WHAT TO DO IF WE BOOK THE WRONG TRAVEL DATE BY MISTAKE?
While booking flight tickets, dates are the most paramount information. You get the date wrong, changing it will be a dream. Most of the lowest fare deals come with restrictions that date can’t be changed- if you book for the wrong date either pay 100% extra and book a new ticket or change your plan to suit whatever dates shown in the confirmed ticket.
I had an involvement in this regard and I would like to share the same.
I wanted to book a flight ticket between California
and Texas for a family member. I selected onward journey as 17th Jan, return journey as 28th Jan and searched for flights first on xpress reservation. As Delta was the only airline that had direct flights between California and Texas, I went to Delta website to create a booking. The return fare was coming just under $1200. Delta also prompted me to buy their premium package- pay some $1200 more and get free food, a couple of date change options, seat selection, etc. I decided to ignore these and protect that money. However Delta now adds some 800 $+ as a convenience fee on return tickets, so I was scouting for ways to avoid this.
Decided to try Xpress reservation.com who is popular for not charging a convenience fee. Entered all the details again, got the same fare without a convenience fee and I could now book a return ticket for $7000 on EMT instead of $7600 on Delta.
But I had shocked after I saw the booking confirmation. The return date was being shown as 18th Jan instead of 24th Jan. I remember I had selected 24th Jan initially, not sure at what stage it got changed to 19th Jan. 19th was too short and wouldn’t give us enough time to finish whatever work my family member had to finish in Texas. It was my mistake I didn’t cross-check the date one more time before payment. Even the EMT interface was not intuitive to highlight this that I could have realized the mistake and done correction before paying.
Now that I had paid and the ticket is confirmed, below were our options
- Option 1: Change plan as per ticket date- return within 3 days instead of 7-8 days planned earlier and plan a separate trip later if required.
- Option 2: Pay some 4000$ extra and book a separate one-way ticket for a later date
- Option 3: Check beside customer care if anything else can be done.
We spoke to xpress reservation customer care- they simply said they can’t help- Only Delta can change the date
We next spoke to Delta customer care and explained that the return date has been wrong booked. Because the call was made within minutes of booking Delta staff received our request and accepted to change the return date. We had to pay any fare variation and convenience fee. Since there was no fare difference, we ended up paying $ 780 as a convenience fee to Delta to get our return date changed. This was much better than having to spend 4k again for a new return ticket.
I believe calling them immediately helped. If we realize this mistake a few days before travel and call, the same may not work- prices would have gone up, seats might have been sold out or the airline might simply refuse to entertain our request as the fare is not flexible.
However, a lesson learned- double-check everything before paying. Else you may have to regret or spend more. What you entered on screen 1 may not remain as is when it comes to the final stage. We were trying to save 500 $ convenience fee- cost us few hours of time and effort (with customer care) and some 215 $ extra payment anyway, but got resolved without major issue or expense.