I didn't want to show up at the airport on Monday morning and be at the mercy of the airline as they made decisions in the heat of stressful moments. Whenever possible, it's nice to be able to tell them what you want, rather than sit back and accept what's convenient on their end. United said so long as my travel took place before November 4th, there would be no fees. I was able to pick the day that was best for me, not them, and I applaud them for giving me that luxury.
That all said, it wasn't an easy process: I was on hold with Expedia for 2 hours and 40 mins yesterday before getting my flight changed, which I can tell you honestly was a huge test of patience. Waiting it out certainly was not funI almost hung up a few timesbut that would only delay the inevitable. Eventually, I'd have to call back. Tip two: Be patient, use speakerphone.
Now, having waited on hold for almost three hours, the last thing in the world you want is to get disconnected once you do reach an agent. The very first thing you must do is give your direct line to the agent before you even get started with anything else. I was glad I did; five minutes into the call Expedia's system had an "error" and we were disconnected. She called back to tell me this and continue the call. I can't imagine how hard the phone would have hit the wall if I realized I had to start all over.
Finally, keep things in perspective. I'm pretty sure that every airline and third-party booking agent was swamped, and to Expedia's credit they have always been prompt in the past when I've used them. You are not the only person in the world to go through it, you don't have "the worst luck ever," and these kinds of things don't "always happen to you." You might not like the change in plans, but things could be worse.
You know, like, being penned up in the path of a hurricane. Embrace the fact that the schedule change allows you to blow with the wind in a good way.