I’m headed to the land down under in Australia in June, and my flight back includes segments on Qantas from Adelaide to Sydney, and then Fiji Airways to Nadi and then onto LAX, and finally, up until now, a redeye onto Orlando and a final flight to Washington Reagan, both on American.
Here’s been the dilemma. My NAN to LAX flight gets in at 1:25p on a Sunday, and the next flight with any award availability to get me home was a redeye to Orlando, and then a flight the next morning to Washington Reagan. The problem was that I have to be at work that Monday morning and this redeye flight and onward connection wouldn’t work.
BUT…when I booked this ticket, I chose those flights, fully aware I would never be able to fly them.
Why you ask? Well, with over 5 months to go, the chances of there being a schedule change on the itinerary somewhere are really good. Especially on the domestic segments.
From the beginning, I really wanted a Los Angeles to Dallas to Washington flight that would depart shortly after my arrival into LAX from Nadi, and get me home the same day into Washington, which was more than ideal. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles to Dallas segment had no award availability, so I couldn’t book it when I booked the ticket.
So, I booked not so ideal itinerary and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, yesterday morning I got the email I was waiting for! There was a 2 hour schedule change on the MCO to DCA flight.
As soon as I saw this, I immediately rang American and told them I had to be somewhere that Monday AM (which was true) and that I needed to be re-booked due to the schedule change.
Here’s what I did to help facilitate the process: I specifically wanted from the beginning the connecting flight from LAX to DFW to DCA, and when I rang American, I mentioned these flights to the agent and requested them. Because the Orlando to Washington Reagan flight has more than a 2 hour change, the ball was in my court for a schedule change.
The agent swiftly moved me over to my requested flights, and not only did I get my preferred flights from the very beginning, but I also got to be placed on a flight that didn’t have any award availability, a cool little “feature” when there’s a schedule change to your itinerary.
What to do when there’s a schedule change?
- Look up your alternate flights and be ready to tell those to the agent you’re talking to.
- Provide a valid excuse of why the flight time change doesn’t work for you. If it’s over 2 hours, you’ll have no issue. If it’s under, you may get denied, but I tend to find that any reasonable excuse will work well.
So, I was able to get my ideal flights, all thanks to booking flights that I knowingly didn’t want in the first place. That was the intention. I knew a schedule change was inevitable and when it would happen, I’d have the power to move my ticket around to something a little more ideal.
Hopefully this helps you guys out on your award itineraries!
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