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Old 03-23-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
merina888
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Airline changed entire flight plan

My family is going to WDW in late August. We booked roundtrip United tickets for a great price. Our original flight plan was through Cleveland on the way down and on the way back. However United has completely changed our flight plan. The problem is the trip down. We are scheduled to leave not quite an hour earlier now and fly through Chicago O'Hare. It is only a 45 minute layover and requires a change of terminals. We are flying with 2 young children under age 6. I am very concerned that if we are even a touch off in our arrival, we may miss our connecting flight. Do we have the right to request a change of flight plan from United? What are our chances of it being granted? Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:48 AM   #2
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My family is going to WDW in late August. We booked roundtrip United tickets for a great price. Our original flight plan was through Cleveland on the way down and on the way back. However United has completely changed our flight plan. The problem is the trip down. We are scheduled to leave not quite an hour earlier now and fly through Chicago O'Hare. It is only a 45 minute layover and requires a change of terminals. We are flying with 2 young children under age 6. I am very concerned that if we are even a touch off in our arrival, we may miss our connecting flight. Do we have the right to request a change of flight plan from United? What are our chances of it being granted? Thanks for the help!
Yes. When there is a significant schedule change most airlines typically will work with you to adjust your reservation with no charge. You can request a different itinerary and given the connection issues you cite I think you have a good chance of getting your schedule changed at no cost. What you should do is look at the current United schedule before you call and find an option that works better for you (assuming there is a better option), then ask specifically to be switched to those flights.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by merina888 View Post
My family is going to WDW in late August. We booked roundtrip United tickets for a great price. Our original flight plan was through Cleveland on the way down and on the way back. However United has completely changed our flight plan. The problem is the trip down. We are scheduled to leave not quite an hour earlier now and fly through Chicago O'Hare. It is only a 45 minute layover and requires a change of terminals. We are flying with 2 young children under age 6. I am very concerned that if we are even a touch off in our arrival, we may miss our connecting flight. Do we have the right to request a change of flight plan from United? What are our chances of it being granted? Thanks for the help!
What terminal are you flying into and which are you supposed to fly out of?

United is all in/out of Terminal 1.

One thought is that arrival & departure gates aren't actually assigned until very close to the travel date (even though they will list a gate it not uncommon for that info to change).
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:57 AM   #4
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Terminal 1 to Terminal 2. I suspect it's because we are going from a small plane to a much larger one.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:05 AM   #5
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Terminal 1 to Terminal 2. I suspect it's because we are going from a small plane to a much larger one.
Probably correct and it can be quite a haul from one end of the United gates to the other. Plus, United tends to close the door about 10 minutes before departure and won't reopen it even if they got you there late. As a result, in my experience, connecting on United at O'Hare with a short window is a bad idea.

I did a 30 minute connection on American every week for about two months straight and never once missed my second flight. Last year, I missed three out of four United connections with 45 minute windows and one of those times I would have been stranded there if I hadn't been able to rebook on an American flight because United had no more flights to my destination that night. I refuse to fly on United after that unless there are no other reasonable options.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:15 AM   #6
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Yes. When there is a significant schedule change most airlines typically will work with you to adjust your reservation with no charge. You can request a different itinerary and given the connection issues you cite I think you have a good chance of getting your schedule changed at no cost. What you should do is look at the current United schedule before you call and find an option that works better for you (assuming there is a better option), then ask specifically to be switched to those flights.
The same thing happened to us on our last trip. We were flying on Delta though. They changed our flight time and made our layover in Atlanta less then 45 minutes. I called Delta and they let me pick any fight I wanted. I was able to get an earlier flight and changed planes in Memphis instead if Atlanta.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by merina888 View Post
My family is going to WDW in late August. We booked roundtrip United tickets for a great price. Our original flight plan was through Cleveland on the way down and on the way back. However United has completely changed our flight plan. The problem is the trip down. We are scheduled to leave not quite an hour earlier now and fly through Chicago O'Hare. It is only a 45 minute layover and requires a change of terminals. We are flying with 2 young children under age 6. I am very concerned that if we are even a touch off in our arrival, we may miss our connecting flight. Do we have the right to request a change of flight plan from United? What are our chances of it being granted? Thanks for the help!
We are flying out of Cleveland next month. When I was searching for flights, non stop flights were always cheaper. I would call United and request a flight change due to their schedule change and see if they can put you on a non stop flight.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by merina888 View Post
My family is going to WDW in late August. We booked roundtrip United tickets for a great price. Our original flight plan was through Cleveland on the way down and on the way back. However United has completely changed our flight plan. The problem is the trip down. We are scheduled to leave not quite an hour earlier now and fly through Chicago O'Hare. It is only a 45 minute layover and requires a change of terminals. We are flying with 2 young children under age 6. I am very concerned that if we are even a touch off in our arrival, we may miss our connecting flight. Do we have the right to request a change of flight plan from United? What are our chances of it being granted? Thanks for the help!
Definitely check if they will adjust your flights if you are not comfortable with the short connect. It is doable, but with kids in tow it will be a stressful commute. Good thing with a short connect is that you will arrive in Florida considerably earlier. I'd prefer having a cocktail around the pool for a couple of hours rather than sitting in the airport lounge for an extra 2 or 3 hours, but that may be just me. Our kiddies are all grown up and its just the DW and myself flying these days.
However, we have flown through Chicago with United several times and have had short connects on almost all flights (as short as 39 minutes). Terminal 1 and 2 are beside each other and it is a good brisk 7-10 minute walk from Concourse B (gates B1-B20?) in Terminal 1 over to Concourse E in terminal 2. If you arrive at Concourse C in Terminal 1 (gates C1-C30), it will add 2 or 3 minutes more to your walk depending on which gates you actually have to get between. If you are going to attempt to make the short connect, talk to the flight attendant when you board the first leg of the flight, in the past they have been very accommodating about letting passengers with a short connect deplane first
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:42 AM   #9
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This is a big change; you should have no trouble changing to a different flight.

I would prefer an hour connection time at O'Hare, although I have spent so many hours waiting there for delayed flights that I prefer to be there as little as possible.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:47 AM   #10
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.....If you are going to attempt to make the short connect, talk to the flight attendant when you board the first leg of the flight, in the past they have been very accommodating about letting passengers with a short connect deplane first
Good luck with that! I have seen FAs on UA let PAX with very short connections move to empty seats in front when the arrival was late, but this isn't going to be possible for a family of 4 with 2 young children. And don't expect other PAX to stay seated so you can disembark first; just isn't going to happen. They have places to go as well. Best bet is to change to a different flight.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:48 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone! My husband called United, explained the situation and our flight plan was changed with no issues. We are now flying through Newark with an hour layover. We also are arriving in Orlando earlier which is definitely a benefit. Thanks for all your help!
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:55 AM   #12
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If you are going from a little plane to a big plane you would be landing on the D concourse and switching to the C concourse. Which is a very long walk. I hate the D concourse because it is so far out.
Your flight more than likely got changed because in June of this year United is pulling out of Cleveland as a hub and reducing the number of flights at Cleveland Hopkins.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:01 PM   #13
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Your flight more than likely got changed because in June of this year United is pulling out of Cleveland as a hub and reducing the number of flights at Cleveland Hopkins.
Good point; I had forgotten about that.

OP, glad things worked out. Now keep an eye on those seat assignments!
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:50 PM   #14
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Your flight more than likely got changed because in June of this year United is pulling out of Cleveland as a hub and reducing the number of flights at Cleveland Hopkins.
United will still be flying direct to MCO though.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:03 AM   #15
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Our home city isn't Cleveland. We live in Rochester, NY. At this point there are no direct flights from Rochester to Orlando that are direct for United. I definitely would have chosen that instead of flying through Newark.
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