MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When most of us book an airline flight, we’re willing to pay extra to make sure it’s nonstop. That’s exactly what Karen Ortt did when she booked a flight for her a niece to fly to Miami.

Back in November when Ortt booked the non-stop round trip flight to Miami in June, she thought her travel plans were set. But then this week came this email saying “we apologize for this change in your travel plans.” The email then details the new flight itinerary which has a layover on both her flight to and from Miami.

Ortt said she thinks she is getting a raw deal because she paid more to go nonstop. Ortt’s new flight has her arriving in Miami 40 minutes later than the old flight. She’s worried because she and her niece are boarding a cruise ship the same day as her flight.

“I was really bummed out because I took it upon myself to book a nonstop flight and it’s amazing to me that the airlines can change it on you in a second,” said Ortt.

Ortt immediately called Delta. She was told there was nothing she could do. Ortt said the agent told her, “‘Unfortunately, we can do that. We can change itineraries. It’s the way it is.'”

At Minnetonka Travel, travel Agent Lori Bednark said airlines can and do change itineraries — even if it means changing a nonstop to a flight with a layover.

“The airlines are looking at it that we are getting you from you point of departure to your arrival point within a 90 minute window. For most people, that is acceptable,” said Bednark.

Bednark said if the change results in more than a 90 minute change in the arrival or departure, airlines will usually offer a full refund. In Karen’s case, the layover does not make that large a time difference so she’s out of luck.

“They have my money and they can make all these changes,” said Ortt. “I don’t think it is right.”

On Wednesday afternoon, a Delta representative said the airline regrets the confusion and would be contacting Karen Ortt to resolve her concerns. They say in these situations they will work with customers to offer them a partial refund or even rebook them on another airline.

Later, Ortt said Delta called and said they will work with her and even are willing to offer her a full refund.

Comments (27)
  1. Jeffery Gauss says:

    After the media got involved! Delta,aka NorthWORST aren’t even worth flying! I won’t fly American either, so that limits my choices. Customer service is dead in the airline industry! It has been for many years!

  2. Richard in Minneapolis says:

    Considering passengers can buy tickets ELEVEN months in advance I don’t think it the least bit unreasonable that airlines can adjust the schedules. If you can’t be flexible you shouldn’t be travelling. And don’t ever, ever plan your trip to come off like the last five minutes of a Mission Impossible episode. A little slack goes a long way and makes for a much more pleasant travel experience.

  3. Huk Fin says:

    This is news? Has this woman never flown before? I’ve been stuck on the tarmac longer than her 40 minute delay…

  4. Tommy says:

    Well, this has happened to me as well. I wasn’t happy about it.

    However, I just shrugged and got on with my life.

  5. Kate says:

    You people that say, too bad, that’s just the way it is, there’s nothing we can do, get over it….

    You are lazy losers.

    You’d still be using outdoor plumbing if it wasn’t for other people who take action to improve our lives.

    1. David J. Conklin says:

      Right on, Kate!

  6. Joe Sensa says:

    News flash- never fly in the same day of your cruise ! duh !!!!

  7. Bait, and Switch says:

    There are getting to be fewer direct flights out of MSP.
    That’s what happens when we no longer have a hometown airline.
    Don’t you with you had supported the unions at NWA instead of letting
    Delta take control?

    1. Nope says:

      The unions at NWA were a joke. Nothing but lazy sob’s

      1. David J. Conklin says:

        The unions didn’t change her itinerary. Now we know who the real lazy slob is–can’t even read the article and stay on topic–and hides behind a moniker!.

        1. Nope says:

          What are you talking about, I never said anything about the union being respoisible for this lady’s issues. My comment was in response to the poster above mine, hence the indentation. So, take your simpleton mind and try again elsewhere. I will say this though, we can get a good judgement of your intelligence by your post. You most certianly are a union man, and make a great example for my point of unions (not all unions, just the unskilled ones like the afcsme and teamsters) being a way to control large groups of very, very simple minds…

    2. John Frykman says:

      The unions are responsible for bankrupting all the major airlines. Just in case you don’t remember, NWA filed for bankruptcy in 2007. It also won substantial financial guarantees from the state of Minnesota years back. You cannot have competition set prices, and have the major cost of running an airline…wages…set by the threat of union blackmail. ALL of the major airlines have filed for bankruptcy protection at least once, and US Airways has filed twice because union wages and rules were killing them. Virtually ALL of the unions have been busted (thank God) and American Airlines unions are good as dead.

  8. Swamp Fox says:

    “CAVEAT EMPTOR”–Buyer Beware!

    If you buy your tickets far in advance be prepared to read the fine print on the ticket rules and be prepared for “Murphy’s Law”! Unless this is your first flight just be prepared for surprises from the airline you are flying.

    Don’t you agree?

    No longer is flying a convenient way to travel for the short or medium trips you may want to take. The Golden Age of air travel is past. Airlines have become cattle car carriers with hardly any customer services or consistent regulations.

    Trip planning for the unexpected has become the norm and cheap fares are no longer the rule but the exception. Air travel has become a “Hurry-up and wait” game for passengers. I feel for the lady in this story but being naive that all is well with air travel to meet a cruise ship leaving on the same day of arriving at the nearest airport is a bit risky.

    Welcome to the real world of traveling by airline. That’s why I take the train on medium or short trips. I can’t wait for the American version of HSR [high speed rail] bullet trains to operate in the US. Now that would be the classy way to go on a middle class or retirees budget. You arrive unruffled and refreshed at your final destination. Too bad the airlines don’t realize this.

  9. R Takle says:

    All of you NWA haters finally got your wish. You hated everything about NWA and now they’re gone. Well I hope you all enjoy connecting through ATL every time you fly.

    1. sue says:

      Northwest Airlines treated all of their employees terrible, much worse than other airlines. Minnesota gave a lot of monies to Northwest to keep them here and they ended selling out anyway. WE never wanted to get rid of them, they left owing MN millions, did we ever recover any of that money??? Recent article suggests Delta is leaving also

      1. John Frykman says:

        Baloney. Absolute nonsense! NWA did not owe Minnesota one thin dime when they were purchased by Delta. Delta has not left Minnesota…they pay the lions share of the operating expenses of MSP!

        If Northwest Airlines treated their employees so “terrible” then why didn’t they QUIT? Employees don’t own their jobs and Airlines don’t own their employees. Any person who works for less than he/she is worth is a fool. If they are so valuable, then why aren’t employers lining up to hire them? The public is beginning to wake up to these grand public extortion schemes planned by union thugs.

  10. sue says:

    if you pay for a nonstop flight and the airlines has to change the itinery, shouldn’t the airline change you to another nonstop flight??? Is that totally out line?
    I won a cruise from my company and believe me they will never send me a day earlier to avoid being late for the cruise.

  11. Bob says:

    I think everyone is missing the point…. I’m sure this lady had a option\chance to book at flight that stopped in ATL both ways for much lesser money but chose to pay the extra money for the non stop flight. At a minimum Delta should provide her with an ECertificate for the difference in the cost at the time she purchased the ticket?

  12. chinwhiskers says:

    O come on! Flying across country the same day as her cruise & ballistics about a 40 MINUTE delay in her arrival time because of a stop?? Talk about Manipulative, self centered, and inexperienced at travel. What more can we find fault with & try to get $$$ for ?

    1. KeyWestConch says:

      She paid and arranged for what she wanted. It shouldn’t arbitrarily be changed without her consend and without giving her a refund of what she paid for a direct flight. The airlines are getting a downright take it or leave it attitude and the only way they are held accountable is if someone raises a stink and they are publicly embarrassed. Then suddenly they back off.

  13. neveragainonDelta says:

    Delta did this to me on my Christmas flights. I wasn’t happy as they had me leaving my family 3 hours earlier than the flight I bought. I didn’t complain until I got the 3rd change. Then I sent them an email telling them the next change better be back to my original flight with a first class upgrade. The changes stopped.

  14. KeyWestConch says:

    So, she pays for non-stop and the ariline arbitrarily changes the itinerary, but the aireline says “it’s OK’ because she allegedly will still arrive within a 90 minute window of the original time. Yeah right. Even if she wasn’t being rooked on the cost of the ticket, ANY TIME the flight has a stop it can end up being delayed and the ultimate arrival time can be way more that 90 minutes later. Along with all the stupid “extra” charges the airlines are tacking on, this kind of abuse is really the limit.

  15. John Frykman says:

    If she booked a one-stop flight and got bumped to a non-stop, then shouldn’t she pay the higher fare? Would she have preferred that the airline simply cancel the flight? If a mechanical problem grounded a plane, where are they supposed to get the replacement? Build one out of spare parts?

  16. konjokris says:

    I was a NWA FA for 17 years and I have to laugh at anyone going on a cruise and flying in the same day. Bad idea, anything can happen, weather, mechanical, late crew, no plane. If you have the money to book a cruise, spend the extra money to go the night before, if you don’t stop belly aching and be glad you are afforded a vacation. And it’s not the airlines fault for acts of god delays. BTW NWA may have been a big pain in the rump for a lot of you, but I loved my union job until the union busters got their nasty, greedy little mitts on my 40% paycut. I quit, I didn’t want to work with SCABS.

    1. CSS says:

      THANK YOU! I actually preferred to fly NWA over any other airline. My flights were always on time or at least very close to it, and the only time a flight was canceled, the airline went out of its way to accommodate me.

  17. CSS says:

    I can understand why the sudden change would annoy the woman in this story. But being so upset that it becomes a news story…really?

    When people buy airline tickets (or any product or service, really), there is fine print. I will be the very first to admit that I do not read the fine print before I buy something unless I have a real concern about it. However, it IS there, and a large company like Delta likely covers itself very well with it. If I called Delta about this and they pointed out this fine print, I would feel stupid for not reading it and, besides asking them nicely to help me out, I would accept it as my mistake.

    Things happen. We don’t know WHY Delta needed to change that itinerary, and unfortunately, they don’t have to disclose that information. However, they notified her MONTHS in advance of the trip, leaving her plenty of time to orchestrate everything else.

    I work as a supervisor in a call center for a large company. Had she called Delta and escalated her call to a supervisor or manager, I’m sure they would have helped her without the dramatics of a media frenzy…after all, many times (although not in my company) the customer service representatives are only allowed to follow the exact policy so that exceptions aren’t being handed to every customer.

    If this woman did not bother to read the fine print and the nonstop flight was THAT important to her, then she is naïve. Even after the purchase, if she discovered that they reserve the right to change her itinerary and it concerned her, she could have called and they probably would have been able to work with her right then and there to ensure a successful outcome.

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