Check-In for Delayed Flights

May 12th, 2003, 03:48 AM
  #1  
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Check-In for Delayed Flights

I had a very surprising experience yesterday in flying from ORD on American Airlines. Because of wild weather in Chicago, I was constantly checking my flight status by phone, and found it delayed from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. because the aircraft for my flight would be late in arriving. Because of the flight delay, I did not arrive at O'Hare til 4:45 p.m. (i.e. almost 2 hours before my changed flight time), only to find that I could not use self-service check-in because my record had been cancelled. I was able to check in with an agent, and she said that I was lucky to be able to do so because I was LATE (!!) for the original departure time and my reservation could have been cancelled altogether; she said that when a delay is for an air traffic control hold, you are expected to show up at the airport for your original flight time. (As it was, the flight was delayed another 40 minutes on top of the hour...).

To say the least, I was surprised. For starters, this was NOT an air traffic control delay, but a weather delay. What is the point of checking flight status, if the airline expects us to be airport regardless? Has anyone had a similar experience?
Callaloo is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 04:00 AM
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I haven't experienced what you did, but I'm flying out of ORD on American Airlines in August and will be curious to see if anyone posts on this thread regarding their similiar experience to yours. I agree with your point - what IS the point of calling ahead if the airline thinks we should be there in accordance with our original flight time, no matter what the weather?
hoosier_native is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 04:48 AM
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For the sake of accuracy, I believe that a weather delay is considered an air traffic controllers' delay.
HowardR is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 04:58 AM
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I see it little different. Weather delay IS air traffic control delay. They have the power to open and close down traffic according to how they see the weather effecting the airport. So maybe your plane was just circling around the airport and as soon as the tower saw a window of opportunity to bring it down, they did. I saw a plane being turned around in about 30 minutes when stuff like this happen. Sometimes the airlines and the airport authorities know they may have a small window to get flights in and out inbetween bad weather. So yes, as long as your flight is not cancelled, you should be at the airport on time. I know it's a pain in the a.., but it would be a bigger pain in the a..if you found the plane has left without you and you had a non-refundable ticket in your pocket.
Let's not forget, it never is definite time of departure, only estimated, big difference.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 05:05 AM
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Good points, Howard and Frequent Flyer. I'm one of those who only think about it being a pain in the "a"! ;-)
hoosier_native is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 05:06 AM
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Interesting -- I hadn't though of it that way. I've put in a query to AA to see what their explanation is and see if they can offer clarification. I'm perfectly willing to play by the rules, as long as I know what they are. It was certainly not clear to me, when calling in to check flight status, what I should do, and it would have helped if their recording had said I should check in at the original time. Luckily, all's well that ends well, and this is nothing more than a lesson learned at no cost.
Callaloo is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 05:24 AM
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Key Words......"scheduled departure"

http://www.aa.com/content/customerSe....jhtml#CheckIn

BeachBoi is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 05:55 AM
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Every time I've inquired about this (when a delay is posted) I am told that passengers are expected to check in according to the originally posted departure time, the rationale being that conditions could change quickly (a break in the weather, a substitute aircraft found, etc.) and the flight might depart. And yes, failure to check in according to original departure time can be cause for cancellation of a reservation as a "no-show". Agree it's a major PITA, but that's how it is.
Seamus is offline  
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