the AA website applies. If there is a free checked bag allowance when you buy your code-share ticket, it will be accepted by BA.

As for not paying for seat selection, when you buy your ticket on the AA website for the BA codeshare, you'll see what the options and costs are including when or if there is a time perhaps within 24 hours of the flight that seat selection is free. Keep in mind, waiting that long could mean that whatever seats are left to select are scattered middle seats. That is always the risk of not paying up at the time of buying the ticket this day and age.

Posted by
2914 posts

Internationally, AA and BA have pretty generous free carryon-wheelie rules. BA has a measurement for your personal item, but it is generous. Your checked bag is free. AA's carryon measurement is 1/2 inch narrower than BA as I recall. Regarding paying for a seat, until last year I never paid for my BA seat. Through all the years of picking the free seat at 24 hour online check in, I've never had an issue getting an aisle seat or moving my aisle seat forward to some degree. If you join the airline's frequent flyer club...which you should do for any airline on which you are flying, even once...they or the computer will take into consideration your personal seat choice; i.e., window or aisle. It took BA a couple of times to automatically put me in an aisle seat when traveling with my husband as he was a window guy, and they gave him his choice, rather than mine (a result of our paternalistic society ;0 ). I try not to buy a flight that includes AA, but it happens. AA is fine, but I prefer the BA flights...just my preference, as, again, AA is fine.

Posted by
504 posts

Well, I am glad to report I made my flight decision. I'm flying with Virgin Atlantic. I got a fare I can live with and paid a bit extra to choose my seats, which gives me peace of mind (I really prefer aisle seats).

Thank you, everyone, for your help with navigating through all this stuff!

I am greatly relieved.

Posted by
7598 posts

excellent news, Sandra! I too paid a little extra for a seat last time. I didn't love it, but I am getting used to it. Glad you have this taken care of.