Do you often check your existing airline reservations for changes? If not you should because they all have schedule changes, aircraft type changes, even some flights cancel and you're moved to another flight that may not fit your plans.
As I do about once a week I was checking our United flights we have booked for quite a few upcoming trips and stumbled upon a schedule change that was just not going to work. We were to leave Portland, Oregon (PDX) at 5:45 AM for the flight home to Houston (IAH). Yes that would be considered "OH DARK THIRTY" in most circles, but the fare was much cheaper when I booked them months ago for the return flight so I got approval from the "BOSS" (Mrs. IAHFLYR) for that early of a morning flight that actually would get us home before noon. Well this morning I found they have moved the departure time from PDX up to 5:20 AM.........nope, gotta draw the line somewhere and that extra 25 minutes sleep was where I put the line in the sand.
Rather than accept the schedule change in our accounts I decided to call United and got a very nice Premier line representative named Carmen. I told her of the situation and asked if we could PLEASE take the noonish flight since that change just did not fit into my lifestyle. She put me on hold and in about five minutes came back and asked what seats we wanted!!!! Awesome, no penalty to make the change nor increase in the fare.
It does pay to check all your travel reservations often and this goes to prove what my Mother always told me, "Son you will always get better results with honey rather than vinegar"!!!
Thank you United and Mom.
When AA or DL changes my schedule, I get an email from them. In fact, I just got one yesterday for a flight in October (my departure time moved an hour later and my connecting flight number changed, though the times on that one are the same). Does UA not do that?
While I don't mind checking my hotel reservations to see if the price has gone down, the idea that I might not be informed of a schedule change by an airline doesn't sit well with me. At any given time I might have half a dozen future reservations. I'd hate to have to continually check that my times and flight numbers are still the same as when I booked.
It's nice that UA was able to adjust your flights without their $200 change fee. Where I see a problem is that you had to discover the change in your original reservation rather than being notified as soon as it happened. That should be automatic.
I completely agree with you that they should notify the customer, but I never get any email from them for that type of thing mostly just junk that I am not the least bit interested in getting. And our accounts are set up to receive notifications and neither of us ever get them.
Like yourself we've got quite a few reservations in coming months and into next year, all but one of them has had at least one schedule change occur. When we had a schedule change on an American planned trip we did get that email notification.
Guess there are just some things one must accept with United!!
AS my last UA flight was in Feb, I'm a bit out of the loop with them. I've been on DL and AA both within the last month, so I'm more familiar with their process. I'm sure their email process is completely automated. I'm just surprised UA isn't doing something similar.
With same day changes (delays or gate changes) both AA and DL are very good about communicating via their app. How is UA on that score? (I don't recall having any changes on my most recent flights with them). The app also prompts me when it's time to check in and if I recall correctly, AA reminds me when I have 4 hours until departure time. I'm getting spoiled by the airline apps, but as I learned recently, it's a good idea to get a email (or hard copy) with boarding passes in case mileage credit gets messed up.
The United app is great with day of travel information including gate, upgrade list, where the inbound aircraft is coming from, delays and even the exact aircraft so we know if we have larger or smaller overhead bins in the first few rows, DirecTV, AVOD, nothing etc., of course that can and does change from time to time right up until you actually step on the plane. Same information can also be found on a couple of different places including their website and this spot which I find very good if online.
Glad they were able to do that for you gratis, but what if you had not been so proactive and missed your flight? That was almost a half hour difference, and depending on the airport and whether checking baggage or not, along with trying for 'on time' departures, I know I could have missed a flight with that much of a difference if I hadn't myself double checked it.
DL sends me e-mails for schedule changes as little as two minutes ten months from now, differences where I have to actually scrutinise to see what it was that was changed. A pity either UA is not doing this for you or you do not for some reason receive them, whichever it is.
Glad you got to keep the fare you liked and now also get to sleep in-- and She Who Must Be Obeyed will doubtless also be pleased.
She is delighted alright!! Me also.
You bring up a wonderful point about the possibility of missing the flight. I doubt that would have happened as I'd have noticed something different when I checked us in the day before, but yes a surprise in traveling normally isn't good.
This might require a call to United Customer Service and see why we are not getting notifications of changes or if they even do it at all.
There's just always that 'one time I didn't check' episode we all have I was kind of thinking about. Love to hear what UA tells you.
And this is a good heads up, particularly since some here enjoy the reciprocal benefit with UA and might not otherwise be frequent fliers on UA>
To update you insertcoffee on the notification of schedule changes from UA, got a very very nice person on the phone and she told me "they do expect passengers to check their itineraries before travel", but then became curious as to why there is no notifications sent out. She asked her Lead Agent has shed some light on this most INTERESTING subject.
I'm not attempting to quote what I was told just relay some information here about the schedule changes and notifications from UA:
A most interesting piece of info and I guess that by checking our reservations often I catch the changes before the notification time line becomes operational.
Excellent question you asked insertcoffee, thanks for asking.
Thanks for the follow up, IAHFLYR, and glad you were able to get some granular detail on their specs.
I don't know why I find the pattern of 33 minutes, 33 days somewhat amusing; perhaps imagining the entire meetings held to discuss if 34 or 32 were better or worse, to have the intrepid 33 enthusiasts win out.
But whatever is supposed to happen, when the system works as designed, no one is more interested in your trip and its schedule than you, the passenger; for me, the e-mails are a supplement and not a replacement for my own monitoring of my travel.
But enjoy those newfound multiple hours on your sked change--I love it when a plan comes together.
United has a place in their Mileage Plus member profile; as does all airlines which allow you to add your Cell, or E-mail for text messages or e-mail messages notifying you of changes to your flight plans or delays which works well on travel days. If you check your profiles you should than be getting all updates without having to check regularly.
Yes they do however; if you read the previous posts I've explained how that system works to notify the passengers. You won't get notified until those timelines have been met.