Question about flight delays impacting connections

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by sunny_sc, May 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sunny_sc
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    sunny_sc Silver Member

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    Hello, I don't typically fly a lot of routes with connections so I have a question about what happens when a flight delay on your first leg causes you to miss your connection.

    If its the same carrier, the carrier will rebook you without penalties, correct?
    What if they are separate carriers? In this instance, the carriers are Alaska and LAN. Does it make a difference if I purchase from AA.com vs. Expedia vs. purchasing separately on AlaskaAir.com and LanPeru.com?

    Thanks!
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The biggest determinant is whether the flights are booked on the same ticket/itinerary or not. If you have separate tickets, you may be on your own to solve the problem at your own expense. However, it can help if you are an elite, on an expensive or J/F ticket, or if the carriers are in the same alliance or are otherwise partners, including if the flights are ticketed as code shares.

    If it's a single ticket, the first airline (the one that caused the problem by being late) will normally rebook you, sometimes automatically, on the first available flight on the same carrier/alliance at no cost to you. If it's their fault--mechanical rather than weather of ATC--you will probably get hotel and meal vouchers if necessary.

    The airline's T & C detail their rules, but as mentioned above, elites are likely to be treated better. In rare cases, or if you want to pick the rerouting, you may be directed to who sold you the ticket, such as Expedia or the airline on whose stock the ticket was written.
     
  3. sunny_sc
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    sunny_sc Silver Member

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    So if I book the entire trip on AA.com, it should be issued as a single ticket, correct? Or at the very least, if both legs of the flights have AA flight #s, it should be 1 ticket, right?

    I am planning to book a restricted economy ticket and sadly I have no status on any airlines.

    Thanks for the assistance!
     
  4. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    If you're buying the whole thing in one purchase on AA.com, you'll be on a single ticket.

    If you're worried about missing a connection, it helps to come prepared with alternate routes just in case. You're going from where to where? Maybe we can help you get a small list of alternatives to file away "just in case".....
     
  5. sunny_sc
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    sunny_sc Silver Member

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    I'll be flying SEA -> LAX -> LIM, and then returning LIM -> MIA -> SEA. I've heard that flights from LIM often have delays and sometimes the departure times change without warning. I'm worried that even if I make it back to MIA, I'll have trouble getting back home to SEA since there aren't a lot of flights (especially on Alaska).

    The SEA -> LAX and MIA -> SEA legs are on Alaska (but code share with AA). The LAX -> LIM and LIM -> MIA are on LAN Peru, with the LIM->MIA leg also having an AA codeshare flight #.

    Thanks for the help! This forum is great! :)
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    One other remark: Be sure that your tickets satisfy minimum connection time requirements for each airport and each situation (i.e., international to domestic requires more time than a domestic to domestic connection using the same carriers at the same airport). It should not happen (but I know that it does on DL and sometimes when using on-line travel agencies) but sometimes one is able to reserve and ticket an "illegal" itinerary and when this happens, you might be on your own if the airline thinks you did it deliberately.
     
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  7. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Well since you bought the ticket with AA and are pretty much on AA codes the entire way (except LAX-LIM, correct?), you should be fine with options. Even though you're flying on Alaska (AS) and LAN (LA), you should have the option of AA flights if you get caught somewhere with a delay and misconnect. AS might not have tons of flights from MIA, but AA does have tons going to ORD/DFW/LAX where you can connect onward to SEA.
     
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  8. sunny_sc
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    sunny_sc Silver Member

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    Thanks all for the help. I've booked my tickets... crossing my fingers that there won't be any delays!
     
  9. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    If you post the itinerary, we may also provide insight into whether you are inviting trouble with connection times. The MCTs that are often provided are insufficient for clearing immigration, etc. when returning to the US.
     

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