HP Misconnect to Intl flight. Am I entitled?

Old Jun 29, 05, 11:32 pm
  #1  
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HP Misconnect to Intl flight. Am I entitled?

I was going to Argentina, and the cheap flights were from LAX. I headed off from Phx to LAX on HP. I am pretty ardent in allowing time for the connections and stuff. I had a choice of 5 hours in LAX or 2. I chose the latter.

The plane coming into Phx was late, and one pilot was connecting from another flight as well. In the end I was late getting to LAX by 30-40 minutes.

Given the Intl check in time of 1 hour, I knew it was going to be tight. There were no inter terminal buses going in the 10 minutes I waited. I finally got one of the parking lot buses to take us.

In the end, I got to the correct terminal, but 57 minutes before flight time. I had interlined the luggage from Phoenix, so no worry there. The airline was at first going to let us on, but then said they had loaded the plane with more fuel and no go.

This airline, Copa (owned 49% by Continental), while emphathic, was pretty unhelpful in general.

All flights full going into the 4th of July weekend.

When I finally found a room (No distressed hotel rooms available, only $140 a night plus tax), I called up HP to see about returning home the next day (Well, it was 3am, so actually that day), the phone agent said they would try and find us a way there (to EZE) since they were late.

The airport desks opened at 4:45am, but I was in no shape to go down there. I end up going at 9am or so. Long lines, but the supervisor was helpful. They attempted to find us seats from anywhere in the US, but no luck so far.

I was given vouchers for the hotel for 1 night (I paid for 1st night), plus the normal meal vouchers.

I do not know what, if anything, HP is required or willing to do if they can't find us seats to our final destination. The flight was not horribly delayed, but 5 minutes would have made the difference, of course. I'm not sure if a "trip in vain" would apply to the HP portion, or how I should handle it.

Last edited by Jaimito Cartero; Jun 29, 05 at 11:34 pm
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Old Jun 30, 05, 5:28 am
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero
In the end, I got to the correct terminal, but 57 minutes before flight time. I had interlined the luggage from Phoenix, so no worry there. The airline was at first going to let us on, but then said they had loaded the plane with more fuel and no go.
Sorry about the problem you had. Unfortunately, when traveling Internationally, two hour check-in is required. I know, who actually checks in two hours for their flight? But, that is what they require. See here: http://www.copaair.com/html/user/def...px?PageId=21#5

When you had not checked in in the required time, those seats were released.

Regarding the hotel: If the PHX-LAX ticket was purchased on its own itinerary, HP's responsibility is to get you from PHX-LAX, that's all. If the HP flights and the Copa flights were purchased on the same itinerary, then HP would be responsible to get you to your final destination. It sounds like HP did all they could to assist you.
HP would not be required to provide you with a hotel voucher but it sounds like they stepped up and helped.
HP should have returned you to PHX as a futile trip but that would have used your entire PHX-LAX-PHX ticket.
Im the future, remember that LAX is tricky. Tough to get between terminals in any short amount of time. Especially when connecting to an International flight, double the required time to be safe.
On a side note, did you get the bags back from Copa?
Once again, sorry about your trouble!
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Old Jun 30, 05, 8:40 am
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I actually find LAX very easy to navigate. Unless you were disabled or elderly, I can't imagine sitting around waiting for a shuttle.
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Old Jun 30, 05, 8:48 am
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Is America West a member of IATA?
I thought that there was a stipulation in IATA that forced members to get you to your final destination; but perhaps the information I read was outdated.
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Old Jun 30, 05, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by JBLUA320
Is America West a member of IATA?
I thought that there was a stipulation in IATA that forced members to get you to your final destination; but perhaps the information I read was outdated.
Since the OP purchased just a PHX-LAX itinerary from HP, HP's responsibility is to get the OP to LAX. Unfortunately, this is the risk one runs when buying two separate, back-to-back tickets.
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Old Jun 30, 05, 9:25 am
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I've learned that same lesson the hard way. When doing that type of itinerary, I now fly to the first destination the day before so if there are large delays, bad weather, anything that may delay the first flight, I have a lot of time to recover. I always count on the airlines to screw up and am always pleasantly surprised when they don't...

Sometimes an extra one or two hundred to fly on one itinerary is actually worth the money.
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Old Jun 30, 05, 2:39 pm
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I would assume the right travel insurance policy could be a good safeguard as well. Of course, one would need to read all of the fine print...
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Old Jul 2, 05, 12:03 am
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I fly 150-200 thousand miles a year. The majority of it international. If it were $100 difference in fares, I would probably fly direct from Phoenix. However, it was not, it was $500 difference, which is why I flew there.

I regularly fly with arrival 2 hours before flight time, and have never had a problem. I alway through check luggage and such.

I'd say about 40% of my international flights are through LAX. Usually through NWA, which this one wasn't.

There was a big difference between the service of HP and CM in this circumstance. I will still see what I can do with the ticket. Although HP didn't find me anything, I at least felt they went the extra mile to attempt to do so. A big thumbs up for HP.

Originally Posted by SanDiegoMark
I've learned that same lesson the hard way. When doing that type of itinerary, I now fly to the first destination the day before so if there are large delays, bad weather, anything that may delay the first flight, I have a lot of time to recover. I always count on the airlines to screw up and am always pleasantly surprised when they don't...

Sometimes an extra one or two hundred to fly on one itinerary is actually worth the money.
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Old Jul 5, 05, 7:18 pm
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several years ago, i was in vegas with my boss and he needed to get back to lax to connect with a pr flight to mnl so we bought a full-fare flight on hp. not only was the hp flight 2 hours late, but the ta's refused to give him any outs (on wn or aa), presumably because his baggage was already in their system (and lax-bound cuz they couldn't or wouldn't interline). he ended up missing his connection and his meeting in mnl. the following week, i called hp and successfully got him a refund and a $300 voucher (i had to fax in copies of his pr ticket/receipt)
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Old Jul 7, 05, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero
I was going to Argentina, and the cheap flights were from LAX. I headed off from Phx to LAX on HP. I am pretty ardent in allowing time for the connections and stuff. I had a choice of 5 hours in LAX or 2. I chose the latter.

The plane coming into Phx was late, and one pilot was connecting from another flight as well. In the end I was late getting to LAX by 30-40 minutes.

Given the Intl check in time of 1 hour, I knew it was going to be tight. There were no inter terminal buses going in the 10 minutes I waited. I finally got one of the parking lot buses to take us.

In the end, I got to the correct terminal, but 57 minutes before flight time. I had interlined the luggage from Phoenix, so no worry there. The airline was at first going to let us on, but then said they had loaded the plane with more fuel and no go.

This airline, Copa (owned 49% by Continental), while emphathic, was pretty unhelpful in general.

All flights full going into the 4th of July weekend.

When I finally found a room (No distressed hotel rooms available, only $140 a night plus tax), I called up HP to see about returning home the next day (Well, it was 3am, so actually that day), the phone agent said they would try and find us a way there (to EZE) since they were late.

The airport desks opened at 4:45am, but I was in no shape to go down there. I end up going at 9am or so. Long lines, but the supervisor was helpful. They attempted to find us seats from anywhere in the US, but no luck so far.

I was given vouchers for the hotel for 1 night (I paid for 1st night), plus the normal meal vouchers.

I do not know what, if anything, HP is required or willing to do if they can't find us seats to our final destination. The flight was not horribly delayed, but 5 minutes would have made the difference, of course. I'm not sure if a "trip in vain" would apply to the HP portion, or how I should handle it.
Could you clarify whether this was a single ticket (connecting from HP to Copa) or two separate tickets (one HP, one Copa)? That makes a big difference in what the airlines' responsibility is.

That being said, I would never ever take a 2 hour connection in LAX (domestic to international), when connecting to a different airline. I allow a minimum of 4 hours -- even when connecting domestically. For example, I often fly to HNL on two different carriers (WN/HP to LAX and then AA/CO to HNL). I always allow overnight going to HNL and 4 hours coming back (redeye out of HNL/mid-morning flight back to PHX).
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Old Jul 28, 05, 12:24 am
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HP Results

Well I called HP 2 1/2 weeks ago, as the LAX supervisor told me to. They offered to refund the tickets, but nothing else. The supervisor had told me to expect more, paying for the one night of lodgings and to pay the rebooking fee for the missed flight.

They said they didn't have those details, and they would have the LAX supervisor call me. It never happened. I had a lot of stuff going on, so I called back a couple of days ago.

The day before I had called 10 minutes before the Customer office closed, but waited on hold for 30 minutes, and I just gave up.

I called the next day, and detailed the problems. I got a very nice CS rep, who was very helpful. I just explained what I had been told at LAX, and went from there.

Results: Hotel room paid for, rebooking fee ($100 per) paid for. Tickets refunded since they only have $350 RT fares for the rescheduled flights in January. They also offered a $150 per compensation. I am extremely happy with this. Although this took some followup, they really came through.

I did not ask for any other compensation, but was offered the $150 per person, which I happily took.

I didn't even think that HP would cover anything the night of the incident, since it was a 30 minute delay. It was their phone rep who told me to go to the airport and see what they could do, and their manager was quite helpful as well.

Even though HP is a LCC now, I am very impressed with their handling of this. I really find that you can judge a company by how they handle problems.
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Old Jul 28, 05, 7:30 am
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Jaimito -

I am glad things worked out for you in the end.

In the future, to get everything on one ticket, have you tried going to a site such as Travelocity and doing a multi-city booking?

Segment One: PHX-LAX 12/01/05
Segment Two: LAX-EZE 12/01/05
Segment Three: EZE-LAX 12/15/05
Segment Four: LAX-PHX 12/16/05 (assuming +1 arrival at LAX)

I have found when doing this, it will often price out the XX-LAX and the LAX-XXX segments seperately, as if you were buying two tickets, but put it on one ticket.

This isn't always the case, but the majority of the time I can get it to price correctly and do it on one ticket. It may cost an extra few dollars in booking fees, but it's better than two tix.

That said, I too sometimes travel using two seperate tix, usually when I can get a price break, but have MCO's or TCV's which need to be applied to each ticket and there is just no way to get it on the same ticket. In these cases, I allow plenty of time to connect. So far I haven't been burned, but I know it could happen.

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Old Jul 28, 05, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by SDF_Traveler
Jaimito -

I am glad things worked out for you in the end.

In the future, to get everything on one ticket, have you tried going to a site such as Travelocity and doing a multi-city booking?

Segment One: PHX-LAX 12/01/05
Segment Two: LAX-EZE 12/01/05
Segment Three: EZE-LAX 12/15/05
Segment Four: LAX-PHX 12/16/05 (assuming +1 arrival at LAX)

I have found when doing this, it will often price out the XX-LAX and the LAX-XXX segments seperately, as if you were buying two tickets, but put it on one ticket.

This isn't always the case, but the majority of the time I can get it to price correctly and do it on one ticket. It may cost an extra few dollars in booking fees, but it's better than two tix.

That said, I too sometimes travel using two seperate tix, usually when I can get a price break, but have MCO's or TCV's which need to be applied to each ticket and there is just no way to get it on the same ticket. In these cases, I allow plenty of time to connect. So far I haven't been burned, but I know it could happen.

SDF_Traveler
Excellent idea!

Also, the very small booking fee on Travelocity or Expedia would be well worth it in these cases. If the airlines start giving you the run around, you simply call the 800 number immediately for Travelocity or Expedia and tell them what's happening. One of my previous employers used Travelocity, which always fixed any travel problems or issues.
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Old Jul 28, 05, 1:45 pm
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This is a good idea, but often isn't workable given the problems with Travelocity. They don't show HP flights, and I often have discount certs on NW that I don't think you can use through them.

I wish Travelocity would just let you book all the common carriers. It often seems that NW doesn't even show up.
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