Airline rescheduled our flights to an impossible itinerary
April 8, 2015 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Friday we're scheduled to fly from Seattle to San Jose, Costa Rica on tickets bought in January on American Airlines. On the way there we have a connecting flight in Dallas, and on the return Miami. Today I received an email confirming our flights and when I looked at the departure times, they had been moved later so that our connecting flights leave before we arrive in Dallas and the same thing on the return to Miami. There was no notification that the itinerary was impossible What do we do?

The flights are on American, but the tickets were bought through USAir as we had previous canceled USAir tickets that we applied to the American tickets.

Even though American and USAir are merging, they still have different reservation systems and any changes have to be done through USAir.

There are American departing flights that leave a few hours earlier that would solve this problem, but USAir says they can't put us on them since they're American flights not USAir (no, I don't understand this but they wouldn't budge).

They gave an option having a redeye tomorrow night through Charlotte, and on the return a flight that leaves early morning from San Jose instead of the afternoon, which messes up the last day of the trip since we're not scheduled to return to San Jose until the afternoon of our departure.

Another option was to cancel our tickets and have them reissued with the times they work, but we'd have to eat the extra cost for the flights since we're leaving in two days.

I haven't had a chance to talk to my wife about the situation yet due to her work situation. Whatever we do I'm going to push for class upgrade from coach.

Any suggestions here on the best way to handle this?
posted by ShooBoo to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm confused what you expect here.

Although this is immensely annoying to those affected, airlines don't actually guarantee that you'll arrive at your destination on the flight that you booked or even the day you booked. For every schedule change the airline makes, you are given the opportunity to either accept the schedule change or cancel your tickets - that's really all your contract with the airline requires. You can push for more (like an upgrade), but the airline is under no obligation to give you anything more than the contract requires.

The best way to handle this is to be nice to the agent you talk to. You are not due anything more than you've already been given; you are asking for a favor from the airline, not compensation for being wronged (because you haven't been).
posted by saeculorum at 4:08 PM on April 8, 2015

I believe they are required to send you notice. I definitely received email notices both times flights have been changed. Once, it was changed to two DAYS later, and the email went into my spam box, but I did find it! You should have gotten some kind of communication, since they don't usually change flight times last minute, and should have been offered the choice of canceling or keeping your flights at that time.
posted by ethidda at 4:11 PM on April 8, 2015

Are you absolutely certain your changes have to be done through USAir? Have you called American and explained the situation?

Maybe someone at American can cut through the insanity. Calmly and politely ask for a supervisor if you need to, but to paraphrase saeculorum, expect nothing.
posted by vignettist at 4:12 PM on April 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

Flyertalk is a pretty good place for advice on situations like this. If I were you, I'd post this over there. FWIW I've never seen someone get an upgrade as compensation for this type of situation, so I wouldn't push too hard for that, but anything is possible...
posted by primethyme at 4:32 PM on April 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: And just called USAir again and the new agent had no problem fixing the flights to the earlier ones so that we don't miss our connecting flights. Whew!
posted by ShooBoo at 4:50 PM on April 8, 2015 [21 favorites]

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