Virgin Atlantic’s “Special” Offers

Airlines are always anxious to add to their profits by selling extra services. There is no harm in that – provided the customer gets a fair deal but not all airlines are as honest or scrupulous as they should be.

Virgin promote a deal for advance booking for the Gatwick Express - they claim the offer is a for a “special 5% discount”.

That is certainly a special offer because tickets are sold on the Gatwick Express website at a standard discount of 10%.

Could Virgin be so tight that they are doing this deliberately – trying to screw an extra couple of pounds out of their passengers? Or have they simply not kept a proper check on the links and deals they offer? Neither possibility reflects well on the airline.

This is not new and we have pointed it out in Inside Traveller before.

By the way, members of Quidco get a £3 affiliate rebate for each booking made on the Gatwick Express. Virgin are presumably making more than that – plus the extra 5%.


We just received this remarkable reply from Virgin Atlantic. “It is not our intention to mislead people. We offer a 5% discount and if Gatwick Express sell it at a 10% discount, then that is up to them.”

Just so we are clear – the price for booking a day ahead of travel on the internet is 10% less than paying at the station on the day. If you book through Virgin, you pay 5% extra – and get told it is a special deal.

No, of course Virgin are not misleading anyone…