• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 30 years!

    Join Tens of Thousands of other Owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered 24 hours a day!
  • TUG started 30 years ago in October 1993 as a group of regular Timeshare owners just like you!

    Read about our 30th anniversary: Happy 30th Birthday TUG!
  • TUG has a YouTube Channel to produce weekly short informative videos on popular Timeshare topics!

    Free memberships for every 50 subscribers!

    Visit TUG on Youtube!
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $21,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $21 Million dollars
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free!

    60,000+ subscribing owners! A weekly recap of the best Timeshare resort reviews and the most popular topics discussed by owners!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    All T-shirt options here!
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

What do you do when an airline keeps messing with your reservation???

arlene22

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
973
Reaction score
0
Location
New Jersey
I bought tickets on Delta almost a year ago for our trip to the Bahamas next month. They were nonstop and we got a pretty good price on them.

A few months ago, they arbitrarily cancelled that flight and put us on connecting flights. I called and they switched us to direct flights.

Today I checked our reservation and the five of us are scattered around the plane on the flight out, and no longer have seat assignments on the return flight. When I called, they said both flights were probably going to be cancelled-- would I like them to switch me to a lousy connecting flight? They also offered that I could have a refund. At this late date, there are no direct flights left on any airline, and even the connecting flights are more than twice what we paid for these.

I am very discouraged. I worked hard to find a good deal on direct flights for my family of 5. I feel like I have fallen for the bait and switch twice now. Anyone have any thoughts on what my strategy should be here? I appreciate any advice.

~Arlene
 

Dave M

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
12,242
Reaction score
15
Location
Sun City Hilton Head, SC
What you have experienced is not unusual, particularly when ticketing far in advance. Airlines routinely change schedules and they can't forecast those schedule changes as far in advance (11 months) as you can plan a trip.

You have the alternative of a full refund, but obviously that's not what you want.

Thus, when they make a change that impacts you, the best you can do is to do your own legwork to determine the best connections on DL. That work also means going through the motions as though you were going to buy tickets to ensure there is space available. Then call and tell DL those are the flights you want to be on.

As for seats, pick the flights that have the most open space. However, I'm guessing you're going during President's Day week, in which case there won't be many seats available. Trying to get seats together when the flight is full is next to impossible. However, even on the most full flights, DL saves a number of seats for assignment at the airport, after determining which passengers will be no-shows.

Thus, my strategy would be as follows.

Call back and get the DL flights you are most comfortable with. Then ask for seats together. If told that's not possible, ask if there is any way a supervisor can open up some seats to get you together, especially considering you made reservations 11 months in advance solely to avoid this problem. If the answer is no, ask if they can get you seated in two groups.

By far the most important element in this dialogue is to have your happy face on and treat the DL rep that you are talking to as the most important and most talented rep you have ever talked to. Lose your cool once and you'll probably strike out.

If you still can't arrange decent seats over the phone, get to the airport very early to ask for seats together. If that doesn't work, after you board ask others to exchange seats to get your family together - at least clustered in two groups if you can't get together as a single group. However, be reasonable. For example, don't expect someone with an aisle seat to switch with you and take your middle seat.

Lastly, don't let this ruin your vacation. Stay upbeat with your family and, if necessary, treat this as an adventure!
 

arlene22

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
973
Reaction score
0
Location
New Jersey
Thanks, Dave. I appreciate your input and detailed response.

Do you think I should try to get on a different flight now? or should I wait and see if the flights ARE actually cancelled?

~Arlene
 

Dave M

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
12,242
Reaction score
15
Location
Sun City Hilton Head, SC
I would follow two steps - now. First figure out the best alternative flights. Next call DL and start by saying another rep told you that flight #XXX would likely be canceled. Ask if that's true.

One reason I suggest that strategy is that it's unusual for a rep to know that a certain flight "might be" canceled. So talking to another rep might help sort that out.

Be guided by what you hear.

Then be prepared for the rest of the dialogue discussed above.

If you wait, your options will only narrow as others book seats on those flights.
 

Dave M

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
12,242
Reaction score
15
Location
Sun City Hilton Head, SC
Adding....

If your flights actually get canceled, a lot of people will be scrambling for a few remaining seats on other flights. A version of musical chairs. Don't get left out.
 

arlene22

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
973
Reaction score
0
Location
New Jersey
Dave M said:
Adding....

If your flights actually get canceled, a lot of people will be scrambling for a few remaining seats on other flights. A version of musical chairs. Don't get left out.

That's what I'm afraid of.

Thanks again for your advice. As usual, it is most helpful!

~Arlene
 

sfwilshire

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
4,152
Reaction score
251
Location
Clinton TN
Resorts Owned
Tristram's Landing, Tree Tops Gatlinburg, Mystic Dunes, Sheraton Vistana Spas & Fountains
We're on either the third or fourth itinerary for our June trip to Hawaii. Delta keeps moving the ATL to KOA flight to earlier in the day, making our connecting flight arrive after we would depart Atlanta. We've got the earliest one of the day now, so I hope they don't monkey with it any more.

We also booked a single night on the Big Island that we no longer really need, but I'm afraid to cancel it in case they start moving the flights in the other direction.

Sheila
 

caribbean

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
1
Location
Goochland, VA
Arlene-

Well be thankful that they have you on the same flight. 2 years ago we booked flights to Hawaii, 11 months in advance. Used Delta miles on United. When the filghts were cancelled and rebooked, they put my husband & I on different flights and didn't even notify us of the change. I found it by accident as I did a check online about 2 months out. Seems that since we had different last names and used our own FF accounts, they simply decided we didn't need to fly together. One problem was that both Delta and United were pointing fingers at each other and no one was willing to correct it. Finally got a supervisor at Delta to take charge and she opened up two seats on the flight I wanted and gave us good seat. Just keep asking nicely and be insistant. Point out how the kids need supervision on the flight and need to be sitting with one or both parents. Remind them that you did your part by booking early and shouldn't be penalized for doing so at the expense of people that booked after you did. Good luck.
 

grest

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
1,676
Reaction score
0
Location
Ocala, FL
We once had our flight changed 8 times! On the way home, it had changed again, and had no assigned seats, so they had us all over the place...we talked with the agent at the airport, very nicely, and they moved us to first class. I'm convinced that a good attitude is very helpful in this kind of situation.
Connie
 

Hoc

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
2,565
Reaction score
4
Location
Orange County, CA
The other thing is that some airlines (AA, at least) will compensate you with some miles if they can't get you there in seats together and have no nonstop flights anymore. So, find the best Delta flights for you at any price, and they should be able to put you on those flights. In addition, you get those (possibly more expensive) flights at your original price, plus a couple of FF miles.
 

Sandcrab

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Location
Minnesota
Geez, I thought it was just American that delighted in screwing their customers (not really, I knew it was all of them). Last year from the Caribbean, my kids, friends of ours (on a trip that I arranged and paid for) had their flight leave two hours early (we were on an island and didn't get the word). No help from American folks in Carib, kept getting to next stop a couple hours late so always missed their next connecting flight. Finally, got to MSP for last leg which was on United. Of course missed that flight and due to some event in MSP and semi bad weather, couldn't even rent a van or suburban to get them back to Fargo (non available). United would have got them there but would have been TWO DAYS LATER. Finally one of my sons called his buddy and he drove thru the night to pick them up and bring them home (about 500 miles round trip). Great trip with crappy ending. No compensation offered and contract not fullfilled by airlines. Hard to feel sorry for some of these guys going belly-up.
 

arlene22

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
973
Reaction score
0
Location
New Jersey
Delta made it right!

Oh, I am so happy. Based upon some sage advice from Tugger "camachinist", I stuck it out and did not take Delta's offer to switch me to a less convenient flight with connections. We knew this was not without risk, and we were steeling ourselves for a possible involuntary bump.

Today I got a call (yes, an actual human called me on the telephone) to tell me that they added another flight and switched us to it and gave us seats together. The old flight was a small commuter plane. The new flight is a much nicer plane (Song) with entertainment (which is great with kids). Each flight leaves 1/2 hour later than the original, but arrives at the same time the old one does. Wow! Now I am off to say my novenas that it DOESN'T CHANGE AGAIN!

Thanks again, Pat, and everyone else who responded to my desperate post!

~Arlene
 

snowlady

TUG Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
83
Reaction score
0
Location
Massachusetts
Delta made things right for us too!

We booked tickets with Delta in June for a flight to Florida next month. We were used to having minor time changes but this year it was ridiculous...the times kept changing and I started getting nervous. We usually only fly non-stops because it's easier with young children. This year however, we booked our return flight with one stop in Atlanta to save $. The time between flights was about 75 minutes, so enough to get to the next plane, use the bathrooms, etc... but not much waiting. Once the wait time became over 4 hours I called to "inquire" if this trend might continue. The representative listened to my concerns about waiting with young children, arriving at my destination at rush hour, having picked the original flight based on schedule, etc... and graciously moved us to a non-stop flight suiting our needs. The time of that flight also changed by 2 hours, but this time a representative called me and offered me the chance to change to a different flight if needed.
 

baz48

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
254
Reaction score
10
Location
Central Oregon
My husband and I along with my sister and brother-in-law have tickets from SFO to SAN on United - 3 different bookings. I happened to notice on my United online account that the flight time had been pushed back an hour, which I didn't really like. (Plus they hadn't notified me.) I checked the schedule and decided I'd rather be on an earlier flight. My sister agreed and I said I'd call to change ours, but not before making sure there were enough seats for them also on the earlier flight. After finally getting through to a live person, I was able to not only change our flights (and my husband was booked on his own reservation so we could get the online booking bonus for him too), but my sister's and brother-in-law's also - even though they have a different last name! That really surprised me. How did United know I had permission to change their tickets? Good thing I'm trustworthy ;) What was also nice was that they didn't even mention anything about a change fee or higher ticket price. Maybe I got someone who didn't quite know all the rules or something.
 

Spence

Banned
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,231
Reaction score
0
Location
MD Suburban
snowlady said:
Once the wait time became over 4 hours I called to "inquire" if this trend might continue. The representative listened to my concerns about waiting with young children, arriving at my destination at rush hour, having picked the original flight based on schedule, etc... and graciously moved us to a non-stop flight suiting our needs. The time of that flight also changed by 2 hours, but this time a representative called me and offered me the chance to change to a different flight if needed.
This is a 'secret' that is often used by people trying to get 'bumps.' If the flight time changes enough (don't know what the exact amount is) most airlines will allow you to change to another flight same day as long as there is room on the flight (not just room in the original booking class).

For a prospective bumpee, you can book on expected busy days at the worst times when there's cheap seats available 11 months out, wait for schedule to change, then get them to change you to the afternoon flight that had no cheap tickets originally.

You can also get them to refund the ticket based on schedule change. A year ago Xmas I was going to eat two non-refundable tickets bought for 'friends' who then didn't follow through on their commitments, the schedule changed and I got a refund!!
 

Dave M

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
12,242
Reaction score
15
Location
Sun City Hilton Head, SC
baz48 and snowlady -

Most of the major airlines are quite flexible about accommodating changes that you might request, without charging you a fee, if you have been inconvenienced by a schedule change that the airline made. Each airline has its own rules as to how significant the schedule change has to be before a traveler can change planes or itineraries without being charged a fee.

These schedule changes seem to stalk me!

I take a Friday evening UA flight to California about eight to ten times each year. Based on when I can leave work without taking a day of vacation and when the flight is scheduled usually makes it tight to get to the airport in time for my flight. Thus, if UA changes its schedule to move departure up by as little as 20-30 minutes, that flight no longer works for me.

I'll bet I have called UA at least 10 times over the last five years, just for this single Friday evening schedule change, to get switched to a different itinerary. I always know what flight I want when I call, I always know if there is still space on that flight and I'm always pleasant on the phone. ("I know schedule changes are a fact of life, but this one to my itinerary makes it impossible for me to catch my flight. Can you please help?")

Thus far, I have never been refused such a requested change - with no charge.
 
Top