You might have booked your flight too early. Airlines typically publish their schedules 330 days in advance, but they update them every quarter. It’s yet another reason to confirm your itinerary online before you leave for the airport.
I understand you were redeeming your frequent flier miles, and seat availability can be scarce on some routes, which is why you have to plan ahead. But when you do that, you run the risk of a significant schedule change.
Here’s what should have happened: As you are a loyal frequent flier, Delta should have had all of your contact information and let you know about the schedule change. The airline should have offered you choices for fixing your flight plans instead of waiting until you discovered the new schedule by accident.
When an airline changes one of its flights, it normally offers either an alternate flight of its choosing or a full refund. If you still want to take this vacation, you’ll have to deal with the new itinerary. Still, Delta’s “Customer Commitment” – a nonbinding promise to its passengers – suggests it should do more ( www.delta.com/content/www/en–US/legal/customer-commitment.html).
The airline offered to return your frequent flier miles, which didn’t really work for you. I contacted Delta on your behalf, and it agreed to cut you a check for $125, as long as you sent it a receipt for your hotel. I still think Delta can do better. When you land in New York, find the service desk and explain that you’re delayed overnight because of a schedule change. A representative may be able to find a flight that will get you home earlier, or offer you a voucher for a nearby hotel.