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LocationBrisbane Travel Days Per Year45 approx Days OccupationDirector

I recently flew Premium Economy, LA - Bris with Virgin Australia. On the flight, I was attacked by the passenger sitting next me...

Posted on 25/1/13 Filed under: Airline

I recently flew Premium Economy, LA - Bris with Virgin Australia. On the flight, I was attacked by the passenger sitting next me (Completely unproked). The Cabin Manager on the flight, stated that the flight was full, so I could not be moved, or could they move this passenger (Which made for an exceptionally uncomfortable flight.. As a Gold Velocity Member, I raised the issue with Virigin Australia on my return. After 5 weeks, I received an email stating that as a gesture of Goodwill, they had decided to give me a voucher for $250.00.

What are you thoughts on the events during the flight, & Virgin Australi's apparent goodwill Offer ?


15 Answers

1 on 25/1/13 by wilsoni

I'd say if you'd been attacked a second time Virgin would be liable for a lot more than $250 - the staff were aware of what had happened and by not doing anything Virgin accepted liabilty for any future incident.  I also wonder why this guy wasn't turned over to the cops - did Virgin report this?? In the end you were attacked only once by someone Virgin (presumably) had no way of knowing would do that, so as apallingly unacceptable as that was and as uncomfortable as the remainder of the flight must have been, a voucher and/or FF rewards were probably appropriate. I think $250 was too low, $500-$750 more like it.  There's lesson learned from your experience - Virgin don't care and neither should you when choosing your next trans-Pacific ticket.

2 on 25/1/13 by StuParr

Really in this sense it doesn't matter what frequent flyer level you are, it is a little strange to be "attacked". It appears that the person who has delt with your complaint has followed their procedures and hence given the voucher. I don't agree with wilsoni that they don't care, their team member followed their procedures, in such a large organisation you find that happening. Such a reaction could happen in any company.

If you had had the CSM report that to the police in Australia then their reaction would probably have been different.

A good way to gain access to them to discuss further is to private message their Facebook support team. They are quick to respond and that way you can organise to speak to someone. Just tell them that it was unacceptable and see what they say. Good luck.

3 on 25/1/13 by Robert

I appreciate your comments.  StuParr, I hear your comments about the corporate approach & a Team Member just doing their job in accordance with their procedures. I did send a Message to their Facebook page, still to this day, it remains unanswered.  Virgin's "Conditions of Carriage" clearly state this type of behaviour is unacceptable, and there is procedures in place in those conditions of carriage, which were not followed.


Wilsoni - I too think $250.00 was a bit low, and their email made it sound like they were in fact doing me a favour.  It was impersonal & insulting, to say the least.

4 on 25/1/13 by Al

I'm curious about the nature of this 'attack', surely that should be what drives any issue of 'compensation'? I mean, for any type of 'attack' I think a voucher is just not good enough, but what do you mean by 'attack' - was it an actual physical attack, or do you just mean that your seatmate verbally abused you, or passed some nasty comments directed at you? I'd like to hear what you are defining as an 'attack' before suggesting what the airline's appropriate response should have been.

5 on 25/1/13 by Robert

Al - To answer your question it was a physical attacked. to be woken by a guy grabbing you & hitting You, Is clearly an ISSUE !!  Hope that clarifies this for You !

6 on 25/1/13 by AirportAddict

Any issue of assault  on an aircraft is usually dealt with in a serious manner. You may recall a woman was heavily intoxicated on a flight from SYD to WLG and because of the fact that she physically attacked other passengers, the flight turned back to Sydney. She was charged by the airline, fined and banned from the airline - evidently this was not as serious. Did the incident raise serious concern on the flight? 

7 on 25/1/13 by Robert

The incident raised enough concern for the cabin manager & two flight attendants to attend.  As stated above, it raises concerns as Virgins "Conditions of Carriage" state this type of behaviour is Not acceptable, and their own procedures were not followed.

I also noticed the subject title has been changed. NB:  Fight on flight, what should the airline do ? Was not my title, nor was it inserted by me, but I do notice it takes Virgin Australia's name out of the title !!!!!

1 on 25/1/13 by John

Hi there Robert — I changed the title since you'd entered "I recently flew Premium Economy, LA - Bris with Virgin Australia. On the flight, I was attacked by the passenger sitting next me" as the question you were asking. We often insert question titles when readers don't actually ask a question. Fixing this is one of the things we're looking at as we think about our upcoming website redesign. I trust that explains the title swap.

8 on 25/1/13 by Robert

Just to further clarify: There was no "Fight on Flight", there was an unprovoked attack by another passenger !!!

9 on 25/1/13 by David

Hi Robert: that change of title mystifies me, I can assure you I have not edited the title or any part of these messages. What was the original title?

10 on 25/1/13 by David

I'm coming in late to this one but a physical attack like this is of course an incredibly serious issue. It almost goes beyond a matter of 'compensation' such as points or a voucher.

I don't know how an airline would deal with this in an aircraft where every seat is occupied, but my first concern is more that this sounds like cause for arrest, a charge of assault and action being taken by the airline against this person.

11 on 25/1/13 by Robert

David, thank you for your comments. I notice the "Fight on Plane" title has now been removed.

The matter does warrant serious concern. I had asked the question of Virgin, re: contingency in relation to this situation when the plane is fully booked, as not only did this impact upon my safety, but also impacts upon future passengers safety if this situation was to arise again.

When I explained I had a further 2 international flights, a number of domestic flights planned for this year, not even so much as an acknowledgement of that. It appears it is now a Profit over passenger mentality now.

12 on 25/1/13 by tronixstuff

So what happened to the passenger that attacked you? Did the AFP pick them off at BNE?

13 on 25/1/13 by Robert

No, he walked off the plane as if nothing had happened. Cabin crew did nothing to detain him at all.

14 on 26/1/13 by Really

Was it physical or verbal? Was there threats? Usually any misbehaving on an aircraft leads to a welcoming party upon landing.Did you say that you wanted the Federal Police to be there on arrival beacause you wanted to press charges?Not enough information as to what actually transpired on board.

1 on 26/1/13 by wilsoni

Read answer no.5 above.

15 on 26/1/13 by aero-seat

Hi Robert, the matter you brought up here sounds very serious and should be treated cautiously. Most premium airlines may consider moving you up to Business Class (since you were flying Premium Economy) but if the plane was full then that wouldn't have much help. I am a bit more curious if Virgin Australia did anything to the person sitting next to you, it sounds they did come and try to help but did they say or do anything to the person? I agree with you that $250 isn't enough for something like this.


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