When your nonstop becomes a connecting flight, fight

George Hobica, September 10, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Many, but not all, people prefer nonstop flights (hey, some folks like to visit new airports and stretch their legs). But if you buy a nonstop flight, shouldn't you get one? After all, nonstops almost always cost more than connecting flights (airlines charge you for the convenience).

    But increasingly, judging from our email stream, airlines are selling nonstop flights and then calling passengers to tell them that they're now on connecting flights.

    Here's one mother's story: "Delta unilaterally changed my daughter's itineray, saying that 'our schedule has changed' and that they 'apologize for this change'.  They changed her
    nonstops to connections via Atlanta.  Here's the thing: her original nonstop flights did not change.  The flight numbers stayed the same, the equipment stayed the same, and the times of the
    nonstops only changed by a few minutes. The only thing that changed was that our daughter was no longer on these flights. The new connections they put her on were much further from the original schedule than that! She called DL up and they put her back on the nonstops, which I note are now significantly more expensive than the connection options for the same dates
    and times."

    Diana asks, "Do you think this was DL just trying to make more money by selling the (more
    valuable) nonstop seat again, this time at a higher price?  It seems fishy to me...  Since they fixed it, it doesn't matter-but can they do that?" Yes, they can do that, but only if you let them, and yes, they were trying to make more money. Shame on them, and good for you for standing up to them.

    The same thing happened to our friend Lew when he was flying from New York to Denver over Christmas. We badgered him to badger Delta, and they finally relented.