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I booked a flight (san Andres to Medellin) months ago with a rather cheap fare over atrapalo (booking website) with avianca.

Atrapalo sent me an e-mail that the flight was cancelled and the replacement offered by avianca was a flight from san andres to bogota and from there to medellin. Travel time 4:30h instead of 1:30h.

They tell me if I don't accept they could try to get my money back from avianca. However, the flight is leaving in a few days and maybe getting my money back plus buying another flight for more money is a bad option.

Do I have any way of getting a better flight, maybe even with another airline either from avianca or atrapalo? Or is there anything else I can do?/Can they just do that?

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    Call and ask. How flexible are you? Would you consider traveling on another day? – Jim MacKenzie Nov 9 '17 at 17:21
  • @JimMacKenzie hotels are booked, so no. I'll call them but wanted to gather some information in case there's anything I can use. – DonQuiKong Nov 9 '17 at 17:23
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    You can certainly request that they find better flights for you, and they may try as a customer service gesture. They are not, however, obligated to do anything beyond what is spelled out in Atrapolo's Terms and Conditions and Avianca's Contract of Carriage. For most airlines in most of the world, your only recourse to an involuntary rerouting is to cancel the ticket and accept a refund at the original price. Honestly, three hours is not a big deal at all. Three days is another matter. – choster Nov 9 '17 at 17:37
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    Is it really worth making a big fuss (or even any fuss at all) over an extra three hours? I mean, sure, it's a pain, but it's only three hours. – David Richerby Nov 10 '17 at 14:40
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    @DonQuiKong Their lawyers are ahead of you. Article 12.1 in avianca's conditions of carriage states "THE CARRIER Will exercise reasonable efforts... but published schedules, flight times, aircraft type, seat assignments, and similar details reflected in the ticket or THE CARRIER’S published schedules are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract. " All airlines have some similar wording that allows them to make changes if they offer you a full refund. – user71659 Nov 12 '17 at 5:23
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As to what happened, neither avianca nor atrapalo helped and we got no compensation. Even though flying business class, as there were no direct flights due to a pilot strike, they did not do anything to make the situation better. We didn't pursue it further.

If someone adds an answer elaborating what could have been done or what rights exist, I'll consider accepting that, until then the question stays open as I have no theoretical basis for my answer.

  • Look at the overal travel time, door to door, rather than airport to airport, and see if it still is as dramatic. I guess the travel time has less than doubled. – Willeke Nov 20 '17 at 17:48
  • @Willeke true, good point. Still annoying to get rescheduled like that ;) – DonQuiKong Nov 20 '17 at 18:14

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