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I bought an international flight via an online travel agent. Recently I received an email from the agent saying that the flight schedule has been changed by the airline. There was a button which I was supposed to click to confirm the change. I did not do that.

The new flight schedule forces me to have an overnight layover (and the new trip starts 1 day before the old one). I emailed the agent a few days ago asking whether it is possible to get some kind of compensation for that, possibly in the form of a hotel voucher. I received no reply.

1) Should I email the airline with the same inquiry?

2) Assuming the modified flight is ORD-DFW-LAX-SYD (it was ORD-LAX-SYD), is acceptable to ask that the leg ORD-DFW-LAX be changed to X-LAX (possibly with layovers), where X is some other airport which would be more convenient than ORD for me?

I assume I can get a full refund (I have had a similar situation in the past, and the agency I booked with (not the one I'm talking about above) offered me one), but I don't want one because it was a very good deal, even if I have to pay for the hotel during the overnight layover.

  • Some answers are contained here, but will AA deal with me directly if I did not book the ticket directly with them? – user77409 Apr 30 at 0:52
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    Let's not assume: We can usually be much more helpful if we know the actual itinerary, not a hypothetical one. Not to mention the actual cities you're traveling from/to, if not the cities where your flights begin and end. – Michael Hampton Apr 30 at 1:40
  • Typically you only have two choices: accept the change, or decline and get a full refund. I have never seen anything else. – Hilmar Apr 30 at 13:02
  • In the end the travel agent replied by email and changed the itinerary to one without long layovers. – user77409 Jun 6 at 18:40
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Email is not always helpful for this kind of thing; emails are easily lost and easily ignored, even if unintentionally. Call the airline and speak to an agent.


Schedule changes occur quite frequently, and every airline reserves the right to change its flight schedule arbitrarily. From a custom service perspective, however, they don't want to inconvenience their passengers too much, and so rescheduling will kick off automated rebooking processes. AA has only one LAX-SYD departure per day, and likely the rebooking algorithm couldn't find suitable alternatives without sending you out a day early.

You are not required to accept the airline's automatic rebooking, so it is fine that you did not click the button to confirm. What you do need to do is call American Airlines as soon as possible to see what other alternatives are possible, as any alternative flights will only get fuller with each passing day. It helps to be flexible, and to have done some initial research into alternatives, as you have done. Yes, they can change your routing, although their willingness to do so may depend on your frequent flyer status, the fare you paid, and like matters.

The airline isn't required, however, to provide you a hotel room if you agree to an itinerary change that does involve an overnight. Neither are they required to offer any other compensation, although they might offer a voucher or some frequent flyer miles as a customer service gesture. The only legally guaranteed remedy is for you to forego the trip and accept an involuntary refund of the money you paid originally, as would be the case with any other major U.S. airline.

AA's Conditions of Carriage, the contract you agree to when you buy a ticket from them, states

We will refund a non-refundable ticket (or the value of the unused segment of your trip) to the original form of payment if:

  • We make a schedule change that results in a change of 61 minutes or more.

but provides no other promises of compensation.

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