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Lifemiles award - schedule change makes connection impossilbe

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Robin Whittaker, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Robin Whittaker

    Robin Whittaker New Member

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    Some advice would be appreciated from those that know considerably more than I do.....

    We are currently booked to travel from BKK to FAO next summer via BRU in Business. The first leg is on Thai Airways, the second on Brussels Airlines. The latter have changed their schedule (I discovered this by accident rather than LM informing me) and instead of a comfortable connection it is now an impossible one. Our 1st flight arrives at 0740 as was always the schedule but the 2nd flight now departs at 0700.

    There are Star Alliance (primarily Lufthansa) connections to get us to FAO from BRU but nothing else non-stop that day. Not ideal but I would have taken that option. The second way of doing things that I could see would have been to have put things back 24 hours as Brussels Airlines have two flights to Faro on a Saturday and the second one allows an easy connection.

    I thought it would have been a simple matter of calling Lifemiles who would switch us to one of those two options (flights wide open on both).

    However, they refused to do either as they do not have 'Lifemiles' availability on those flights. Clearly they could transfer us to those flights but, presumably, that would cost them money.

    They offered economy flights two days later or a refund of our miles, which would leave us high and dry.

    I am a little miffed as we have spent close to $20,000 in the past 4 years of so with Lifemiles but they are simply not interested.

    Any thoughts as to our options?

    It occurred to me that we could take our existing flights and then, on arrival in Brussels with our onward connection already having departed, we could go to the Brussels Airlines desk who would, I assume, have to put us on the next available flight i.e. the following day. We could then have a night in Brussels. Not ideal, but better than flying long haul economy.

    If that was the only option then we would do it but it then occurs to me that there might be issues checking in for our initial flight when it was patently clear that we would not be able to connect to the second one.

    If anyone reading this one has found themselves in a similar situation or knows how it might be resolved I'd be very grateful for the benefit of your experience.

    Thanks all.......
  2. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    Maybe try a threeway call between Lifemiles and Brussels Air so that they can find a way for LM to see space on the next day's flight?
    Tiffany likes this.
  3. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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  4. Robin Whittaker

    Robin Whittaker New Member

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    Thanks David and Tiffany. The 'liason' option would seem the way to go. If I try to put things back 24 hours that would involve two such calls as one flight is with TG and the other SN and getting both airlines to open up space as none is currently available. That could get messy especially as dealing with the Lifemiles call centre isn't always the easiest (last night's call, which got me nowhere in the end, took over an hour).

    So I'll probably try to get SN to open up seats on the BRU-FAO flight the next day and stick with the existing TG flight. That will involve an overnight in Brussels but that's not the end of the world.

    Again thanks for your suggestions - I'll report back........
    Tiffany and rickyw like this.
  5. Robin Whittaker

    Robin Whittaker New Member

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    Reporting back as promised........

    Having read your responses (which did enlighten me) and then pondered things I decided that the prospects of getting a Lifemiles agent to call Brussels Airlines were not that great. Similarly, whilst probably a better option, the chances of enlisting the co-operation of a friendly Brussels Airlines agent with a direct call didn't strike me as hugely promising.

    So I decided to do nothing for now but monitor availability on a daily basis in the hope that some other option opened up over the next 6 months (or biz seats on SN3801 started to sell, in which case I'd have to make calls sooner). In the event that nothing good had happened by next June I was going to bite the bullet and try calling Lifemiles/Brussels to see if they would open up space.

    To my great surprise, within a few days SN altered their schedule once again and now the revised 0700 departure is leaving at 0855, leaving me 75 minutes to make the connection. Tight but doable as I transferred in BRU earlier this year and was through immigration/security in about 15 minutes from the plane doors opening.

    Thus it looks like problem (probably) solved - well, at least until SN alter their schedules again!

    Thanks again for your suggestions.