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Icelandair changes schedule on Award Ticket

Icelandair changes schedule on Award Ticket

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Old Feb 19, 19, 7:42 pm
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Icelandair changes schedule on Award Ticket

Last September, I booked a HAM-KEF-TPA award ticket on Icelandair Saga Class using Alaska Mileage Plan miles. This is for travel on March 15. All was well with the reservation until Monday, February 4 when I received a text and email from Icelandair telling me there had been a schedule change. All that was left of my itinerary was KEF-TPA. Before calling Alaska (because they ticketed the flight), I looked to see what options I had. It became clear that the HAM-KEF flight was no longer operating that day. Rather than find options for me, they left my itinerary as was.

I called Alaska, and an agent put me on hold to find options. The only thing she found was leaving HAM a day early, overnighting in KEF, and then flying to TPA the next day. I told her this was unacceptable. I had scheduled two nights in Hamburg and had my hotel booked. Then she asked me what would be acceptable. I told her the Icelandair website showed a HAM-CPH-KEF-TPA routing on my desired departure date, with the first leg operated by SAS as a codeshare with Icelandair. She said she would ask for it if I was happy with it. I was not thrilled with it, but it seemed to be the only option for getting me home on time.. I also checked ExpertFlyer and saw all legs were available as award segments. The agent said it should be taken care of by the end of the week.

I called back on Friday, February 8, and had an agent tell me I was confirmed on CPH-KEF-TPA with the HAM-CPH flight on request, and that I should give them over the weekend to confirm it.

I called back on Tuesday, February 12, and got an agent who spent lots of time looking into it and putting me on hold, and said it was still under request and should be taken care of by the end of the week.

I called back on Friday, February 15, and was told by the agent that the SAS codeshare had not been confirmed, but their global desk was still working on it and it was not, in his words, on the back burner. He said it would be finalized over the weekend, definitely by Monday. The only difference I noticed over the weekend was that my reservation returned to just KEF-TPA.

So I called again on Monday, February 18 and spoke to an agent who eventually volleyed questions and answers back and forth between me and the global desk agent. Again, I was asked if I was willing to leave a day early and overnight in KEF. Again, I said no. I was asked if I would wait until Sunday to depart HAM and then fly HAM-KEF-TPA on that date... 2 days after I was originally scheduled to fly. I told them I needed to be back in the office early on Monday morning, and a flight that arrived in TPA late Sunday night did not leave margin for error. The agent said they would keep looking and would find something eventually, and to check back next week. I explained to her that I depart for Europe in a little more than 2 weeks and need to get this settled.

The whole incident has been frustrating. It's becoming clear that the only two options that will ever be offered are the two they have offered. Leaving HAM a day early is not practical. If I do end up staying in HAM two extra days, is this an EU 261 issue? At the very least, is Icelandair responsible for paying my expenses in Hamburg if I have to spend two extra days there.

Thank you for your advice.
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