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What is the term for doing this?

UK
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219 posts
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What is the term for doing this?

When you book a return flight with an airline intending only to use the outward leg, normally because it is cheaper than a single fare.

There is a term I've seen used to describe doing this.

Anyone know what it is?

Thanks

Seattle, Washington
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for Seattle
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1. Re: What is the term for doing this?

It's called a throw-away ticket.

It's also against the rules and condition of carriage of the airlines, but they won't do anything unless you become a repeat offender.

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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2. Re: What is the term for doing this?

Hi,

"... but they won't do anything unless you become a repeat offender..."

I don't know that I would hang my hat on this.. Airlines have gotten more vigilant in watching for ticket misuse and fraud as that's a loss of revenue.. I know that on my time on the ticket counters where we acted on this.. I will also say that over the years their ability to monitor this via computer systems has also improved.

But, in the end, unfortunately, there is no real empirical industry-wide database that one can use that shows the 'odds' of being caught... only that you must accept the fact that it IS in fact a ticket rule violation and IF caught, the airline will be well within their rights to seek redress however their Contract of Carriage or fare rules state.

Travel Safe,

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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3. Re: What is the term for doing this?

Even if it's a first time offence there is the potential of finding a charge on your credit card after having done such a thing.

Return tickets are bought with the understanding that they will be used as returns; ticking that box which says 'I agree with the Terms and Conditions etc etc' shows intent to hold up your (the buyer's) end of the contract.

If auditors look very carefully and find the discrepancy, the airline is within its rights to bill the pax for the difference in fare. Does this happen often? No. Is it worth the potential aggro? I say no, but others are willing to take the chance.

Garden Bay, Canada
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for Air Travel, Business Travel
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4. Re: What is the term for doing this?

I've only once (semi) abandoned a return flight. It wasn't for economic reasons, but a work schedule change. I ended up having an extra one-way from Calgary to Houston.

I called the airline, explained the situation, and then saved the segement for later use... and yes, I did ultimately use it.

Question... Is it okay to shoplift if you don't get caught or the proprietor is unlikely to do anything about it? While the analogy is criminal as opposed to civil, right is right and wrong is wrong. Extended abuse of the system will ultimately increase fares for us all.

UK
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5. Re: What is the term for doing this?

Thanks for your prompt replies.

Here's my situation. A friend has booked for three of us to travel BA to the US using their airmiles to pay for the flights. My circumstances have changed and I could really do with staying in the US for another three days after the other two have left. Now I believe that as the booking is down as one booking and it's on airmiles then it's going to be really difficult, if not impossible to change my return leg of the journey.

I do intend to contact BA but just thought I'd post here beforehand to see what peoples knowledge/experience of doing this is.

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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6. Re: What is the term for doing this?

Did your friend use BA Miles or AirMiles for the booking? Depending on the destination in the States and the cabin / class of service in which you're booked there may be award availability for the change, so there may be a potential fix for this.

Try making a dummy booking for the date you'd like to return and see if there is award availability for that date. If so then you or your friend can call BA (if booked with EC Miles), explain what you'd like to do and ask what can be done. And rather than call the 0870 number try 0191 490 7901.

UK
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7. Re: What is the term for doing this?

I'll ned to check with the person that booked.

Thanks for your advice TP I'll call them on that number.

norfolk
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8. Re: What is the term for doing this?

there is a danger in this situation; often when you make a booking using frequent user points, whatever the programme, if you are a no show, not only do you lose the points, but real money has to be paid.

i don't really get the logic, but; i booked an hotel using air miles. my ferry was cancelled and i called to cancell the hotel. the hotel said they could not refund the airmiles, and a sum of one night's stay, ie the whole booking, would be charged to the credit card number i had been obliged to provide when booking.

my insurance covered it, but i was not happy.

pam

Nashville, TN
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9. Re: What is the term for doing this?

I'd suggest contacting the airline. It is possible to break out a passenger from a PNR and set them up in a separate PNR. Depending on the rules of the FF program (some will allow you to use your miles for someone else), you may be able to split up the PNR and then, with the payment of any applicable fees or penalties, change the date on your ticket.

Edited: 03 April 2011, 21:11
Costa Rica
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10. Re: What is the term for doing this?

A year ago or so, I was traveling from Costa Rica to Germany with an overnight in Washington, DC. Two separate tickets. So I had a round trip ticket from Costa Rica to Dulles and then another round trip ticket from Dulles to Frankfurt.

Stupidly --- I arranged the return ticket to Costa Rica on the wrong date. Duh.

I realized this before I left home so when I got to the airport in Costa Rica to check in, I asked about changing the date of my ticket. Nothing else - just change it to one day later, same flight. It took about 10 minutes to do this and she finally came back with a price of $299 to change a $350 round trip ticket. I said.... well, NO.

I then looked for the cheapest one-way possible and then for $195, booked my return on US Air and didn't use the return portion of my round trip ticket from Dulles to Costa Rica.

I have since flown with the same airline several times - it was Taca - and like them very much but just couldn't stomach that change fee. I have never been "flagged" apparently or chastised in any way.

Perhaps it is just random or perhaps some airlines are more vigilant than others and perhaps it takes a "pattern" of this kind of thing before they do anything. But just my one experience didn't make any difference.