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juice4lsu
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2007
3691 posts
 Online 

Frequent big flight changes

It seems like with nearly every flight I book, I eventually get an email about "a change in your flight." This change is hours if not a full day different than when the flight was originally scheduled. How are the airlines allowed to do this and how is it my responsibility to call in and wait on hold because the airline has now screwed up my trip?

It's feeling more and more like bait and switch.


tadman
Chicago Cubs Fan
Member since Jun 2020
3587 posts

re: Frequent big flight changes
What airline? I fly often and other than a 20 minute delay, it's been a while since this happened. I think it happened 2-3 times this year and I've been on 50+ flights this year.

Both were on Delta for me, I think one was the first flight out and they didn't have a crew ready, and the second was the last flight in, and they had weather issues earlier in the day that screwed things up. I'm lucky we have three regional airports and one major within a few hours so I can divert myself onto another Delta flight and get home usually. I still have to go get my car the following day.
This post was edited on 10/26 at 8:32 am


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H2O Tiger
LSU Fan
Delta Sky Club
Member since May 2021
6605 posts

re: Frequent big flight changes
A lot of times you can rebook/change flights in the app.

Also, if you read the contract of carriage for each airline, basically all they have to do is get you from point A to point B in a seat.


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hoopsgalore
Wisconsin Fan
Chicago, IL
Member since Nov 2013
8605 posts

re: Frequent big flight changes
Be interested to hear what airline this is happening - hours / full day is wild.

I fly a few legs on United each month and, honestly, I can count on one hand the number of times I've had a flight change. Even then, it's pretty trivial to my schedule. If there is a change greater than 30 minutes, United allows you to rebook on the app and travel from the same airport within 24 hours. Imagine the rebooking process on other major airlines is pretty similar.
This post was edited on 10/26 at 8:39 am


juice4lsu
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2007
3691 posts
 Online 

re: Frequent big flight changes
In April, I flew United from Zagreb Croatia.

Zagreb > Frankfort > London > USA

Flight to London was pushed back by 4 hours which means we would miss international connection.

Flying to BVIs in December and was going through Orlando on Spirit (I know...). Was overnight layover because meeting someone's boat the next day. Flight changed to going through Fort Lauderdale and landing in St. Thomas a day early.

Icelandair this coming summer. Flying JFK to Rek. Flight departed at 1p and arrived in REK at 10:30p direct, same day. Got kicked to red eye departing 11:15p and arriving next day at 8:45a.

That's in the last year. Never remember these kind of changes before COVID.


CuseTiger
Syracuse Fan
On the road
Member since Jul 2013
8140 posts

re: Frequent big flight changes
Schedule changes are bound to occur if booking flights 6 months + out. They will usually work out in your favor especially if the changes are 2-4 hours or more. You can rebook for free to any flights you want even from nearby airports. I've had a lot of these schedule changes benefit me where originally booking the 6am or 7pm flight, I've been able to change to a 10am or 3pm flight for free.

As H20 said, usually you can change it online or via the app. Sometimes they need you to call in if for some reason the system hasn't updated properly, but always try the app or online first.

I do agree it's getting worse with the frequency of schedule changes. Pre covid the schedules used to be set about 2-3 months in advance. Now, it seems like 1-2 months out the schedules are finalized.


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Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
113986 posts
 Online 

re: Frequent big flight changes
Its been crazy since covid.

Every "big" flight we have booked has changed several times, so much so that we wouldn't have booked them in the first place if they had been what they became.

it is what it is


H2O Tiger
LSU Fan
Delta Sky Club
Member since May 2021
6605 posts

re: Frequent big flight changes
Sounds like you're mainly booking on Lower cost carriers that operate daily or less than daily flights. That's the root of your problem as they typically don't have multiple flights per day to rebook you on if schedule changes/delays cause issues.


CuseTiger
Syracuse Fan
On the road
Member since Jul 2013
8140 posts

re: Frequent big flight changes
quote:

Every "big" flight we have booked has changed several times, so much so that we wouldn't have booked them in the first place if they had been what they became.

So I'd still recommend booking early and then when the schedule changes come about you can rebook to anything you want on DL, UA, AA, WN, etc. If you wait to book until a few months out once the schedules are set, the prices are usually higher by that point


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CuseTiger
Syracuse Fan
On the road
Member since Jul 2013
8140 posts

re: Frequent big flight changes
quote:

Sounds like you're mainly booking on Lower cost carriers that operate daily or less than daily flights. That's the root of your problem as they typically don't have multiple flights per day to rebook you on if schedule changes/delays cause issues.

Yeah book on a bigger carrier and it's definitely a benefit. The individual small airlines not so much


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LemmyLives
LSU Fan
Texas
Member since Mar 2019
5142 posts

re: Frequent big flight changes
Do not call. The reps are using the backend of the same app your Delta, United, AA, Lufthansa app are, except you have to wait to talk to someone. I've been screwed in Chicago, looked at 50 people in line at United customer service, and rebooked in under 90 seconds from my phone.

The schedule changes to me are not bigger than an equipment change. That completely wastes the seat selection process that I probably paid for. Down-gauging from a 777 to a 767? Moving from a 787 to a 777-200? That induces near panic on my part, because if the seat configuration isn't the same, it's seemingly a free for all. Saying my flight is going to leave 2 hours later, but on the same metal? Meh.

I don't know what you're flying, but if you're working with someone like Southwest (SWA), where the flight originates from can make a shocking amount of difference. For example, flying from Dallas to Hobby, there is a flight every 30 minutes (but yeah, we need a high speed train?) However, if the plane was coming from El Paso into Dallas, takeoff was delayed until AFTER the flight that came in from MSY, every single week. The 5PM flight from El Paso would often leave over an hour after the 5:30 flight that originated in from New Orleans (El Paso seems to have a lot of wind which delayed ops.) After the first time, I figured it out, and never booked that 5PM flight again to avoid the scramble.


H2O Tiger
LSU Fan
Delta Sky Club
Member since May 2021
6605 posts

re: Frequent big flight changes
Only time I've ever had it make sense to go to the desk was in Denver. Flying to Columbus for the Ohio State/Noter Dame game last year and our inbound hit a bird leaving Vegas. No other options to get me to Columbus because everything was full. Had them put me on a flight to Cincinnati and drove from there.


LemmyLives
LSU Fan
Texas
Member since Mar 2019
5142 posts

re: Frequent big flight changes
CVG. Ugh. I feel for you. Driving out of there into Cincy in Feb/March reminded me why the Marine Corps gets recruits. Depressing as hell. It was so expensive to fly into CVG from ATL, we were asked to fly into Dayton and drive to Cincy after a week.

But on the larger point, I don't know why anyone schedules flights through Chicago, CVG, NYC, EWR, MSP, etc., and get shocked when there are flight impacts, particularly during the late fall/early spring period. What do we think is going to happen, particularly when you have to prioritize wide bodies versus regional jets flying from Columbus, Des Moine, Louisiville, etc.? The RJs are at the bottom of the barrel. That doesn't even mean 737s or widebodies will leave on time. But, you want to connect from New Orleans to Paris via Chicago or EWR during the winter? Eh, ok.

I don't get these people.


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