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It's getting to be a problem to arrange travel because of flights.

emeryjre

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As pilots are in short supply, the major airlines are hiring from the regional airlines. It makes more sense to have a person fly a 737 with its capacity than a regional jet with the smaller capacity. It is really hurting the smaller regional airports.
 

PigsDad

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Judging from the comments here, I'm fortunate to live near O'Hare, a United hub. I fly United almost exclusively; it's been decades since I've been on a different airline domestically. Internationally, I occasionally have to book a partner airline. The only flight changes I've had to deal with have been minor timing issues that rarely require rebooking.
Denver is my home airport, and is a huge base for Southwest (they fully occupy one of the three concourses) so that is why we have been using them for 90%+ of our flights, but since United has dropped their change fees and Denver being a hub for United, we have been looking more and more at United flights these days. I agree with others that finding direct flights is more difficult recently, so an additional airline to search is useful.

I still like flying coach better on Southwest, but United is ok. I will not fly standard coach on Frontier or Spirit (soon to be one?) under any circumstance -- their seat pitch is physical torture for me at 6'4".

Kurt
 

csodjd

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That's how it was for us when we lived in Wisconsin, except we flew out of Madison. We never wanted to drive another 4 hours home after flying to Chicago. So I never worried about direct flights because we always had to change planes anyway.

We would have some delays or changes once in a while but nothing too bad. Maybe we were just lucky all those years. I have had more delays island hopping here in Hawaii. Sometimes the delays are longer than the flights. :D
I have found that avoiding delays when changing planes more often than not depends upon choosing the “right” airport for the change. For instance, SFO is FAR more likely to encounter airport closing fog than LAX. I’ve found that O’Hare has far more afternoon closures in the summer than DFW. I look at the on-time stats for flights as they do give a good clue. If it’s 80% or above on time, great. If it says 60%, well, that’s basically a coin toss.
 

slip

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I have found that avoiding delays when changing planes more often than not depends upon choosing the “right” airport for the change. For instance, SFO is FAR more likely to encounter airport closing fog than LAX. I’ve found that O’Hare has far more afternoon closures in the summer than DFW. I look at the on-time stats for flights as they do give a good clue. If it’s 80% or above on time, great. If it says 60%, well, that’s basically a coin toss.
After a couple of years making those Hawaii flights, we always went with the best route and times without a long drive. That always meanteaving from Madison Wisconsin. Flying to Hawaii to escape the winter can often lead to delays along the way. We were always very lucky with snow the day we left and returned. Even in Madison and Denver.
 

Patri

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What cancellations and changes have you personally experienced that has led you to this decision? …..When you actually apply some critical thinking and do a bit of math, you will see that these airline issues have barely moved the needle when it comes to the probability that you will have any significant issue with any trip.
Then my sister drew the short straw. She had one trip this year. In August flew from Midwest to DC. On the way home she got stuck in Chicago for nearly 24 hours.
 

marmite

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I have been trying to use flight cancellations to my advantage. Often I may pick a Sunday or Friday flight which was cheaper than the Saturday. When they cancel my flight I use it as an opportunity to get that Saturday flight at no charge or start my trip early (or extend it later) if I decide I'd like a longer holiday. I have added Maui & Paris nights when my flights needed to be rebooked. Often the time that has lapsed since I first picked my flight, I regret I didn't book a longer vacation or start/end on a different day so I am able to tweak things at no cost to myself. It can make it hard if you have paid for excellent seats and the new flight doesn't have any, but I just roll with it.
 

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Then my sister drew the short straw. She had one trip this year. In August flew from Midwest to DC. On the way home she got stuck in Chicago for nearly 24 hours.
Yep, she did. :(

Kurt
 

csodjd

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Yep, she did. :(

Kurt
Many years ago I was invited to visit and receive a private tour of the White House. My flight LAX-ORD-DUL never made it past ORD! I got stuck in Chicago by thunderstorms and missed my private WH tour. I’ve avoided Chicago ever since.
 

PigsDad

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Many years ago I was invited to visit and receive a private tour of the White House. My flight LAX-ORD-DUL never made it past ORD! I got stuck in Chicago by thunderstorms and missed my private WH tour. I’ve avoided Chicago ever since.
I try to avoid certain airports if I can, and Chicago O'hare is definitely one of them. My parents had to unexpectantly overnight at ORD after our Christmas get together in Florida a few years back, flying United. Between the propensity of bad weather (snowstorms in the winter and big lines of thunderstorms in the summer), it seems to be a poor place to make a connection, and I try to avoid it at all costs as well.

Kurt
 

easyrider

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Problem is, it's a crapshoot. One time you look and all the schedules line up, then one gets changed over and over.
That is our situation. I'm thinking the only way to adjust is to fly less and stay somewhere longer. I'm thinking 2024 will be us staying in Mexico for a couple of months instead of going to Mexico, Hawaii and Mexico.

Bill
 

easyrider

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Many years ago I was invited to visit and receive a private tour of the White House. My flight LAX-ORD-DUL never made it past ORD! I got stuck in Chicago by thunderstorms and missed my private WH tour. I’ve avoided Chicago ever since.
That would be a bummer. We have been lucky in that some how or another we are able to get there and back without more than a 12 hour flight delay. The worst delay was having our room assigned to a wedding party because we were so late. We ended up in a studio next to a mechanical room and elevator for a couple of nights.

Bill
 

Talent312

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I try to avoid certain airports if I can, and Chicago O'hare is definitely one of them...
What I remember about O'Hare is my ex throwing up on me while landing.
We only had 40 minutes to catch a connection, so I quickly washed my pants.
It looked like I had peed on myself the rest of the trip. <Fun Times>
.
 
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Luanne

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Chicago is death for flights for us. A few years back we were scheduled on a SW flight from ABQ to Midway. All flights were canceled due to weather. There was no way we were going to get to Chicago that day, or maybe even the next day. We ended up heading to NYC instead, but what a mess that was trying to get our luggage and then waiting in the ABQ airport, outside security for the 11:00 p.m. Jet Blue flight. We spent from somewhere like 7:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. in that airport.

Our next failed attempt was last year when we were going to go to Providence RI and made it as far as Midway (again on SW). That was the weekend SW had huge problems and many, many cancellations. Our flight to Providence was cancelled and again there was no way we were going to get there for days. So, once again we headed to NYC. This time our luggage made it to us 5 days later as SW was not pulling any luggage from the cancelled flights.

This year we are going directly to NYC, not messing with anything that goes anywhere near Chicago.
 

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I had a flight change on a return trip from Europe some months ago booked on United but with Lufthansa connections. They changed the first flight on the itinerary so that it did not connect with the second fight. It arrived after that flight departed. No one at the airline seemed to have noticed that little glitch. They just sent me an update on the one flight that was changed. I researched several options, trying to stick with Lufthansa, but when I called United, they apologized and booked me on Austrian, and even changed the TATL segment so the connections were better. My new TATL segment was also on Austrian, which is the United partner I prefer anyway. While they were clueless is seeing the problem initially, I cannot complain at all about the way they resolved it.
 

Talent312

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I see flying these days kind'a like a whitewater raft trip.
There are class IV rapids where you may get dumped.
You can end up soaking wet on the side of the river.
It's all part of the adventure.
-------------------
That said, I can also give Delta an honorable mention for
a short-haul trip in which they stretched a layover at my
request and later put us on standby for an earlier return.
.
 

csodjd

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I see flying these days kind'a like a whitewater raft trip.
There are class IV rapids where you may get dumped.
You can end up soaking wet on the side of the river.
It's all part of the adventure.
-------------------
That said, I can also give Delta an honorable mention for
a short-haul trip in which they stretched a layover at my
request and later put us on standby for an earlier return.
.
I’ve definitely taken the view that if I NEED to be there by some time-certain, I’m allowing a considerable lead time to allow for unexpected issues. We had a Viking cruise this summer and obviously had to be there before departure. So we flew to Europe 4 days early and hung out in London, and then flew to our departure city a full day early knowing there were a lot of flights available that would get us there in time.
 

dougp26364

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When you have time to spare, go by air.
I find myself repeating this line every time we fly
 

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Good advice. I wanted to comment on one of your points:


I fly Southwest most of the time, and when Southwest changes a flight time / routing, they have an excellent online option to easily change your flight to any available flight, even within a few days either side of the original flight, for free. Just pick your new flight and you're done. No calling necessary.

For example, we did have an October flight on SW change on us a few weeks ago. The new flight time was a couple hours earlier. When we booked the flight, we chose to fly on a Monday because the fares were significantly cheaper, but after this flight time change, we were able to change our flight to Sunday (which we originally wanted) and got a much better flight time and routing even though the fare was almost double of our original flight. A definite win for us!

Kurt
How do you process the new flight for no charge? Is there a special screen to rebook a changed/canceled flight?
 

Talent312

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How do you process the new flight for no charge? Is there a special screen to rebook a changed/canceled flight?
IDK about Southwest, but with Delta, to be sure you don't pay a price differential, you need to talk to a CS-R by phone or online chat. I've done both. When they moved a 7AM flight to 6AM, I called and, although the change was only 55 minutes, they agreed to move us to a later (better) flight for no cost ("this one time").

When they shortened a layover to only 40 minutes, I called again, but the hold-time was 2 hours, so I left the phone on speaker, and signed onto their chat-room. The rep there changed us to flights with better connections in about 45 minutes of chatting.
.
 

Sugarcubesea

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When you have time to spare, go by air.
I find myself repeating this line every time we fly

I have two sets of relatives in upstate New York, they were both coming up for a memorial for my Uncle, My one aunt and uncle drove and left on the same day that my other aunt and uncle were scheduled to fly to Michigan. The aunt and uncle that drove in made it in a full day earlier then the other aunt and uncle that flew.


So I will be upset that I have to use extra vacation time next March to go to FL as I will drive but at least I will get there and back...
 

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IDK about Southwest, but with Delta, to be sure you don't pay a price differential, you need to talk to a CS-R by phone or online chat. I've done both. When they moved a 7AM flight to 6AM, I called and, although the change was only 55 minutes, they agreed to move us to a later (better) flight for no cost ("this one time").

When they shortened a layover to only 40 minutes, I called again, but the hold-time was 2 hours, so I left the phone on speaker, and signed onto their chat-room. The rep there changed us to flights with better connections in about 45 minutes of chatting.
.
AA has a similar policy if any flight changes results in some set # of time (like 90 mins?) they will update your flight for no charge. I've had to call this in several times over the years
 

Ken555

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How do you process the new flight for no charge? Is there a special screen to rebook a changed/canceled flight?
Online or in the app. Simply select the flight you want to modify, then click the “change” button, and follow directions.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Talent312

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Online or in the app. Simply select the flight you want to modify, then click the “change” button, and follow directions.
Simply changing online may result in you having to pay a price differential.
To avoid that, if the change is the fault of the airline, you need to talk to a CSR.
.
 

PigsDad

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Simply changing online may result in you having to pay a price differential.
To avoid that, if the change is the fault of the airline, you need to talk to a CSR.
@winger was specifically asking about when Southwest makes a flight change, and when that happens, Southwest's site will allow you to change that flight to any other flight for free. They will send you an email explaining your options and it will include a direct link to make the free change (or you can just log into your account and the same option will be there).

No need to call and talk to a CSR at all. Maybe on other airlines, but certainly not Southwest.

Kurt
 

winger

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@winger was specifically asking about when Southwest makes a flight change, and when that happens, Southwest's site will allow you to change that flight to any other flight for free. They will send you an email explaining your options and it will include a direct link to make the free change (or you can just log into your account and the same option will be there).

No need to call and talk to a CSR at all. Maybe on other airlines, but certainly not Southwest.

Kurt
I know AA it's CSR only, I believe, unless they've updated their online system in the past two years (that's our last fights with them, and they changed our flights then too)
 
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