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If an airline schedule changes, can I request a refund?

travelplanner70

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How much does an airline schedule have to change before I can ask for a full refund of the ticket? Thank you.
 

Talent312

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I assume that you are talking about a non-refundable ticket...
Each airline has its own policy, but generally the change must be "substantial."
This may mean one hour to one, 3 hours to another, or take-a-hike for a third.

Edited to Add: Even if the total time does not change, a significantly earlier
departure, later arrival, shorter or longer connection or a new connection, may
give you sufficient grounds for a full-refund. All you can do is call and ask.
 
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djs

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If you still need to travel on the dates your ticket is for, you might be able to use this situation as a way to get a better flight (for example if you had a 1-stop flight, you might be able to be "re-accomidated" on a non-stop flight). Often, 30-minutes change could be enough to do this. You may also be able to fly to a near-by city instead of the one you're booked on. I had a flight one time where I was flying BOS-OAK and my flights got changed so I was able to call the airline and get a NS BOS-SFO instead. Wasn't the most convenient thing for me, but it got me to the Bay Area at a reasonable hour.
 

Hoc

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How much does an airline schedule have to change before I can ask for a full refund of the ticket? Thank you.
At least in the case of American Airlines, historically, change of a single minute is enough to ask for a refund.
 

Darlene

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I think it has to be a change of at least 3 hours with most airlines.
We had a 2pm direct flight (4 hours long) to Cancun from SLC with Delta that got changed to a red eye flight with 3 connections (getting there the next day). I threw a fit, I had booked far in advance, had paid a little extra for the direct flight, and we had our 12 yo daughter was with us. They insisted there was nothing they could do. So I said "put me on another airline then!" They argued with me for over an hour. It got really late, and she asked how late I was going to keep her on the phone over this. I said "all night, because that's how long it's going to take me to get to Cancun." Finally, she put me on Continental. I think she really didn't want to miss her coffee break.
When SW and ATA were partners, ATA changed their shedule so that we couldn't make our Aloha connection. SW was great. They put us on a flight the day before to Hawaii, and gave us $250 SW bucks to use later. We stayed overnight in Oahu, and flew on the Big Island the next day.
Be persistant if it's a substantial change.
Darlene
 

Egret1986

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Airtran was great about this.

I bought tickets for a very good price for a non-stop flight, although it meant leaving from an airport 2 hours from home since the flights near my home were double the price. The flight got changed to include a stop and layover. Airtran was willing to refund the full amount or switch me to any other flight. Now we're flying out of the airport close to home on a non-stop flight. I was overjoyed!:whoopie:
 

glenn1000

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Virgin America changed a flight of ours today, making it 90 minutes later. I called to ask if we could take a flight three hours earlier rather than 90 minutes later. They said no problem as long as we paid $75 per passenger to change the reservation! I'm sure it varies from carrier to carrier. :shrug:
 

Talent312

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Virgin America changed a flight of ours today, making it 90 minutes later. I called to ask if we could take a flight three hours earlier rather than 90 minutes later. They said no problem as long as we paid $75 per passenger to change the reservation! I'm sure it varies from carrier to carrier. :shrug:
You got the "take-a-hike" variety.
However, I'd hazard to guess that if you raised more of a stink, like asking to speak to a manager and suggesting that they pay you $75 per passenger for changing their schedule, or keeping them on the phone (like another poster), you might have gotten somewhere. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
 

IreneLF

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I think I depends on the airline.
I was holding non refundable tix on Delta that I wanted to cancel and have them refund in total.
They had told me if the flight time changed by more than 90 minutes they would issue a total refund.
When they changed their schedule for that flight by 89 minutes, they offered me a full refund (I was surprised as I thought they would be a stickler for that one minute, but they were decent about it.)
Good luck.
 

Timeshare Von

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I bought tickets for a very good price for a non-stop flight, although it meant leaving from an airport 2 hours from home since the flights near my home were double the price. The flight got changed to include a stop and layover. Airtran was willing to refund the full amount or switch me to any other flight. Now we're flying out of the airport close to home on a non-stop flight. I was overjoyed!:whoopie:
AirTran is the best I have EVER had to deal with on schedule problems. They are very accommodating and even willing to provide full refunds when it isn't even their problem (like weather).
 

Twinkstarr

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I think it has to be a change of at least 3 hours with most airlines.
We had a 2pm direct flight (4 hours long) to Cancun from SLC with Delta that got changed to a red eye flight with 3 connections (getting there the next day). I threw a fit, I had booked far in advance, had paid a little extra for the direct flight, and we had our 12 yo daughter was with us. They insisted there was nothing they could do. So I said "put me on another airline then!" They argued with me for over an hour. It got really late, and she asked how late I was going to keep her on the phone over this. I said "all night, because that's how long it's going to take me to get to Cancun." Finally, she put me on Continental. I think she really didn't want to miss her coffee break.
When SW and ATA were partners, ATA changed their shedule so that we couldn't make our Aloha connection. SW was great. They put us on a flight the day before to Hawaii, and gave us $250 SW bucks to use later. We stayed overnight in Oahu, and flew on the Big Island the next day.
Be persistant if it's a substantial change.
Darlene
:hysterical: That's a great line about how long you will be on the phone. I'll have to try to remember that.

Only airline I have had to deal with this issue has been Airtran and they've been fine in moving me to a flight that works.
 

bnoble

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Northwest has a defined policy---I want to say 90 minutes, or any routing change (i.e. nonstop->connecting, etc.) but it's spelled out in detail in their contract of carriage.
 

travelplanner70

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I read the fine print from the suggestion to read the contract of carriage. It appears the flight needs to change 90 minutes. My flight changed 75 minutes. :(
 

Darlene

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I found this info on Airfare Watchdog about delays.

Rule 240 originally stated that in the event of a cancellation or flight misconnection, the airline would have to put you on their next flight out, or, if that wasn’t “acceptable,” on the next flight out of a competing airline if that flight would get you to your destination sooner, all at no additional cost to you. If only first class was available on the other airline, then they had to upgrade you. This only applied in circumstances under the airlines’ control, such as crew failing to show up, or mechanical problems.
If you want to see upgrade 240 Rule for individual airlines go to -

http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/ click on
Airfare Watchdog Blog
on left side of page.
Rule 240 comparision chart is halfway down on right side of page.
Sorry it exceeded upload limit for TUG.
Darlene
 

travelplanner70

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Thanks for the Rule 240 information. It was interesting and might be helpful to me in the future.
 

travelplanner70

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An Update on my original problem:

Delta changed my flight with a 75-minute difference. Their policy is 90-min. changes can be refunded. :( (But, the first connection on my return trip changed by 15 minutes. I wonder if they would add that 15 mins. to the 75 mins. of the second flight together to equal the 90 min threshold for a refund? I did not ask that question. :confused: )

Anyway, the flight that changed 75 mins. is an international flight, and the new connection only allows 35 mins. between flights. 35 minutes to land in Atlanta from Aruba and catch another flight to NY. I explained that 35 mins. does not seeem to be enough time to make that connection. Doesn't the airline require at least 30 mins at the gate prior to departure? The agent would not give me an answer to that question. How can I exit one plane and be at another gate - which might even be in a different terminal since one is international and one flight is domestic in 5 minutes? It is the last connection of the night. And, Delta said that if I missed it, they would not pay for a hotel. The agent understood my concern, but her supervisor said no refund since Delta views this as a legal connection - otherwise, they would not be selling the ticket. :annoyed: Do I have any recourse? I would just like a refund at this point.

Thanks for your help.
 

travelplanner70

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Here's an interesting fact: If I go to buy a ticket on Delta.com with the same itinerary, Delta does not book me on the flight they now have me booked on. In other words, Delta also finds the connection too tight. If I take the flight out of Aruba on which I am booked currently, Delta.com will not allow me to select the flight from Atlanta to NY that only has the 35-min. connection time. Instead, they would have me on a flight from Atlanta to NY leaving the next morning.

So much for their statement that Delta considers 35 mins. enough time between connecting flights. Anyone buying a ticket today would not be given the opportunity to book on my current flights.

What do you think I should do knowing this information?
 
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Mimi39

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Not a cancellation, but last week I was notified by Orbitz that our flight on United from Pittsburgh to Washinton Dullas had been changed to a later flight allowing a one hour ten minute connect to SAS to Copenhagen with a therminal change. I called United and got an earlier departure from Pittsburgh with no additional charge.
 

Jimster

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suggestion

My advice is you call them back and tell them that. The best course of action when dealing with airlines, rci, etc is if at first you don't get the answer you want ... try try again. I think you have a legitimate complaint here. Tell them this is going to cause a disconnect and tell them the information you have.
 

Ken555

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Hawaiian just gave me a full refund for a non-refundable fare when they changed my flights by about 30 minutes.
 

Talent312

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Hawaiian just gave me a full refund for a non-refundable fare when they changed my flights by about 30 minutes.
They may be confiident that they can resell your seats for a higher fare.
So, did you book alternate flights for less, or are you simply not going at all?
 

Fletcher921

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Hawaiian Airlines was great. They changed the first flight of a connecting flight we are booked on to get to Maui this May. The new flight got to HNL an hour earlier than planned - causing our layover to be almost 2 hours. I called and the rebooked us on the earlier HNL-Maui flight no questions asked.
 

Talent312

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Virgin Atlantic just notified me that my departure to London will be 5 minutes later and my arrival 15 minutes later. I wasn't aware that England had moved further away, but I think I'll go anyway. :)
 
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travelplanner70

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Hawaiian just gave me a full refund for a non-refundable fare when they changed my flights by about 30 minutes.
What reason did you give that you wanted it refunded instead of arriving 30 minutes later? I would like my Delta flight refunded and they won't agree.

Thanks for the info.
 
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