Q. We booked tickets from Minneapolis to Barbados. Two weeks before our departure date, the airline informed us that our flight was leaving at 7 AM rather than 9 AM; on the return flight, due to another "schedule change," we will need to overnight, at our expense, in San Juan. We live quite a distance from the Minneapolis airport, so it looks like we'll have to get a hotel near the airport, again at our expense since the airline refuses to pay, in order to make our outbound flight (either that or stay up all night). Can the airlines really do this to their customers?

A. Why yes, they can. And all you can do is ask for a full refund and buy a (perhaps more expensive) last minute flight on another airline. This is one of the most infuriating questions that we get at Airfarewatchdog.com and it really burns us up to read emails like this. Passenger rights in the US are in a pretty sorry state. To find out what you can do to help push a Passengers' Bill of Rights, visit Flyersrights.org.

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