My Flight Itinerary Just Changed!
Nine things to do in the next nine minutes
So last night I was lying in bed scrolling my phone and willing sleep to come when my phone dinged. Then again…and again….
American Airlines computer systems were clearly busy at work despite the fact it was past everyone’s bedtime, and my team of travelers leaving next month for Europe (clearly scrolling towards their sleep as well) were jolted awake to the rudeness of it all. This is what prompted the dinging of my texts. It was time to problem solve fast.
So what happened? Despite our best laid plans from months of preparation and strategic ticket buying, AA decided that half the team no longer needed to join the journey in Munich on the early afternoon of November 4. Instead they thought it fine to postpone their arrival until late morning of the NEXT DAY! On top of that, they felt it a fair idea to make the layover in London long enough that those delayed would need to pay for a hotel room in the city in order to wait for their next flight that would take off many hours later than once scheduled.
O no, this would not work.
Enter adrenaline mode…
What to Do Next When Your Flight Itinerary Unexpectedly Gets Turned Upside Down?
Respond to the Alert promptly, but Don’t Panic.
Remember that this was not a human choice or error. It was computer generated. Your anxiety is being caused by an inanimate object. Now it’s simply time to bring humans into the scenario.
Take a deep breath. It’s going to work out. Ninety-nine percent of our greatest fears never come true.
Call your airline immediately. Many others are receiving the same message as you. You’ll get the best outcome when you’re closest to the front of the line of those who hope to make changes. (Take note that sometimes you airline app will provide a way to choose new flights within the app)
Do not waste your time on an agent who hesitates or acts in any way that makes your feel they can’t effectively provide the help you need. Kindly hang up and try again for a new agent. Keep doing this until someone fixes your problem in an acceptable way. If you have no luck after a few tries, ask to speak to someone higher up.
As you wait your turn for an agent, check the airline website to see current flight options for the dates and times closest to what you originally booked. It often helps to come to the agent with a specific request for how they can make things right. And don’t pay more money! This is their problem to fix and cover. They can and will. Just find the right person.
Share your story, and then kill them with kindness. Remember it’s not the agent’s fault. The computer did this to you. The agent is your greatest ally.
Thank the agent profusely when they come through for you and set your itinerary back on solid ground.
Practice extra kindness and re-centering by turning your unexpected anxiety into blessing. Go to social media. Post kudos to the airline and agent and tag the airline so they hear your praise.
Rejoice. It was stressful, yes…but the situation worked itself out. It always does. Your trip will still be fabulous!
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