I have two upcoming mileage runs, both to Seattle. This weekend American Airlines changed the itineraries on both trips: one change is mild, the other change ruins the trip.

My April mileage run to Seattle had me arriving at 10 a.m. and departing at 1 a.m. the next morning. That departure has been moved up one hour to midnight. That’s okay, I can live with that. Actually, they have changed the departure time back and forth between midnight and one a.m. several times. The only problem occurred when they changed the aircraft from an MD-80 to a 737, but kept me in the same seat number. The seat that was an exit row aisle seat on the MD-80 became a forward row middle seat on the 737. Fortunately, I was able to change back to the exit row.

The big problem is with my May mileage run: this one had me flying to Dallas, Baltimore and then JFK where I’d get a transcon fight to Seattle; then, after a short stay, I’d fly to Chicago and then back to Austin.

Today I checked AA.com and saw a message that my itinerary had been changed. My new itinerary is Austin – Dallas – Baltimore – Kennedy – Miami - Chicago – Austin.

Obviously, Miami and Seattle are no where near each other.

With this change, I lose almost 1,900 EQMs, raising my cost per mile to over 3.1 cents. I also have an 8 hour layover at Chicago: that would be okay if I arrived in the afternoon and left in the evening, giving me time to go into town,but no such luck. I arrive at midnight and depart 8 a.m. I would never book a trip that made it necessary for me to stay at O’Hare overnight!

I called AA, their explanation was that the schedule had changed on the JFK-SEA flight; it was going to be one hour later than the original itinerary, making it impossible for me to get my flight out of SEA that night. The computer looked at my itinerary and thought ORD was my destination, so it sent me there, via Miami.

I found another option, going AUS-DCA(Washington, D.C.)-JFK-ORD-SEA-ORD-AUS, but the layover at SEA was only 1 hour 5 mintues. The customer service representative said I could not do that because that was an illegal connection, it had to be at least 1 hour 10 minutes. (I’ve made many connections at DFW that were less than 1 hour 10 minutes — were they illegal too?)

As you can imagine, I am not too happy with this. For the moment, I am keeping my MIA itinerary, but will try to find something better. My goal was to take a transcon flight: since Seattle is out of the question maybe I’ll find something to Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Wish me luck!