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Taking only 1 leg of a connecting flight - experiences?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Kickin, Dec 14, 2013.

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  1. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Have you ever booked a connecting flight but only taken the 2nd leg of it? If so what were your experiences? Did they try to cancel your 2nd leg when you never showed up for the first leg?

    There is a weird little quirk with flights to Vegas leaving out of Newark on United where I can get a connecting flight that includes Newark-Vegas as the second leg for a lot lot cheaper than just buying the Newark-Vegas nonstop flight alone (like sometimes around 1/3rd the price). I've read about it online but reports on peoples' actual results are pretty vague.
     
  2. luvstp

    luvstp High-Roller

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    I tried doing this once for the same reason as you.......except I was skipping the second leg. I checked at the gate when I landed and was told they would cancel my return trip since i missed a leg.......
     
  3. Ty

    Ty ?

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    I believe if "no-show" for the first flight, the balance of the trip will be cancelled.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    They cancelled our return flight when we skipped one leg. That was United or American, I forget which one. Ended up having to buy a full price ticket at the airport.$$$$
     
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  5. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    I just got of the phone with Delta customer service, this is what they told me, a "no show" will result in all remaining legs of the reservation to be cancelled.
     
  6. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    If $ is more important than how long your flight out is, try looking at how much it would cost to fly EWR -> LAX and then switching to Southwest or something for the LAX -> LAS

    On the date I'm traveling next, JetBlue has a morning BOS -> LAX non-stop for $135 (because there's lots of non-stops BOS - LAX). The same date, morning non-stop BOS -> LAS is $435 (because JetBlue has the only one).
     
  7. HAWJOHN

    HAWJOHN Tourist

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    I do not have an answer but am curious. Why do airlines make the two legs cheaper?
     
  8. Ty

    Ty ?

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    I think it has to do with where to trip originates, some airports are more costly for the airlines to do business with.


    I always leave from Atlanta to start a trip. For a while I was doing business trips to Lexington, Kentucky and my RT ticket was $900. I had co workers in Alabama, there ticket was $300 to fly out of Birmingham. Funny thing is, they had to change planes in Atlanta and we would be on the same plane out of Atlanta. Yet I paid triple.

    Just my guess.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  9. bighead1970

    bighead1970 High-Roller

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    If you miss the first leg all the rest of your flights on that ticket will be canceled. What people do is skip the last leg of the return portion.
     
  10. paperposter

    paperposter VIP Whale

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    some of it has to do with contracts and servicing smaller airports and getting slots for there planes. its also flight managment

    you used to be able like 10 years ago do the one leg thing but they caught on more becuase frquent flyer miles involved
     
  11. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    This is one of those things in life where this is what I would have done. I wouldn't care what somebody else's says was their experience - some people just love to reply to every post so if they have never been in that situation they'll make up an experience based on what they think should happen... because I wouldn't want to try something like this and then find out when its the day of departure that it didn't work and going up to the ticket agent and saying "Yeah, but this guy on the internet said he did it and it worked for him!" because thats unlikely to fix the situation.
     
  12. RiddickBull

    RiddickBull VIP Whale

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    You can book two separate one ways instead of a round trip to avoid cancellation of your return flight home. It may cost more, depending on the airline.
     
  13. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

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    If you miss your first flight then every other flight after that will be cancelled. The only way this works is if you fly your first flight but don't need your other flight. Keep in mind that if the airlines notice a pattern in you doing this, then they might deny you as a passenger in the future. I had a friend who would frequently do this on Delta, then one day he got a call from Delta's HQ and they told him he was no longer welcome as a passenger in the future, due to his constant "no-shows".
     
  14. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

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    This is definitely the way to go if you want to do this.
     
  15. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Thanks everyone for posting your experiences. Riddick that is a good point. It would work in something like luvstp's scenario where she skipped out on the 2nd leg (not in mine where I'd skip out on the 1st leg). But I read about that on flyertalk, just booking it as two one-ways instead of a roundtrip. They've said there is a risk though that they cancel your frequent flyer account if they think you are regularly abusing that strategy.

    Auggie, you're right that ultimately what the airline says is what you need to know. But I knew the airlines can cancel your remaining legs when you're a no-show.

    This particular flight though is a bit odd and is specifically discussed a lot on flyertalk. Because it is a codeshare between United and Amtrak from Philadelphia to Newark. Even though the PHL-EWR leg is on an Amtrak train they treat it as a flight segment leaving out of ZFV (the Philly Amtrak station). However the rub is that people have posted that the Amtrak people and United people aren't great about updating information with each other. So if you bought the PHL-EWR-LAS flight for example and skipped out on the Amtrak train between PHL-EWR, the United computers may not even show it. So that is why I was curious if people had their own experiences, more for the context in where it worked, if ever.

    In the past I have seen it where that PHL-EWR-LAS flight was around $200, but just the EWR-LAS flight was over $600. Pretty crazy difference considering how close PHL is to EWR and they are both the same exact flights except the cheaper one has an Amtrak train ride tacked on to it.
     
  16. bighead1970

    bighead1970 High-Roller

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    Big issue is when you fly out of a fortress hub like ATL for delta and CLT for USAirways your airfare is going to be a lot more as they have such a captive audience.

    I will not fly a connection flight from clt even if it is 100-200 less especially if it was not on US. Would just turn into to long of a trip out and back.

    Plus with status the free upgrades to first are so nice. Last trip out 8 vodka drinks and a nice dinner watching hangover 3 made the 5 hour flight fly right by.
     
  17. Carol1113

    Carol1113 High-Roller

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    I was a travel agent for 26 yrs before I retired and I will guarantee that your flights will be cancelled if you don't show up for your outbound flight.
    The only thing that will work is if you book a connecting flight to a destination because its cheaper than the non-stop and don't take the second leg---but you can't check a bag as it will go on without you or be pulled at the connection after the airlines realized you are not on the flight:rolleyes2:
     
  18. Sklem211

    Sklem211 High-Roller

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    This is called "hidden city" ticketing. There are a few search engines online that will help you find hidden city deals. Most flight prices are based on competition amongst airlines at a specific airport rather than the actual distance to an airport. So typically, if you were flying to an airport like Denver that is heavily saturated by United flights with not many other options, the price would be high. But if you find a flight that goes to Orlando, Vegas, LAX and has a Denver connection, the price will likely be cheaper do to the higher level of competition amongst airlines at those airports. Some rules though when using this option...

    1. Book your departing and returning flight separately as one-way fares as otherwise your returning flight will be cancelled when you don't show up for the the connecting leg of your departing flight.
    2. You must take the first leg of the flight and only skip the second. Skipping the first leg of the connecting flight will cause the second leg to be cancelled.
    3. You can only bring carry on luggage as any checked luggage will still continue on to your scheduled final destination.
    4. You should refuse to allow gate agents to gate check any luggage when boarding (just say you have medicine in there you'll need during the flight) as this sometimes will also cause your bags to carry on to the final destination (even if they tell you they will give it to you at the connection - it doesn't always happen). Get to the gate early before the overhead bins fill up. Check to see if your jet is a small "commuter" type aircraft where you may be restricted to bringing only your personal item on board.
    5. Never use your frequent flyer number when using hidden city ticketing as they are far more likely to cancel your membership/deny you future tickets when using this system.
    6. Airlines only promise to get you from your starting point to your scheduled end point. If your flight gets cancelled, they reserve the right to re-route you through a different city to get you to that final destination, missing your planned destination altogether. If this happens, let them know there is a reason you booked that connection specifically (meeting a family member, etc) and pressure them to keep it the same.
    7. Don’t lie if you get caught — travel lawyers agree that misstating your intentions could leave you facing fraud charges. Instead, proudly state that you’re doing your part to help the airlines understand the inefficiencies in their pricing structures, and that you’re bringing exorbitant fares more in line with the free market.
    8. Only use the airline's website to book the tickets. If you use a travel agent, the airline can bill the travel agent for the amount that you saved and the agent can't deny paying it. If they do, they won't be allowed to book with that airline anymore.
    9. If your final leg that you're going to skip is an international destination, bring your passport! Airlines can deny you boarding for the domestic leg of your trip if you don't show them your passport. While this is probably not going to happen, it can and it's best to be prepared.

    All in all - this method probably works without a hitch 90% of the time and you can save a lot of money, especially for last minute fares. However, due to Vegas having A LOT of competition, the fares are pretty reasonable and typically Vegas would be one of the cities that you would use as the leg of the trip you were skipping.

    You can go to www.flyshortcut.com or www.airfareiq.com to search for hidden city ticket fares.

    Happy flying! (and saving)
     
  19. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    I am guessing that most of what you have read online is people not taking the 2nd leg, or the return ticket. Throw away ticket is often the term.

    Miss the first leg - you are a no show. And now have no ticket. Done.


    As to why? Often just a case of supply and demand, marketing, etc.
     
  20. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Sklem, great post. Thanks for the information and the links. I doubt I'll ever try it but its interesting to know how it works.

    Some of that, but specifically for this United/Amtrak codeshare program between Philly and Newark a lot of the responses were people who did it years ago when the codeshare agreement first started, then others saying things have changed and now its hit or miss whether you get caught.
     
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