PSA: Check Existing Reservations for “Silent” Schedule Changes

Good morning everyone.  A few weeks ago, I wrote this post: PSA: Check Existing Airline Confirmations for Cancelled Flights a Few Days Before Travel.  In that post, I talked about checking existing flights to make sure your flights weren’t cancelled.  Then yesterday, I had a similar situation regarding my Lihue (LIH) to Maui (OGG) Hawaiian Airlines flight.  Even though the flight was not cancelled, there was a schedule change of more than 1.5 hours.  Schedule changes happen, I’m not (that) mad about that, but what really annoys me is when I do not receive an email alert regarding the schedule change.  How difficult is it to send an automated email about a schedule change?

Let me back up a little bit and explain how I found out about this schedule change.  Every Tuesday morning, Southwest Airlines sends out an email about their latest sale.  I then check all my existing Southwest Airlines flights for price drops (pretty rare these days) and rebook any flights that drop in price.  I usually only check Southwest Airlines, but I decided to check all my upcoming flights to see if there were any schedule or routing changes.  When I checked this Hawaiian Airlines reservation, I was surprised to see the 1.5+ hour schedule change.  I immediately called Hawaiian Airlines to see if they could move me to an earlier flight because I am connecting to an Alaska Airlines flight from Maui (OGG) to Oakland (OAK) and this schedule change made my connection very tight.

While waiting on (a lengthy) hold for Hawaiian Airlines, I confirmed that I originally booked the LIH-OGG flight on May 24, 2017.  When I originally booked this flight, the flight was scheduled to depart Lihue at 1:03pm, which would give me a comfortable connection in Maui.

What happened to my 1:03pm flight?  I then did a quick search on Google Flights to see all LIH-OGG flights.  Apparently, my 1:03pm flight no longer exists and I was automatically rescheduled onto the 2:41pm flight.  Thank you Hawaiian Airlines, but that is not the flight I want to be on.

I have noticed a pattern that flights booked 6+ months in advance tend to have larger schedule changes than flights booked only a few months out, so if you are like me and tend to book flights far into the future, you really need to check your existing flights often.  I don’t want to spoil my next post, but I spent a good chunk of my day talking to Hawaiian Airlines and Virgin America (who I booked this award ticket with) to finally cancel my reservation and redeposit the miles.  Read about my grueling experience with customer service tomorrow.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

11 thoughts on “PSA: Check Existing Reservations for “Silent” Schedule Changes

  1. Patrick

    On a slightly related note… how long do you allow between your inter island flight and your mainland flight? Do you have to get your bags or are they being checked through?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      I would like 1.5 hours between inter island flights and my flight back to the mainland, just in case of unexpected delays. If you are checking bags on different airlines, you will most likely need to go to baggage claim, recheck your bag, and go through security again. I just didn’t want to miss my flight back home.

      Reply
          1. Patrick

            Right… but I would imagine the connection time will vary depending on whether or not you have to collect your bags and then re-checkin or you are just getting off an inter island and going to a mainland flight and not having to mess with bags.
            So is the 1 /12 with or without messing with bags?

          2. Grant Post author

            We don’t plan on checking bags, but if I did, I think 1.5 hours is fine. We have TSA PreCheck, so we don’t mind going through security a second time.

  2. Ben

    Timely – before reading this, I checked a reservation for a flight I’m taking tomorrow. United switched the plane from a 777 to a 757 and deleted my window, economy plus seat reservation and now all that’s left is middle in the back of the plane. Awesome.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Ya, schedule changes and airplane swaps are definitely annoying. Just one of the joys in air travel :/ good luck getting a better seat.

      Reply
  3. Arthur

    This is one of the reasons I use ExpertFlyer to set schedule and aircraft change alerts. Sometimes the airline emails you, sometimes it doesn’t. But I always get an email from EF, and it will be before I get one from the airline. I think it gives me a leg up on getting any changes sorted out, especially aircraft swaps where they change your seat without telling you.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: My Virgin America / Hawaiian Airlines Award Ticket Disaster

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