Winning and losing with flight schedule changes

We’ve said this on here many times: Babysit your flight reservations! Check up on them, make sure the times haven’t changed, verify your seat assignments. Stuff happens.

When you book flights far in advance, whether using miles or cash, there is a better-than-average chance your flights will be changed in some way. Sometimes those changes are good, sometimes they are bad. Regardless, it’s important to check up on your flights occasionally and check your email often for messages from the airlines.

Recently, I found out about three changes for my upcoming flights.

Winning with a flight change

Several months ago, I booked AA Web Special Awards for my family from Orlando to Dallas after our spring break cruise. I booked connecting flights through Austin because the schedule wasn’t horrible and the price (in miles) was good.

This week, when I checked our reservation, I discovered that AA moved us to a nonstop flight from Orlando to Dallas. Woohoo! This isn’t the first time we’ve lucked out on getting switched to nonstop flights. My husband and son had the same luck with their flights to and from the U.S. Open in September.

While stopovers aren’t necessarily a deal breaker, they do increase the chances of delays and missed flight connections. It will be nice to fly directly home and catch up on some sleep that we desperately need after a family vacation.

Losing with a flight change

Later this spring, I’m flying to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I used Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book a round-trip nonstop flight. Unfortunately, I received an email that the flight schedule changed, and AA re-booked me on connecting flights.

The first flight left a few hours earlier than my original flight and added a connection in Miami. Since I have no plans in San Juan for my arrival day, I requested to be moved to another nonstop flight later in the day. So that’s not a huge deal.

However, my return date had no other nonstop options. AA moved me to a connecting flight with a 40-minute layover in Miami. I strongly dislike short layovers. The chance of missing the connection stresses me out, and I don’t need that.

So, after spending 90 minutes on the phone with Chase travel, I was able to get my flight moved to a different connecting flight with a longer layover. Unfortunately, I don’t land until after midnight. But, it is what it is.

Photo by Malvestida on Unsplash

Bottom Line

There’s no time like the present to check up on the flights you’ve booked for upcoming trips. Remember, if your flight time changes significantly, you can request a different flight/routing for no additional charge. Here’s hoping the schedule changes work in your favor in 2023!

How does my family travel so much? We use miles and points from credit card bonuses. See my Travel Hacking 101 post as well as current credit card offers here.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *