As I was wrapping up my last day in Cuba (see 100 Things I Learned From My Recent Trip to Havana), I wasn’t looking forward to getting back to Los Angeles via Lima and Dallas (the long way). I had booked a one-way economy award ticket from Lima to Los Angeles via Dallas (LIM-DFW-LAX) using 15,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles.
Before I left for Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport (HAV), I saw that my LAN Airlines flight from Havana to Lima (HAV-LIM) was on time.
However, my American Airlines flight from Lima to Dallas (LIM-DFW) was delayed by 5 hours!
I didn’t want to spend an additional 5 hours at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) and especially not at the lousy SUMAQ VIP Lounge. For the past 6 months, I’ve been looking for a direct Lima to Los Angeles (LIM-LAX) flight on LAN Airlines, but award space never opened. This is a story on How American Airlines Saved the Day and Got Me Home on a 787 Dreamliner.
I immediately fired up the Twitter app on my iPhone (see Why Twitter is Important in the Miles and Points Game) and DM’d (Direct Messaged) the @AmericanAir Social Media Team for help. I informed them that my LIM-DFW flight was delayed by 5 hours and wanted to see if they can rebook me onto a oneworld partner, LAN Airlines since they have two departing flights between midnight and 2am.
The American Airlines Social Media did a fantastic job of responding quickly and offered me a 2am departure on LAN’s direct flight from LIM-LAX on their 787 Dreamliner due to IRROPS (irregular operations).
This actually worked out better for me because I got to avoid a layover in Dallas and I got back to Los Angeles quicker. It was also my first time on a 787 Dreamliner ever and it was a great experience, even in economy class.
When I landed, I eventually found out that my original American Airlines flight from Lima to Dallas (LIM-DFW) was cancelled!
Don’t undermine the importance of Twitter when you’re stuck in an IRROPs situation like myself. This is one of the reasons why I am loyal to American Airlines and almost fly exclusively with the oneworld alliance.