Lesson Learned

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by rhaynie, Dec 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. I recently completed my first award flight. We live outside of Wichita, KS and so I had booked a flight from Wichita(ICT)/DFW/Tokyo(NRT)/Hiroshima(HIJ). We all got on the plane in Wichita and started to taxi out. Had an engine that would not start and so we all had to get off and find another flight. What I soon learned is that AA is the only airline that flies from Wichita to Dallas, and they had no other flight that morning that would allow me to make the connecting flight in Dallas. We took a United flight to Chicago to catch another AA flight to Tokyo, but that caused us to miss our connecting flight to Hiroshima. So we spent an unexpected night in Tokyo, at our expense.

    Lesson Learned: Always have a Plan B to get to your next stop. I should have made the original booking from Wichita to Chicago and then on to Tokyo,because there are other airlines flying to Chicago.

    Would it be a good idea to have a "Lessons Learned" forum?
     
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  2. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Did AA pay for the ticket on UA? Often on award tickets they will force you to stay on their airilne, so the fact that another airline flies the route may do you little good.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Knowing your options is always good before and when things go wrong. But I am not sure I understand your plan B here - isn't that essentially the plan you ended up taking (involuntarily) and it didn't work so well because the Chicago-NRT flight doesn't connect to a HIJ flight? Or was there another HIJ flight when you arrived in NRT and it was just sold out and you couldn't get out until the next morning?

    Another thing is that with capacity down and planes often completely full the plan B might not work. But yes, knowledge is power, and if you know what options exist you can often negotiate one that's better than what the agent might think of.
     
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  4. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    If your delay/misconnect was due to a mechanical failure on American, they should reimburse you for the expenses you incurred to include the night in Tokyo. Some sort of "we're sorry for the inconvenience/we messed up" certificate or travel voucher would seem appropriate as well. Have you contacted Customer service?
     
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  5. Yes, they paid for the ticket on UA
     
  6. I just contacted customer service via email yesterday and have not heard back from them.
     
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  7. All I was trying to say was that until I found myself in that situation I had no idea that AA was the only one flying to DFW from Wichita. You are right, as it turned out the second option didn't work out so well. What I didn't know at the time was what other options I had once I got to NRT. I couldn't get anyone at the AA counter in Wichita to tell me that. They had a long line of frustrated passengers to deal with and so they just wanted to get me on a plane and out of their hair. So I made a decision to go ahead and take the flight from Wichita to Chicago to Tokyo in hopes that we would have other options once we got to Tokyo. Knowledge is power.
     
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  8. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    as is use of the internet! (great way to check options which even customer service at the airport may not know. Got a great back up to a serious delay once because I knew to ask for a flight that the gate agents weren't either aware of or offering.
     
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  9. Yes, you are right, but unfortunately I did not have a smartphone to check while I was waiting in line at the ticket counter. Then once we got moved to a United Flight, we had to sprint to the gate because they were holding the plane for us. Then when we got to Chicago and hurried to the gate for the connecting flight, they were already boarding. I am just looking back and trying to see what I could do better next time. I had never even considered the possibility that our flight out of Wichita would be canceled. Late maybe, but not canceled. Thanks.
     
  10. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Unfortunately, these things can and do happen so it's always better to be prepared ahead of time. In cases like this, it's difficult, but I'd always book a longer layover/the earlier of 2 flights just in case something like this happens and have an idea of what options might be available if necessary.
     
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  11. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    It is always wise to know your options - and to plan your connecting times with an understanding of how severe the consequences are if you miss a connection. If you are connecting to a once daily route, then you have to factor how bad would it be if you arrive a day late. If it throws other arrangements into disarray, you need a long connecting time or some backups. I'm writing this having arrived at my international destination on a re-routed carrier the next morning compared to when I was supposed to arrive, which led to a somewhat confused hotel check-in at 7am.
     
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  12. Yes, you are right about a longer layover, and in this case I did have a two hour layover, but even with that much time there was not another flight to get me there in time.
     
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