Reconfirm international flights?

May 24th, 2002, 05:52 AM
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If we fully pay for a flight beforehand, should we not expect the airline to honour the terms of the contract? (I'm not talking about delays in takeoff due to air traffic or mechanical problems.) As consumers, the notion that we must constantly 'reconfirm' what should have been 'confirmed' by putting down payment strikes me as a little odd. I admit, I'm a layperson, not a lawyer.

That said, while we always turn up in lots of time for a flight, it wouldn't even occur to me to alter my trip plans in order to accomodate an airline's sudden decision to 'reschedule' as much as 72 (!) hours earlier. That, to me, is an unacceptable breach of contract. But then, as I said, I'm not a lawyer. Anyone with expertise have any input on this?
May 24th, 2002, 05:59 AM
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One additional thought - for English language experts out there, isn't the term 'reconfirm' a little silly? Surely something is 'confirmed' or it isn't (?)
May 24th, 2002, 06:01 AM
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If you've followed this discussion, you'd understand that reservations that have been confirmed can get unconfirmed unless they're reconfirmed.
May 24th, 2002, 06:19 AM
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The reason you need to reconfirm is because all flight numbers and times are always tentative until you depart (That goes for any mode of commercial transportation). I get many changes of schedule for my clients air arrangements throughout the week. You should reconfirm flights before you go to bed (evening before your flight) or first thing in the morning (day of your flight).
May 24th, 2002, 06:35 AM
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I'm an escorted coach tour type tourist.
72 hours out, and I'm no where near the city I'm flying out of.
Pre September 2001, have never re-confirmed, but for this year, I'm just wondering?? Should I ???
May 24th, 2002, 07:19 AM
Bob C
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I can only speak about AA. We fly on pre-paid restricted tickets. AA has told us that it is not necessary to reconfirm out return flight. So we have not done so in over 20 years. It may well vary from airline to airline. I have been reminded in these posts that it would be good to confirm flight number and time.
May 24th, 2002, 07:34 AM
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Even by changing flight number and times, they ARE honouring the terms of the contract.

Have you ever READ the terms and conditions of sale for flights?

I can't imagine many other industries getting away with it really.

Most have charters of compensation and often the flight time change has to be over a given number of hours to even qualify for paltry compensation let alone refund or anything else.

They have managed to create an amazing set of trading conditions. These used to be printed on the inside flap of the ticket, I don't know if they are still there.

I agree with you Sue, surely if I have bought a commodity, I own it, but actually, I think what they do is sell the right for a specific individual named on booking to travel with them on a specific route at a specific time. The time bit is pretty loose, I think they can change the flight by up to 12 hours and still be honouring their contract.

I am sure someone else will know a lot more about this than I do.

May 24th, 2002, 08:40 AM
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Bob, I don’t think you’ve understood my concern. It is not what happens that is of interest to me, but what is legally considered fair to happen that is my line of inquiry. Obviously this will depend in part on in what country the contract is considered to have been made, since laws differ.

Kavey, what is legally fair, as determined by an impartial third party, and what either the vendor or the buyer claims/writes/reads/interprets to be fair, are frequently different. It is what has been written in the contract law of various countries that counts in the end.

In addition, there is an order of magnitude at play here. To what extent is a change nominal, and to what is it significant? At what point are the terms deviated so much that the original contract becomes meaningless? If I am on a business trip to London for all of three days, the notion that I am going to conduct my meetings in the airport, on grounds that the airline may want to return at any time within those three days, is a little silly. As is there also a distinct possibility of bait-and-switch occurring here. I’m willing to pay extra for say, flights departing at certain hours, and airlines know this very well. So I’m not exactly going to be passively accepting about having my 12:30 p.m departure switched to 3:30 a.m.

If an airline is going to be so unreliable as to change its departure times by as much as 72 hours, what grounds have I for believing that their reconfirmation information is going to be any more reliable? I’ve arrived at the airport to find out that at the very moment the airline ‘reconfirmed’ over the phone that the flight was on time, that in fact the aircraft was still sitting on the ground in the home airport 3500 miles away.

Now, as much as it is entertaining to expose me as someone who asks questions that others find silly, this isn’t conveying anything new. I have long since admitted to being a card-carrying idiot. But damnit, I’m an interested idiot, interested in learning more about this area, and in holding airlines to fair standards. So, once again, anyone know of any legal reference I can consult?
May 24th, 2002, 11:51 AM
Doug Weller
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I take the point about checking in advance if there have been any changes, but flying to Europe or the US every year for the past few years I've never had to reconfirm.
In fact, I phoned Lufthansa while I was in the States to reconfirm and got a recorded message saying it wasn't necessary!

May 24th, 2002, 03:02 PM
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Especially charter flights. They get changed all the time. Regular airlines rarely cancel flights but they can reschedule.
May 24th, 2002, 03:19 PM
Santa Chiara
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Doug, I am with you on this one. Years ago, I would try to reconfirm, and often would get some snippy answer that it wasn't necessary. So I gave up, and I never have had a problem. Also, you can check flight status now for most airlines, and you can get email confirmation.

I am also a firm believer in showing up hours before your flight leaves, no matter how inconvenient.
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