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Check your flights often!

I booked a round trip ( open jaws) for Augest in early April. Last week I on a whim checked the airline to discover my flight TO Europe was no longer on my itineary. So after a total of 10 hours on hold over 3 days, I got someone to confirm the flight was cancelled and was able to reschedul to a longer less convenient flight, but I'M STILL GOING! A week later I've still never been notified of the change.
MORAL of the story: Check your flights frequently!

Posted by
1729 posts

Jan, so sorry, but thanks for the warning. Which airlines did this to you?

Posted by
22 posts

United. My frined with a domestic flight is having the same issue. Been changed 3 times. Last change had her flying into Philly and out Minnesota. She was not going to Minnesota!

Posted by
2442 posts

I booked my flights at the end of November for September. I had followed the prices for a bit and it was the best price I had seen and still is. From previous experience I checked my flights weekly. Then the outbound changed times. Then the outbound changed times and airports (this one was a good change). Then outbound changed times but not very good. I'm checking my flights daily, waiting for them to change again or I will call to change the outbound. I'm 95 days out, so will wait another week. I know if I change it, United will change it worse which would be my usual luck. My homeward bound flight has changed once, but only by 5 minutes so very doable.

So catsunderfoot, your advice is spot on: Check your flights at least weekly and daily as the time nears. If you're flying United, use their countdown app. I don't know if other airlines have that.

PS: I'm having problems putting in my passport into into United's app. I'm hoping its a timing issue and as the time nears, the app will take the info.

Posted by
1207 posts

I've had several changes and we leave in 2 weeks, but I've always been notified. With United.

Posted by
2442 posts

United only notified me on the first change. It's important to check frequently and not trust that the airline will inform you.

Posted by
2250 posts

@ horsewoofie “United only notified me on the first change. It's important to check frequently and not trust that the airline with inform you.”

I have alerts on our flights as well but check them so often that I know the confirmation code by heart by the time I check in for my flight. United has changed our flights twice since booking in February for our August trip.

Posted by
531 posts

When I booked a flight to London Heathrow several years ago on Virgin Atlantic, I lost count of how many times they changed the flight itinerary. It was a change in departure and arrival times, not where I transferred, but it was still very weird. Never experienced that prior or since.

Posted by
73 posts

Agreed. I just checked because I saw your post. They changed my flight so, that I arrived in Munich after my flight from Munich to Berlin left. So, now I lost that flight and the only options were to fly the day before or the day after. All the other flights from Munich to Berlin are full that day. Seriously, not happy with United right now.

Posted by
1984 posts

Our flights on American and United changed with only American sending us a notification. United said they sent us and email but we never got one. United changed our return out of Madrid to San Francisco by having us arrive at our Frankfurt layover three hours after our departure time to the US. They offered to put us on the original flight but for the next day. No one could tell us why our original flights were no longer available but okay for the next day. It isn't all bad, as we got a better flight with better seats, and arriving home four hours earlier!

Posted by
20 posts

I checked on our flights on we booked Months ago on Delta, they price went down 366 each. We now have credit for our next travels. Always keep checking, if it changes times...sometimes you can get a better flight time at no cost..been lucky with that a few times on Delta as well.

Posted by
6393 posts

In January, I booked a fairly complex itinerary for a trip to Istanbul and Malta in October. This was an award trip booked using United miles (all in business class, so...hard to get). Flights were a mix of United + Turkish + Swissair + Air Canada, so yes a lot of players and moving parts. Two legs outbound (to Istanbul), one leg in the middle (Istanbul to Malta), four legs coming home from Malta to Seattle (though, amazingly, that return trip was accomplished in one day -- a difficult thing to pull off coming from small market airports in southern Europe, going all the way to Seattle; due to flight schedules and major hubs, for us it's often a challenge to get all the way home in one day).

I got an incredible deal, which probably contributed to my lack of worry about how many dependencies it had.

A few days ago, I got notified by Air Canada about a "schedule change." Their new proposed routing would have us departing for our last leg home from Montreal before our trans-Atlantic Swissair flight arrived there, so we would need a time machine to make that connection. I looked at all the options to make it work. The best alternative would add more than 24 hours to our return flight, and work schedules make that problematic. So that entire itinerary collapsed, and I tossed it.

Yesterday I booked a different itinerary for that trip. It's a better, simpler routing, with fewer airlines, fewer flight legs, fewer connections. Also, the connections are significantly longer (and now are via cities that are less prone to long delays), so it should stand up better to minor schedule adjustments, and even a moderate airport "meltdown" as we've seen lately. I did pay more points for this more resilient (I hope) routing, but I have a lot more confidence it will actually get us there and home.

I booked this new itinerary about 24 hours ago. Ironically, within 10 minutes of completing the new booking, I got a text message from Turkish Airlines informing me that one leg of our original routing (which I had not yet cancelled) had a schedule change. Then, five minutes later, I got another text message from Turkish about a different schedule change which was for one of the legs on the new flight I had just booked no more than 15 minutes earlier! That's a record for me -- just 15 minutes between original booking and the (first?) schedule change. Fortunately the change was just a few minutes.

Several morals of the story here for me...

  1. Expect schedule changes, maybe multiple changes. I've always looked at schedule changes as an opportunity to switch to a better itinerary (and I still do!) but sometimes the original itinerary is as good as it will ever get, and sometimes the only alternatives available after the schedule change are awful.

  2. Resist the urge to stitch together clever, elaborate itineraries with many flight legs, especially if they depend on multiple connections & multiple airlines. Pay more attention to potential "failure points" and how badly your trip might be impacted if a single flight becomes unavailable.

  3. In this era of "airport meltdowns" as we have seen at more than a few major transit hubs, allow way more time for connections than you might have wanted in an earlier era. I used to figure that a 90-minute connection in AMS or FRA was a little tight, but adequate. Not any more. My new flight connection in FRA is 5 hours and 20 minutes, which I am confident can withstand whatever chaos may be waiting for me there.

  4. Likewise, when possible, make your connection in a smaller airport that is less prone to meltdowns and major delays. I switched from a 90 minute connection in SFO (they get fog and "ground stops" that can last hours) to DEN (this is not during snow season); I also switched one connection from FRA to MUC, which seems less prone to chaos.

It's an interesting  time to fly. Stay flexible, be creative...and keep checking your flights!

Posted by
292 posts

We have had/will have several flights this year. It seems we're getting flight changes for every trip...

We booked American from San Francisco to Miami (redeye) to St Vincent in the Grenadines and back using American's system. AA emailed to say they no longer run the redeye flight SFO to MIA. So we had to book an afternoon flight and a room at the Miami International Airport Hotel (this hotel makes college dorms look like 4-star hotels), flying out on the original flight to St Vincent the next morning. AA wouldn't cover the room because, they said, I could cancel.

Later, AA rebooked our return flight - changing our outbound departure from St Vincent to St Lucia because they said I was 20 minutes shy of an international connection requirement of two hours. These are two different countries. Getting to St Lucia is possible - charter flight or boat for about $1800. So, we rebooked the hotel (hadn't yet stayed in the joint) for the night, and AA wanted us to pay for the change back to our flight!

Ironically, we have Global Entry, so we didn't spend five minutes dealing with customs in Miami.

For an East Coast trip Delta has changed departure times from SFO and from Charlotte twice each -- moving one departure two hours later. Southwest and Hawaiian changed flight times on me also -- but not as egregious.

I had empathy for the airlines because of the hit they took during Covid. I'm not so warm and fuzzy about them now.

I saw a "help" from a budget travel warrior today on this site who flew one airline to Europe that was delayed, which caused the person to miss connections for two different Ryan Air flights... I believe in booking through the airline directly AND IF we use a second airline for any reason, we make the connection for the next day. Airlines don't love us. They tolerate us at best.