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Old Aug 2, 12, 12:38 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: WAS
Programs: UA Premier Gold
Posts: 405
Buying a new return ticket for a round-trip itinerary?

I'm scheduled to fly WAS-PHX next week for business, and just received news of my grandfather's passing. I'll need to head back a little earlier than planned from PHX to make it to TPA for the services.

It looks like UA will refund change fees in the event of a death in the immediate family, so I started looking at my options. First, I looked at earlier flights back to WAS that would give me time to turn around and leave immediately WAS-TPA... and all of the fare differences were astronomical. Then I looked at switching my return to PHX-TPA directly, which was safer anyway, and this reduced the cost to $270 (plus the change fee, which would ostensibly be refunded after I sent a copy of death certificate).

But then I looked at what it would cost to just book a one-way PHX-TPA... and it's under $150. Obviously, this is the most economical choice, by far. No change fee to be refunded, half the price of the fare change offered to me.

What might happen if I leave my original ticket alone, ditch my return flights, and fly out on an earlier one-way ticket to the funeral? Will one or both itineraries get canceled if they see an overlap in the system? I've never had to do this, and I know the airlines are immensely paranoid about anyone who is seen as attempting to "game" the system in some way. I just want to get to my grandfather's funeral after my business trip without spending twice what I would otherwise have to!
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adastra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 2, 12, 12:47 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: UA 1K MM, Starwood Plat For Life, Nexus/GlobalEntry
Posts: 8,671
Quote:
Originally Posted by adastra View Post
I'm scheduled to fly WAS-PHX next week for business, and just received news of my grandfather's passing. I'll need to head back a little earlier than planned from PHX to make it to TPA for the services.

It looks like UA will refund change fees in the event of a death in the immediate family, so I started looking at my options. First, I looked at earlier flights back to WAS that would give me time to turn around and leave immediately WAS-TPA... and all of the fare differences were astronomical. Then I looked at switching my return to PHX-TPA directly, which was safer anyway, and this reduced the cost to $270 (plus the change fee, which would ostensibly be refunded after I sent a copy of death certificate).

But then I looked at what it would cost to just book a one-way PHX-TPA... and it's under $150. Obviously, this is the most economical choice, by far. No change fee to be refunded, half the price of the fare change offered to me.

What might happen if I leave my original ticket alone, ditch my return flights, and fly out on an earlier one-way ticket to the funeral? Will one or both itineraries get canceled if they see an overlap in the system? I've never had to do this, and I know the airlines are immensely paranoid about anyone who is seen as attempting to "game" the system in some way. I just want to get to my grandfather's funeral after my business trip without spending twice what I would otherwise have to!
You won't have any problem doing this. After you've flown your outbound go online and cancel your return.. if there is more than $150 in value left on it you will be able to use the residual value towards buying your ticket to TPA... or on some other future ticket. Don't involve an agent, just do it online. If less than $150..then it's below the value of the change fee and it's a loss. Then buy your one way ticket to TPA. Sorry to hear about your loss.
SEA1K4EVR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 2, 12, 5:53 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco/Sydney
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Hertz PC, Avis First
Posts: 3,817
I presume you're doing this online?

If so, try calling and seeing what they can do. I've had completely different (and often much lower) prices quoted over the phone for changes compared to what the website gives.
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