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#940567 by FLYERZ
06 Jan 2018, 15:20
Happy New Year (still). We are researching a potential return (5th time) trip to Grenada this year. Prices seem to have increased over each of our visits despiting staying at the same hotel/time of year. Usually we strictly used Virgin Holidays however looking now I can see a price differential of nearly £1k between VH and Expedia comparing like for like (Hotel, Room type, dates, flying class). Any explanation? I guess what I am asking is other than a VH rep on the ground in Grenada, is there any other noticeable difference between the two?

Thanks in advance,
FLYERZ
#940581 by Hev60
06 Jan 2018, 20:35
Can’t answer your query regarding prices to Grenada but can comment on my experience booking with VH.

We booked our June 2018 holiday last July. With VH we’ve only paid deposits up front rather than coughing up a shed load of cash for flights. We have roughly calculated the cost of our VS flights within the package and can honestly say they have never got as low as our estimate on any other website including VS (even now in the sale)! We got rooms at the WDW Swan, where VH have room upgrades and a couple of other perks which are not available to the likes of Expedia or via the direct hotel reservations.

VH allowed us to book a hotel package with them including flights but then we spend 10 days independently down on the gulf coast before returning to Orlando for 3nights in hotel again booked thru VH.

Initially I did price our entire holiday package via Expedia and I could have saved about £500. However the free perks offered by VH soon put the Expedia prices up. Expedia were not willing to be flexible and would not accommodate our various requests. VH offered a reasonable overall discount and each time I add something to the package, they immediately discount that too.

However what I have learnt is ... book direct either online or over the telephone with Virgin Holidays.
Their agents have everything in front of them, whereas the ‘concession shops’ often have to wait for prices or answers to queries. Finally the shops charge a booking fee.

I used VH because we are doing a large family package holiday and they could deal with all our options. However I will return to my normal independent method of booking a holiday when it’s just two of us though.
#940583 by TimCrawley
06 Jan 2018, 23:51
If I could just add a couple of thinks to Hev60's helpful reply:

VH includes a shared transfer to/from the hotel at the Grenada end, not included in Expedia.

VA flight plus hotel does NOT take you to the VH website like it used to but bookings are still effectively made through VH and you get all the usual package holiday protections of a VH booking with your confirmations etc coming from VH - still, like Expedia, minus the VH shared transfer to/from the hotel at the Grenada end which you have to add on manually on the VA website .... BUT PRICES ARE OFTEN QUITE DIFFERENT BETWEEN VS "Flight+Hotel (even after adding in the transfer costs)" AND VH FOR EXACTLY THE SAME BOOKING (effectively VS and VH can have different pricing and availability on the flight element of the package and be priced differently even though it's same plane/group of companies). Note that VH online bookings do NOT give you either the Virgin Frequent or the Virgin Flying Club discounts .... you have to do that over the phone or in store .... but VA Flight+Hotel does now take the new Virgin Flying Club numbers and apply discounts.
#940584 by mitchja
07 Jan 2018, 00:18
TimCrawley wrote: Note that VH online bookings do NOT give you either the Virgin Frequent or the Virgin Flying Club discounts .... you have to do that over the phone or in store .... but VA Flight+Hotel does now take the new Virgin Flying Club numbers and apply discounts.


That's no longer that case anymore. Virgin Holidays online bookings do now let you have your Flying Club discount. You need to enter your full name date of birth and Flying Club number in the relevant section to get V Hols website to validate / calculate your discount based on your FC tier. If the website is already giving you a better discount though (like the current 10%off sale) it won't change the cost, however, it will calculate the extra number of miles you will earn.
#940586 by TimCrawley
07 Jan 2018, 01:58


"TimCrawley wrote:
Note that VH online bookings do NOT give you either the Virgin Frequent or the Virgin Flying Club discounts .... you have to do that over the phone or in store .... but VA Flight+Hotel does now take the new Virgin Flying Club numbers and apply discounts.”

That's no longer that case anymore. Virgin Holidays online bookings do now let you have your Flying Club discount. You need to enter your full name date of birth and Flying Club number in the relevant section to get V Hols website to validate / calculate your discount based on your FC tier. If the website is already giving you a better discount though (like the current 10%off sale) it won't change the cost, however, it will calculate the extra number of miles you will earn.


Thanks for that update James, I hadn't seen that change.

For a long time after the flying club numbers changed neither the VH nor the VA (flight+hotel) route accepted the old numbers or the new numbers and the VA (flight+hotel) method seemed to be the first to get fixed .... didn't realise VH was also fixed now. Virgin Frequent discount remains telephone or in store only, however.
#940590 by mitchja
07 Jan 2018, 11:34
I didn't even realise that FVC (Frequent Virgin Club) still even exists?? I thought that got wrapped up years ago!! I've had no communication or anything from them in years now even though I generally booked 1 package a year with V Hols.

I doubt I'll be booking with them again though as they are so so expensive now.
#940592 by FLYERZ
07 Jan 2018, 13:07
Thanks all for the replies, very useful. Expedia do have an option to add 'private transfer' to the booking so when comparing prices I was including that. I will give VA Flight + Hotel a check too as I didn't even think to do that. I guess my concern was just around the difference in price, felt too good to be true.
#940737 by TimCrawley
13 Jan 2018, 00:53
Virgin Frequent discount remains telephone or in store only, however.


I need to correct myself on the Frequent Virgin Club (FVC) discount that used to only operate on telephone or in store bookings ..... it now does work directly on the VH website because I used it today to book a trip to Cuba, getting the opportunity to enter either VS Flying Club numbers or FVC numbers for each passenger when putting in passenger details on the booking. As soon as I put my FVC number in, as lead passenger, it immediately applied the 10% FVC discount to the cost of the whole booking (excluding taxes and APD) before I even went on to the second and third passengers details ..... nice.

Although the FVC (Frequent Virgin Club) stopped being actively promoted many years ago and was then closed to new members, it's discounts are still active and the VH website now happily takes your choice of either VS Flying Club number or FVC number against each passenger in turn (as it now says it will alongside the box else I wouldn't have even thought to try my FVC number). If the VH website have added that FVC functionality alongside adding the VS FC functionality (that James highlighted had happened earlier in the thread) then I wonder if that means either FVC is good for yet another year or two (else why bother adding to website) else perhaps they are going to go one better and re-open it or something similar to new members instead of leaving it on website for years as "During this time we're unable to invite any new members to join the club but watch this space as we hope to reveal some exciting developments soon" ?

Anyway, I know thread was now several days old but people do sometimes search threads so it's a pity not to update it. I was certainly happy as having slipped down from Gold through Silver and now to FC Red I found the FVC 10% discount a happy bonus for my wallet!
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