A local television station featured a story today about someone who booked a round trip United flight from Charlottesville, VA to Colorado Springs last July for travel on the Thanksgiving Holiday. Neither Hotwire or United notified her that her connecting flight in Dulles was discontinued in August.
Personally I prefer booking directly with the Airlines when making travel plans. Yesterday I received an email notice from Delta that an upcoming flight in March had changed and the new flight presented a conflict with my travel plans. I was able to contact Delta directly and able to change my flight without any issue.
UA doesn't send any emails out, you need to check MileagePlus online account and view reservations from time to time. Not only will a change in flight times show up, but an aircraft change (check your seats when you find that one), flight number change, and any schedule changes.
While constantly reviewing this stuff I ran across something that just simply had me shaking my head. We were to fly from Tortola at 3:50 PM on a 45 minute flight to San Juan connecting with UA at 5:45 PM to Houston. UA changed the San Juan to Houston flight so it was now departing at 1:30 PM yet didn't change the flight from Tortola (crazy). When I called them to inquire about getting on an earlier flight the agent told me there were no earlier flights....yet I was sitting at the computer looking at two flights that would get us to San Juan in plenty of time to connect. After many minutes of discussion and finally convincing this agent it would work she got her Supervisor who told me they'd fix it.
Be alert folks.....even using the airline websites.