Delta Finally Managed To Get Me With A Schedule Change

by joeheg

Since 2020, airlines have constantly been adjusting schedules to meet fluctuating demand. Sudden interest in locations open to visitors, combined with not bringing back staff quickly enough, has led to a never before seen number of flights being changed.

I read numerous stories about how an airline changed flight times from morning to evening departure and even some cases of switching from a day flight to red-eye. The current advice I’ve heard is that if you’re not booking within a month of your trip, plan on having your flights changed.

We aren’t flying often yet and were lucky with our positioning flights to New York on Delta in that we only had a slight change. Knowing about the schedule change problems, I built in plenty of time just in case.

I guess our luck with Delta flights has run out.

I recently received an email from Delta telling me that our flight to Hawaii has changed:

  • Previous flight from MCO-LAX-LIH
  • Depart MCO 11:25 am – 1:34 pm, leave LAX 2:55 pm – 6:55 pm
  • Approx 90 min layover

Our new flights are exactly what I didn’t want:

  • Depart MCO – 7:00 am – 9:40 am, leave LAX 1:29 pm – 5:38 pm
  • Approx 4 hour layover

One reason I booked with Delta was that the flight times were better than the ones offered by Alaska, Southwest, and United. The new flight times present several problems:

  • Early departure means we can’t take our dog to camp that morning and will need to drop her off the night before
  • We didn’t want to start our vacation by waking up at 4 am
  • Arriving at LAX, we’re going to have to find something to do for four hours and there are currently no Priority Pass lounges open

The main positive is that we’ll be arriving in Hawaii 90 minutes earlier. You gotta try to find some bright side, right?

The kicker is that this is the only option. Delta has no other way for me to get from point A to point B. I could cancel my ticket but then I’ll have a bunch of SkyMiles in my account that I’ll need to find a use for and no other airline has anything better. The only thing I can think of to make this less miserable is to find a way to get SkyClub access, which will at least give us a more comfortable chair and power outlets while we wait.

I could hope that Delta will change our flights to times closer to our original itinerary sometime between now and our trip. Until then, we wait.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Greg October 18, 2021 - 3:31 pm

The new schedule sounds better because it’s less risky to miss your flight to Hawaii. I wouldn’t be risking a 90 minute layover anyways when there’s only one flight a day to LIH.

Jimmy October 18, 2021 - 3:49 pm

“Until then, we wait.”
The mantra of a savvy flyer these days.

Liam April 24, 2022 - 2:26 pm

You win some, you lose some with these schedule changes. Schedule changes can be really bad, but they can also be really good.

I’ve been hit with a mix of good and bad lately – got hit with the JL3 cancellation so I lost my F itinerary on that, but thankfully managed to find an F award seat on JL6 on a day that would work perfectly for a return, plus availability to get me to BKK on Aeroplan on a mix of AC and GF flights. So at least it worked out there – and I get to try Salon 2007!

On the other hand, just last night I got hit with a DL schedule change last night where a LGA-BUF flight at the tail end of this aforementioned trip got changed to a slightly later time (by only about 20 minutes) and the equipment changed from E75 to CR9 (ugh! I was looking forward to the very comfortable E75). I decided to play around with the rebooking tool they have and decided to enter YYZ as the new destination (which, in fact, is my ultimate destination, but it was extortionately expensive to fly to YYZ on those days which is why I booked to BUF instead). For some reason, despite the circumstances, it was showing no additional fare to fly to YYZ. I thought this was too good to be true and totally expected an error message when I clicked “submit”, but lo and behold it confirmed! This was on a first (Z) fare. So…not all schedule changes are bad. I still don’t get to fly on an E75 for that flight (and it’s now on an even worse CR7 – oh well) but at least now I get home sooner.


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