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Last week, I wrote about Kate, who was trying to fly her family of 5 to Charlotte, only to find American Airlines issued a schedule change for their flights, cutting down their lunch layover to a single hour.
So… My husband and I have three littles and have booked a flight for the family. … and today I got the 2nd schedule change on our itinerary! The first change wasn’t much of a big deal – half an hour later flight on 2nd of 3 flight segments. This latest one is harder though. What we have is a one way flight for 5 (booked on AA points) on AA. Our previous (after 1st schedule change) itinerary was ABQ 6:35am – DFW 9:24am ; DFW 12:35pm – MCI 2:17pm ; MCI 3:45pm – CLT 7:00pm. It’s now been rescheduled to ABQ 8:51am – DFW 11:35am ; DFW 12:35pm – MCI 2:17pm ; MCI 3:45pm – CLT 7:00pm. So our layover in DFW went from 3 hours to 1 hour. That’s going to be rushed with 3 kids (ages 8, 4 & 2) plus we planned on doing lunch break in DFW during the layover
I urged Kate to call in and get it changed. Even though there wasn’t any award availability showing up on the dates she and her family were looking to fly, a schedule change should allow a customer service agent to open up revenue space on those flights. This is the strategy I used to get my wife and I 16 extra hours in Rome for FREE! I suggested she could probably end up removing a connection (just connecting through Dallas instead of connecting through Kansas City (MCI) as well!
(SEE ALSO: Now US Airways canceled my flight (THIS time it’s personal!))
(SEE ALSO: Delta just canceled my flight (but why I don’t mind!))
The results – family foils American’s dastardly scheme!
Here was Kate’s response
The agent I spoke to was very nice but laughed when I said our new layover wasn’t enough time. “You’ve got an hour!” he said. Anyhow, I didn’t press my luck to ask for flying on another day, but was able to talk him into using the schedule change flight: ABQ 8:51- DFW 11:35 and pairing it with a later departing flight DFW 1:45-CLT5:01. It took a supervisor and about 20 minutes more to actually make that happen since there were 5 tickets but I’m so grateful for a longer lunchtime layover again plus the one-stop routing and much shorter total travel time!
So even though initially the agent was hesitant to make the change, after engaging a supervisor (and a bunch of time on hold), Kate was able to get her family a little longer of a layover in Dallas (good for lunch – little kids don’t get ANYWHERE fast!), AND a later departure (goodbye 6:35 a.m. flight!) AND get to her final destination TWO HOURS earlier! Talk about a win-win-win!
Remember – a schedule change can be your best friend! Ever had a schedule change turn into better flights? Leave a note in the comments
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Often times I book my tickets many months ahead and then use the schedule change to my advantage. Last summer I increased my bahama trip from 3 nights to 5 nights thanks to numerous Delta schedule changes. Fall last year I realized that I had booked spring break trip this year for the wrong week! I patiently waited for schedule changes and managed to have Virgin refunded my purchase into travel bank credit and United completely refunded my fare to the credit card! I often book the cheapest flight and once schedule changes I to be put on a different schedule that I prefer!
Family trip to Cozumel’s Intercontinental Presidente (great hotel for families, by the way) required award flights to Cancun and an overnight hotel stay. Our 1st leg to DFW was cancelled, but I asked & they re-routed us the next morning on the 2nd leg DFW-CZM direct! Saved us hotel points and we arrived sooner than we would have otherwise.
I’ve booked ORD to HNL the last 2 years in first to clean out my skypeso balance. Originally, both itineraries were 2 stop flight with normal domestic 1st class seats. Thanks to the seemingly weekly delta schedule change, I was able to move to 1 – stop flights using intl configured planes with the long haul flight in flat bed Delta one. Schedule changes are definitely your friend if u know how to use them
We had 2 of us on a 6:40 flight and 4 on an 8:20 flight Dfw to Mco (following our flight PEK to Dfw that afternoon) before the massive AA schedule change on the weekend. AA moved the 4 onto the earlier flight without us even asking. That is the best schedule change I have ever had!
Now to try to finagle the schedule change on our outbound to get us all on the same flight Mco to Ord.
I just had a schedule change work in my favor without my even having to do anything about it! We’re flying internationally this summer and, because we live in a flyover state, we have to do some connecting. We were scheduled to fly the domestic connection on some subcarrier ERJ nonsense that’s smaller and less comfortable than my car, but AA just changed it to an A319! Hooray!
Schedule changes are always a blessing. I know love it when that magic email appears and I can improve my trip. Use it your advantage especially if it’s an inconvenience and insist on direct flights.