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Partner Award Forced Destination Change

Partner Award Forced Destination Change

  1. Anonymous

    I posted this on FT as well, but I am so livid about the situation I am anxious to get some advice.

    I booked a one-way trip to Malawi in January 2019 for Sept 30/Oct 1 2019. The route was FRA-VIE-ADD-BLZ. I checked yesterday to confirm all of my plans were in order and see that my itinerary has changed to FRA-VIE-ADD-LLW. LLW is a four hour drive from BLZ (or a 40-minute flight). I spent six hours on the phone with both Life Miles and Ethiopian airlines (the carrier) attempting to address the change as it did not route me to my final destination. Practiced hang-up and call-back many times. Initially, Ethiopian told me they had no requirement to get me to my final destination, then they said I had to pay for the final flight, then they said I could add the final flight to my itinerary, but there was only one seat left, then they told me I could add two seats, but I could only fly on 2 October, as opposed to 1 October. There is a daily flight from LLW-BLZ at 1500, which easily fits with the current flight times (arriving flight arrives at 1250). In the end I was forced to basically keep the following itinerary FRA-VIE-ADD-LLW-BLZ with a 26 hour layover in LLW. (I was tired of being on the phone and the Life Miles rep, who was awesome, advised me to do this to avoid issues, because Ethiopian had added this last segment on their end and a disparity between the Life Miles booking and the Ethiopian booking could cause an issue). This whole trip was booked because of a safari starting on 2 October at 1000, so obviously I need to be available for that. Despite Ethiopian not putting me on the 1 October flight from LLW-BLZ, there are multiple seats available in both economy and business class. I purchased two seats on that very flight, on a separate PNR. I am planning to take my original itinerary to LLW and then jump on to my newly-purchased tickets to get me to my destination in a timely manner.

    Original route
    FRA-VIE-ADD-BLZ arriving on 1 October at 1450

    Carrier-initiated change
    FRA-VIE-ADD-LLW-BLZ arriving on 2 October at 1540

    My question(s):
    1 – Will I encounter any issues when taking my flights? If necessary I will exit and re-check in LLW if required to avoid any issues. It would be ideal to push my bags all the way through to my final destination, but I think added a random second PNR in the middle of this PNR might cause an issue.

    2 – Do I have any recourse with Ethiopian? I’m thinking specifically with EU rules and getting me to my destination. Since their change is getting me there 26 hours later.

    Thanks in advance to any comments/advice.

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