Schedule Change Notification

Old Feb 20th, 2004, 12:41 PM
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Schedule Change Notification

Who is legally obligated to advise a traveler of a schedule change? Is it the agency that booked the ticket or the airline itself?
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Old Feb 20th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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kpruitt..An airline ticket is a contract between the airline and the traveller.The airline is obligated to advise the traveller of a schedule change,whether it be directly to the traveller or thru the "appointed" agent if the agent in fact issued the ticket.I have seen passengers at gates "swear" that their travel agent did not advise them of the sked change.When in fact the airline could show them that the change was advised to the agent and the agent didnt pass on the change.
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Old Feb 20th, 2004, 01:02 PM
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kpruitt...Actually in reading the "fine print" for example in American Airlines Conditions of Carriage, which constitute the contract, schedules are subject to change without notice....So,we travellers actually may have no recourse, if that is what you are getting at...
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Old Feb 20th, 2004, 01:06 PM
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If you're using a major airline that has the feature on their website, it's not a bad idea to run your record number and check it yourself. As BeachBoi is alluding to, using a travel agent is literally putting somebody between you and the airline. I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad idea, but you need to keep it in mind.
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Old Feb 20th, 2004, 01:10 PM
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kpruitt....If you purchase a ticket thru a travel agent, and the airline notfies the TA of a sked change, and the TA does NOT notify YOU, the the TA is liable.If yo get to the airport and your schedule has been changed,and no one was notfied, there is no one at fault, as to my previous post.
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Old Feb 20th, 2004, 02:07 PM
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As the person flying I would never leave it up to anyone but myself to check and recheck my flights. Many of us book months in advance of the actual departure date and schedules can change.

Whether I've booked thru a TA or directly with the airline, I always make certain they have my phone number, but that's not to say someone will call if there is a schedule change of any kind.

So I periodically, contact the airline directly to verify my flight/schedule up to at minimum a week before departure.

And on day of departure I check one more time just in case there might be a delay, though I do arrive when originally scheduled as the airline can cancel you if you aren't checked-in within the time of the original schedule.
 
Old Feb 28th, 2004, 01:36 AM
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One word - reconfirm.

An agent should tell you if they know. Please be aware that airlines can say they told an agent, but it's just their word that they did. Airline personnel like to pass the buck too. No one wants to be the bad guy.

However, flights change constantly, so to be on the safe side always reconfirm.

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Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Airlines generally will not notify you. It's up to you to check for changes periodically.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 02:13 PM
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It's been my experience that an airline will generally attempt to notify you IF they have your current contact information (phone numbers, email, etc). I've only had it happen once within the last year where an airline didn't contact me when there was a schedule change (this was AF and my flight was still months away). DL called me recently to tell me about a 15 min change. I always make sure they have two phone numbers and an email. Even so, I do check periodically myself and agree it's a good idea to do so.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 04:17 PM
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If an airline makes a major change in a passenger's itinerary, is the passenger obligated to just accept the change?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 04:37 PM
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We had reservations on a non-stop new Orleans flight. months in advance, the airline discontinued that flight, and put us on an itinerary changing planes in DC.

There was another non-stop flight that day at a different time, and I called and asked for that flight.

They agreed with no problem. I don't know what they (or I) would have done if there wasn't a non-stop flight at all.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 04:41 PM
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Underhill, no. When they notify you of the change, you can get back to them and ask for alternatives if you don't like what they've assigned you. There are some arcane limitations about things like how many hours earlier or later than your original times they can accept or you must accept (AAFrequent Flyer would probably know about some of those), but you absolutely can respond to a schedule change by challenging their choice of alternative.

For example, I had booked 4 segments carefully to make sure I was flying on a certain kind of plane. Because of some general routing changes, USAir arbitrarily switched me to an earlier itinerary that was, admittedly, a shorter total trip with less connection time. If I hadn't checked my itinerary a week or so ahead of time, I'd never have caught it and would have missed the flights altogether.

I called them and explained that I purposely wanted a longer connection time to avoid misconnections in case of delays, and said that I had deliberately chosen the flights I did because of the equipment used on them. They changed my itinerary to accommodate those preferences, and there was no discussion of fees for the change.
 
Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 08:00 PM
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Thanks very much for your response, Cassandra.

That's exactly what happened to me with United: I had carefully avoided Airbuses and Boeing 737's and gone to some trouble to find a route that would include a 777. Yesterday I was notified that the itinerary BWI/Chicago/DEN/SMF had been modified to BWI/DEN/SMF, leaving out the segment with the 777 and putting me onto an Airbus from BWI to DEN. No thanks! I took this up with Orbitz but will call United tomorrow.
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 12:18 AM
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underhill,

if you bought the ticket through Orbitz then they are the ONLY ones that could change the ticket. UA can't touch the ticket till you take your first flight.

Cassandra is correct mostly, but here is what happens when an airline changes your flights. You basically have 2 choices. The following applies ONLY IF YOU BOUGHT YOUR TICKET DIRECTLY FROM THE AIRLINE:

You could accept their changes or try to figure out a new schedule if possible. Remember a VERY important part of this deal. Once you accept and approve any changes the same rules apply from that point on. So you can't request a refund on a non-refundable ticket once YOU accept the changes. The fare rules will be the same from that point on.

If you decide that any other schedule including the one that the airline offers is not acceptable, you are entitled to a full refund. It does not matter if the plane arrives at the same time at the final destination, or it's less travel time, or whatever??? you are still entitled to a full refund.

That's it, unfortunately. The second option is ok if you still have time to get an acceptable fare and routing with other airline(s), but if not, and you still have to get to your destination, then you are stuck with option 1.

I did say that the above apply to tickets bought directly from airlines. It does not mean you don't have the same options if you bought them from a travel agent, such as Orbitz, Expedia, your neighborhood travel agency, etc..., but what it does mean is that you have to take up the issues with them, NOT with the airline. As I stated before, the airline will not touch/change/adjust the ticket if it was bought through a third party. So if the agency charged you a fee, and if you decide to take a refund, they still HAVE to refund the ticket price, but the fee may/may not be refunded, that's totally up to the agency. If you're a regular at the neighborhood TA, I would assume you would get the fee back, but a one-time customer with a giant like Orbitz, I would guess the fee is gone.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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I guess I'll just have to live with the schedule and equipment change. The agent I spoke with at Orbitz didn't even know what a bulkhead seat was!
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 01:45 PM
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Mon dieu! In that case perhaps the Orbitz agent IS one (pun, get it? duh). Wonder where that phone bank is located.
 
Old Mar 20th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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End of story: today I called and was connected with the Orbitz "exchange" department. A very nice, helpful guy went through flight after flight with me and was ultimately able to re-book my flight out of BWI on a 757 to Denver. So now I'll be on a wide-body throughout the trip, which is wonderful. I'm really impressed with Orbitz's customer service now.
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Old Mar 20th, 2004, 07:40 PM
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757 is a narrow-body single-aisle plane. Fuselage cross-section is about the same as a 737, and is probably a tiny teeny bit narrower than a A320. UA doesn't use widebodies between BWI and DEN.

Sorry to disappoint.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 05:10 PM
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I have flights booked from SFO to Rome for May 6 return May 15, both my domestic flight times were changed which I saw on the web site checking for better seats to become available. No one has told me anything from TA or airline. Best to always check yourself on the web site to be sure. Buck
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Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 12:07 PM
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I had purposely scheduled my Ord to Fra flight late evening so that I would be able to work all day and then drive to the airport (3 hour drive) and catch my late flight to Germany. Well, in checking "my itineraries" on the UAL web site about a week ago, I found that the schedule had changed. My flight was now at 6:05 pm. NOT GOOD I contacted my TA. UAL had not contacted her... and I was able to re-schedule at a later time, but not a non-stop. Now I'm routed through London. It was either that, or have to take half a dock day (NOT). I got to keep my upgraded seat to LHR. I would not have been able to do that had I opted for a Lufthansa flight. I am not upset about this whole thing as I had time to make adjustments, but I am bothered that my TA was not notified by UAL in a timely fashion.

I'm just glad I decided to check my flight. I had not looked at it for a couple of weeks. I would be up a creek if I got to O'Hare at 7:30 and my flight had already taken off...
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