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evank516
Topic Author
Posts: 2194
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

When to Book and not risk Schedule Changes?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:50 am

I'm going to Key West again in January. I have the DL SkyMiles AMEX card, so I can get a sweet deal with flights, but I'm hesitant to book this far out because of schedule changes. Don't want to fly on the CR7, prefer the 73W and I'm worried booking now may lock me into a flight and they change the equip from mainline to DL Connection. Should I wait a little longer before booking? Price are pretty sweet right now.
 
B747forever
Posts: 13861
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

Re: When to Book and not risk Schedule Changes?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:22 pm

If you book now and DL change from mainline to DL Connection you will be entitled to a refund due to change of operator. In the past I have taken advantage of such changes (mainline to regional) and got my trips refunded.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
PI4EVER
Posts: 817
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: When to Book and not risk Schedule Changes?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:18 pm

Flight schedules are generally not finalized until 45-to-30 days prior so any booking in January will be subject to changes affecting
equipment, times and possibly connections points until mid-November.
If you then cancel, alternate flights to EYW on another airline will not be "sweet" price-wise at that point for travel in peak season January.
DL is one of the best airlines to work with customers on schedule changes and reasonable reaccomodation requests. I recommend you book,
check your itinerary (or when notified by DL via email) monthly for any changes. You can then call DL each time a change occurs.
A prime example. I booked an overseas itinerary 8 months in advance. Before the day I stepped on board the departing flight, some portion of
my itinerary had changed 11 times, including an equipment change requiring new seat assignments 15 days prior to flight date.
These schedules are tweaked continuously so expect changes but don't get freaked out about it and simply call DL to discuss alternate flights.
"Sweet" airfare deals to EYW in peak season are rare so snag your flights now and just expect keeping an eye on any and all changes.
P.S. This info from an ex-airline reservations Manager who managed the Queue Department that handled all rebookings and customer notifications. The process has not changed in decades except you won't be notified of every change months out so best to keep your own eye
out by checking schedules on Delta.com as this department can't handle repeated high volume calls to customers.
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
evank516
Topic Author
Posts: 2194
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: When to Book and not risk Schedule Changes?

Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:21 pm

Thanks everyone. I did book my flights to EYW (from JFK). As of right now I'm on the 737-700 on both EYW legs. If they change it to the CR7 I'll change the flight. Nothing against the CR7, but if mainline is an option then I opt for mainline.
 
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11725Flyer
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 4:51 pm

Re: When to Book and not risk Schedule Changes?

Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:43 pm

Book it now. Personally, I think the CR7 is just fine, but I understand some people would prefer mainline.
 
evank516
Topic Author
Posts: 2194
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: When to Book and not risk Schedule Changes?

Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:33 pm

It's booked, but yes if it changes I'll switch my flights to get mainline.
 
jetero
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:45 am

Re: When to Book and not risk Schedule Changes?

Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:45 pm

PI4EVER wrote:
Flight schedules are generally not finalized until 45-to-30 days prior so any booking in January will be subject to changes affecting
equipment, times and possibly connections points until mid-November.


Agreed on that in general . . . but does that timeframe apply to whether flights will be operated a regional partner or mainline? I'd have to think that decision would be made earlier than 45 days.

The way I always understood it is that airlines file a completely dummy schedule at 330 days. Say 5 flights per day between JFK and LAX at the high-demand times, even though it is likely 11 months in advance they'll fly 8.

At some point of time, they file a frequency plan, that is flown by default "filler" aircraft (e.g., 738 for UA) and the frequencies are actually "scheduled," but the aircraft type is not reliable (hence the uniform row naming conventions).

As you say, 45 days out it's finalized. But I always understood that to be for mainline operations. Is there not an earlier cutoff between 6 months and 45 days where regional operators get a "confirmed enough" operation to plan?

WN, of course, is the exception to the above rule.

(Also I'd like to know what SkyMiles AMEX has to do with getting a "sweet deal" on flights. Am I missing something?)
 
evank516
Topic Author
Posts: 2194
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: When to Book and not risk Schedule Changes?

Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:07 pm

SkyMiles AMEX allows you to partial pay with miles so you don't have to pay the full fare. In my case $421 was the full fare. I took 15,000 of the miles I had. 5,000 miles = $50. 15,000 miles equals $150. So $421-150=$271.00 fare paid by me. For EYW, that's a pretty sweet deal. Heck $421 was a sweet enough deal for EYW coming from JFK.
 
jetero
Posts: 4673
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:45 am

Re: When to Book and not risk Schedule Changes?

Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:41 pm

evank516 wrote:
SkyMiles AMEX allows you to partial pay with miles so you don't have to pay the full fare. In my case $421 was the full fare. I took 15,000 of the miles I had. 5,000 miles = $50. 15,000 miles equals $150. So $421-150=$271.00 fare paid by me. For EYW, that's a pretty sweet deal. Heck $421 was a sweet enough deal for EYW coming from JFK.


Thanks

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