Old Sep 7, 19, 2:54 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: London
Posts: 14,061
Forgot to add that it’s worth noting that any flights bought this year for travel next Spring (later March/April) are extremely likely to be changed when the airline eventually confirms their seasonal schedules.

In practice, this means that a 3 hour transit period can become a 1 and a bit hour transit, or an 8 hour stopover transforms into a 12 hour wait. You may also find yourself expected to be at the starting airport at a much earlier time (too early for economic transport). Booking directly with an airline or with a travel agent you can actually talk to is the best way to shield yourself from the worst of these potential (I’d say inevitable) changes. Once a schedule change appears you should be in a position to decide what you will reject or accept, often (as long as you are reasonable) you can change flights in your favour.

Air China is particularly prone to schedule changes, but then again they offer a much better smorgasbord of alternatives to mitigate them than most. You want a strategy? Make sure part of yours is not booking with an online travel agent (OTA) with customer services that cannot be reached by phone.
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