(photo by Armando Lobos)
Over two years ago I wrote a post recommending that passengers reconfirm airline reservations.
Two things occurred recently that signaled me that it was time to write a follow-up.
First, a client of mine went through a tortuous process of making reservations to Europe on United, which involved United and its code-share partner, and soon to be (maybe) happily-ever-after-merger-partner, Continental.
Second, another travel agent blogger whom I follow, Janice Hough, wrote a post about complications that ensued for one of her clients on a round-trip ticket that involved two carriers.
I just reread my original post from December ’08 and I like it. I don’t think I need to cover the same turf in detail though I recommend you read it if you haven't already. The next two paragraphs summarize its main point.
Airline flight schedules can and do change after you’ve bought tickets. Even though the airline or the travel agency (on-line or bricks-and-mortar) that you booked through is supposed to notify you of schedule changes, the system doesn’t function perfectly. You may never get calls or emails about schedule changes, or you may accidentally ignore them.
In practice, airlines now and in the past would try to keep the passenger flying entirely on its own route system but that’s not always possible, especially for international travel, so multi-airline itineraries are the solution. However the problem that inspired Janice Hough to write her post involved a simple domestic round-trip from Seattle to Washington, D.C., where the outbound (and ticketing carrier) was Alaska Airlines, but the return was on United, and the electronic ticket issued through Alaska for travel on United was not linked correctly to the United flight reservation.