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NW-Bound 08-04-2022 07:11 AM

Flight SNAFU at BA and AA
 
Back in June, I booked our Sep-Oct trip to Europe as follows with American Airlines (AA). It's codeshare with British Airways (BA).

* Going: PHX-LHR by BA; LHR-LYS by BA
* Return: LYS-LHR by BA; LHR-PHX by AA

I got seats assigned, the whole work. I then settled down to putting details into planning for this 4-week road trip to drive from France into South Tyrol, Italy. My wife even dragged me to the store to buy smaller carry-ons. We were all excited.

Less than 1 week after booking, BA sent my wife (not me) an email, saying that the flight PHX-LHR would be arriving at another terminal, and I would not have time to make the transfer for the continuing flight. I would have to call them to make changes. Tried to call. Nope. The machine said to try again another time. Too busy. There was no point in putting me in the waiting queue, I guess.

I read that BA was cancelling something like 10,000 flights, and things were in a mess. They were busy rescheduling current passengers hanging around in airports, and our flights were too far in the future for them to even know what to do. Better wait a bit.

I went to AA Web site to see what they said. The LYS-LHR flight was cancelled. I told my wife that if we could keep the long legs of PHX-LHR/LHR-PHX, I would try to find a different way to get from LHR to LYS and back, probably by a different airline operating out of Gatwick.

And as I was still working on the short legs of the travel, 2 weeks ago, AA sent me an email, saying here were the new flights.

* Going: PHX-LAX by AA, LAX-LHR by BA (what happens to LYS as final destination?)
* Return: LYS-MAD by Air Nostrum, MAD-JFK by AA (what happens to PHX as final destination?)

The strangest thing is the return legs will be on the same day as the arrival date, and earlier in the day. And my wife will be traveling alone. I guess they could not find seats for me.

I went to AA Web site to see what it said. All it said was the flights had changed. Tried to see what the changes were. It said "No can do, try some other times".

The whole thing is so messed up, I would be afraid to travel even if they found flights for us.

COcheesehead 08-04-2022 07:22 AM

We had friends book a trip to Paris. A month out, one leg was changed which made getting on the second leg impossible. When they tried to change it, the airline cancelled and refunded everything. Said too bad so sad. They ended up rebooking the first leg and had to settle for a train for the second leg. The train requires non refundable prepayment so if they miss the train….

tulak 08-04-2022 09:13 AM

Yikes, thatís a mess.

Iíve been sticking with Delta this year and besides some minor delays, itís been fine. This includes two trips to Europe. I have another trip to Europe coming up in less than two weeks and so far it looks ok.

I have a friend flying with Lufthansa and ran into problems. Their flights are now a mess. The problem wasnít the transatlantic flight, but the connecting European flights. Those were cancelled and there were no options available for them to make the transatlantic flight home, so they now have multiple layovers. It took hours on the phone to get it sorted out.

Hopefully youíll still make your trip. I think itís worthwhile to travel, but you definitely have to be flexible. Good luck!

cathy63 08-04-2022 09:20 AM

Are you close enough to go to PHX and talk to a real person at the AA ticket desk?

NW-Bound 08-04-2022 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tulak (Post 2810357)
Yikes, that’s a mess.

I’ve been sticking with Delta this year and besides some minor delays, it’s been fine. This includes two trips to Europe. I have another trip to Europe coming up in less than two weeks and so far it looks ok.

I have a friend flying with Lufthansa and ran into problems. Their flights are now a mess. The problem wasn’t the transatlantic flight, but the connecting European flights. Those were cancelled and there were no options available for them to make the transatlantic flight home, so they now have multiple layovers. It took hours on the phone to get it sorted out...


Yes, I think British Airways cancelling a lot of intra-EU flights (10,000 flights) is causing a domino effect on other airlines with connecting flights.


Quote:

Originally Posted by cathy63 (Post 2810367)
Are you close enough to go to PHX and talk to a real person at the AA ticket desk?


Does it really help? I wonder if their overall system is more geared towards helping travelers currently stuck in airports with cancelled flights or missed connections, rather than someone like myself whose travel is still more than 1 month out. They may not even know what flights are real for the next month or two.

MRG 08-04-2022 09:36 AM

I'm never again doing a same day connection on international. We got to explore the lives of methheads, truckers, and working "girls" this week because we stayed for free after a missed connection. The "bus of horrors" we took was something that panic attacks are made from. One woman begged to be dropped off at the side of I-70 and another loop to get out of the bus we had worked so hard to get on.

Staying in a decent place and enjoy a different city from now on. Life's too short and we a have enough $ to pull it off.

gamboolman 08-04-2022 09:41 AM

Sorry for your troubles NW-Bound

So aggravating when you have done all you can do well in advance.

NW-Bound 08-04-2022 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MRG (Post 2810377)
I'm never again doing a same day connection on international. We got to explore the lives of methheads, truckers, and working "girls" this week because we stayed for free after a missed connection. The "bus of horrors" we took was something that panic attacks are made from. One woman begged to be dropped off at the side of I-70 and another loop to get out of the bus we had worked so hard to get on.

Staying in a decent place and enjoy a different city from now on. Life's too short and we a have enough $ to pull it off.


I just saw your post made yesterday. Well, I hope that fiasco at the end of the trip did not ruin the earlier part of it. :)

NW-Bound 08-04-2022 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gamboolman (Post 2810381)
Sorry for your troubles NW-Bound

So aggravating when you have done all you can do well in advance.


Well, it would be worse if we take the trip and end up wandering around the airport with nowhere to go. :)

I will never again go to Europe in the summer, so can try again next year in spring or fall. However, where I want to go, the temperature is much better in fall than in spring, when it is still cold. And for next fall, one year is a long time and who knows what will happen to your health when you are getting old.

Dang. I have money but don't get a chance to spend it. Oh well, it's still better than not having enough money for food and housing, I think. I should not complain too much.

Maybe I will just stay home, order Wagyu beef and eat till it comes out of my ears. I don't even get access to waterways to take up boating like Robbie did. Oh well, just surf the Web, and keep expanding my DIY solar power system for a pastime, I guess.

MRG 08-04-2022 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2810382)
I just saw your post made yesterday. Well, I hope that fiasco at the end of the trip did not ruin the earlier part of it. :)

Nah didn't ruin it. A taste of the road not traveled is always a good bit of reality. I know people who went through that kind of insanity. Many RIP.

cathy63 08-04-2022 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2810373)
Does it really help? I wonder if their overall system is more geared towards helping travelers currently stuck in airports with cancelled flights or missed connections, rather than someone like myself whose travel is still more than 1 month out. They may not even know what flights are real for the next month or two.

They definitely do sell tickets for future flights at airport ticket counters and they can rebook reservations that have been partially canceled, so you should be able to do it in person if you want to. Plus you have the advantage of standing in front of a real human who can't put you on hold. You would have to deal with whatever lines there are at the airport though, and that alone might be longer than waiting on the phone. Also, if you booked with AAdvantage miles or used flight credits, that might be beyond what an airport agent can help with.

I do think it's a little odd that BA emailed your wife directly. If you booked through AA, I think the email should have come from them and AA should be responsibile for rebooking and rerouting. I'm assuming you and your wife were originally on a single booking with one locator number for the entire round trip.

NW-Bound 08-04-2022 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cathy63 (Post 2810401)
They definitely do sell tickets for future flights at airport ticket counters and they can rebook reservations that have been partially canceled, so you should be able to do it in person if you want to. Plus you have the advantage of standing in front of a real human who can't put you on hold. You would have to deal with whatever lines there are at the airport though, and that alone might be longer than waiting on the phone. Also, if you booked with AAdvantage miles or used flight credits, that might be beyond what an airport agent can help with.

I do think it's a little odd that BA emailed your wife directly. If you booked through AA, I think the email should have come from them and AA should be responsibile for rebooking and rerouting. I'm assuming you and your wife were originally on a single booking with one locator number for the entire round trip.


I can go to the airport ticket counter if that helps. And if we are sure we still want to go. :) I will think about it, thanks.

Yes, I bought the tickets from AA under my name, and they were all on one record. When entering passengers' info, I entered our travel club memberships for both AA and BA.

Somehow, they don't send the same info to both of us. That's another thing pointing to how their systems are so messed up.

PS. By the way, I have record locators with both AA and BA. I have not gone back to BA Web site to see what it says now.

tulak 08-04-2022 10:46 AM

If itís possible, another option is flying into Paris (CDG) and taking the train to Lyon. I made the same trip a month ago. You can catch the train directly at CDG and youíre in Lyon in two hours. Itís a pleasant and easy ride.

Teacher Terry 08-04-2022 01:00 PM

NW Bound, that’s awful! I am not even thinking about flying for a year. I felt lucky to get home from Dublin after watching the news and Dublin airport was a mess.

Sojourner 08-04-2022 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2810389)
I will never again go to Europe in the summer, so can try again next year in spring or fall.

I fully agree with this strategy. In fact, I will not be doing ANY international air travel during the summer months (May-Aug) going forward, and will be keeping domestic air travel to a minimum, as well. Shoulder seasons only for me and DW from now on. Absolutely no reason to try to jam ourselves into the chaos and misery of airports, airplanes, hotels, shuttle buses, and rental cars when everyone else is doing the same.

gayl 08-04-2022 03:57 PM

I had screenshot AA /BA as an alternative just in case my Virgin Atlantic gets canceled. Will do United instead

NW-Bound 08-04-2022 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2810403)
PS. By the way, I have record locators with both AA and BA. I have not gone back to BA Web site to see what it says now.


I went to BA Web site, and saw that it had the same flight info as detailed in the email from AA, except that the flight leg of LYS-MAD was missing. Yes, the return flight will be on the same day of arrival to LHR. BA did show both of us on the flights. Hah, that counts for something.


Quote:

Originally Posted by tulak (Post 2810429)
If it’s possible, another option is flying into Paris (CDG) and taking the train to Lyon. I made the same trip a month ago. You can catch the train directly at CDG and you’re in Lyon in two hours. It’s a pleasant and easy ride.


The reason I did not book a flight through CDG was that there was no direct flight for PHX-CDG. There would be a stop in PHL, or JFK, etc... That's a long leg, and domestic flights have no premium economy seats. I have sworn off coach seats for domestic flights, unless it's shorter than 2 hours.

From Phoenix, I usually catch a Southwest flight to LAX, in order to go non-stop LAX-LHR, or LAX-CDG. I may try to change to PHX-LAX-CDG-LYS, or do CDG-LYS via train as you suggested.

I guess if I am not so frugal and go business class, I would have more choices. :)


Quote:

Originally Posted by Teacher Terry (Post 2810509)
NW Bound, that’s awful! I am not even thinking about flying for a year. I felt lucky to get home from Dublin after watching the news and Dublin airport was a mess.


Not just BA, but the whole Heathrow AP is all messed up from what I read. Schiphol is also a disaster zone.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Sojourner (Post 2810517)
I fully agree with this strategy. In fact, I will not be doing ANY international air travel during the summer months (May-Aug) going forward, and will be keeping domestic air travel to a minimum, as well. Shoulder seasons only for me and DW from now on. Absolutely no reason to try to jam ourselves into the chaos and misery of airports, airplanes, hotels, shuttle buses, and rental cars when everyone else is doing the same.


In our 2017 trip, we went in early May, returned mid June. It was cool when we arrived, but we got caught in a heat wave in Paris at the end of the trip. I swore no more Europe in June.

In our 2019 trip, we went in April, returned mid May. Weather was a lot nicer. But, but, but, Lisbon and Porto were crammed with European tourists. I forgot that it was their May Day holiday. ARGHHH! I only realized it when I saw the worker parade in Lisbon.

Well, I enjoyed the trip, but would have more breathing room when not having to compete with the locals at places of interest.

PS. Some years ago, we took some late-in-the-year travels when we saw airfares too cheap to resist. The problem was that in November, the sunlight hours were so few we could not do much. No winning there either.

I also have done Feb-Mar travel once. In southern Europe, it was not cold and it was not bad. I don't recall the days as being short, so perhaps that could work again. However, where I want to go now, South Tyrol will still be cold that early in the year, so that will not work.

braumeister 08-04-2022 04:41 PM

I had a somewhat similar problem caused by a BA cancellation. I simply tried calling every day, usually twice a day, until about a week later I finally got through to a person. Once that happened, everything got worked out easily.

So my advice is to keep plugging away at it.

gayl 08-04-2022 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2810651)
In our 2017 trip, we went in early May, returned mid June. ...
In our 2019 trip, we went in April, ...

yeah, great years for flights. It was even easy in the beginning of 2020 - early 2022. Then everything opens up and most European airports regret giving baggage handlers, pilots, and air traffic controllers early retirement to survive the business / tourism downturn. I'm caught in it like so many others

aja8888 08-04-2022 05:38 PM

The articles I have read about BA is they are now seen as the new "Peoples Express" of the EU.


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