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Old Jul 19, 06, 1:24 pm   #1
tjl
 
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Your flight is delayed so you will miss a connection -- what will the airline do?

Suppose you have a flight with two segments (booked together on a single ticket on the same airline). You find out before boarding the first segment that the first segment is delayed but the second segment is not expected to be delayed, so you will miss the connection to the second segment, which is the last flight of the day from the connecting airport to your destination.

But there are other non-delayed flights from your originating city on other airlines that you have time to get onto.

Will the airline you are booked on be willing to put you on one of those other airlines' flights to get you to your destination without too much delay, or will they insist on sending you on their own flight, ensuring that you will miss the connection and not get to your destination until the next day?
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Old Jul 19, 06, 1:36 pm   #2
 
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Not sure about the situation described where other airlines would have to be involved. But one airline did ante up to me some vouchers when I wrote to complain that it refused to rebook me free on another of its own flights that would have circumvented the same missed connection problem described (without the overnight complication).

The airline actually had a second chance to save face -- put me ahead of the elites for standby order at the connection point. It refused.

Unfortunately I forgot the third alternative I had, presenting my father's elite card which was in my pocket. (He and I have the same first name).

Travel tips:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/travel.htm

There is already a rule (240?) that covers what amenities you might get after you get to the connection point and miss the connection.

Last edited by AllanJ; Jul 19, 06 at 1:50 pm.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 2:08 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjl
Suppose you have a flight with two segments (booked together on a single ticket on the same airline). You find out before boarding the first segment that the first segment is delayed but the second segment is not expected to be delayed, so you will miss the connection to the second segment, which is the last flight of the day from the connecting airport to your destination.

But there are other non-delayed flights from your originating city on other airlines that you have time to get onto.

Will the airline you are booked on be willing to put you on one of those other airlines' flights to get you to your destination without too much delay, or will they insist on sending you on their own flight, ensuring that you will miss the connection and not get to your destination until the next day?
If the delay is caused by weather or anything which has NOTHING to do with the airline, they'll put you on the next flight even it means the next day. If you're a platinum member, you might be able to get the airline agent to put you on another airline. Heck, even if you're not elite, you might be lucky enough that the airline agent can get you to your destination on the same day with another carrier, but don't count on it.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 2:18 pm   #4
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This actually happend to me about three weeks ago.

The airline would not put me on another airline's nonstop flight. At the connection city, the flight had left without
me. I was given a hotel voucher at the airport Marriott.
(along with several other passengers from the same flight)

The Marriott clerk told me they only charge the airline
$47 per room. I guess the airline figured it was cheaper
to pay $47 than to pay airline airline to transport me.
(plus the $12 meal voucher)
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Old Jul 19, 06, 2:21 pm   #5
 
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The short answer: It depends on the airline (and your status).

Legacy carriers will reroute you for the most part, Southwest will only reroute you on one of their flights.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 2:22 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjl
Suppose you have a flight with two segments (booked together on a single ticket on the same airline). You find out before boarding the first segment that the first segment is delayed but the second segment is not expected to be delayed, so you will miss the connection to the second segment, which is the last flight of the day from the connecting airport to your destination.

But there are other non-delayed flights from your originating city on other airlines that you have time to get onto.

Will the airline you are booked on be willing to put you on one of those other airlines' flights to get you to your destination without too much delay, or will they insist on sending you on their own flight, ensuring that you will miss the connection and not get to your destination until the next day?
I was on Kenya Airways out of Kigali to SFO via NBO, BKK and TPE (China Airlines from BKK), all business class. They cancelled the flight (mechanical) and the next one was the next day. Unfortunately, they had no flight the next day to BKK so I would be delayed two days. I told them that was unacceptable and they ended up putting me on Kenya Airways to London the next day, and then BA LHR to SFO (business class). BA business class is far superior to KQ or China Airlines, so I can't complain too much.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 2:23 pm   #7
 
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Up until a few years ago, my experience was that most airlines would routinely and proactively move you to another carrier in these cases, even for non status flyers. Over the past few years, they have become much more tight fisted in this regard. Having elite status with the airline helps. It also doesn't hurt to know the options on the other airlines, so you can suggest viable alternatives. But don't be surprised if the best they will do is graciously allow you to sleep in their gate area overnight.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 7:46 pm   #8
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Depends very much on the airline and the circumstances.

My most few experiences (all with relevant status)
- UA put me on a nonstop flight so I could connect to a 3rd onward flight without a forced overnight
- NZ were going to put me on a indirect routing (I was on a nonstop) with QF until they realised that would arrive at the destination at about the same time as the delayed NZ flight
- QF put me on NZ flight when their flight was delayed
- LH put me on AF on indirect routing (more than twice as long as original flight) so I could salvage a meeting
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Old Jul 19, 06, 10:19 pm   #9
 
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The exact situation as described by the OP happened to me in Bangkok back in 1999. I was catching a Malaysian Airlines flight to KL and connecting to Perth. When the Bangkok-KL flight was delayed they swapped me over to a Thai Airways flight to Perth with a stop in Phuket. I ended up getting to Perth half an hour earlier than if I'd flown Malaysian.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 10:47 pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKEbound
The short answer: It depends on the airline (and your status).

Legacy carriers will reroute you for the most part, Southwest will only reroute you on one of their flights.
That's it in a nutshell! You really have to read through the contact of carriage to find out what you're entitled to. Some airlines are more generous than others. For example, Continental's policy for problems under the carrier's control is closest to the old rule 240. Other carriers have different policies.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 11:50 pm   #11
 
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As others have chimed in, it all depends on the particluar carrier's rules and regulations, and (unfortunately) many times the agent you are dealing with. Airlines are pretty much protected when it comes to circumstances beyond their control. Witness United's Rule 85, pertaining to cancellations, missed connections and failure to carry. This part says that UA may cancel, delay or reroute a flight without passenger compensation "because of ANY fact beyond it's control."

INCLUDING BUT WITHOUT LIMITATION:

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS, ACTS OF GOD, FORCE MAJEURE, STRIKES, RIOTS, CIVIL COMMOTIONS, EMBARGO, WARS, HOSTILITIES OR DISTURBANCES

UNSETTLED INTERNATIONAL CONDITIONS (ACTUAL, THREATENED OR REPORTED; OR BECAUSE OF ANY DELAY, DEMAND, CONDITION, CIRCUMSTANCES OR REQUIREMENT RELATED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY TO SUCH FACT)

BECAUSE OF ANY FACT NOT REASONABLY FORSEEN OR PREDICTED

BECAUSE OF ANY GOVERNMENT REGULATION OR REQUIREMENT

BECAUSE OF SHORTAGE OF LABOR, FUEL OR FACILITIES AT THIS CARRIER OR OTHER CARRIERS

Pretty much covers everything beyond their control. When it's within their control, the first choice of the carrier will always be to transport you over their own lines and avoid paying a competitor to transport you.

Unfortunately, many of the frontline employees fail to grasp the concept of exactly how much it may cost to "push" your e-ticket to another carrier, or endorse your paper ticket. When I worked at the United rate desk, I'd often get calls from gate agents asking whether it would be OK to endorse a ticket (for example) from LAX to LHR to (for example) BA if the UA went mechanical. I would respond that it should be, then ask for the record locator; only to pull up the record and find a passenger who was booked at the lowest possible consolidator fare on UA had been protected in first class on BA! If you're the lucky recipient of this generosity, excellent score! If you're the bean counter at United HQ, you're pulling your hair out. Even though the agreed compensation between carriers for carriage during irregular operations is nowhere near the full list price (LAX-LHR in first class back then was approximately $1900 from UA to BA) it's still not quite the same as endorsing the UA ticket in the corresponding BA fare category and paying (for example) $190.

So the moral is, try to know your rights when something goes wrong. Forceful but polite generally works to your advantage during stressful times of irregular operations. But if the delay/cancel/miss-connect is due to any of the reasons above, your best hope is elite status with the carrier in question.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 11:59 pm   #12
 
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Definitely depends on the airline, class of service and whethre you're elite.

Exact situation happened to me (except one of your assumptions). I was on LX BHX-ZRH-LAX. I boarded BHX-ZRH and we were delayed due to gate problems and then traffic and no slot. I was extremely agitated as I knew I would miss my ZRH-LAX flight and it was the last flight of the day and in fact no flight the following day. I asked the dispatcher to be put on LH to FRA and then FRA-LAX. They wouldn't do it and said I should go to ZRH and would be sorted there.

We finally landed at ZRH after the departure of ZRH-LAX, but I thought I saw an a/c still at the terminal. When we stopped at a remote spot, a black mercedes was waiting for me as I came down the stairs, took my bags, drove me to the terminal where my flight was departing, took me through security and escorted me to the plane. I really felt bad coming onto a full flight of people who had been held up.

Now that's what I call service

I was in LX F
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Old Jul 20, 06, 12:02 am   #13
 
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On pretty much every airline I've been on when this happened, the airline just puts you on the next flight. If the next flight is the next day, you are on your own to get a hotel room. If you're lucky, you might get a distressed traveller rate on your hotel room, which is not that big of a discount.

When I was headed to Biloxi on NW for a casino vacation, bad weather caused me to miss the connection and I ended up stranded at MEM. So I actually just gave up and vacationed in Tunica, Miss, instead of Biloxi.

Once when I was stranded at LGA due to rainstorms, I had to go all the way out to the eastern Nassau county to get a room, because everything around the LGA was booked solid that night.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 1:07 pm   #14
 
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Last week on Alaska, my flight from PVR to SEA was delayed due to a system outage (not weather related, I think). This caused them to have to issue manual boarding passes and do manual check-in. In turn, the flight was delayed.

we missed our connecting flight from SEA to YYJ and had to spend the night at hotel, compliments of Alaska.

I am going to send in a letter of complaint to Alaska. Third time in a row our family trip with Alaska has been majorly delayed. First time was weather but other 2 times were their fault.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 2:50 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analise View Post
If the delay is caused by weather or anything which has NOTHING to do with the airline, they'll put you on the next flight even it means the next day.
Not necessarily. If the 'next flight' is already booked up then you're out of luck. Let's say your flight on December 22nd is weather-cancelled, and the flights on the 23rd and 24th are sold out - You may find yourself cooling your heels until the 25th.
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