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Can I skip the outbound leg of a round-trip airline ticket?
Posted by: pdq
Date: January 11, 2018 02:44PM
Wife and I had planned a trip to Europe some time ago, and got inexpensive RT tickets on Iceland Air. Then our daughter finally told us when she was graduating in NYC, and it's just days before we fly.

I'm trying to change the origination city on the flight to Europe from our original airport (MSP) to NYC - same airline, and it's a cheaper fare - but so far I'm hearing no changes allowed.

If we flew one-way to NYC and one-way from there to Europe (and then used the original return-flight tickets coming back) it would only be about $100 more expensive for us total, which might be worth it to us to avoid NYC->MSP->Reykyavik->Europe outbound flying spree.

But is this possible these days? Would we get in some kind of trouble? Would our return tickets get cancelled?

Anyone know?
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Re: Can I skip the outbound leg of a round-trip airline ticket?
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 11, 2018 02:51PM
I heard this was not possible in the past. I think that is still true. Can you call the airline and ask?
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Re: Can I skip the outbound leg of a round-trip airline ticket?
Posted by: GGD
Date: January 11, 2018 02:58PM
I think most airline policies are to cancel the remainder of the trip if you're a no-show for an earlier leg.

I've stopped booking round trips, I find that booking two one-ways can be cheaper because the fares for each direction hit their low points at different times. The disadvantage is paying two change fees if plans change, but some of the tickets I've been buying recently cost less than the change fee, so they're essentially disposable. But these are mostly domestic flights booked 3 weeks or less before departure.
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Re: Can I skip the outbound leg of a round-trip airline ticket?
Posted by: pdq
Date: January 11, 2018 03:31PM
Well, this kind of came up this summer over the 4th of July holiday. My son and DIL were flying home from Indy through ORD and when their first flight took off late, they missed their connecting flight (same airline, booked at the same time).

Being the holiday weekend, there were no other seats for the next two days, but they were told to stay at the airport and maybe they might get standby. They rented a car instead and drove all night up here. Grr.

When it came time to fly home, they were told since they hadn't completed their outbound travel, their return travel had been cancelled (!) GRRRRR! Fortunately, they finally let them on the plane and I didn't have to throttle the nearest airline employee.

I was hoping this was just reaaaally bad service, but maybe it's a thing now.
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Re: Can I skip the outbound leg of a round-trip airline ticket?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 11, 2018 03:42PM
Perhaps if you let the airline know that you will not be on the flight they will be able to sell the seat again, but then save your place on the return?
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Re: Can I skip the outbound leg of a round-trip airline ticket?
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: January 11, 2018 03:45PM
Yes, they'd cancel the return flight if you don't show for the outbound leg. You could do this in reverse ("miss" the return flight, or get off at an intermediate stop and never return for the last leg) and get away with it, but you have to make that first flight in the reservation or you're hosed.
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Re: Can I skip the outbound leg of a round-trip airline ticket?
Posted by: billb
Date: January 11, 2018 03:57PM
Buy one ways instead of RT.
They are now usually the same net price.

Call the airline.
Depending on over-booked flights, flight route, ticket price and attached conditions of carriage they might be able to work with you on itinerary changes.


and yes, they can cancel the return leg on a no-show for the first leg and sell your seat to someone else. . Doesn't mean they always do or will.



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Re: Can I skip the outbound leg of a round-trip airline ticket?
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 11, 2018 04:25PM
Quote
Will Collier
Yes, they'd cancel the return flight if you don't show for the outbound leg. You could do this in reverse ("miss" the return flight, or get off at an intermediate stop and never return for the last leg) and get away with it, but you have to make that first flight in the reservation or you're hosed.

This is my understanding as well.
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Re: Can I skip the outbound leg of a round-trip airline ticket?
Posted by: dk62
Date: January 12, 2018 10:34AM
Talk to the airline.

As an aside, the price for round trip being the same as two one ways is really not generally true, particularly not for international flights. Round trip ticket is still generally cheaper in a large majority of cases, sometimes by ridiculous amounts. The exceptions may be international business class tickets and discount domestic airlines.
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