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What Happens When an Airline Makes a MAJOR Change to Your Return City?

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An American Airlines flyer says it is “mildly infuriating” to find out that his international trip was altered in a major way when his return flight won’t bring him home, but to an airport over 100 miles away.
What happens when an airline schedule shift forces you to reconsider your return flight? In the case of one American Airlines flyer, you end up rescheduled for an airport nowhere near home.


The flyer posted his situation on Reddit, looking for advice on how to handle his unique situation.


Departing from San Diego, but Returning to Los Angeles?

The situation was first posted to the subreddit r/mildlyinfuriating with little context but a changed return flight. The screenshot showed that his flight was supposed to travel from Philadelphia to San Diego, but instead had been changed to go to Los Angeles instead. The distance between the two airports is over 100 miles.


Speaking to Newsweek, flyer Corey Chapman said he is scheduled for travel to Europe in December, with a return in January 2024. His trip was originally scheduled to start and end in San Diego, but a second check of his itinerary months ahead reflected the change both flights and destination airports. To add insult to injury, the flight was booked on miles.


“Having grown up on the East Coast and in Europe, I love trains!,” Chapman told another user on Reddit, when asked about taking a train between the two cities. “I just would never let an airline just change a flight I paid for (well, with miles) to a different destination.”


So what happened to cause the change to a completely different metro? A spokesperson for American Airlines told FlyerTalk it is due to an unfortunate chain of events.


According to the airline, Chapman was scheduled arrive from Europe to Philadelphia with around three hours to catch a continuing direct flight to San Diego. Since booking, a schedule change has made the flight unavailable, forcing the rerouting.


“We apologize for the schedule change that impacted Mr. Chapman’s upcoming travel plans,” the airline said in a statement to FlyerTalk. “A member of our team has reached out to address his concerns and provide the best available travel options to San Diego.”


American says they are waiting to hear from the flyer to either find an alternate routing or request a refund. It is unclear which direction Chapman will go. In one of his posts, he said he intended to ultimately get a return flight to San Diego.


“I’m gonna(sic) make them change it back to San Diego,” Chapman wrote on Reddit. “No way in hell I’m gonna(sic) let them force me to pay extra money and time because they changed me.”


How would you handle this situation? Get the best tips for working with American on the FlyerTalk Forums!

dddc October 1, 2023

I had this happen to me 30 years ago when I bought a Round the World Tickect with KLM and the now absorbed NorthWest. NW had just advertised that they were going to fly from Hawai to Brisbane, in addition to the Sydney, so they ticketed me BNE-SYD-  Old Osaka airport and onto Europe. From there the ticket was open dated with a return LHR-AMS-JFK-SFO-HNL-BNE.Unbeknown to me, the US and Australia where having a bit of tiff over the US-Australia routes with NW as the traffic it was carrying wasn't what it expected, so NW dropped the route. This came as a bit of shock to me when 7 months into the trip I start planning the return from LHR only to discover there is no direct connection from Hawai to Australia. I ended up being routed from Hawai to Osaka again and then down to Sydney and they booked me a domestic leg from Sydney to Brisbane. I had to transit at a very basic gate at the old Osaka airport for 8 hours between connecting flights. Couldn't leave the terminal as I'd need a visa. Then I get to Syd to find out I had to pay for the domestic flight. I complained to NW when I got back and they said tuff as the flight to BNE was never confirmed. They shouldn't have booked it in that case! I was too green about complaining back more, something I'd do today.  

gabbai September 24, 2023

European Union legislation gives flyers all sorts of benefits including cash compensation when changes are made less than 14 days before a flight. Whilst not relevant in this case because the trip is still a long way off, it is worth bearing in mind EU261 and checking it out if changes are made, flights suffer delays of over 3 hours or you are downgraded. All flights from EU countries are subject to the legislation, non-EU airline companies included.

Jcmontecarlo September 22, 2023

People have too much time and no brains .... just call AA, fgs

RRROOO September 22, 2023

How about picking up the phone and calling AA to change it , rather that post a rant on social media?