Know Your Passenger Rights
If you’re trying to take advantage of an airfare deal for a trip that’s months away, there’s a good chance the flight you book will change between now and then — certainly if demand for consumer travel stays flat and the airlines continue to adjust routes for their profitability.
The airlines are required to notify you of major flight schedule changes, but there are times when a notification just doesn’t get sent (it happened to me on two international trips).
So it’s essential for you to keep a close eye on your itinerary.
Some travelers are reporting that the new re-booked flight times are terribly inconvenient. As a consumer, you do not have to accept the rescheduled itinerary if it doesn't suit you.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), customers are “entitled to a refund regardless of the reason” if the booked flight is canceled by the airline.
If the airline puts you on a schedule that requires a connection when you originally booked a nonstop flight, you can get a full refund. And if the new flight is more than two hours delayed from the original departure time and you are unhappy with the new schedule, you are also entitled to a refund.
Follow These Tips if Your Flight Changes
Tip #1: Check Google Flights
Before you accept the new itinerary, visit Google Flights to see if there is a more convenient schedule on another airline — and possibly at a lower price! Then make your decision to cancel with the original airline and start over with a new ticket purchase.
Tip #2: Book Refundable Travel
Don’t pre-pay or book any non-refundable trip components such as a vacation rental or resort stay. A major flight schedule change could impact your well-laid plans.
Know your rights as a flyer! Learn more at FlyersRights.org and at the U.S. Department of Transportation website.
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