One-way ticket trickery (Roundtrip questions)

Okay, I’ve done the one-way ticket trick before. Simply buy a round-trip and don’t use the return ticket. But what would happen if I were to buy it and try to only go on the second part and not the first? Will my entire ticket be canceled if I don’t get on the first flight? I want to get a ticket home, and I was thinking if I bought a ticket originating in the US it might work out cheaper.

Most likely canceled, yes. I ended up in a similar situation last year. I had a round-trip flight to Japan that bracketed several flights around Asia. Unfortunately I missed the first flight, and the next flight would make me miss connections. I could get a one-way to Singapore (where I needed to be) and still make it back to Japan with no problems to catch the return leg, but they wouldn’t let me do it. As soon as you fail to check in for the first leg, you lose out on the whole flight if it’s a round-trip ticket.
(I ended up postponing the flight and going round-trip to Singapore instead, since I lost the least value that way).

Airlines are assholes. I remember trying to skip the second leg of a flight and was told that I couldn’t catch the return trip. A little googling shows that Antonin Scalia was caught up in this bullshit. Fuck those airlines.

Unless you fly the first leg, the entire ticket is void.* if you miss a leg in the middle, you may or may not have problems, call your travel agent or the airline.

  • ask me how I know this. :slight_smile:

I once had a ticket bought for me in Singapore and I picked it up at Heathrow

Not all airlines are. A classmate’s friend missed her flights back to Japan (2 legs with a transfer) because she forgot that you don’t change the dates when you’re on the same side of the IDL. The airline folks were great. They changed the ticket to that day and starting from the intended transfer airport. I drove them up to that airport and everyone was happy because the airline didn’t charge her any penalty for changing the flights.

Or you could have just told us the first time. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ok, Rick, how do you know this? :cool:

What does that have to do with the OP?

nothing really, but regardless, I’m sure I’ll just have to get screwed anyway. The time period when I have to go is very thin, and it’s in July, so it’s not looking good. Plus I have a lot of baggage, so I’ll be paying for that too. I had thought about doing it in phases and using Jetblue and stuff like that, but the extra baggage fees each time would make it not worth it, I think.

What happens if you check onto the first flight, but do not get on the plane, and get to your destination some other way. Would you be able to take the return flight home?

I would imagine that this still wouldn’t work. They actually are pretty vigilant about seeing who actually gets on the plane. They do this so as to not to actually put someone’s bags on the plane. It would be easy to get a bomb on a plane and not have to die with it that way (assuming you could get it past the security first). But I don’t see why they wouldn’t use this information to cancel your ticket.

I once had a ticket where I called the travel agency earlier and said that I didn’t want to take the first leg of my first flight, and it seemed to work out okay. I’m not sure why really. I suppose if you give them a heads up, then they might accommodate you if it’s clear that you didn’t do it with ulterior motives.

Also, airlines can generally be very nice to you if you’re in a bind. I remember once I bought my ticket a whole month off. I showed up at the airport. Not only did they guy have some sympathy, he also worked it out for me to fly that day. Secondly, since the coach seats were booked most of the way I got to fly business class.

Everytime I’ve screwed something up like that I end up getting rewarded for it!

If you take responsibility for the screw up, the agents will very often fall all over themselves to help. You will be the one customer that isn’t blaming the missed flight on the agent.

Take it from me that the ticket will be cancelled. Happened to me once and I had to buy a whole new ticket to get home. A very expensive lesson for me!

So you’re saying this attitude won’t help much?

I don’t see how this is possible because when you board you have your boarding pass scanned or the attendant checks you off a list (for the tiny planes). If you don’t board, you’re don’t fly, and your return ticket will be cancelled. Of course, it’s possible to give your boarding pass to someone else to board (for most airports, no ID is required to actually board), but how did that person get into the boarding area without a ticket, so let’s eliminate this possibility.

Airline type here …

EACH TICKET TYPE HAS DIFFERENT RULES. Unless you read the rules for the ticket you actually bought, all the internet advice about somebody else’s experience with a ticket on another carrier on another day means exactly squat.

You can buy a ticket where you can use any part or not, and in any order. Or you can buy one that is lots cheaper but you have to use it in order and any monkey business voids the rest. Or, more precisely, forces you to apply the money you already spent towards buying a more expensive & flexible ticket if you still want to travel. Or you get a refund, minus a nominal handling fee.
When I go to McDonalds I can buy a #1 special (burger, fries, & a soda) for $2.69. Now a burger and fires bought separately costs $2.50. Does that mean I can expect to walk in and buy a soda by itself for $0.19 if I ask them to hold the burger & fries? Heck no.

Full fare is the “suggested retail price”. When you are getting a discount of 60 to 80% off of suggested retail you aren’t going to get quite the same consumer convenience. Same service, same safety, same arrival place & time, just not the same flexibility.

In terms of how little you give up versus how much money you save, cut price air travel is by far the best goods-on-sale deal out there. Try asking a car dealer for 80% off sticker for buying on a snowy Tuesday & see how far it gets you.
Bottom line: don’t forget; you are buying a cut-price product & it comes with limitations & shortcomings. Read the fine print, know what you’re buying & you’ll be fine. Want it all and want it now and still want 60% off? At least one of those 3 isn’t gonna happen.

The OP reckons it is cheaper buying a return in A rather than B when he wants to go from B to A.

So did I - and it worked.

There was a time when this was doable.

Then the airlines wised up and started marking the tickets to indicate if you were using them in the right order. Bastards.

Back in the 80’s I would regularly meet Aussies in SE Asia who would avoid outrageous price structuring in Aus by buying a return ticket to Asia before they went back home. They would save a ton of money doing this and simply use the ticket in reverse order.

As I say though, things have changed.

I once saved money on a flight thusly:
It was actually cheaper to fly Penang-Bangkok-Kathmandu than any ticket I could find Bangkok-Kathmandu. And, I didn’t even go to Penang, just picked up the flight in Bangkok!

But what the airlines are doing is taking my fries away if I don’t eat the burger.

One other point (it happened to me). If you take the outbound flight and the airline doesn’t properly record this fact, they will cancel the return flight and will make no effort to even try to accomodate you. Bastards!