We booked a vacation for next February a couple of weeks ago. Just got word from the travel agent that US Air cancelled the 11:55 a.m. flight for the way home and have offered a later flight. We usually do charters and never have encountered this before. Why would they cancel a flight this early? The travel agent said they might even put it back on later. What is the deal?
I don't know, but believe me, it's better when they cancel it way in advance than a few days before. At least you have time to react and find other flight options at this point. Sorry, though, it's annoying that they can do this. It seems unfair that they can cancel your flight willy-nilly, but if you tried to cancel your seat reservation with them, they'd charge you a fee.
This is totally normal for all airlines. Never have bought a flight that didn't change several times before take off. The airlines are constantly trying to consolidate their schedules to be profitable. Wouldn't even care if the customer serive wasn't so crappy!
Airlines are pretty constantly changing their schedules, and it's gotten wrose in light of the economy. They've obviously decided that the flight you were on wasn't cost-effective, but it's also possible that they'll put it back if travel picks up. There are other potential reasons, of course, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. We got notice of a change a couple months ago that sort of put us in a bind for our November trip. They bumped a flight about 20 minutes ahead, but that made our connection bad, and so we have to get up super-early to drive to the airport (about three hours away). I could rant about it (and I did a bit to the Delta lady), but I've decided to look at the positive: We now get into Jamaica about three hours earlier than we originally planned, and that's three hours of happiness to me!
All of the airlines are eliminating flights in order to ensure that the planes that are in the air are full. Having said that, airlines cancel flights well in advance all of the time; they also change departure time and arrival times. I fly almost weekly for work, and it's just something that happens.