Huge Schedule Change- Advice

Old Nov 7, 16, 10:23 am
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Huge Schedule Change- Advice

In August, I purchased AA tickets for my sister who doesn't travel much and paid $560 for the perfect non stop route LAX- IND over Christmas- (Dec 20th-28th).

She received an email stating that her AA schedule had been changed. Now she has to leave a day earlier(~ 11 hours earlier- take a red eye and arrive around 5:00 am. Her return flight now leaves almost 11 hours earlier at 6:55am. Horrible for her and horrible for us picking up and dropping off.

I called and was informed that my only options are a refund or a reschedule. AA has no other non stop flights. My sister will only fly non stop. I would have gotten much cheaper, but not as good of flights on South West at the time. The flight on AA is now cheaper than I paid.

I travel a lot and I understand flights being delayed and schedules changes, but this seems unreasonable given that this was all done without any reason.
I have talked to AA and emailed customer service. I just received another call from them which they stated the same thing. The only offer is a $100 voucher towards a future trip.

I am trying not to be unreasonable. I asked what they were doing for others and they said refund or reschedule. I said nothing different. She said due to privacy she couldn't tell me all that was being done.
Any advice is appreciated. Now Southwest is $722.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by scatlin View Post
In August, I purchased AA tickets for my sister who doesn't travel much and paid $560 for the perfect non stop route LAX- IND over Christmas- (Dec 20th-28th).

She received an email stating that her AA schedule had been changed. Now she has to leave a day earlier(~ 11 hours earlier- take a red eye and arrive around 5:00 am. Her return flight now leaves almost 11 hours earlier at 6:55am. Horrible for her and horrible for us picking up and dropping off.

I called and was informed that my only options are a refund or a reschedule. AA has no other non stop flights. My sister will only fly non stop. I would have gotten much cheaper, but not as good of flights on South West at the time. The flight on AA is now cheaper than I paid.

I travel a lot and I understand flights being delayed and schedules changes, but this seems unreasonable given that this was all done without any reason.
I have talked to AA and emailed customer service. I just received another call from them which they stated the same thing. The only offer is a $100 voucher towards a future trip.

I am trying not to be unreasonable. I asked what they were doing for others and they said refund or reschedule. I said nothing different. She said due to privacy she couldn't tell me all that was being done.
Any advice is appreciated. Now Southwest is $722.
Sadly you have received the answer and a very generous offer of an extra $100 if you keep the new schedule. Alternatively, you can cancel the current ticket, take the full refund, and book the same flights for cheaper. Or you can choose all different flights with connections with no additional fare due.

Either way, AA won't pay for you to fly on Southwest.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by scatlin View Post
I called and was informed that my only options are a refund or a reschedule. AA has no other non stop flights. My sister will only fly non stop.
This situation is regrettable, though I think you have your answer. I would look afresh at the non-stop options, and just pick the one that works best based on the current schedule. But there may be some upside here as...

The flight on AA is now cheaper than I paid.
So you'd be well within rights to cancel with a full refund, then just book the flight again. That saves you money that can be used on something else fun. The only reason I might not go this route is if the difference in fare is less than $100, since...

The only offer is a $100 voucher towards a future trip.
In my experience, I find it highly unlikely that you'd do better than this. AA will certainly not put you on another airline for a schedule change this far out.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 10:32 am
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What else do you want them to do? Not wanting to take reschedule to a connecting flights limits the options to taking the refund, doesn't it? They won't rebook you onto a different airline.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 11:25 am
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Thanks I appreciate the input. I have just never experience such a huge schedule change and wanted to know also if it is normal.

I know that when a change happens on route the airline does everything to reschedule the trip with the least inconvenience- using other airlines. Since this is happening before the trip, I wondered if they had that kind of option.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by scatlin View Post
Thanks I appreciate the input. I have just never experience such a huge schedule change and wanted to know also if it is normal.

I know that when a change happens on route the airline does everything to reschedule the trip with the least inconvenience- using other airlines. Since this is happening before the trip, I wondered if they had that kind of option.
Yes, schedule changes are entirely normal. In fact, the contract you agreed to when purchasing your tickets specifically says they will NOT guarantee particular times for flight departures and DO reserve the right to change schedules. That an airline has guaranteed your departure time and flight times is something infrequent flyers might assume ("But I bought a ticket for 7 am...") but it is not the case.

No, they aren't going to book your sister on another airline flying LAX-IND nonstop at a better time. Your options are really refund or accept changes, finding other times that work for you. Your sister's reluctance to change to a one-stop routing that is perhaps more conveniently timed is also not AA's problem, with all due respect.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 12:43 pm
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I would take the refund, book LAX-IND on Southwest for $227, and book return on Delta for $358. Booking far in advance has its disadvantages.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 1:07 pm
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Thanks I didn't realize that schedule changes like I mentioned were common or that you don't actually get the time you request is in the fine print.
Seems strange given the variety of ticket prices. I know it is a bad business practice to change a ticket and offer a less than desirable ticket at the same price. I now have to pay $722 for a ticket, I could have gotten for $300 when I bought my ticket, but I paid $560 due to the optimal time.

I picked the flight and paid extra because I knew my sister hates to fly- I talked her into visiting me after our mother died last year. She is from California and terrified of being stranded due to a snow storm.

I could have paid almost 400 cheaper to have a flight similar to the one that was rescheduled. I guess that's my point. I just don't see American giving very good customer service. They made a schedule change that was in their control.

You make a good point. Usually I don't care that much about schedule because I am familiar with flight delays- mechanical and weather related.

But when arranging for someone else- it's different. I am also not happy about waking at 4:00 am to drive to the airport right before the holidays. And again at 4:00 am to drive her to the airport. Yes there are other options, but she is my sister.

I could have paid less and had a nonstop and not have wake up at 4:00 in the morning. I can't be the only one that is frustrated.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 1:09 pm
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Smile Thanks

Originally Posted by legalalien View Post
I would take the refund, book LAX-IND on Southwest for $227, and book return on Delta for $358. Booking far in advance has its disadvantages.
I really appreciate the advice!
I will get right on it. I knew someone would be able to help. I haven't tried delta or thought of using two one ways.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by scatlin View Post
I could have paid almost 400 cheaper to have a flight similar to the one that was rescheduled. I guess that's my point. I just don't see American giving very good customer service. They made a schedule change that was in their control.
There are any number of reasons why airlines change schedules. If they asked every customer "hey, is it OK if we make this schedule change?" and gave every customer vetoes over schedule changes they realistically could not operate an airline. It really isn't all about your one ticket.

I think refunding and using Southwest + Delta is a perfectly fine option. Good luck.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
There are any number of reasons why airlines change schedules. If they asked every customer "hey, is it OK if we make this schedule change?" and gave every customer vetoes over schedule changes they realistically could not operate an airline. It really isn't all about your one ticket.
I don't think they should ask every customer- often I have a schedule changes, but a 10 to 11 hour schedule change to of only non stop flights LAX-IND and IND-LAX is a huge inconvenience- especially at the holidays- Bad customer support. And if they make such changes they should be more accomodating.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 2:46 pm
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Thanks for the solution

Originally Posted by legalalien View Post
I would take the refund, book LAX-IND on Southwest for $227, and book return on Delta for $358. Booking far in advance has its disadvantages.
Thanks I have now 2 one way tickets and I only had to pay an extra $23.00.

So far Southwest in winning in terms of customer satisfaction.

Delta was good until the promised free miles with card didn't work. I was approved, but the numbers didn't work. They told me to wait two hours and call back, but I realized it's probably because I am an AE with American.

It's amazing how much time I wasted on this.

I do really appreciate the help.

I still wonder what everyone else on my sisters flights are doing- maybe they called soon and are all in first class.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by scatlin View Post
I don't think they should ask every customer- often I have a schedule changes, but a 10 to 11 hour schedule change to of only non stop flights LAX-IND and IND-LAX is a huge inconvenience- especially at the holidays- Bad customer support. And if they make such changes they should be more accomodating.
"Buy me a nonstop ticket on another airline if you change schedules, because my sister can't fly on connecting flights and we don't like your new nonstop schedule" is never going to happen. It doesn't happen with American, Delta, Southwest or anyone. Your expectations don't meet up with reality and the contract of carriage.

Usually AA is fine when I work with schedule changes, but I'm not afraid of changing my routings as need be (and I grant that an inexperienced traveler has different comfort levels, but in the end, connecting flights aren't THAT scary).

Originally Posted by scatlin View Post
Delta was good until the promised free miles with card didn't work. I was approved, but the numbers didn't work. They told me to wait two hours and call back, but I realized it's probably because I am an AE with American.
You're trying to use miles to fly around Christmas? Typically this costs many, many miles because what is termed "saver" (12,500 one way/25,000 nonstop we all get pitched on credit cards) isn't offered. Everyone wants to fly home and airlines charge extra miles (and Delta is notorious for not having a fixed award chart in the first place).

Originally Posted by scatlin View Post
I still wonder what everyone else on my sisters flights are doing- maybe they called soon and are all in first class.
Getting refunds, changing to one-stop flights, or sucking up and dealing with the schedule change, probably.

Glad that you did get it eventually worked out.

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Nov 7, 16 at 6:17 pm
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Old Nov 7, 16, 10:35 pm
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Originally Posted by scatlin View Post
Thanks I have now 2 one way tickets and I only had to pay an extra $23.00.
Glad it has worked out (for now?). Happy travels!
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Old Nov 7, 16, 11:09 pm
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@legalalien

legalalien,
Thank you so much for your help. Your solution worked perfectly. I think I was too emotionally connected to my original flight plan for my sister to think straight.

The idea that I spent so much time and thought planning the right flight, and to have it changed so far in advance really bothered me. It would have been better if American had been more helpful, but you came to their rescue.

I am so glad to have found this forum.

Thanks again for everyone's help.
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