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Planning to fly this summer? Airlines are shifting flight schedules more than ever

Consumer reporter John Matarese looks into why, and how to protect yourself so you don’t waste your money.

HOUSTON — Thousands of air travelers this year are getting an unpleasant surprise a few days or a few weeks before their flight.

The airline changes their itinerary, and it creates all sorts of travel hassles.

Jon Myers is planning a late fall trip with friends, so he found a great fare on an American Airlines flight.

"It left at 4:10 in the afternoon," he said.

But a few weeks later, he received an unexpected email.

"I get a an email from American Airlines, saying we have changed the departure time on your flight from 4:10 to 7:50 in the morning, which is 8 hours and 20 minutes."

Welcome to the summer of the changed itinerary, when airlines are changing flight times for millions of travelers, according to The Washington Post.

It says American, United, Delta and even Southwest are still rebuilding their schedules after the pandemic.

American Airlines told the Post, "Labor shortages and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand has led us to adjust a fraction of our scheduled flying."

Myers thinks there should be some sort of rule against it. "But four months in advance, changing it 8 hours and 20 minutes? No no no."

The Points Guy says if this happens to you:

  • Request a better flight at the same fare.
  • Ask for some miles as compensation for your troubles.

Myers just hopes it doesn't change again.

"So far, they haven't changed the return flight."

Until regular business travel returns, don’t be surprised to see airlines continue to jiggle their schedules.

So double check your flights, so you don’t waste your money.

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