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Old 07-03-2008, 09:05 AM   #1
eva
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Be sure to check your flights ahead!

Two days ago I nearly had a heart attack. I went on line to check our flights for our Viva Italia trip in September and discovered that our flight from Peoria to Atlanta had been canceled and Delta had put us on an earlier flight. This really floored me because I had received no call or email to let me know. The problem was that I had originally scheduled us a 2.5 hour layover. With the new flight we would have had to leave our house at 4:00 am and end up with over an 8 hour layover. Total travel time would have been over 20 hours.

So I called Delta to find out what the heck was going on. The girl I talked with agreed that it was not acceptable to have that type of layover. But the only thing she could do was either refund us our money or leave things the way they were. There were absolutely no other flights from Peoria to Atlanta that day. I got off the phone near tears. I immediately went to a number of travel sites to see what other airlines/flights might work for us. But nothing fit our schedule unless we wanted to drive to Chicago and park there for the 9 days.

Luckily by this time DH got home. We started talking about going through Chicago and that we would probably have to drive up the night before and stay in a hotel. Then a thought came to me. Could we fly from Peoria to Atlanta the day before, stay in a hotel, and then fly to Rome the next day? Sure enough it worked out. I did have to take another day of vacation. But we should be good and rested by the time we get to Rome. We are arriving in Atlanta at 9:00 am the day before our flight to Rome and will have all day to swim, eat, and relax at the Marriott by the airport. I'm sure glad it worked out for us. But I was in a real panic a couple days ago.

Everyone, be sure to check your flights every now and then before you go. I can't imagine what would have happened if I had discover this just a day or two out. The flight the day before only had 4 sets left. It surely would have been booked by then.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:42 AM   #2
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Yes, this problem has gotten worse over the last couple of years. This issue is especially a problem when you book flights far in advance. Airlines very frequently change their schedules every 3-4 months. And with todays flight reductions by all airlines, schedules are being radically changed.

I also recently had an incident with Delta flight changes. They changed the schedule for 5 of us on a set of flights. The did not notify us at all, email or phone, and the new schedule was not possible. During aflight change in Atlanta, the second flight took off before we even landed! I couldn't believe they would create a new schedule that was invalid!

Luckily I check on my flights at least once a week to make sure things stay OK and I discovered the error. I called Delta, got to a call center in India...ARG...then the guy fixed the flight but made no apology for them making this huge error.

The net message: always check your flights regularly before travel, especially international flights and those made far in advance. And do this often before you travel. If you wait to find an error 1 week before travel there will be no options to fix it.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reminder. It is always a good thing to keep in mind, the way things are going. I know American recently cancelled 1,000 flights and one of them was apparently the one my sister was scheduled to be on for her visit out here for our DLR trip. Luckily, she was notified of it and she is on an earlier flight, so even though she gets less sleep, I get more time with my sis, so I am happy.

Glad everything worked out for you guys. I can imagine the panic that something like this causes after all the planning!
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:06 PM   #4
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This happened to us on our return flight from Peru - I think I booked it in January. There was only an hour layover on the return - pretty tight as it is to get through customs, well sometime during the last month or so they changed the first flight to depart at 11:50 instead of 11:30. They didn't let me know or reschedule, or give me a chance to reschedule the second flight. Then the first flight came in late anyway. We were at immigration when our second flight was taking off. I wasn't terribly concerned - since we were on our way home, but when I went over to the Continental desk to have them reschedule the lady got really snotty with me - "Why did you miss your connection - did you get pulled aside and searched?" I told her - because the flight got in late and the other flight was taking off at the same time. Then she grumbled that "it was an illegal booking since there was only 15 minutes between flights". UGH. I just wanted to get home, not argue with a "customer service" representative. There wasn't anything different I could have done given the circumstances. But it surprised me too - that when they reschedule a flight - they don't have their computers search out your final destination and see what impact it has and let you know.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:18 PM   #5
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We booked our flights through ABD. The nice thing is that about every 3 weeks, ABD sends me a flight change notice with the updated times. Our flights have changed continuously but never to an itinerary that was impossible. Our ABD to Southwest splendors required a noon arrival at the latest at the Phoenix airport. With the many changes, our arrival time has changed to 12:45 instead of the original 11:55. I called ABD and since we booked airline through them, they will allow the later arrival and will wait for us. If we had booked on our own, they tell us, this time change would not be acceptable and we would be left to fix it ourselves. We were not using any frequent flier miles or anything, so the price was the same as what I could get on my own. They have really taken the worry and stress out of the flight.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenbadeaux View Post
We booked our flights through ABD. The nice thing is that about every 3 weeks, ABD sends me a flight change notice with the updated times. Our flights have changed continuously but never to an itinerary that was impossible. Our ABD to Southwest splendors required a noon arrival at the latest at the Phoenix airport. With the many changes, our arrival time has changed to 12:45 instead of the original 11:55. I called ABD and since we booked airline through them, they will allow the later arrival and will wait for us. If we had booked on our own, they tell us, this time change would not be acceptable and we would be left to fix it ourselves. We were not using any frequent flier miles or anything, so the price was the same as what I could get on my own. They have really taken the worry and stress out of the flight.
That's great! Does anyone know if ABD will book your flights, if you are booking the tour on DVC points? When we booked our adventure, we weren't given an option about booking the flights through them. I guess I should have asked.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eva View Post
That's great! Does anyone know if ABD will book your flights, if you are booking the tour on DVC points? When we booked our adventure, we weren't given an option about booking the flights through them. I guess I should have asked.

Sure they will. As long as you on taking an ABD tour they'll book it.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:28 PM   #8
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This really had become a common problem. I'm flying MidWest Airlines to the West Coast next month, and they have changed my flight to leave at 6:30 am! I specifically booked with them because they had the best schedule. Silly me. I now have to *leave home* at 4:30 am, and then have an over 4 hour layover in Milwaukee. Wish I had a place to catch some sleep in Milwaukee...

It also means that the person who was going to give me a ride to the airport cannot anymore because of the hour, so I'm going to have to park at the airport & pay for that, too. But I guess I'm supposed to be glad if I just get there... at some point...

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Old 07-03-2008, 11:55 PM   #9
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We booked through ABD to. But no one fixed up our flight when the time changed.
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggerk View Post
We booked through ABD to. But no one fixed up our flight when the time changed.
Hi,
Can you clarify what you meant here? No one fixed what when your time changed?
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:25 AM   #11
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I received notice yesterday that one of my future flights changed also. But nothing that I have to be worried about. Thank goodness.
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:06 AM   #12
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Our first flight changed (on the way back) so there was only a 15 minute layover between flights which wasn't enough time to get off the plane, go through customs and get on the next flight and wouldn't on its own be allowed to book. No one changed my second flight. I really didn't notice that it changed. My ticket receipts that I got from Disney a few weeks before the flight had the original times on them. The ABD guides had the new times - I questioned it when they were telling me when my shuttle was back to the airport. I did get a notice a week or two before the trip but I didn't notice that the time had changed (not sure if it was on there or not). I wasn't sure what the notice was about so I called and they were a little vague too - they said we think we were just letting you know the time changed. My seating assignments also got changed - I was no longer sitting with my kids. That part I also wasn't told - I found out when I was checking in the night before - That part had me calling up Continental 12 hours before I left and there was only one row left in the plane with 3 seats together.

Like I said it was on the return flight - I wasn't as concerned. On the flight out I purposely booked a longer layover then I had too - I booked an earlier flight on the first leg than the one right before the second leg.
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:28 PM   #13
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Interesting, thanks for the update!

I guess it just continues to show that as a traveler you cannot put your travel plans totally in someone else's hands. You have to check, re-check and then triple check regularly and often if you want a smooth trip end to end.
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