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Surviving airline issues #60712
07/06/2015 03:25 PM
07/06/2015 03:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,417
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content OP
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GeorgeC1  Online Content OP
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,417
GA/NC
I see lots of posts about trying to save a trip when the flights go wrong. There are a bunch of things you can do to help keep things on track and get a better result when it all goes bad.

1. Try and book the entire flight sequence on one PNR or tyflight record. This insures someone owns your problem.
2. Try and minimize non mainline flts. The airlines try and present a seamless product but the reality is they subcontract almost all the lift under 90 seats. Those sub contracted flights can be hard to spot when booking but they have to tell you. They have a much lower on time and completion factor. If you can't avoid them leave yourself connection buffers if able. This problem is getting worse as the connection carriers are facing a severe pilot shortage.
3. If you are checking bags get them to the counter 1 hour prior to the flight. In plain view inside the bag place a paper with contact info for where you will be on vacation not your home. TSA must check and release all bags before the airline can load them. If you check them 35 minutes prior to the flight they might not make it.
4. Have a fully charged cellphone with your airlines reservation number loaded. The minute you know your flt schedule is disrupted or canceled call reservations and start working on a alternative. Don't go stand in line behind the other 100 passengers trying to get rebooked at the airport. There are limited seats and you are competing for them. The quicker you get rebooked the better.
5. Understand your options when rebooking and keep in mind you don't have to accept a auto rebook if it's not the best solution. Keep in mind that with most airlines you can demand to be moved to another airline if it's a better option. Going to the islands Spirit will not rebook at all. Jetblue and SWA normally will not rebook but if you can make a compelling case they might. They may have to cut you a check in that case and send you to the ticket counter for the new airline since they don't participate in the rebooking system.
6. Be at the gate 30 minutes prior and make sure you have the right time zone. They will cancel seats 15 minutes prior to issue to standbys if you have not boarded. Watching the last 5 minutes of the game is not worth missing the flight.
7. When dealing with reservations be polite but if your not making progress ask for a supervisor. They have more authority to fix things. If your inconvenienced ask for miles in compensation. They often are easier to get then other options. Keep in mind that each res agent can and will add notes to your passenger record. If you are rude or use foul language the next person you speak with will know that.
Part two to follow.

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Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: GeorgeC1] #60713
07/06/2015 04:14 PM
07/06/2015 04:14 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,023
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Posts: 16,023
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Great advice George..thanks..

Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: Manpot] #60714
07/06/2015 04:57 PM
07/06/2015 04:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,527
Ya never know...
HillsideView Offline
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HillsideView  Offline
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Posts: 8,527
Ya never know...
Knowing your options doesn't take a whole heck of a lot work. Before your trip, take a few minutes to run your destination on something like Priceline which will come back with all sorts of options on various carriers.Print it and keep it in your pocket. The few times I've had an issue, I have found offering some possible options, rather than asking what options are, is appreciated by usually flustered agents.
Ranting and raving MAY get you rebooked, but expect a good view of the lavatory. And your luggage will be headed the other way. Don't be an AH.


My foot fits right into my shoe and my shoe will fit right into your...
Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: HillsideView] #60715
07/06/2015 05:29 PM
07/06/2015 05:29 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,577
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Posts: 5,577
Massachusetts
Another good tip - if you have to deplane due to an issue, get on the phone right away - It seems the majority will try to go to the ticket counter where there will be a long wait - calling in is often much faster, and even if its not, never hurts to cover all the bases.


Matt
Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: maytrix] #60716
07/06/2015 05:38 PM
07/06/2015 05:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,417
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content OP
Traveler
GeorgeC1  Online Content OP
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,417
GA/NC
Quote
maytrix said:
Another good tip - if you have to deplane due to an issue, get on the phone right away - It seems the majority will try to go to the ticket counter where there will be a long wait - calling in is often much faster, and even if its not, never hurts to cover all the bases.

You can actually do both. Get on the phone and jump in line. If the issue is being caused by a major storm the res lines could be jammed. If it's a problem unique to your flight you should get right through.
G

Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: GeorgeC1] #60717
07/06/2015 06:17 PM
07/06/2015 06:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,577
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,577
Massachusetts
Yeah, that's what we've done in the past - thought I had mentioned that - guess I just thought about mentioning it and didn't <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />


Matt
Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: maytrix] #60718
07/07/2015 06:35 AM
07/07/2015 06:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 540
Michigan
I
IWIWSE Offline
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IWIWSE  Offline
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I
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 540
Michigan
Very good advice and thanks for it
Looking forward to Part 2 (3 and 4?)

Mike

Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: IWIWSE] #60719
07/07/2015 06:46 AM
07/07/2015 06:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 467
ski2play Offline
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ski2play  Offline
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Posts: 467
Great thoughts. I have one more. I send my flight information to my sister before leaving. If we get delayed, we just text her and if she is near a computer, she starts looking to get us moved, easier for her to see it on a computer screen than me on my phone.


[Linked Image]
Can you say super excited?!?!?!
Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: IWIWSE] #60720
07/07/2015 06:47 AM
07/07/2015 06:47 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 252
J
jboothe Offline
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jboothe  Offline
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J
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 252
And try to avoid STT if possible....

Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: GeorgeC1] #60721
07/07/2015 08:46 AM
07/07/2015 08:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,645
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 70,645
Central Florida!
Great advice, George, especially the part to know what your options are for other flights that get you where you need to be, as we have often found the rebooking agent will just automatically offer you a flight the next day on their airline, effectively scr*wing you out of a whole day of vacation. Many or most people just take whatever the agent offers.

A couple of years ago, we had our flight out of Tampa, going to Atlanta and then to ST. Maarten, cancelled. Delta offered us the same flight next day. No way, Jose!! We knew that US Air flew Tampa-Charlotte-SXM and we were able to get them to put us on that flight and we ended up landing in SXM before our original Delta connection would have!!


Carol Hill
Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: Carol_Hill] #60722
07/07/2015 09:50 AM
07/07/2015 09:50 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,098
Maryland
Twanger Offline
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Twanger  Offline
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Posts: 6,098
Maryland
"5. Understand your options when rebooking and keep in mind you don't have to accept a auto rebook if it's not the best solution. Keep in mind that with most airlines you can demand to be moved to another airline if it's a better option. Going to the islands Spirit will not rebook at all. Jetblue and SWA normally will not rebook but if you can make a compelling case they might. They may have to cut you a check in that case and send you to the ticket counter for the new airline since they don't participate in the rebooking system."

Keep in mind that if you book on another airline and pre-paid for your baggage on the first airline, or bags were included in the price of the first ticket, that bags may well not be paid for on the second airline. You will be charged again. They will tell you "you can get your money back from the first airline." This is a lie.

Ask me how I know this! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />

Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: Twanger] #60723
07/07/2015 10:25 AM
07/07/2015 10:25 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 389
jbuch02 Offline
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jbuch02  Offline
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This is a great thread. Thanks to the OP for starting it.

I've been fortunate in my years of airline travel having experienced few glitches (knock on wood).

However, I am very careful HOW I book. Originating out of major hub helps and then arranging the reservation with a single carrier (even if there are subcontracted legs or code share agreements) so, one entity owns the problem should one develop.

We also minimize aircraft changes when flying long haul and try to find flights where, if there is an intermediate stop, the equipment does not change. That's a lot harder on short haul flights.

Finally, no matter what, we have travel days so that if something does go wrong we just relax at the place where it did and get it sorted out while doing so. In that same approach, for the BVI we plan for 2-3 days on the front and back end of the visit. It reduces stress levels considerably.

Certainly, not everyone is able to do that with work, school, kids schedules etc. But it might be totally worth it to plan that way regardless.

Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: Twanger] #60724
07/07/2015 10:28 AM
07/07/2015 10:28 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,645
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
...actually that did happen to us on that very trip. At that time, Delta had free bags to SXM, and US Air did not, so we had to pay, but we were so happy to get there on the date we originally booked.


Carol Hill
Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: Carol_Hill] #60725
07/07/2015 11:20 AM
07/07/2015 11:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,985
Macon, Georgia
GlennA Offline
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GlennA  Offline
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Macon, Georgia
Even worse on Spirit. Flight delay out of ATL would have missed the FLL/STT leg and no compensation for staying in FLL over night. Rebooked for the next day but made me pay the baggage fee again. Said what I paid was for the original flight and baggage fees are not refundable.


Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. - Mark Twain
Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: GlennA] #60726
07/07/2015 11:30 AM
07/07/2015 11:30 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,645
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Wow, now that sucks!!


Carol Hill
Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: GlennA] #60727
07/07/2015 12:28 PM
07/07/2015 12:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,098
Maryland
Twanger Offline
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Twanger  Offline
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Posts: 6,098
Maryland
Quote
GlennA said:
Even worse on Spirit. Flight delay out of ATL would have missed the FLL/STT leg and no compensation for staying in FLL over night. Rebooked for the next day but made me pay the baggage fee again. Said what I paid was for the original flight and baggage fees are not refundable.


Yep.

Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: Twanger] #60728
07/07/2015 12:35 PM
07/07/2015 12:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,098
Maryland
Twanger Offline
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Twanger  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,098
Maryland
We had a weird thing happen a few trips ago, and I thought it might be worth mentioning.

We arrived at Dulles and it turned out that our connecting flight to St. Thomas (I think from Miami) had been canceled, so they put us on another flight on another airline out of Miami. Excellent!

What they didn't tell us is that this somehow broke the link to our return flight reservation, and so the computer cancelled our return flight reservation.

Fast forward 2 weeks.

We're sitting in the Best Western Emerald Beach in St. Thomas and decide to check-in via the iPad. Computer can't find our reservation. We have no reservation. Aieeeeeeee! Nooooo! Luckily we had booked it all through Travelocity, and they took ownership of the problem and spent 5 hours fighting it out with the airline for us! They got us on a plane the next day, but it was touch and go for a while.

Lesson learned - if you outbound flight gets changed, make sure you're return flight is intact!

Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: Twanger] #60729
07/07/2015 12:51 PM
07/07/2015 12:51 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,618
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Posts: 1,618
St. John, USVI
Quote
Twanger said:
Lesson learned - if you outbound flight gets changed, make sure you're return flight is intact!


Booking one-way flights has been working out pretty well for us. We frequently take United down on a weekend and AA or another airline back. For the last couple of years it has been cheaper that way. We also prefer off-season travel and sticking to a single airline for both directions limits choices a lot.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: Twanger] #60730
07/07/2015 12:52 PM
07/07/2015 12:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,645
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 70,645
Central Florida!
Now, that was a major screw-up by whoever re-booked you, as that should not have happened. Yes, they do cancel your return flight if you flat don't show up, but that wasn't the case in your situation.


Carol Hill
Re: Surviving airline issues [Re: Carol_Hill] #60731
07/07/2015 02:57 PM
07/07/2015 02:57 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
Walt, this is why we book directly with the airlines. We shop on the travel sites, but purchase on the airline's site. We never seen a difference in price like some have experienced on this board


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