Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Flying Soon? Keep Alert for Changes or Cancellations

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Flying Soon? Keep Alert for Changes or Cancellations

Article excerpt

Many travelers book their flights far in advance, and when it gets closer to the departure date they find that the original flight time has changed. Sometimes it's a small change - maybe 20 minutes earlier or later - that won't have much of an effect. Other times, it can be significant. Airlines make periodic changes to their schedules, so finding a change in your flight time is not uncommon. And if you read the airline rules, you'll find that airlines don't guarantee their schedules.

A friend was traveling with her family during the winter holidays last year and her outbound Dec. 24 flight was canceled when the airline made a change in its schedule. Her husband booked the tickets, and he received an email a month before the departure date notifying him of the change to a new flight, but he thought it was junk mail and ignored it. Five days before the departure date, my friend was double-checking the departure and arrival times and found that the original flight number was scheduled for a totally different route.

While the original flight was nonstop departing Portland at noon and arriving in Houston at 6:10 p.m., the new flight departed at 12:30 p.m., had a two-hour layover in San Francisco, then arrived in Houston at 10 p.m. As you can see, the arrival time was much later than originally scheduled, and my friend was not happy about arriving at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

We looked at seat availability on the departure day and found seats on a 6:30 a.m. flight on Dec. 24. After a couple of calls, she was able to get rebooked on the earlier nonstop flight. She was happy to not have to connect and spend a longer time traveling, especially because she has young kids. She was frustrated that the airline didn't put her family on a new nonstop flight to begin with, because the original flight was nonstop. …

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