Can't believe this worked...

 
Old Feb 25, 06, 9:16 pm
  #1  
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Can't believe this worked...

This was a few months ago, but I had to share...

I was flying home (AA) DEN-ORD-DCA. DEN flight was about 10am, getting me home early evening. However, there was a DEN-DFW at 6am, which let me catch a DFW-DCA and be home by lunchtime. I tried the Platinum desk, but they wanted a change fee (basically a rebooking) and advised I try standby the next morning.

So at 5am I was on standby for the DEN-DFW flight, and got a seat.

This put me in DFW with a ticket from ORD-DCA. The gate attendant seemed completely baffled as to why I was standing in front of her. Luckily a more seasoned agent was standing next to her and got me on the flight. Mission accomplished, I got home six hours earlier.

How often does the inflight rerouting work? Did I get lucky, or is it par for the course?

Philo
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Old Feb 25, 06, 9:33 pm
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I spoke to a EXP agent about the same thing recently for an upcoming flight. I've got a cheap ticket FLL-ORD-PHL, my daughter on an award ticket FLL-DFW-PHL. I asked if I could standby for the earlier DFW flight. She told me yes, that it was the origination-destination that was the important part, not the routing. I'll let you know if it works for me. Glad to hear it worked for you.
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Old Feb 25, 06, 9:39 pm
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I suppose the only risk there is that you've given up a guaranteed seat to the destination. What if, for whatever reason, those DFW flights were all of a sudden oversold? Seems potentially risky... Has anyone ever had this situation go bad? Believe me, I've thought of it before when I've had something like MCI-ORD-Florida or MCI-DFW-Northeast...never tried it though.
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Old Feb 25, 06, 9:51 pm
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I, too, find this a bit risky with the seemingly endless number of packed planes I've been experiencing during mid-week travel, lately. A couple of days ago, I travelled OMA-ORD-LAX and but saw a OMA-DFW-LAX that would've put me home a few hours earlier but I chickened out as each leg on my outbound flight earlier in the week was completely full. Maybe one day, I'll just roll the dice and see what happens.
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Old Feb 25, 06, 9:57 pm
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I've done it 5 or 6 times in the summer when the thunderstorms get bad (at either hub). It's worked wonderfully - but I do like to gamble!
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Old Feb 25, 06, 10:09 pm
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I've done this too, but only when they assure me that there will be TONS of room on the 2nd plane.
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Old Feb 25, 06, 10:22 pm
  #7  
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Yeah, the gate agent at DEN told me that DEN-DFW was the squeaker, that DFW-DCA was half empty. I also knew that since it was an early morning flight I shouldn't catch too much in the way of missed connection leftovers. (and that worst case I did have a number of chances on DFW-DCA the rest of the day)

But good to know it's generally the same old space risk, and not that routing might bite me. Thx!
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Old Feb 25, 06, 11:35 pm
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Just to clarify:

If I am going standy on an earlier flight on the same day, there is flexibility on the routing as long as the start and end is the same?

For example:

LAS-DFW-SAT booked. I can now go LAS-ORD-SAT, right?
ORD-SAT booked. I can go ORD-DFW-SAT?

In the last example it would clearly not be about getting home sooner, but adding a segment.

Intuitively, that makes sense, but then again we all know that intuition and airline policies are archenemies...
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Old Feb 26, 06, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by Deltahater
Just to clarify:

If I am going standy on an earlier flight on the same day, there is flexibility on the routing as long as the start and end is the same?

For example:

LAS-DFW-SAT booked. I can now go LAS-ORD-SAT, right?
ORD-SAT booked. I can go ORD-DFW-SAT?

In the last example it would clearly not be about getting home sooner, but adding a segment.

Intuitively, that makes sense, but then again we all know that intuition and airline policies are archenemies...
It depends on the fare. Airlines have an incredible number of different fares. Some fares are valid only for the non-stop, or only for connections in DFW, etc. You'll have to look at the detailed fare rules to see which routings are valid for your particular fare. As a general rule: there is no general rule.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 1:03 am
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Originally Posted by SquareDanceGuy
It depends on the fare. Airlines have an incredible number of different fares. Some fares are valid only for the non-stop, or only for connections in DFW, etc. You'll have to look at the detailed fare rules to see which routings are valid for your particular fare. As a general rule: there is no general rule.
This is very true.

I've been shooed away from connecting through DFW vs. ORD before.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 2:04 am
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Originally Posted by Deltahater
Just to clarify:

If I am going standy on an earlier flight on the same day, there is flexibility on the routing as long as the start and end is the same?

For example:

LAS-DFW-SAT booked. I can now go LAS-ORD-SAT, right?
ORD-SAT booked. I can go ORD-DFW-SAT?

In the last example it would clearly not be about getting home sooner, but adding a segment.

Intuitively, that makes sense, but then again we all know that intuition and airline policies are archenemies...
The answer here is actually quite clear, but finding it out, in my experience, requires that you bump up against the rule (as I did). You can do what you did as long as you have the same fare code for both legs of your connection. If you have different fare codes for each leg (i.e. it's ticketed as two back-to-back one-way tickets), no amount of pleading, logic, EXP desk calls, anything will get you on the alternative flights. In my case I was looking to stand by on a mostly empty non-stop, vs. 2 packed connecting flights, and they absolutely refused to let me on the non-stop. I tried the EXP desk, Admirals Club, gate, asked nicely in all cases, and had absolutely no luck.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 4:16 am
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Originally Posted by MikeBOS
The answer here is actually quite clear, but finding it out, in my experience, requires that you bump up against the rule (as I did). You can do what you did as long as you have the same fare code for both legs of your connection. If you have different fare codes for each leg (i.e. it's ticketed as two back-to-back one-way tickets), no amount of pleading, logic, EXP desk calls, anything will get you on the alternative flights. In my case I was looking to stand by on a mostly empty non-stop, vs. 2 packed connecting flights, and they absolutely refused to let me on the non-stop. I tried the EXP desk, Admirals Club, gate, asked nicely in all cases, and had absolutely no luck.
I totally agree. In my experience, the fare code is the key. But it's frustrating that the rules (or enforcement) are not consitently enforced.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 11:35 am
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I have had no problem switching connecting cities before. Say you are supposed to go STL-DFW-TYS and you want to to go STL-ORD-TYS the only issue is that once you get to ORD you are goin standby. Better make sure the flights are open if you want to switch.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 1:58 pm
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I tend to fly SB a lot. The two issues I've encountered are:

1) A few cases where as someone above mentioned the is restricted to flying through a certain city. I've most often encountered this with fares originally routed thru STL (only a few times as most fares are not restricted in this way) which are sometimes slightly cheaper. In these cases you will be unlikely to get it changed thru the EXP desk because they read the fare rules. About 50% of the time the counter agent also reads the fare rules, so this is a little better option. If you really need to do this your best option is at the gate because they are usually so busy they just push it through. I try to make sure my fare isn't restricted by connection when I book so i don't have to worry.

2) It seems to be problematic asking for reroutes that increase the number of segments. They need to generate an extra coupon when this happens and this seems to be difficult to do. I don't really know if they are generally not supposed to do this or if it is just so difficult that they do everything possible to dissuade you. So again, I just avoid this situation. Asking for a reroute that includes a lesser number of segments does not seem to be problematic from my experience, although as most people trying to get miles, I don't make it a practice of doing this !
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Old Feb 26, 06, 7:53 pm
  #15  
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Thumbs up Excellent! YMMV on other OW carriers, 'though.

Glad to hear your good news. This would almost NEVER happen, for example, at BA--probably even if your later flight were triple overbooked and the earlier flight had a few available seats left...there's a big difference in attitude and perhaps in yield managment (as well as Elite Flyer appreciation) attitudes and techniques. In all fairness, I'm not sure just how flexible any of the non-US OW partners are, and after all, this is a domestic itinerary. That having been said, AA still seems to go out of its way to may its Elite Flyers happy.
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