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Old Jun 14, 12, 7:35 am   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Dublin, Ireland
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Flight Cancelled (DUB-MCO): Any recommendations?

On 5th March 2012 I booked and paid in full for flights for 5 people from Dublin to MCO via PHL on the 19th December 2012 in order to attend a friends wedding in Naples, Florida on 20th Dec. On 29th March I received an email from US Airways to say that the DUB-PHL leg on the 19th Dec was being cancelled and that they would offer a full refund or fly us out on the 18th or the 20th of Dec.
The option of a full refund was not practical as the cost of obtaining flights with another carrier on the 19th would have been a minimum of $1500 more at that point in time.
Travelling on the 18th of December would have facilitated us getting there on time, however it was not possible for my wife to do so due to work commitments which cannot be changed.
A possible solution which I suggested would have been to fly us from PHL to RSW instead of MCO on the 20th (the price was the exact same when I checked the website) and that way we could have made most of the wedding subject to flights being on time. The reservations/customer service agent and her supervisor were helpful in that they gave me the impression that they had tried to accommodate us but stated that they could only change our flight from PHL to TPA instead of MCO and that would be one hour nearer Naples. When I explained the reason for us making the booking in the first place they empathized with me but stated their hands were tied and suggested that I write to US explaining the situation and that they would be hopeful of a positive resolution. I wrote on the 29th March explaining the situation and as I have not received a reply to date so sent off a second request last week.
Having browsed through the forum searching for similar problems there are some respondents who think that airlines are obliged to get passengers to their final destination (in this case MCO on the 19th) as close as possible to that time. Is that correct or is 24hours later an acceptable time difference?
Any recommendations or ideas of what I should do next or should I just accept the decision and put it down to bad luck on my part booking with US in the first instance?
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Old Jun 14, 12, 7:40 am   #2
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So they offered a solution that got you closer to your destination than the original airport and that wasnt acceptable? As well as they offered you the possibility on traveling on other dates? Schedule changes happen (at all airlines) and it sounds as if they are doing their best to work with you when really they could just say "too bad" and give you a refund.
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Old Jun 14, 12, 8:59 am   #3
 
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Originally Posted by whytravelsomuch View Post
So they offered a solution that got you closer to your destination than the original airport and that wasnt acceptable? As well as they offered you the possibility on traveling on other dates? Schedule changes happen (at all airlines) and it sounds as if they are doing their best to work with you when really they could just say "too bad" and give you a refund.
Any other recommendations?
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Old Jun 14, 12, 9:14 am   #4
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Originally Posted by Indabunka View Post
Any other recommendations?
If you look at US' COC, you will see that it is actually US' option to simply refund your tickets and be done with it. That's bad CS, so they've actually offered you the option of getting you closer.

You run the risk that US will simply decide to cancel & refund because it's becoming a hastle to deal with you, but you can certainly call back and propose what you are seeking (do a dummy booking to make sure that the seats you want are actually available and in te same fare bucket).

So, my suggestion is take the bird in hand, fly into TPA or run the risk of having your flights cancelled, refunded and then left to your own devices to rebook however you want. Only you can measure what that means.

But, I would not let this hang around. Your travel dates are around the holidays and you will soon enough run into a lack of cheap seats.
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Old Jun 14, 12, 9:19 am   #5
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Welcome to FT! Sorry about the snark.

The bad news, as you have found out, is that the airlines can cancel flights on a whim and either give you a refund or change your date. You do not have such a luxury to operate the other way.

The Flyertalk policy is generally, if you don't get what you want, hang up and call again. I'm surprised they couldn't have a little more leeway with you, considering they were the ones who cancelled the flight, but I'm not really a US flyer. Of course, at this point, your goal isn't to get to MCO, it's to get as close as possible to Naples. Assuming that a second person can't work with you, you're at least an hour closer than when you started.

Mike
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Old Jun 14, 12, 9:22 am   #6
 
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The Flyertalk policy is generally, if you don't get what you want, hang up and call again. I'm surprised they couldn't have a little more leeway with you, considering they were the ones who cancelled the flight, but I'm not really a US flyer. Of course, at this point, your goal isn't to get to MCO, it's to get as close as possible to Naples. Assuming that a second person can't work with you, you're at least an hour closer than when you started.
Unfortunately, the problem here is that the DUB-PHL flight now runs six days a week, except Wednesday. So there is no way for him to travel from Dublin on the 19th of December (a Wednesday), as US has no service from DUB on that day (own metal or codeshare).

That being said, if your attendance at the wedding is literally dependent on a a two hour time difference (the additional driving time from TPA instead of RSW), I would strongly suggest that you either move mountains to depart on the 18th, or take the refund and book a different carrier on the 19th. Leaving on the 20th, there is a reasonable possibility of winter storms in Philly delaying your travels such that you would miss the wedding entirely (at least, coming from DUB, you don't have to deal with an uncertain wait at immigration thanks to the pre-clearance offered).

Alternatively, you can see if they are willing switch your flight to an alternative European gateway (for example, Manchester or London). While you would need to make and pay for your own arrangements to get there from DUB (and risk a misconnect), you would at least be able to depart on the 19th.
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Old Jun 14, 12, 10:00 am   #7
 
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At least you got an email. They did the same thing to me but failed to tell me. I found out when I logged into their site.
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Old Jun 14, 12, 10:18 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by EnhancedByCO View Post
Alternatively, you can see if they are willing switch your flight to an alternative European gateway (for example, Manchester or London). While you would need to make and pay for your own arrangements to get there from DUB (and risk a misconnect), you would at least be able to depart on the 19th.
If traveling on the 18th out of DUB doesn't work, this is the solution I'd seek. DUB-LHR/LGW are both pricing at $65 one-way on Dec 19th (early morning to allow you to connect with either US's LHR or LGW services). DUB-MAN is even cheaper at $60.
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Old Jun 14, 12, 10:37 am   #9
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Originally Posted by EnhancedByCO View Post
Unfortunately, the problem here is that the DUB-PHL flight now runs six days a week, except Wednesday. So there is no way for him to travel from Dublin on the 19th of December (a Wednesday), as US has no service from DUB on that day (own metal or codeshare).

That being said, if your attendance at the wedding is literally dependent on a a two hour time difference (the additional driving time from TPA instead of RSW), I would strongly suggest that you either move mountains to depart on the 18th, or take the refund and book a different carrier on the 19th. Leaving on the 20th, there is a reasonable possibility of winter storms in Philly delaying your travels such that you would miss the wedding entirely (at least, coming from DUB, you don't have to deal with an uncertain wait at immigration thanks to the pre-clearance offered).

Alternatively, you can see if they are willing switch your flight to an alternative European gateway (for example, Manchester or London). While you would need to make and pay for your own arrangements to get there from DUB (and risk a misconnect), you would at least be able to depart on the 19th.
Thanks for the clarification, as well as a couple of good suggestions.

Mike
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Old Jun 14, 12, 11:27 am   #10
 
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Thumbs up

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions everybody.
The thing that bugs me most is that the flights to RSW are cheaper than to TPA or MCO on the 20th.
Anyway it looks like the only option is take the offer for the 18th and get a refund for my wife and book her out some other way on the 19th. Either way I'm the one going to be out of pocket..... not US.
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Old Jun 14, 12, 6:07 pm   #11
 
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I don't know the answer - but what's the group's experience with getting US to put you on a *A flight under this circumstance?

OP could easily go DUB-EWR-MCO on that date if US would play nice on it
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Old Jun 14, 12, 7:30 pm   #12
 
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Not sure how accommodating they would be with a different Transatlantic carrier, but one suggestion to run past them on the 19th is to reroute you DUB-FRA-CLT-MCO, with the first segment on LH. They may be willing to do that.
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Old Jun 14, 12, 8:56 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by LowlyDLsilver View Post
I don't know the answer - but what's the group's experience with getting US to put you on a *A flight under this circumstance?

OP could easily go DUB-EWR-MCO on that date if US would play nice on it
Since the cancellation is being done far in advance they wont reroute on other airlines. Its take what they offer or get a refund.
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Old Jun 16, 12, 7:04 am   #14
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Problem resolved.

Good news.
Due to the intervention of very kind members my problem has been resolved.
Thanks for all the advice.
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Old Jun 16, 12, 7:17 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Indabunka View Post
...my problem has been resolved.
Curious - did they let y'all fly into RSW as you preferred on the 20th?
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