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Ask Airfarewatchdog: Any Recourse When Airline Changes Schedule?

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Flickr: woodleywonderworks
Flickr: woodleywonderworks

Have a question about travel or airfares? We answer as many as we can, either by email to questions@airfarewatchdog.com or in our Q&A column

Q: What can I do with American Airlines, which canceled our fully paid flight for travel this September, and rescheduled us (two infants, two children, and six adults) to a flight that arrives around midnight rather than early afternoon as originally scheduled?

A: Airline schedules, as the contracts of carriage state, are not guaranteed, and I hear this sort of complaint increasingly often. You probably have two options: one, ask for a full refund and book on another airline; or two, if there's an earlier flight, then pester American to put you on that flight without charging a change fee or extra fare.

Q: We will be flying to Las Vegas this summer, but we hate smoke. Can you recommend a hotel that is totally smoke-free (rooms and public areas?).

A: I think you'll like the Vdara. This is a non-smoking, all-suite hotel in the new City Centre complex. Because it's also a non-gaming hotel, there's no long walk through a smoke-filled casino to get to your room.

The entry-level room is a 582-square-foot suite with a king bed. The separate living room includes a queen sofa bed and a 42-inch flat-panel HDTV. Wireless Internet access is complimentary. The kitchenette is equipped with a two-burner stove, compact refrigerator and microwave. The dining table seats two. The bathroom features a soaking tub and separate shower, along with Aveda bath amenities.

Reviews on TripAdivsor.com are generally very good. Rates can be quite reasonable: I recently saw $124 per night for a mid-week stay in June on Tingo.com, and if you book your room on Tingo the site will automatically rebook you at a lower rate if the room rate drops between the time you book and the time you check in. And to see low airfares to Las Vegas, consult this link.