Iberia Airlines inadequate transfer time - change request

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Jun 10, 2019
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#1
I booked an itinerary on Expedia with the return from BOD to MAD to ORD to PHX. This itinerary was proposed by Expedia (Chase Travel Service) and accepted by me. In reviewing the itinerary online, there is a warning that the 55 minute transfer time is inadequate in MAD to go from Terminal 4 to 4S and clear security. I contacted Iberia and they confirmed that I should have 2 hours. The booking agent, Chase Travel, said there is a $275/person change fee. The problem can be solved by taking an earlier flight from BOD to MAD, at a cost of $33/person, but apparently that would still require the change fee.

This doesn't make any sense to me. I accepted the itinerary proposed by Expedia and there was no warning on transfer time. If I miss the MAD-ORD-PHX connections, I will have to spend at least another day in MAD and may not get the seat class that I paid for. I feel like I'm being penalized for using a published itinerary.

Is it possible to just book the earlier BOD to MAD flight and then use the remainder of the itinerary? If not, any chance that the change fee will be waived?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,308
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
When you book your own travel, you are responsible for knowing this information before you book. Never ever book a connection less then 2 or 3 hours. It is a legal connection but not a realistic one and that’s on the traveler to know this.

You will have to change one of your flights and if it’s been more than 24 hours since you booked, you will have to pay the change fees.
 
Jun 10, 2019
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#3
When you book your own travel, you are responsible for knowing this information before you book. Never ever book a connection less then 2 or 3 hours. It is a legal connection but not a realistic one and that’s on the traveler to know this.

You will have to change one of your flights and if it’s been more than 24 hours since you booked, you will have to pay the change fees.
Neil, thanks much for the quick response. If I don't change the flights, and miss the MAD-ORD-PHX legs, will Iberia rebook without change fees?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
I booked an itinerary on Expedia with the return from BOD to MAD to ORD to PHX. This itinerary was proposed by Expedia (Chase Travel Service) and accepted by me. In reviewing the itinerary online, there is a warning that the 55 minute transfer time is inadequate in MAD to go from Terminal 4 to 4S and clear security. I contacted Iberia and they confirmed that I should have 2 hours. The booking agent, Chase Travel, said there is a $275/person change fee. The problem can be solved by taking an earlier flight from BOD to MAD, at a cost of $33/person, but apparently that would still require the change fee.

This doesn't make any sense to me. I accepted the itinerary proposed by Expedia and there was no warning on transfer time. If I miss the MAD-ORD-PHX connections, I will have to spend at least another day in MAD and may not get the seat class that I paid for. I feel like I'm being penalized for using a published itinerary.

Is it possible to just book the earlier BOD to MAD flight and then use the remainder of the itinerary? If not, any chance that the change fee will be waived?
55 minutes meets the minimum connection time but it is not the sensible connection time.

I would not do domestic 55 minutes at ORD -- MAD is smaller but there is passport control. Passport control is easy for EU citizens but not for others.

Screenshot_2019-06-10 Iberia flight connections at T4 - Iberia.png
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
You accepted an itinerary that was proposed by a computer that does not know if you have dual EU citizenship, whether you can run as fast as a Ursain Bolt, and whether you will be in Business Class and able to get off first. The computer suggests an itinerary and one is free to accept or reject.

Many business people like the short connections -- -- as they often fly Business and on fully flexible/changeable tickets . So a short connection works for them. The business people want short connections so the computers oblige.

If you are traveling during peak times many flights are fully booked. If there is a slow line at immigration -- to get the entrance/exit stamp -- the airline is not obligated to do anything for you; most will reroute (but not Condor as we have learned) but it could be a terrible itinerary and stuck in the middle seat.

It is up to the traveler to look at the connection times and airports and do some research before hitting the buy button. Or use a knowledgeable travel agent.

But as the connection is legal Iberia is not required to make the change for free.
 
Jun 10, 2019
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#10
You might be listed as a no-show, and then you would have to buy a new ticket for the remaining legs at the walk up price which will be extremely high.

I was going to change my BOD-MAD flight to the previous evening so that there wouldn't be a problem. I worked through Chase Travel, from whom I purchased the ticket via Expedia, and the agent, after a 45 minute wait from Iberia, was told that 55 minutes was adequate and I didn't need to change the ticket! Since the ticket terms prohibit stopovers, and my change would have involved an overnight in Madrid, I'm guessing they wouldn't allow it anyway.

The next dilemma is that the BOD-MAD inbound flight is on a Canadair regional. We will be travelling with carryons but they have to be gate checked for a regional jet. That will delay getting off the inbound flight for 10 minutes or more, or I could check the bags through to the destination but would be left with nothing if we miss the MAD flight. I think my head's going to explode!
 
Sep 20, 2015
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#11
I was going to change my BOD-MAD flight to the previous evening so that there wouldn't be a problem. I worked through Chase Travel, from whom I purchased the ticket via Expedia, and the agent, after a 45 minute wait from Iberia, was told that 55 minutes was adequate and I didn't need to change the ticket! Since the ticket terms prohibit stopovers, and my change would have involved an overnight in Madrid, I'm guessing they wouldn't allow it anyway.

The next dilemma is that the BOD-MAD inbound flight is on a Canadair regional. We will be travelling with carryons but they have to be gate checked for a regional jet. That will delay getting off the inbound flight for 10 minutes or more, or I could check the bags through to the destination but would be left with nothing if we miss the MAD flight. I think my head's going to explode!
55 minutes might be 'legal', but not necessarily wise. What if the flight is 30 minutes late? You have 25 minutes to get off the plane, run to the next flight, go through secondary security (required when going to the US) and get on the plane...and they can shut the door early if they wish to get the flight out on time, in which case you're nailed.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,539
8,754
113
San Francisco
#13
I was going to change my BOD-MAD flight to the previous evening so that there wouldn't be a problem. I worked through Chase Travel, from whom I purchased the ticket via Expedia, and the agent, after a 45 minute wait from Iberia, was told that 55 minutes was adequate and I didn't need to change the ticket! Since the ticket terms prohibit stopovers, and my change would have involved an overnight in Madrid, I'm guessing they wouldn't allow it anyway.

The next dilemma is that the BOD-MAD inbound flight is on a Canadair regional. We will be travelling with carryons but they have to be gate checked for a regional jet. That will delay getting off the inbound flight for 10 minutes or more, or I could check the bags through to the destination but would be left with nothing if we miss the MAD flight. I think my head's going to explode!
Yes, jehart, your head just might explode; I know exactly how you feel. Easiest way to prevent that is to bite the bullet and change the flights. Once you've paid the fees, just put it out of your mind and move forward. It should be illegal for airlines to treat passengers this way, but thanks to the airline lobby, they just do whatever they please and nobody in government cares. Lay out a new itinerary and study it. Put it away until you look at it again the next day. Envision every step of the trip so you end up with the best itinerary possible. Then get it rebooked.

Did you purchase these flights with a combination of Ultimate Rewards and cash? I'm trying to figure out how Chase/Expedia got involved ... it certainly makes your situation worse. Good luck, and please let us know the outcome.
 
Jun 10, 2019
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#14
Yes, jehart, your head just might explode; I know exactly how you feel. Easiest way to prevent that is to bite the bullet and change the flights. Once you've paid the fees, just put it out of your mind and move forward. It should be illegal for airlines to treat passengers this way, but thanks to the airline lobby, they just do whatever they please and nobody in government cares. Lay out a new itinerary and study it. Put it away until you look at it again the next day. Envision every step of the trip so you end up with the best itinerary possible. Then get it rebooked.

Did you purchase these flights with a combination of Ultimate Rewards and cash? I'm trying to figure out how Chase/Expedia got involved ... it certainly makes your situation worse. Good luck, and please let us know the outcome.
Yes, booked using Chase points and their booking engine, Expedia. I spent 7 hours on the phone yesterday with Chase, Iberia and American and still haven't got the flights changed. Everybody has a different story. What a mess!
 
Jun 10, 2019
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#15
Just spent 3 hrs 23 minutes on phone with Expedia. Now almost 10 hours on the phone with American, Iberia and Expedia. Expedia is really clueless. Told me flights were full when the airline shows availability (although they may not make flights available to Expedia), and that premium economy wasn't available, when it is. I finally gave up. We'll take our chances with 55 minutes connection in Madrid 4S.

Never use Expedia for international flights!!! Chase Travel, my "agent", just tossed it to Expedia.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,308
17,762
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#16
We have always advised people to book directly. But if you book your own travel you also need to know about connecting times, if you have to go through immigration after you arrive before going on to your connection, if you need to collect luggage and re-check it and what a realistic connection time you need in between flights.

It’s not so easy to book your own travel if you are not used to traveling outside the US. That’s why travel agents are still around.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jun 10, 2019
12
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#17
As a last resort, I have appealed to an Expedia executive, Ms. Gorton, to address this issue. I just talked to Iberia who confirmed the new flights are available but they are unable to change the flights.

I think I'm done with credit card points for air travel. Too many parties in the loop.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,308
17,762
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
As a last resort, I have appealed to an Expedia executive, Ms. Gorton, to address this issue. I just talked to Iberia who confirmed the new flights are available but they are unable to change the flights.

I think I'm done with credit card points for air travel. Too many parties in the loop.
Yes, that is one of the downsides of using points. Especially for the most basic ticket types.
 
Apr 19, 2017
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#19
Yes, jehart, your head just might explode; I know exactly how you feel. Easiest way to prevent that is to bite the bullet and change the flights. Once you've paid the fees, just put it out of your mind and move forward. It should be illegal for airlines to treat passengers this way, but thanks to the airline lobby, they just do whatever they please and nobody in government cares. Lay out a new itinerary and study it. Put it away until you look at it again the next day. Envision every step of the trip so you end up with the best itinerary possible. Then get it rebooked.

Did you purchase these flights with a combination of Ultimate Rewards and cash? I'm trying to figure out how Chase/Expedia got involved ... it certainly makes your situation worse. Good luck, and please let us know the outcome.
I don't like using Expedia either, but when you use Chase Travel, that is their booking engine.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,539
8,754
113
San Francisco
#20
Just spent 3 hrs 23 minutes on phone with Expedia. Now almost 10 hours on the phone with American, Iberia and Expedia. Expedia is really clueless. Told me flights were full when the airline shows availability (although they may not make flights available to Expedia), and that premium economy wasn't available, when it is. I finally gave up. We'll take our chances with 55 minutes connection in Madrid 4S.

Never use Expedia for international flights!!! Chase Travel, my "agent", just tossed it to Expedia.
AHA! Chase Travel told me not two months ago that "they" would still take care of me, that Expedia was used only to do the booking. I'm so sorry you had to find this out the hard way, jehart. It's probably because of the newness of the partnership ... I hold Chase in high esteem for customer service, but I've not ever had a travel problem.

Thanks to your pioneering, I'll not book any flights with Ultimate Rewards until I'm satisfied that they have their act together. I am beyond disappointed that these clowns couldn't rebook you, this should be a very easy task. I hope you're not booked in a fare class that is just flat-out unchangeable. An executive at Chase Travel should be getting involved here and ringing some chimes to get the changes made. Fingers crossed that your incoming flight is early, that there's a gate available, that there's a jetway and an operator and you get through the formalities to make your connection.