What You Need to Know About New Booking System at Virgin

5th Feb 2013

The recent switchover of Virgin Australia's backend system to its new booking system, Sabre, the many frustrated customers were complaining about longer queues at the airport and problems accessing the system's main features preventing them to make their bookings fast.

The new system, like any new computer applications, experienced some problems in its maiden implementation. Some of those who tried using the new system experienced some difficulties accessing the system and even cut off midway through the process.

Where are my status credits?

During the early stages of the implementation of the new system, a lot of customers were frantically calling the airline's office telling about their lost credits in their Velocity Frequent Flyers points. Some of AustBT readers even reported to this paper the problems they encountered with Sabre. A team from Virgin's social media website was working round the clock to answer queries and addressed issues thrown at them from customers, many of them very upset. They assured their customers that their membership and their corresponding points earned prior to the new system were not, in any way, affected.

They advised them to secure a copy of the recent e-statement of their Velocity membership in case numbers don't match the next time they log in to the system.

Old bookings caught in the crossover.

The migration to the new system caused many customers to get frustrated when they tried to locate their bookings made prior to the switchover.

Another customer complained that certain functions such as seat selection didn't work at all. He ended up calling the airline office to reserve a seat.

Disappearing connecting fares.

In the old system, it was possible to make connecting flights. With Sabre, though one can make connecting flights, this option is said to have been disregarded somehow. As a result, if a customer flies to a destination with a single stopover, he would pay two sets of tickets instead of one.

This is because the system was not loaded with the function, connecting domestic/shorthaul fares, enabling customers to make the such booking. In the current system, if one is searching for a fare, say Hobart-Melbourne-Sydney, he gets the same fares as the two sets of flights between Hobart and Melbourne and between Melbourne and Sydney.

It is obvious that the airline overlooked this option, one customer observes.

He further noted that while the new system offers more options when selecting connecting flights than its predecessor, it becomes costlier for travelers to do the same thing with Sabre.

Those five new fare types in full.

Virgin Australia has recently introduced a five-fare scheme for all its flights from cheapest to most expensive - Saver Lite, Saver, Flexi, Business Saver (or Premium) and Business in that order.

The new scheme pushes up the Business class fare higher than its old counterpart. The Business Saver, meanwhile, comes out cheaper relative to the old tariff.

In the new scheme, Saver ticket includes a bag already while a Saver Lite has no allocation.