Skip to flight searchSkip to main content

Flight Schedule Changes

Airline Schedule Changes

Find out what steps to take if your airline re-schedules your flight, read our list of top FAQs and discover how Alternative Airlines can help.

Departure board at an airport

What happens if an airline changes your flight time?

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), when an airline makes a change to the scheduled departure time of a flight it is called a 'schedule change'. This is different to a flight cancellation or flight delay. Airlines frequently change their scheduled flights ahead of departure. Sometimes, the change is merely the difference of a few minutes, but other times, it can be a more significant change of several hours or even days.

Busy airport terminal

Steps to take if your flight is re-scheduled

1. You will receive a schedule change notification from the airline you have booked with. If you have booked through Alternative Airlines, our experienced customer service team will contact you to inform you of the change.

2. Look over the new itinerary carefully, and make sure the airline has left enough time for you to make any connections.

3. If the new flight time does not work for your travel plans, you will need to contact your airline. If you have booked through Alternative Airlines, you can contact our customer service team who will contact the airline on your behalf.

4. You might find that the airline can accommodate you on flights closer to your original flight times. Otherwise, the airline might offer you a refund if they are unable to schedule you, but this will depend on the airline and the terms and conditions of your ticket.

Trusted globally

Rated Excellent on Trustpilot

We’re super proud of our Trustpilot rating, but don’t just take it from us. See why millions of others love booking their flights through Alternative Airlines

Flight Schedule Changes FAQs

Are airlines allowed to re-schedule flights?

Yes, airlines can change the time of your flight after you have booked, but only 14 days or more before departure. Airlines ensure the right to change the flight time is laid out in there terms and conditions.

What causes airline schedule changes?

Airlines regularly sell tickets up to a year in advance of the scheduled departure date, even before the departure slot has been finalised. This happens roughly three months in advance and can result in an airline needing to shift their services.

What services does Alternative Airlines provide for schedule changes?

Alternative Airlines is a UK-based travel agent. As soon as we are notified by an airline, our customer service team will contact you to inform you of a schedule change. Hopefully, the change will not drastically impact your travel plans, but if you are not happy with the change, we will contact the airline for you and hopefully provide a resolution. But please note that you will still be subject to the airline’s rules and the terms and conditions of the ticket you have purchased through Alternative Airlines.

Discover all the ways you can contact Alternative Airlines' customer service team here.

By how much can an airline change my departure time?

Usually, alterations will be by just a few minutes, or a couple of hours maximum. However, changes can reach up to 12 hours, which will likely significantly affect your travel plans. If you have booked through Alternative Airlines, we can contact the airline on your behalf if you are set to be significantly disrupted.

If airline changes schedule can get refund?

It is worth contacting your airline if you are unhappy with a schedule change. If you have booked through Alternative Airlines, we are happy to do this for you. If the new flight times do not work for you, you have the option to cancel your flight and re-book on another flight. Unfortunately, depending on the situation and ticket rules, as set by the airline, cancellation and re-booking rules and fees could apply.

Please Note: Please be aware that if you choose to get a refund, you’ll also be without a flight. In many cases, cancelling one flight will also cancel all other flights (return flights) associated with the booking. If you still plan on travelling you may end up paying more than you expected for a new flight, especially if you are close to the departure time.

Top Tip: When you search for flights through Alternative Airlines, it is easy to apply the Refundable Ticket Filter to your search, so that you know you are purchasing refundable tickets. Terms and conditions of each airline apply. 

Will I receive compensation if my flight time is changed?

What about knock-on costs? Unfortunately, airlines have no responsibility for any other losses you may incur through schedule changes, whether this be connecting flights, or accommodation, for example. To help, we suggest purchasing travel insurance after booking your flights so that you are covered, especially if the cost could be significant.

Can I make changes for any reason?

If you purchased a fully changeable flight ticket, then you'll be able to make adjustments to your flight ticket. Visit our Change For Any Reason Cover page to find out more.