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american planeLast 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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