Have you checked your flight reservations lately?

Someone posted something like this recently, but it is worth repeating. I was booked via United on a return flight from Munich to Denver via Toronto. I recently went to the website to see if I could figure out the immigration/customs situation in Toronto. I was surprised to see a note on my itinerary. Apparently my flight from Toronto to Denver had been cancelled, and they had put me on an earlier flight, the last flight from Toronto, which left Toronto 25 minutes before my flight from Munich arrived! There was a further note that asked if I accepted the change. Well, duh. Do I mind if my flight to Denver leaves before I arrive? And, they didn't offer an alternative, just asked if I accept an impossible connection. And they hadn't notified me of the conflict. What if I had just assumed that I had a connection and hadn't checked? Does the guy who runs this airline make more than minimum wage? If so, he is overpaid. Good(?) news, after almost an hour on the phone, I got them to reschedule me through Dulles (Ugh). So I will get home sometime that night, no thanks to United.

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
1747 posts

Thanks for posting Lee. It was I that posted the thread before. I am sorry your flights were messed up but also interested to see it can happen to seasoned travelers. I have been checking on Tuesdays, but I just clicked in to check on my flight in Sept and Yikes! there was a change notification. It looks like flights are just a few minutes different but still must be the same plane/configuration as my seat assignments are still the same. Glad you wound up rebooked altho it sounds like a sub-optimal itinerary.

Posted by Mme Eli
1170 posts

Thank you so much for posting this! I have a reservation for August 30th to Europe, and hadn't even thought to go back and take a look. Sorry about what happened, but glad you got them to sort it out.

Posted by Sarah
St. Louis, MO USA
1646 posts

Yet another reason for us to check our itinerary often. It sounds like they didn't even have the courtesy to e-mail you, Lee; they just added the "note" to your itinerary. Is it a recent thing for airlines not to e-mail us the consumers with important changes such as what Lee experienced?

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
813 posts

When United merged, they've had lots of issues with their reservations systems. Is this flight a code share with another (perhaps European) airline? I'm surprised their computer algorithm would allow a booking with a connecting flight leaving before the original flight gets in - unless they are using a code-shared flight and the two reservation systems aren't "talking to one another". Blame the software. And yes, the CEO makes millions - way above minimum wage.

Posted by Brad
Charlotte, NC, USA
220 posts

This has happened to me twice on Delta so I think it's pretty common. One more reason I hate connecting flights. I guess it just pays to check every so often.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12971 posts

Both the flight from Munich and the flight to Denver were Air Canada - both code share but both on the same code share airline. The CEOs are paid millions. That doesn't mean the make (earn) it.

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
1368 posts

I had a some what similar situation on the second of a three leg itinerary. A complicating factor is that my travel agent booked us through Delta, but our flights were all KLM code share flight even though the SEA to AMS used Delta equipment and crew. Our second leg from Prague to Oslo was a two hopper from Prague to Oslo via AMS, with the first flight being a KLM Hopper code share operated by Czech Air originally scheduled to depart late morning. That late morning flight was apparently cancelled and I was rebooked on a 7AM with no notice. My Delta and KLM on-line itineraries were showing the late morning flight as still valid. I only discovered the problem checking the Czech Air flight status the day before departure. I found out that both Delta and KLM call centers did not operate on the weekend in Europe. I was able to verify the canceled and rebooked Prague to AMS flight by calling the local Czech Air at the Prague airport. If I had not checked we would have not made it to Oslo as schedule and would have missed the next day train to the mountains and our scheduled pickup etc. So yes, being paranoid and cross confirming is a good idea.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7883 posts

I had similar with United to Spain. I booked a leg (Madrid to Barcelona) with Spanair (a United partner) as part of my booking through United.com. A few months before the flight I noticed that Spanair went out of business. I sent a note to United by email asking what I needed to do. They sent a fairly curt response that their agents knew of the issue and were fully-trained to handle it...So I waited for a note about my new booking, and waited, and waited, periodically checking my reservation (which still showed the leg with Spanair). About two-weeks prior to the flight I entered passport information into my booking and, poof, the reservation changed - but only to a round trip to Madrid, no leg to Barcelona. I tried to call but the wait time was more than three hours. Based on a recommendation I went to the airport and stood in line at the ticket counter to get it changed. Ultimately, we made it (with a leg through Newark), but what a hassle.

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
1087 posts

Lee, I'm surprised that this surprised you. It's been happening to me regularly over the past couple of years, on many airlines (United, Delta, Turkish, Aegean). On my upcoming trip to Turkey/Greece, three of my flights had unannounced schedule changes. Serious changes, which would have caused missed flights. In one instance (Aegean) they cancelled the flight outright without notifying me. I'm almost at the point when I'm surprised when I check a reservation and everything is OK! It doesn't seem like it would be that hard to notify all passengers when a schedule changes, but obviously it is.

Posted by juan
whittier, ca, usa
78 posts

I have a flight to Rome from LA in October. With British Airways connecting flight at Heathrow in London,I hope my flights go well

Posted by Maryam
Washington, DC
766 posts

Agree with Charlene: If I check my reservation, and all is as it should be, I am surprisingly relieved. Had changes occur in almost all my flights in the last couple of year, although nothing as egregious as Lee's. I mentioned on a previous related post that I check almost weekly. However, I just realized that I don't check the status of my return flight while on vacation (I guess I'm more excited about going then coming back home!).

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7883 posts

I should add that a few years ago I booked a flight with KLM into Amsterdam and home from Rome in 2005. KLM changed my itinerary quite a few times between booking and traveling. I wasn't generally disappointed because they contacted me each time and were fairly easy to reach to discuss the new arrangement. Ironically, the last change was pretty much my original itinerary.

Posted by Karen
Santa Rosa, CA
757 posts

I fly United a great majority of the time and have had many flight changes, sometimes, just minutes, sometimes connection time changes, and sometimes just a random cancellation of one the the flight legs. What I've learned is that before you call the airline to "fix" your flights, do your research and know what your options are in order of best to worst, and then you are prepared to talk to an agent. If they propose an itinerary that is not acceptable (too short/too long connection time, additional connections, or even change in connection city, suggest what you want and be firm. Ask to speak to their supervisor. I always end up with a better alternative than the agent's first suggestion.

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2652 posts

Much the same story from me, many slight changes, but one big one that irked me. Returning from Rome through Atlanta on Delta on a Rome/ATL/MSP/CID route. They cancelled the ATL/MSP Flight and rebooked me on one the next Day. This complicated checked baggage, made me have to come up with a room overnight, just a problem all around, why I did not choose an itinerary like that to begin with. Delta does now have a great app that will call you with updates within a day or two of travel and while travelling, or email you if more than a few days before, but still irritating.

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
1747 posts

Paul, I'm interested in the Delta app you mention. Is it different from the regular Delta app? (which I have and which is NOT notifying me of changes!)