airline tries to make radical changes to itinerary
Delta tried to make some really radical changes to my return flight home that would've have required forgoing the last day of vacation. Originally, my nephew and I were scheduled to fly out of Orlando at 6:30pm on the last day of a two-week vacation. Plans are all made and everything paid for. Suddenly, I receive notification that Delta changed our outgoing time to noon...with one layover in Memphis and another layover in Los Angeles for 4 hours...arriving in San Diego at 11:30 pm. I called Delta and insisted/demanded that the itinerary be changed to allow us to enjoy our last day at WDW. Delta did change it but now I'm worried they could try this again and maybe I won't be able to fix it. Any advice from more experienced airline travellers?
Disneyland ~ Forever Close To My Heart ~
12-04-2009 11:05 PM
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MousePad Community Leader
One time an airline did that sort of thing to me. When I called them and had them change me to the flight that was 2 hours from my original, instead of 8 hours earlier, they said they will do the initial change to what is more convenient for THEM - but then if someone calls about it, they'll be more accommodating to the customer. That sounds exactly what they did in your case.
I wouldn't worry about them doing it again. That's not to say that they won't, but it won't do you any good to worry about it. Just call them back, again, and make your case, again, that you won't sit idly by while they mess up the last day of your vacation.
How far out is your vacation? I don't think they make huge changes to their flight schedules close than a month or two out, so if you're within that time frame, you're probably 'safe' from huge changes. I believe that most airlines do their staffing of flight attendants and pilots in month-chunks, so if they make huge changes after that staffing has been done, it's going to cause them HUGE headaches that they are not going to want to deal with.
Read Everything-Assume Nothing
My experience is much like what Drince mentioned. They can change things but if you call, chances are you can get it changed to something more in your favor.
However, we have been seeing more of this type of schedule changes lately. There are many reasons behind them, but the further out you get your tickets, the more you have to watch out for changes to happen.
In the past, I would check my flights online about once a month. Then during the last month before our trip, I would check it more often, just to be sure.
The search function is like the Force. It may take practice, but the more you use it, the more control you will have over it!
Thank you for reassuring me because this change that I had to deal with really shook me up. My trip is only 50 days away and it's all planned so that my nephew and I will have the best vacation ever. I was lucky that my sister agreed to let me take my nephew - the first time I went to WDW in 2008, she said no - so this is a really special trip for him and I!! He has some developmental disabilities so it's especially important that all goes smoothly.
Disneyland ~ Forever Close To My Heart ~
Don't stress too hard, just keep checking periodically and call if/when things change.
My parents had this experience on a flight to Fort Lauderdale for a cruise. I wanted them to fly there the day before, get a hotel room, and then go to the cruise terminal the next day. Instead they opted to do a red eye so I booked them on a direct flight. That flight was canceled and they were rebooked on a flight with a layover that got them there after the cruise ship would have left. I looked at the airlines other flights and found one that had a layover that I thought would work but it was more than the original flight and I was afraid they would try to charge the difference. When I called I explained why their flight wouldn't work and the guy put me on hold and rebooked them. For another direct flight that also got them there after the ship left. Um, being direct wasn't my issue. I then suggested the flight I thought would work best and they put them on that flight without charging the difference.
Flash forward to the flight itself. They get to the airport and take off no problem. They're well on their way when the pilot comes on and says that the radar is out, there are storms ahead that they can't fly through without the radar, and they have to redirect back to Phoenix so it can be fixed. Needless to say they missed their connecting flight. My dad called at 7am when they landed in their scheduled connecting city, while still on the plane, asking what other flights there were. I told him that there was another flight leaving in about 10 minutes, but if they were still on the plane they wouldn't make that one. Then after that there were two or three other flights that would get them to the cruise ship on time and per their website still had tickets available. I think at that point he started breathing again.
They were sitting towards the back of the plane and were among the last off. There were flight attendants there waiting to help people with their connections and when they identified themselves the flight attendant directed them to the gate of the plane they had been holding for them. The pilot came on the speaker shortly after they boarded and confirmed that they were just waiting for the last of the luggage and then they would be on their way. My parents were VERY happy to have their luggage first off in Ft. Lauderdale and they got to their cruise with plenty of time to spare.
I share this story both because I think it's a cool story, and also because it shows that despite all our best planning things do happen. But when you notice something simply won't work, most of the airlines will try to accommodate you. I thought it was interesting that the airline first assumed that we wanted a direct flight so that was the fix they tried to give me. But getting their before the ship left was far more important than flying direct, so once I explained that the appropriate changes were made. After the flight was changed once, no additional changes were made.
Good luck on your trip!
CL--DLR Trip Planning and DVC
MousePad Community Leader
My experience with Delta was similar. I was traveling with my Mom--who is disabled--and purposely booked a direct flight. About two months out I logged on and saw that they had rebooked us on a connecting flight through Atlanta. After explaining the situation, Delta rebooked us on another direct flight out of L.A. However, she did mention that she was able to do it because the connecting flight got to Orlando more than a certain time after our original flight--I was left thinking that if the connecting flight arrived within an hour or so of the original flight they would not have changed it--which would have made me very upset!
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