Disappointing itinerary change

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Old Jan 13, 18, 11:05 am
  #1
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Disappointing itinerary change

Hi everyone,

Long time FT reader, first time poster. I have an upcoming trip from MSP-OGG. Several months back I booked MSP-HNL, connecting to OGG via a Hawaiian Airlines interisland flight. I recently received a notice of an itinerary change. Delta padded the arrival time by 40 minutes (same departure time) meaning my connection in HNL was under an hour. Rather than move me to a later HA flight they switched me to MSP-LAX, connecting LAX-OGG. Instead of the D1 cabin on the A330 I am domestic F on 75Y MSP-LAX and 75H LAX-OGG. When booking several months back this itinerary was available for significantly less, but since I only do this trip once per year I feel that having the D1 hard product on a 9 hour flight is worth the extra cost. By the time I was able to discuss this with a representative there was no inventory left on the MSP-HNL flight. The representative stated that because this is an "equivalent" change (1 stop, F ticket for F ticket) nothing can be done.

I get that there are much bigger problems in the world than mine. I'm sure it will still be an enjoyable trip. Personally I'd rather have my old itinerary back, but if I am forced to be bumped to a flight I could have had for $1100 less, this doesn't sit quite right with me. Is it worth pursuing this with a supervisor? You all fly way more than I do these days so I'm curious to hear your thoughts. And if I should just suck it up and deal with it, feel free to tell me that too. Thanks all!
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Old Jan 13, 18, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by mspdoc View Post
By the time I was able to discuss this with a representative there was no inventory left on the MSP-HNL flight. The representative stated that because this is an "equivalent" change (1 stop, F ticket for F ticket) nothing can be done.
If you mean no award inventory, that's a problem Delta can fix. If you mean no inventory for sale, that is a problem. Can you fly another day to preserve a MSP-HNL-OGG routing? Ask DL for that.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 11:39 am
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It's not an award ticket so I presume the cabin is now sold out for my day of travel. The trip is for a conference so the dates are set. Theoretically I could leave a day or 2 early but blocking more time away from work without much notice isn't ideal. I'll look into it though.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 11:57 am
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When are you flying? When did you notice the itinerary change?

It seems like DL changed MSP-HNL to a 767 instead of an A330 (at least on some days), which would explain the increase in flight time. Also, schedule changes sometimes trigger weird inventory changes, so if this was a recent change (ie, today), you may want to wait and then call back.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by mspdoc View Post
Hi everyone,

Long time FT reader, first time poster. I have an upcoming trip from MSP-OGG. Several months back I booked MSP-HNL, connecting to OGG via a Hawaiian Airlines interisland flight. I recently received a notice of an itinerary change. Delta padded the arrival time by 40 minutes (same departure time) meaning my connection in HNL was under an hour. Rather than move me to a later HA flight they switched me to MSP-LAX, connecting LAX-OGG. Instead of the D1 cabin on the A330 I am domestic F on 75Y MSP-LAX and 75H LAX-OGG. When booking several months back this itinerary was available for significantly less, but since I only do this trip once per year I feel that having the D1 hard product on a 9 hour flight is worth the extra cost. By the time I was able to discuss this with a representative there was no inventory left on the MSP-HNL flight. The representative stated that because this is an "equivalent" change (1 stop, F ticket for F ticket) nothing can be done.

I get that there are much bigger problems in the world than mine. I'm sure it will still be an enjoyable trip. Personally I'd rather have my old itinerary back, but if I am forced to be bumped to a flight I could have had for $1100 less, this doesn't sit quite right with me. Is it worth pursuing this with a supervisor? You all fly way more than I do these days so I'm curious to hear your thoughts. And if I should just suck it up and deal with it, feel free to tell me that too. Thanks all!
Yes, it’s definitely worth pursuing because of the premium you paid for the A330 over the options via LAX. You might have a leg to stand on based on the fact that part of your itinerary involves a change of operating carrier. You may also find this is a “HUCA” situation. What dates are you traveling and what time does MSP-HNL arrive?

Options that may work, pending the agent and your own preferences and flexibility:
- MSP-SLC-OGG, if SLC-OGG is still operating at the time of year you’re going
** I believe SLC-OGG is operated with a 767 with lie-flats. While not quite as good as the A330 you’d get on MSP-HNL DL should be able to make this change easily as long as there are any seats available
- If ATL-HNL or SLC-HNL arrive early enough, you could look at being routed MSP-ATL-HNL-OGG (though this would likely requir an early wake up call that morning) or MSP-SLC-HNL-OGG if either of those arrive in time to make the original HA Island hopper flight you had
- Island hopper flights are usually cheap enough. Ask DL to just rebook you as MSP-HNL and get an Island hopper flight a few hours later on HA on your own dime. While DL says no change to origin or destination are permitted when getting a new itinerary in a schedule change, I have had luck in getting around this with agents that have been flexible enough.
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Last edited by ATOBTTR; Jan 13, 18 at 12:05 pm
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Old Jan 13, 18, 12:13 pm
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Travel date is 2/9. I received the notice early last week. I still have the original email from booking where departure time was 11:20, arrival time 3:52. Now it shows up as 11:20 departure, 4:30 arrival. I too have noticed the occasional 763 or 764 equipment substitution but this particular date is still listed as an A330.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 12:24 pm
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1. I would call DL back and keep pushing for your originally-booked flight with a new connection on HA. Even if the D1 cabin was full yesterday, does not mean that it is full today.

2. You are absolutely entitled to a full refund of your ticket and thus if you do choose to accept the LAX connection, you could purchase that as a new ticket.

3. Work on other itineraries and have them in hand. It is relatively easy for an agent to plug in a routing and see if there is availability. What is harder, is asking for creativity. If something is available but there is some issue about fare rules or fare bucket, DL should not enforce those because this is involuntary. Just politely ask for a supervisor.

As an aside but to help your cause, do not use terms such as "padding" as to the schedule change. That may be due to a change in aircraft, a change in prevailing winds or tracks across the Pacific. Padding implies something nefarious and you have no way of knowing this.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 12:28 pm
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Something may be going on with the Saturday schedule changes, as all single-connection options to get to OGG on 2/9 are zeroed out in first. Some of the flights show unassigned seats in the seat map, so it's possible a little inventory will return after the schedule change situation clears. Check again later tonight or tomorrow and hope something becomes available.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 12:29 pm
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Thanks ATOBTTR for the suggestions. I am flying home on the 767 from OGG-SLC so I know it's at least operating some of those days. I do prefer the A330 but this would definitely be preferable to any of the options through LAX. ATL is an intriguing option I hadn't thought about. I will definitely pursue it further.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by mspdoc View Post
Travel date is 2/9. I received the notice early last week. I still have the original email from booking where departure time was 11:20, arrival time 3:52. Now it shows up as 11:20 departure, 4:30 arrival. I too have noticed the occasional 763 or 764 equipment substitution but this particular date is still listed as an A330.
So looking at MSP-HNL and MSP-OGG on 2/9, it looks like a lot of options are sold out in F, including MSP-HNL and SLC-OGG. However, ATL-HNL is available and has an option that connects to an HA flight to OGG, though it requires a very early wake up call with a 5:25 AM flight to ATL.




Part of this could be due to Saturday schedule changes which always seem to throw DL.com into a weird state and seems to mess with so much, so if you think you can wait a day or two, I would recommend waiting until tomorrow or Monday and looking again to see if that is what is impacting the flight availability to OGG and is why so many options currently show “sold out”.



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Old Jan 13, 18, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
As an aside but to help your cause, do not use terms such as "padding" as to the schedule change. That may be due to a change in aircraft, a change in prevailing winds or tracks across the Pacific. Padding implies something nefarious and you have no way of knowing this.
You are absolutely correct, thank you for that. It was not an equipment change but an update in prevailing wind forecast could well have factored into the time change. Calling it padding wasn't fair.

Thanks to all others for your suggestions too!
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Old Jan 13, 18, 1:03 pm
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It's schedule change Saturday where it is common to zero out inventory on certain flights. Just wait until tomorrow when the dust settles, and I bet it will open back up.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by mspdoc View Post
Hi everyone,

Long time FT reader, first time poster. I have an upcoming trip from MSP-OGG. Several months back I booked MSP-HNL, connecting to OGG via a Hawaiian Airlines interisland flight. I recently received a notice of an itinerary change. Delta padded the arrival time by 40 minutes (same departure time) meaning my connection in HNL was under an hour. Rather than move me to a later HA flight they switched me to MSP-LAX, connecting LAX-OGG. Instead of the D1 cabin on the A330 I am domestic F on 75Y MSP-LAX and 75H LAX-OGG. When booking several months back this itinerary was available for significantly less, but since I only do this trip once per year I feel that having the D1 hard product on a 9 hour flight is worth the extra cost. By the time I was able to discuss this with a representative there was no inventory left on the MSP-HNL flight. The representative stated that because this is an "equivalent" change (1 stop, F ticket for F ticket) nothing can be done.

I get that there are much bigger problems in the world than mine. I'm sure it will still be an enjoyable trip. Personally I'd rather have my old itinerary back, but if I am forced to be bumped to a flight I could have had for $1100 less, this doesn't sit quite right with me. Is it worth pursuing this with a supervisor? You all fly way more than I do these days so I'm curious to hear your thoughts. And if I should just suck it up and deal with it, feel free to tell me that too. Thanks all!
Did you get a resolution to this? The MSP-HNL flight you were booked for was indeed sold out. I wouldn't stop with this until you get an appropriate resolution.

I chuckle at them saying it's an "equivalent" change. Haha, not a chance. Disappointing that they didn't do more to help you. Very poor service, and it's a clearly the equivalent of a bait-and-switch situation.

Originally Posted by mspdoc View Post
You are absolutely correct, thank you for that. It was not an equipment change but an update in prevailing wind forecast could well have factored into the time change. Calling it padding wasn't fair.
Padding may not be the most accurate term, but the schedule change is their fault regardless. Since there wasn't an equipment change, the original schedule was erroneous. It's either their honest mistake or simple incompetence from the planning department. DL has flown MSP-HNL with the A330 for years in all conditions. They know how long it takes in the winter, summer, you name it. There's no excuse for such a significant schedule flight length change.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by minnyfly View Post
The change is their fault regardless. Since there wasn't an equipment change, the original schedule was erroneous. It's either their honest mistake or simple incompetence from the planning department. DL has flown MSP-HNL with the A330 for years in all conditions. They know how long it takes in the winter, summer, you name it. There's no excuse for such a significant schedule flight length change.
DL always schedules some ~30 min greater flying time for 767s vs A330s, while 747s are the fastest. Back when DL had 4-5 daily HNL-NRT flights (before the massive downscaling that DL has been undergoing the last few years as it yields more and more business to others, as the inferior service levels on DL just can't compete with most other carriers) you could see it easily. 747 ones were fastest. A330 flight (same day same route) had +10 min, while 767 had +40 min (vs 747, +30 min vs A330). Probably based on the aircraft actual flying speed.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
DL always schedules some ~30 min greater flying time for 767s vs A330s, while 747s are the fastest. Back when DL had 4-5 daily HNL-NRT flights (before the massive downscaling that DL has been undergoing the last few years as it yields more and more business to others, as the inferior service levels on DL just can't compete with most other carriers) you could see it easily. 747 ones were fastest. A330 flight (same day same route) had +10 min, while 767 had +40 min (vs 747, +30 min vs A330). Probably based on the aircraft actual flying speed.
Absolutely, but since there was no equipment change, no significant change should happen with the flight time.

Interestingly when ATL/MSP-HNL switch to 767s later this spring, DL has not changed the flight time to compensate for the slightly slower 767.
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