Beware: JetBlue and other Airline extended chaos- canceling and changing flights

DisneyfanMA

Active Member
Original Poster
After months of watching airline prices continually go up, up , up I held my nose and bought Jetblue tickets back in February for my family of 5 for Nov. Original flight was to land late AM, the day before we start our first park visit. Was really disappointed in the price but was happy I got reasonable flight times etc and it was done.

Last night I had Jet Blue email about that flight and another unrelated trip in October. They were proposing new flights at a MUCH later time (landing at 10pm). Jet Blue offered 1)accept changes, 2)change flight at no charge, 3)cancel for full refund. There were NO other options even offered at all for changing it so I canceled all together and rebooked with some headaches related to stops, takeoff times and cost on another carrier (Delta). Needless to say I'm furious with JetBlue, and I'll be nervous about this until we arrive in Florida. Don't care as much about going home, don't want to spoil our trip on way in though.

To say the airline industry is in shambles and chaos is an understatement. BEWARE if you're flying in, keep watching for cancellations and changes!
 
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dryerlintfan

Poor Little Bug on the Wall
Premium Member
Not to defend JetBlue or give you nervousness about your upcoming flight, but all airlines are overbooking flights and all flights are in shambles right now. We were just in Hawaii with a rather large group and about half of them had such large delays they arrived a day or more later than they originally planned.

Air travel these days is just going to take a lot of patience and inner peace.
 

DisneyfanMA

Active Member
Original Poster
Yes agreed. I think what adds to the stress is the whole park reservation and ticket situation in addition. In order to rebook and not come home at an ungodly early hour the following weekend after our last park visit, we ended up extending our visit 1 extra day with nothing planned that final Sunday, so If we're delayed inbound and can't start our visit on time, I could always plead with Disney at the last minute to allow me to move my park reservation and ticket for that first park to the extra last day.
 

Geek4WDW

New Member
We went to WDW in May, I booked our flights with Delta in February and the flights were changed 2x in that short time and our departure flight was delayed about 1 hour after we arrived at airport. Which isn't bad considering the jams other have been in.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Not to defend JetBlue or give you nervousness about your upcoming flight, but all airlines are overbooking flights and all flights are in shambles right now. We were just in Hawaii with a rather large group and about half of them had such large delays they arrived a day or more later than they originally planned.

Air travel these days is just going to take a lot of patience and inner peace.
All I ask is that when my trip to Alaska gets blown to bits, it happens on the US side of the border so I can rage without a mask on.
 

DisneyfanMA

Active Member
Original Poster
I did see a family I'm aquaintences with get stuck all together in Boston, back in early April I think when JetBlue was the biggest mess. They ended up renting a car and driving to WDW! They got there 2 days late or so, but had no other good options. JetBlue was going to fly them out 3 or 4 days into their planned and booked trip. I'm not usually a sue happy person I swear but this is not right. There should be class actions against the airlines and they should be held accountable for doing this to people. There is too much money and other things hinged on pre-booked travel. And Yes I know there are worse things people are missing besides vacations. Even more so then on accountability.
 

monothingie

Squeaky Clean!
Premium Member
After months of watching airline prices continually go up, up , up I held my nose and bought Jetblue tickets back in February for my family of 5 for Nov. Getting in late AM day before we start park visits. Was really disappointed in the price but was happy I got reasonable flight times etc and it was done.

Last night I had Jet Blue email about that flight and another unrelated trip in October. They were proposing new flights at a MUCH later time (landing at 10pm). Jet Blue offered 1)accept changes, 2)change flight at no charge, 3)cancel for full refund. There were NO other options at all for changing it so I canceled all together and rebooked with some headaches related to stops, takeoff times and cost on another carrier (Delta). Needless to say I'm furious with JetBlue, and I'll be nervous about this until we arrive in Florida. Don't care as much about going home, don't want to spoil our trip on way in though.

To say the airline industry is in shambles and chaos is an understatement. BEWARE if you're flying in, keep watching for cancellations and changes!
It isn't necessarily carrier specific. Unfortunately, Jet Blue which had previously excelled at customer service has really fallen flat on their faces.

For day of flight problems, these have mostly been created by the shortages of pilots, ATC Controllers, Airport Workers, and aircraft. Add to this weather related delays and it becomes a disaster. The biggest problem airlines have is that they have to find places to put everyone from a canceled flight. Unfortunately, they can't and don't just roll out a bigger plane for the next flight.

Most airline routes and schedules are made to accommodate the number of passengers seeking to go to that destination (the gauge). So if United Airlines, for example, figures that it needs to have 10 daily flights between Newark and Orlando utilizing 737s in order to maximize it's revenue that's exactly what it's going to do. Running more than 10 flights makes every other flight less profitable. Running larger planes like 767s or 777s while adding capacity, increases expenses and makes the other flights less profitable.

Now add the labor issues and weather delays, and cut 2-3 of the 10 daily flights out. The remaining flights are mostly booked and most likely can not accommodate further so what options are left? If you're traveling alone or are delayed due to something that was the airlines fault (mechanical problems), you have a good shot of getting taken care of. Otherwise the airline will make more money refunding you your fair.

My advice to you is book an airline that has a large presence at your departure airport. You will have more options in the event of schedule disruptions.
 

DisneyfanMA

Active Member
Original Poster
My advice to you is book an airline that has a large presence at your departure airport. You will have more options in the event of schedule disruptions.
This actually may be an important nuance. I had booked our original outbound flight from the MUCH smaller (and easier to access) TF Green near Providence, RI.. This is the one Jetblue bumped to much later in the day. (Landing at 10pm rather than 11 am). My guess is they're cutting routes.

I was probably penny wise pound foolish because maybe it wouldn't have been as severely altered if was coming out of Boston. I did have a Boston Jetblue flight for an unrelated trip changed also, but not dramatically and so I accepted it.

My new booking is Delta in and out of Boston, so Im hopeful I will be OK. But I will be watching it like a hawk from now until Nov, and again won't be relieved until we safely touch down in Orlando the day before our park visits start. Hopefully at a reasonable hour.
 
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Lilofan

Well-Known Member
After months of watching airline prices continually go up, up , up I held my nose and bought Jetblue tickets back in February for my family of 5 for Nov. Original flight was to land late AM, the day before we start our first park visit. Was really disappointed in the price but was happy I got reasonable flight times etc and it was done.

Last night I had Jet Blue email about that flight and another unrelated trip in October. They were proposing new flights at a MUCH later time (landing at 10pm). Jet Blue offered 1)accept changes, 2)change flight at no charge, 3)cancel for full refund. There were NO other options even offered at all for changing it so I canceled all together and rebooked with some headaches related to stops, takeoff times and cost on another carrier (Delta). Needless to say I'm furious with JetBlue, and I'll be nervous about this until we arrive in Florida. Don't care as much about going home, don't want to spoil our trip on way in though.

To say the airline industry is in shambles and chaos is an understatement. BEWARE if you're flying in, keep watching for cancellations and changes!
You can drive from MA to Lorton VA outside DC, hop on the Amtrak Auto Train, arrive in Sanford , 1 hour from WDW. Auto train saves about 13 hours of driving.
 

donsullivan

Premium Member
After months of watching airline prices continually go up, up , up I held my nose and bought Jetblue tickets back in February for my family of 5 for Nov. Original flight was to land late AM, the day before we start our first park visit. Was really disappointed in the price but was happy I got reasonable flight times etc and it was done.

Last night I had Jet Blue email about that flight and another unrelated trip in October. They were proposing new flights at a MUCH later time (landing at 10pm). Jet Blue offered 1)accept changes, 2)change flight at no charge, 3)cancel for full refund. There were NO other options even offered at all for changing it so I canceled all together and rebooked with some headaches related to stops, takeoff times and cost on another carrier (Delta). Needless to say I'm furious with JetBlue, and I'll be nervous about this until we arrive in Florida. Don't care as much about going home, don't want to spoil our trip on way in though.

To say the airline industry is in shambles and chaos is an understatement. BEWARE if you're flying in, keep watching for cancellations and changes!
While there is no question there is mayhem with the airlines right now, what you are describing is actually a normal pattern when you try to book that far in the future. For decades, airlines have been adjusting schedules for any number of reasons including dropping flights, changing times, changing equipment (and capacity as a result), etc.. The farther in advance you book, the greater the potential the airline will make scheduling adjustments before you travel and you'll have this sort of experience. It's one of the key risks of booking travel too far in advance. And then add to that the fare class you are on and you'll be lower on the priority list for recovery which means all the seats on the earlier flights get taken up by people who were on a higher (more $$$) fare class before they got to you.

I get that this is no consolation for your frustration but this is totally normal behavior for virtually all airlines and has been for many, many years. It's certainly happening more often now with all the challenges the airlines are experiencing coming out of the pandemic but this is not new behavior.
 

DisneyfanMA

Active Member
Original Poster
While there is no question there is mayhem with the airlines right now, what you are describing is actually a normal pattern when you try to book that far in the future. For decades, airlines have been adjusting schedules for any number of reasons including dropping flights, changing times, changing equipment (and capacity as a result), etc.. The farther in advance you book, the greater the potential the airline will make scheduling adjustments before you travel and you'll have this sort of experience. It's one of the key risks of booking travel too far in advance. And then add to that the fare class you are on and you'll be lower on the priority list for recovery which means all the seats on the earlier flights get taken up by people who were on a higher (more $$$) fare class before they got to you.

I get that this is no consolation for your frustration but this is totally normal behavior for virtually all airlines and has been for many, many years. It's certainly happening more often now with all the challenges the airlines are experiencing coming out of the pandemic but this is not new behavior.


I don't normally book this far out. Maybe I got panicky but with the runaway fuel costs and inflation I wanted to lock in. I setup pice alerts as soon as my dates were avail and I watched the price go up 5 to 10 pct every month or so. After 3 straight months of this I bought the tix. Prices have not come down since, in fact they've mostly continued to increase but not as badly since then. Hopefully this itinerary stays locked in.

My first 2 airlines preference in no order are Delta and Jetblue.
 

Raxel7851

Well-Known Member
You can drive from MA to Lorton VA outside DC, hop on the Amtrak Auto Train, arrive in Sanford , 1 hour from WDW. Auto train saves about 13 hours of driving.
We love the Auto Train. If you decide to do that, they offer a family bedroom setup for 5. You could head to Lorton the day before and stay in Alexandria Va., which is a 20 minute drive away. You need to be there before 2:30 PM. As @Lilofan posted, it’s an ez 40 drive to WDW.
 

DisneyfanMA

Active Member
Original Poster
I appreciate the out the box thinking re: the train. Maybe the next go round when the kids are older. Too many starts and stops and transitions is difficult for us with 3 children, at their age.

I did look at another alternate option, flying into and out of Tampa and just driving the extra distance with the rental. Looks like about 1 hr, 20 min drive from Tampa to Kissimmee area. The rates are cheaper than Orlando. I am keeping my Delta trip for now but setup a fully refundable ticket so I will watch.
 

SaucyBoy

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
All I ask is that when my trip to Alaska gets blown to bits, it happens on the US side of the border so I can rage without a mask on.
We're out to SEA for an Alaska cruise at the end of this month. We're leaving two days before the ship departs just because we know there will likely be delays and possibly cancellations. What was once the easiest way to travel is now the most hassle and stress filled way to travel.
 

dryerlintfan

Poor Little Bug on the Wall
Premium Member
I heard on the radio that over sixty thousand flights over this past weekend we're delayed or cancelled.

I don't know if that puts anything into perspective at all.
 

Doberge

Premium Member
I think flying earlier in the day with an airline + partners with multiple flights flying out and in is worth paying more at this time. I used to exlcuaively look at price but today that usually meant like one or two flights out daily and praying for no issues.

While it's not a Disney trip but I paid a little more to book Delta into Atlanta next week both because they run flights from my airport all day and they have more partners with more flights daily if they need to rebook me. I feel like I'll be okay if ita carrier issue, but nothing we can really do about airport issues so I'm crossing my fingers.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
I appreciate the out the box thinking re: the train. Maybe the next go round when the kids are older. Too many starts and stops and transitions is difficult for us with 3 children, at their age.

I did look at another alternate option, flying into and out of Tampa and just driving the extra distance with the rental. Looks like about 1 hr, 20 min drive from Tampa to Kissimmee area. The rates are cheaper than Orlando. I am keeping my Delta trip for now but setup a fully refundable ticket so I will watch.
On the contrary , the auto train from Lorton VA to Sanford FL is direct, no stops to pick up passengers. You may regret flying into Tampa to save a few dollars. The journey from Tampa to WDW via I-4 is a nightmare going through Champions Gate / Haines City exits on I-4. That 90 min drive won’t be 90 min.
 

DisneyfanMA

Active Member
Original Poster
On the contrary , the auto train from Lorton VA to Sanford FL is direct, no stops to pick up passengers. You may regret flying into Tampa to save a few dollars. The journey from Tampa to WDW via I-4 is a nightmare going through Champions Gate / Haines City exits on I-4. That 90 min drive won’t be 90 min.


We're not flying into Tampa, but I did look at the prices. We're flying Boston to Orlando (MCO) and back. Thanks for the headsup on that drive though. I'll think twice before I do that.

I think I may also spring for in terminal rental car pickup. Again by myself NBD, but with 3 kids and my wife the less transitions the better.
 
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