When Should You Wait To Get Rebooked?

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I spent an anxious afternoon like many travelers yesterday. My flight to a wedding this weekend was cancelled and the hold time for American Executive Platinum was over an hour.  When I finally did get someone my options were limited.

The first option they gave me was an early morning flight out of BWI,  a $100 cab or an hour and a half or more on public transit, if it was even running!

I declined and after 20 min more and my willingness to leave on Saturday instead of Friday,  the only available option was Richmond, 2 hours away. Not a great option, but there didn’t appear to be any others, so while my agent waited, I frantically priced one way rental cars (in order to keep my return flight) and tried to decide if I could afford to be exhausted on Monday if I flew in late to Richmond and drove 2 hours home, weather permitting.  Of course the BWI flight was gone by this point.

And I was seriously considering bailing on the trip altogether. Once I reached that point I was tempted just to keep calling back to opportunistically see if anything had opened up before I ran out of time to cancel. The agent indicated options came and went within minutes so it wasn’t completely out of the question I could get something.  In fact, she offered to look one more time even though she had just spent all that time working through the Richmond itinerary.

Sure enough, a flight to the west coast had opened up and she could connect me to another airport less than 2 hrs away from my original destination. Not ideal, but much better than my options 10 minutes before and a contradiction to my assumption that I needed to jump on the first workable solution if I wanted a flight.

You definitely take a risk if you try to be picky with your flights but if none of the options work and you’re already thinking of cancelling, it might be worth holding out. Note: you’ll also need plenty of free time to sit on hold.


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