PSA: Monitor Your Flights for Time and Aircraft Changes

Monitor Your Flights for Aircraft Changes


Booked the Perfect Flight? Don't Forget to Monitor It for Time and Aircraft Changes, especially if you specifically booked a flat bed business class seat. With the many airline scheduling changes and aircraft swaps during the pandemic, this becomes even more crucial, as chances are high that your flight time or aircraft or both may change if you're booking several months in advance.

That's exactly what happened to us for flights booked in 2022 to Hawaii, where we reserved flat bed seats on a United 757-200 aircraft. But when I recently looked up our reservation, our flight time was scheduled for 1 hour 50 minutes later, and the aircraft had changed to a 737 with recliner seats. No thank you.

The flight time alone wouldn't normally allow for a free cancellation (United Airlines defines a substantial time change that permits free cancellation as 2 hours or more) but the different seat does: under Rule 24 of United Airlines' Contract of Carriage, Flight Delays/Cancellations/Aircraft Changes, 7. Irregular Operations includes 7.c. “Substitution of aircraft type that provides different classes of service or different seat configurations.”

I called United, explained the situation, and was able to cancel and refund our tickets without a problem (note that refunds can take a week or so to reflect on your credit card statement). That meant we were able to instead snag a different United Polaris flight (see United Polaris Hawaii Routes 2022) with better Polaris seating than on our original flight.

Here's our United 767 Polaris Business Class YouTube Video Review:


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