Airlines: enough with the itinerary changes!

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by airshadow, May 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. airshadow
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    airshadow Gold Member

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    Is it just me, or have schedule changes become the norm now?

    It's difficult enough to build a good trip (especially on an award) without the airline(s) constantly revising it prior to departure. I've read similar complaints and flyers have suggested "you should pay us like we have to pay you for changes."

    But, geez, enough already! The worst offenders seem to be Delta and UA/CO, although Delta does at least offer free online alternatives.

    Have the airlines collectively decided that published schedules are really just loose estimates?

    (ok, rant over :))
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Many DL FFs have learned to use these schedule changes to our advantage, to get some free changes, even to more expensive flights. Many even hope for schedule changes.
     
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  3. airshadow
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    airshadow Gold Member

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    I've hoped for that too - better/more expensive flights and/or upgrade opportunities, but just haven't caught any breaks. I need to learn to game those opportunities.

    Very good point. I feel like such a novice sometimes...

    (only recently began to capitalize on the similar SDC)
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Rule 1: If you don't like the answer, hang up and call again.

    Rule 2: Know what you want (check schedules yourself) before calling and explain why it's needed/reasonable.

    Rule 3: If you still don't like your options, wait for the next schedule change and try again to improve things.

    Of course it helps to be elite.
     
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  5. santafefran
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    santafefran Silver Member

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    I feel your pain, airshadow. I just posted a new thread about schedule changes not to my liking on a booked itinerary which I chose in part because of the schedule being advantageous to my circumstances which the new schedule is definitely not.
     
  6. ShopAround
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    ShopAround Silver Member

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    I have a group booked on an AA flight in November from FCO to JFK. They just notified me of a four hour schedule change! Our morning flight is now an afternoon flight.
     
  7. ducster
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    ducster Gold Member

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    I keep seeing schedule changes in my summer itinerary in which the flight time changes by less than 5 minutes, or they change the flight number. I'm up to change #4 right now. When I first arranged the flights using CO miles on UA and LH, the agent told me that there would of course be numerous changes before I actually took the trip. Of course, I replied.
     
  8. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    agreed, like if I was in ShopAround's position below, yikes, thankfully a major change I've rarely experienced.
    most changes I get are very minor (<10 minute change), I long for the day when online with UA, I can simply accept the change. Seeing as I book quite a bit of travel 8+ months out, it would make life so much easier.
     
  9. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Depending on the type of traveler you are, I'd be pleased with the change! No early wake up and a change to have breakfast in FCO? Yes, pls!
     
  10. ShopAround
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    ShopAround Silver Member

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    It would be fine if I were traveling alone. But this is a booking for a group and many pax have domestic connections that are all screwed up now. I normally use DL and only booked AA this time because the rate was much lower, but I'll be very wary of using them again. With DL, there are often minor schedule changes, but they've never changed a flight time by four hours.
     
  11. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Ah, gotcha, I can see the headache there. Though honestly with a 4 hour change AA will accomodate you on any changes you'd need to make to connections, etc, though depending on where people are going it might not be easy.

    And for what it's worth, my flight time on DL was changed by 5 hours the last time I flew them. :) It's all luck of the draw, all airlines do it.
     
  12. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    Amen to less Schedule Changes!!!

    sdcarver
     
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  13. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Yeah, lately schedule changes on UA are seeming like 2-3 per week. Pain in the arse as it totally locks up the online itineraries until you call in to "clear" them...in fact, waiting on hold with UA web support right now 10 minutes and counting b/c online checkin unable on my flight tomorrow due to a flight number change...:rolleyes:
     
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  14. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Have a trip booked to rome for october, and my last leg of the trip (ORD-GRR) was rebooked so that it leaves an hour before my FRA-ORD flight gets in. Hoping UA adds a later departure, but I figure theres plenty of time for them to add flights between now and october.
     
  15. Open Fly
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    Open Fly Silver Member

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    Ouch. Is that later or earlier?
     
  16. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I have a reward trip in J booked for a trip to DME. It was booked 8 months ago and there have been three schedule changes. :eek:
    In this case, it worked to my advantage as I got a better schedule.
     
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  17. ShopAround
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    ShopAround Silver Member

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    Later. Our morning flight is now an afternoon flight, which means we get back to the U.S. hours later than planned.
     
  18. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    OK, weighing in here on our experience of yesterday:
    Had AC GVA-YUL-LGA booked for May 3. (Booked it on Feb. 2) Was sitting in Dornbirn, Austria on May 2, logging in to see if online checkin was yet available. To my horror, AC showed my May 3 flight as a May 2 flight! So, I searched through old emails and found that, in fact, one of those "schedule change" emails I'd read and looked over on March 3 had changed the GVA-YUL portion to May 2, while leaving the YUL-LGA portion May 3 (with an overnight, presumably at our expense, in YUL) Thing was, every flight time was exactly as reserved, to the minute, and I remember having looked over the email carefully and being put out that they had sent it when there were no time changes. Didn't think to check the dates. Skype was balky, it was 4 hours prior to the May 2 scheduled departure time (and me more than that away from GVA), and AC customer service toll-free US number was on hold for nearly 30 minutes. Finally got through to a European number which routed to a call center -- perhaps on the Indian subcontinent. AC personnel were very helpful in re-routing (at no expense to us) to a May 3 GVA-FRA-YYZ-LGA, but I shudder to think what would have happened if we had blithely walked in to GVA on May 3 for a flight that no longer runs on that day of the week, or if it had been the busy summer season and seats had been scarce. (We have no *Alliance status.) We stayed overnight at LGA and have (today) our onward domestic flights home to California, which I was well aware through all of this were booked separately and at different times through different channels, and on which we would have had no protection had we not been able to make it to LGA last night. So, it feels risky to write it so early, but it appears all will be well. (Fingers crossed, knock wood, etc.)
     
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  19. RedTape
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    RedTape Silver Member

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    DL once failed to notify me of a 24 hour change (ie: I was to leave TLV 24hours prior to my original schedule). Imagine the panic when I was told my flight was ready for check in 24 before it was supposed to be....a same day change on line was $500+, so opted for paying an extra hotel night as my fare class was available the day after my intended departure. Eventually got DL to refund the $250 change fee. But what a hassle.

    Otherwise, if I'm booking 8 months out, I know there's to be schedule and flight number changes. Its part of the deal. If they find a more profitable way of operating a flight, they're going to make the change.
     
  20. ducster
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    ducster Gold Member

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    Those stories serve to illustrate why I compulsively check my reservations. It's one of the few things in life about which I am paranoid, and draws my wife's derision. I think I'll show her this thread!
     
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  21. airshadow
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    airshadow Gold Member

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    I had another major schedule change that caused missed connections both inbound and outbound and this time I took a deep before calling and did my homework and scored. So, I'm learning...
     

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