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Ask Airfarewatchdog: JetBlue Schedule Change And Orlando's "Other" Airport

Posted: 08/22/2012 7:00 am

Here at Airfarewatchdog, we're always finding interesting queries in our mailbag. Below, we address two questions from our followers.

Q: I am angry at JetBlue. My little sisters and I are traveling to Montego Bay for a Sept. 7-10 trip. The youngest and I are traveling out of New York on BWIA non-stop. The middle one is flying out of Boston on JetBlue. The flight we booked on purpose was supposed to leave Boston around 6 a.m., connect in Orlando and get her into Montego at 10:54 a.m. We booked this flight because we bought tour packages worth $675 per person that include transportation and security leaving from Montego at 1 p.m. that day to Kingston National Stadium and back. The flight was purchased in May. These packages are non-refundable and the bus leaves Montego Bay exactly at 1 p.m. Without explanation, JetBlue on June 19 sent my sister an email saying there's a schedule change and she will land at Montego Bay at 1:15 p.m.

We have tried arguing with them over and over again like asking them to fly her into Orlando the night before (which is still inconvenient for her) and pay for her hotel at Orlando Airport and they are not willing to do that. All they say is they are willing to change her flight (for a fee!) to Kingston.

I don't want her to travel alone from Kingston Airport to the Stadium. Any advice? What should we do?

A: It looks like JetBlue changed the departure time of its first flight of the day from Boston to Orlando by about 30 minutes, which means you'd miss the earlier connecting flight from Orlando to Montego Bay. Airlines frequently change their schedules, and as they state in their contracts of carriage, schedules are not guaranteed. It's very annoying when it ruins travel plans or results in added travel costs. At the very least, JetBlue should offer you a full refund of the fare your sister paid and allow her to book a flight on another airline. There is an AirTran flight leaving Boston at 6 a.m. on Sept. 7, connecting in Baltimore and arriving at Montego Bay by 11:16 a.m., which would suit your original travel plans. Or at the very least, allow her to fly to Orlando the night before (unfortunately, no airline currently flies from Boston to Orlando early enough to make her connection).

I think that a future area of D.O.T. regulation should cover schedule changes made by airlines months in advance that play havoc with consumers' travel plans and budgets. Would it really kill JetBlue to pay for a night's hotel in Orlando? Searching on hotel booking site Tingo.com I see that the current rate for a night at several Orlando Airport hotels on Sept. 6 is a mere $50.

Come on JetBlue, step up.

Q: I want to fly into Sanford Airport near Orlando, rather than Orlando International Airport, but all the airfare-booking sites I've checked only list Orlando International. How can I book a flight into Sanford?

A: Before Orlando International was built, Sanford was the only option for flying into Orlando, but now only a few airlines fly there and they don't list their fares on booking sites such as Kayak.com or Expedia. The only U.S.-based airline that flies there is Allegiant, which serves the airport from over 40 U.S. airports. You'll find their fares listed only at Allegiantair.com

Have a question about air travel, airfares, or airlines? Send them to questions@airfarewatchdog.com. We'll try to answer as many as we can.

 

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