Rebooking A Cancelled Flight

Sometimes, your flight gets cancelled the night before you’re supposed to fly out to watch your friends get married, and you have to scramble and call the airline (in my case, Delta), to get yourself on to another flight. The original flight I had was leaving at noon, and was going to land in Dallas a little after 3 p.m., which would give me plenty of time to check myself into the hotel and settle in before the rehearsal dinner at 7 p.m. A noon flight would also mean I could wake up at a normal-ish hour and take my time getting to the airport. That all got thrown out the window after my flight was cancelled. Here were my two options.

A) Board a flight at 9 a.m., and get to Texas by 1 p.m.—maybe grab some lunch before checking into my hotel at 3 p.m., and then hanging out until the rehearsal dinner at 7 p.m.
Pro: I get to take my time and settle in after landing in Dallas.
Con: I don’t get to take my time in the morning, because I need to make sure I get to the airport on time.

B) Fly in first class to Atlanta, have a brief layover, and then fly in first class to Dallas, landing a little after 5 p.m., which would give me just enough time to get to the hotel, check in, and then rush over to the rehearsal dinner.
Pro: I have never flown first class, and here is my chance.
Con: I may be a tiny bit late to the rehearsal dinner.

Which one would you choose?

I chose option A.

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27 Comments / Post A Comment

Lily Rowan (#70)

Given the same price for both options? Probably I would have taken option B, depending on when my friends were getting into town. (Killing time alone is less appealing to me than flying first class, even with a transfer, I think.)

RosemaryF (#345)

A. I HATE layovers.

thatgirl (#1,965)

A, no questions asked. Neither of those flights are long enough for the first class to be worth the layover, and also the being late to the dinner.

Kate (#1,408)

I always choose direct flights, even over first class flights with layovers, because each time the plane lands you are opening yourself up for UNTOLD DELAYS OR COMPLICATIONS!

highjump (#39)

@Kate If it wasn’t Atlanta I would probably choose B. ATL is the worst, only terrible food and constant delays await you there.

Vicky (#2,266)

Option A, because you could probably have a good bbq lunch somewhere.

jfruh (#161)

Def. option A. I’m always in a terrible spiral of paranoia about being late for events, and even though I’m not a morning person at all I’d rather get up early to get a flight than worry about being late and/or missing a connection and REALLY being late.

Plus, as noted above, first class isn’t worth the trouble for relatively short domestic flights, especially considering US airlines aren’t that snazzy anyway.

@jfruh I think First Class on a domestic Delta flight is you get your choice of honey roasted OR plain peanuts and a free can soft drink.

readyornot (#816)

@jfruh First class domestic really isn’t worth the hassle of connections or the later arrival time, but it is slightly nicer than stuffisthings lets on. I think the best amenities are the large and comfy seat, the free movies, and the warm meal service on dishes. But the snacks are also nicer than coach, and they do offer drinks before departing and during the flight, including alcohol, but who ever drinks alcohol at 9am on the way to a wedding with free booze all weekend? Choose option A.

@readyornot While I kind of understand why those with the means would pay for first class on a long transatlantic flight, Delta recently offered me a $161 upgrade to first class on a $99 one-way ticket from DC to Florida — why would anyone bother??? No matter how rich you are it seems like there are much better ways to spend your money. Why not have a nice $161 boozy lunch at a fancy restaurant on your way to the airport, rather than paying $161 for a TV dinner and a plastic bottle of Stoli?

That said, I guess if you’re flying on your employer’s/the taxpayer’s dime, it’s a different story.

ETA: I realize this directly contradicts my comment below. I contain multitudes.

readyornot (#816)

@stuffisthings I can’t speak for most people, but the way I have flown first class is by complimentary upgrades because of my frequent flyer elite status on Delta, which I acquired last year by a lot of flying for work on poverty reduction abroad. I’ve never spent anyone’s money on a first-class ticket, and I’ve turned down the upgrade for various reasons, like Mike did today.

@readyornot Yeah I suspect the vast majority of first-class trips, especially on short domestic flights, are the result of upgrades or miles rewards. But I still always eye the people in first class as I walk by thinking “Are YOU the guy who actually paid $160 to sit in a nice chair for two hours?”

selenana (#673)

@stuffisthings They are probably frequent fliers with systemwide upgrades. I agree with you – life is too short to spend stupid amounts of money on first class. The only way I get it is for a free upgrade OR if you have health issues that make the already wickedly uncomfortable coach even worse. I have a friend who is disabled and bigger and coach is excruciating for him.

I would almost certainly choose B and then regret it.

probs (#296)

A. I hate, hate to be late. That means I get everywhere really early, but so be it.

RocketSurgeon (#747)

Option A for sure. You’ll have time for a nap after checking in. That’s a bonus!

beforethestreet (#2,488)

You probably wouldn’t even realize you’re in first class on your flight from Atlanta to Dallas. Not worth the layover.

A is the better option, though I would have chosen B if it didn’t mean potentially getting there a little late. I love sub-2-hour layovers (mostly I just love airports) and first class is the bomb. However, lateness is a dealbreaker!

readyornot (#816)

Things to do in Dallas for a couple of hours! The Nasher Sculpture Center, designed by Renzo Piano, is a lovely space. It has an Anish Kapoor, Giacometti, a Serra, a Turrell installation. Adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art. There’s a nice Southern low-country restaurant in the arts district, Hattie’s, relatively reasonably priced.

Right now the Dallas Arboretum has a Chihuly exhibit, but it’s a bit farther out.

Jasmineleilani (#2,489)

You chose correctly! First class is only worth something when flying internationally or on a redeye.

Dancercise (#94)

“Help me, I’m poor.”

Megano! (#124)

A, because I also hate being late. I also hate getting up early, unless it’s to go to the airport.. Plus then you have time to nap in Dallas after lunch anyway.

A is definitely the way to go. On another note, not flying Delta is also the way to go. Just got back from a wedding in Hawaii and after yet another missed connection, I realized in the past year of flying Delta, every single one of my flights has been delayed by more than an hour.

honey cowl (#1,510)

A. Mike Dang you made the right choice. Not that we needed to tell you that!

PS. Delta sucks. Fly Southwest.

jfruh (#161)

@Lauren One of the worst things about travelling to and from NY is the paucity of Southwest flights (just a few from Newark/Laguardia/Islip if you count that). (One of the best things about having BWI as your local airport is direct Southwest flights almost everywhere!)

Worker Parasite (#2,292)

While the logical person would choose A, I would’ve likely gone with B. 2 flights instead of 1 means more frequent flyer miles which I collect like they’re going out of style.

selenana (#673)

Please file a politely worded complaint when you are finished with this (you can use their complaint/comment button on the top of their website). Do you collect miles? They may offer you some compensation for the inconvenience, but probably won’t if you don’t ask.

I was reading flyertalk after you guys had that article about FF miles, and since then have flown twice on Delta where they f’d up – once very minorly (didn’t get my requested veg meal, hungry on the 10 hour flight) and once majorly (reservations snafu ended up getting me kicked off my flight last minute, rerouted, and a bunch of other nonsense).

In both cases I wrote a polite complaint and received compensation ($100 voucher and 15,000 miles respectively).

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