Cancelled and stranded.

Old May 13, 20, 1:40 pm
  #1  
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Cancelled and stranded.

My daughter flew from Orlando to Williston, ND last month and her return flight was supposed to be tomorrow. Yesterday they canceled the Williston to Minneapolis part and rebooked it for the day later. Just that part which meant it was the day after her second part of the journey. She couldn't get through on line or the phone so she went to the airport. No one there. So she called them again. Literally on hold for 10 hours and then she was cut off!!! This morning, the day before her scheduled flight home, she received an email canceling the whole flight and told her they were giving her an ecredit to be used within two years. She is back at the airport and this time someone is trying to help her but they are on hold as well. No surprise. I guess my question is are they obligated to get her back home? She is an adult not a minor.
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Old May 13, 20, 2:01 pm
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There is currently one flight a day from XWA-MSP. It departs at 3:10pm and arrives in MSP at 4:48pm.
For whatever reason the flight is cancelled in advance for Thursday. It did operate today (Wednesday).

The challenge is there is currently only one flight a day on MSP-MCO and it departs MSP at 9:40am.
There is no ability to fly XWA-MSP-MCO on Delta without an overnight stay in Minneapolis.
This is a problem others are experience with such a limited, bare bones schedule and only one flight per day from many of these really small outstations.

Plausable Options that I see:
1) Drive to Minot, where Delta has a 6:28am departure to MSP that could connect on to the MSP-MCO flight
2) The only other flight out of Willston is a United flight at 9:18 am to DEN that appears to have a valid onward connection on DEN-MCO
3) Take the Delta flight XWA-MSP overnight in MSP then fly to MCO the next morning
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Old May 13, 20, 2:03 pm
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Not meaning to be flip, but I would recommend either a rental car or checking out the Amtrak Empire Builder (trains 7 and 27) which runs through both Minneapolis and Williston ND. The train is running tonight, leaving MSP at 10:20 pm and arriving in Willston at 11:07 am. the next morning.

I happened to see this train running westbound in the vicinity of Cut Bank, Montana last week (I drove US 2 from Spokane to Fort Belknap Agency, MT; the train tracks it uses are generally right next to US 2). It conveys a sleeper car as well as a coach car.
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Old May 13, 20, 2:07 pm
  #4  
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OP's daughter is in Williston

the eastbound Empire Builder (trains 8/28) leaves WSN at 659pm and gets to MSP tomorrow morning at 743am ... she should have a reasonable chance of making the 0940 DL departure
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Old May 13, 20, 2:08 pm
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The XWA-MSP schedule was reduced to one flight daily from two for the month of May back on April 12th -- https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1444505
The current 1 daily flight has not been cancelled so it sounds like daughter/OP did not get schedule change info and were assuming original flights were still operating (MSP-MCO flights were also reduced from 4x daily to 1x daily)?

Last edited by xliioper; May 13, 20 at 2:14 pm
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Old May 13, 20, 2:10 pm
  #6  
 
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Is your daughter a Twitter user? She should be able to get a quicker response by tweeting Delta.
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Old May 13, 20, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Bcla View Post
My daughter flew from Orlando to Williston, ND last month and her return flight was supposed to be tomorrow. Yesterday they canceled the Williston to Minneapolis part and rebooked it for the day later. Just that part which meant it was the day after her second part of the journey. She couldn't get through on line or the phone so she went to the airport. No one there. So she called them again. Literally on hold for 10 hours and then she was cut off!!! This morning, the day before her scheduled flight home, she received an email canceling the whole flight and told her they were giving her an ecredit to be used within two years. She is back at the airport and this time someone is trying to help her but they are on hold as well. No surprise. I guess my question is are they obligated to get her back home? She is an adult not a minor.
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Old May 13, 20, 2:30 pm
  #8  
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In addition or an alternative to Twitter, if your daughter has the Fly Delta app and an iPhone, there's a text chat feature (I believe under "More" > "Message Us") which allows messaging with the Delta rep, which might get her through faster than the phone line.

Also, in these circumstances, if she's able to look up the flights she wants to be rebooked on ahead of time, she can ask to be rebooked on those flights and the rebooking process can go more quickly once she gets a hold of an agent (whether online, by phone, or in person). As long as there's space, Delta agents are pretty good about rebooking on your preferred alternative flights in a cancellation situation.

Though given that any Delta itinerary departing from Williston would require an overnight in MSP given the schedules over the next few days, she might consider looking at alternate airlines or means of travel, and saving the Delta ecredit for future travel, as other posters have suggested.
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Old May 13, 20, 2:37 pm
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Thank you so much everyone for your advice. The Delta people at Williston airport were able to get her a flight for Friday leaving out of Minot. She will just drive there. The earliest they could get her on from Williston was the 21st, which obviously wouldn't work. I guess the lesson she has learned from this is at all possible go to the airport to get it sorted out. Thank you.
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Old May 13, 20, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Bcla View Post
Thank you so much everyone for your advice. The Delta people at Williston airport were able to get her a flight for Friday leaving out of Minot. She will just drive there. The earliest they could get her on from Williston was the 21st, which obviously wouldn't work. I guess the lesson she has learned from this is at all possible go to the airport to get it sorted out. Thank you.
Under normal circumstances twitter or phone agents are perfectly capable of handling the issues in a timely fashion. This is hardly normal circumstances. I would caution taking too big of a lesson from the worst situation in airline history and applying them when things go back to normalish.
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Old May 13, 20, 2:51 pm
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Don't forget that she is also entitled to a refund of her DL ticket. A new ticket on UA tomorrow morning at 9:06 AM with a connection at DEN, gets her to MCO at 5:06 PM. Selling for $498. Also possible that DL would rebook her on that, thus avoiding the drive and a 2-day wait.
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Old May 13, 20, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by kop84 View Post
Under normal circumstances twitter or phone agents are perfectly capable of handling the issues in a timely fashion. This is hardly normal circumstances. I would caution taking too big of a lesson from the worst situation in airline history and applying them when things go back to normalish.
That's very true. But I'm not sure when things will be normal again.
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Old May 13, 20, 2:54 pm
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A word of warning for passengers flying to secondary or small city airports in these days of flight cancellations, is to have a back up plan in hand, either driving to a larger airport. using, train transportation in areas where available. I wouldn't count on having the scheduling flexibility one was used to in pre COVID days.
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Old May 13, 20, 3:50 pm
  #14  
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And PUSH the airlines. It is not your job as a paying customer to be flexible and offer renting a car or taking a train as a solution. You paid to get from wherever to your intended destination. If they can't get you there, ask to be booked on another airline, connect through a different hub, a different time, etc. Renting a car, taking a bus or a train is the absolute last resort in my book. If I ended up having to do that, I would ask for a refund (to cover the cost of renting a car, Uber, whatever) or submit those expenses for reimbursement.
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Old May 13, 20, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Bcla View Post
Thank you so much everyone for your advice. The Delta people at Williston airport were able to get her a flight for Friday leaving out of Minot. She will just drive there. The earliest they could get her on from Williston was the 21st, which obviously wouldn't work. I guess the lesson she has learned from this is at all possible go to the airport to get it sorted out. Thank you.
As you and your daughter probably already know, this part of ND can seem very empty and isolated. She might want to consider driving from Williston to Minot on Thursday afternoon rather in the middle of the night for that 6 am departure. I've done the drive and would not want to do it late at night, especially alone, even though it's essentially a straight shot east on one of the major roads in the state. It looks desolate.

For others who might not know these airports, Williston is the town that's considered to be the center of the oil patch (shale) while Minot has an Air Force base and I think is/was the site of the state fare. IIRC it was a major part of the SAC program during the Cold War. In fact, you can see/tour former missile silos in this part of the USA.

Last edited by MSPeconomist; May 13, 20 at 4:27 pm
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