I’m Flying To Europe Subsequent Week. Why I’m Working On Plan B.

Shelly and I are skilled world vacationers and one factor that we all know is that if one thing can go mistaken with a flight, it most likely will.  When issues have gone mistaken or heading in that route, there are two sorts of vacationers:

  • The proactive traveler  appears to be like for potential bother and works to mitigate them early,
  • The reactive traveler waits till the airline figures out what is occurring and makes an announcement.

We’re headed to Switzerland on Tuesday and we’ve got a sophisticated sequence of flights.  We’re flying firstclass on miles from the Alaska Airways Mileage Plan.  If you redeem miles for an extended flight to worldwide locations, you aren’t the grasp of your personal future.  You’ll take no matter itinerary that the award airline will assist you to redeem.

I’m engaged on Plan B and this time, Plan B has nothing to do with Covid-19.  It’s in regards to the mechanics of airline scheduling and efficiency.

The Problem

Our journey to Zurich Switzerland consists of 4 legs.  Imagine me, this wasn’t my thought, this was the routing out there by way of the airline’s reserving engine for this award redemption:

  • June 21 – AS 2053, Portland OR to Seattle WA
  • June 22 – AA 1667, Seattle WA to Dallas TX
  • June 22 – AA 50, Dallas TX to London Heathrow
  • June 23 – BA 712, London Heathrow to Zurich
PDX to SEA to LHR to ZRH. Map picture credit score: Nice Circle Mapper.

Making The Connections

We’ve got a sequence of dependent connections.  In different phrases, flight #2 relies on flight #1 arriving on time or near it.  There needs to be sufficient time for passengers and their baggage to make the connecting flight.  Minimal connection occasions are essential, I wrote a information to know minimal connection occasions and why they matter.  You’ll be able to learn that article right here.

Like a live performance orchestra enjoying a sophisticated piece of music, all the devices need to play in queue.  Just like the orchestra, the succeeding flights are depending on their predecessor flights.  Airways is not going to guide connecting flights that don’t meet minimal connection occasions.  Whereas that will appear good in concept, the fact of flights might fail to make a connecting flight.

This Is What Is Holding Me Up At Evening

My proactivity began final Saturday.  My space of concern is the connection between AA 1667 and AA 50.  Although, the connection at DFW greater than meets the minimal connection time, the efficiency of AA 1667 would counsel in any other case.  Here’s what I’ve seen up to now:

  • Saturday, June 12 – AA 1667 departed Seattle 5 hours late
  • Sunday, June 13 – AA 1667 departed Seattle 5 minutes late
  • Monday, June 14 – AA 1667 was canceled
  • Tuesday, June 15 – AA 1667 departed Seattle one minute early
  • Wednesday, June 16 – AA 1667 was  canceled

Three of today would have prevented me from making my connecting flight to London.  I’d additionally miss my connection to Zurich.   This isn’t wanting good.

Plan B

The very first thing that I regarded for was an earlier flight from Seattle.  American Airways operates flight 2748 and there are firstclass seats out there for June twenty second.  I referred to as American Airways to see if I might make the change to this earlier flight.  I bumped into two issues:

  • The flights on American Airways are “married flight segments”
  • American Airways didn’t problem the ticket, it was issued by Alaska Airways.  American Airways couldn’t make a change on a ticket they didn’t promote.

Now I’ve a brand new dilemma, American doesn’t need to make the modifications.  If you guide an itinerary consisting of a number of segments, they’re bought as married segments.  If you need to change one flight, you must primarily rebook the entire married phase itinerary.  If the price is increased or in a unique fare class, the airline might fully reprice the journey.

American Airways didn’t promote me the ticket, they informed me to name Alaska Airways.  Once I referred to as Alaska Airways, that they had the identical story in regards to the married segments.  They steered that after I land in Seattle and the Alaska segments have concluded, I ought to ask on the American Airways ticket counter to make a “same-day change”.  This may increasingly work and I’ll strive it.

Plan C

If you miss a connection due to an airline delay, you might be supposed to enter “reprotection”.  Reprotection is when the airline is now obligated to get you to your vacation spot (even on one other provider) inside affordable dispatch.   Reprotection will be initiated as quickly as half-hour after the issue happens.  Affordable dispatch means as quickly as sensible.  It might not be affordable for the airline to get you to your vacation spot every week later.

I’m getting ready for the potential for Plan C.  My choices are one and that is it:

If I miss AA 50, that is the one approach that I can get to Zurich by June twenty third.  I’ve my plan collectively if I have to go to plan C.  If American has to re-accommodate me, I have already got the flights recognized.

Remaining Ideas

I’m nonetheless nervous about attending to Zurich on time.  My itinerary has three dependencies and the largest problem is the efficiency of American Airways flight 1667.  I’ve my recreation plan able to keep away from bother.  Since I can’t try Plan B prematurely, I’ll try and have American Airways make a same-day flight change once I land in Seattle.  We’ll see how that goes.

In the meantime, I’ve my fingers crossed and I hope for one of the best, to land in Zurich on time.

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