Reporting Esme Murphy
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.