I originally purchased a round-trip package back in March and because I live in a very small, very isolated military town, NWA was my only choice as far as airlines go.
I booked my flights with very specific arrivals and departures due to scheduling reasons. One of those "I HAVE to be at my destination by THIS time" situations. No exceptions. Its why I booked the flights that I booked. Period.
So. Imagine my surprise when after booking my trip then subsequently being out of the office for a week, I get back to 3 different emails telling me that my itinerary has changed. And not just gates or flight numbers. We're talking multiple hours in departure and arrival times, complete changes in lay over cities, the whole nine. And of course, no reason is given via these emails. It just says 'You're Itinerary has changed!'
I called up NWA the first time this happened and the gal on the phone was extremely polite and helpful (though she couldn't tell me why things had changed). More to the point, she was unable to restore my original arrival time at my final destination. So even though I booked a certain arrival time, I'm now being forced to come in several hours later. Not a MAJOR problem, but still its going to be a hassle on my schedule.
Everything seemed to be fine and I've been going on about my business as usual.
Until this afternoon.
When I get ANOTHER email telling me that my flights have been changed AGAIN. Without reason or explanation. I check out the details and find that my departure flight on my way home was bumped up by 3 hours. AGAIN, unacceptable. I simply can not make a flight that early given my schedule.
So again, I call and ask what is going on. Still no explanation as to WHY things are being changed. Also the gal this time was not as polite and she seemed irritated that I would call to make a request like this. It took me flat-out stating that I could not make a flight that early before she finally relented and put me on a flight that leaves later, but is still 45 minutes earlier than what I previously wanted.
In a nutshell: I've been flying for almost 15 years and not once have I EVER had changes like this happen. I've had flights delayed/cancelled due to mechnical reasons, weather delays, staffing problems, and various other logistical problems. But this is the first time I've had entire flights, cities, departure/arrival times, etc. changed up on me this far in advance (I don't take this trip for another month and a half), let alone repeatedly over the past 2 months.
Seriously. I've never heard of something like this happening where you book a flight and everything gets changed up multiple times over the course of a few weeks. Its always been 'I purchase X flight at Y time, I'm on X flight at Y time.
It isn't that bad, I suppose if you consider the fact that one call tends to minorly fix the issues. They always manage to get me a better time but not the original time...and I keep losing/gaining lay over cities. Plus the fact that I'm even having to deal with all of these changes at ALL is rather asinine.
I'm now very very skiddish of using NWA in the future and I hope that this isn't common practice for them.