Implications on Skipping the Return Leg of a Booking

Old Nov 13, 12, 1:58 am
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Implications on Skipping the Return Leg of a Booking

Morning, I am due to fly the return leg of a trip (VEN-CDG-MAN) on friday, having arrived just under two weeks ago.

The job here is finishing early and I had looked into changing the ticket and it is coming in at approx 260.

I have checked and there are other (non AF/KL) which I can get a single flight for less than 260.

If i simply skip the return leg are there any implications for me? I realsie obviously i would not get the miles/flights credited for these, but am wondering if there are any other problems which may arise from this?

Also, if i do not intend to take these flights, should i contact AF/KL and advise them of this?

Thanks ^
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Old Nov 13, 12, 2:56 am
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Originally Posted by SheBangsTheDrums View Post
Morning, I am due to fly the return leg of a trip (VEN-CDG-MAN) on friday, having arrived just under two weeks ago.

The job here is finishing early and I had looked into changing the ticket and it is coming in at approx 260.

I have checked and there are other (non AF/KL) which I can get a single flight for less than 260.

If i simply skip the return leg are there any implications for me? I realsie obviously i would not get the miles/flights credited for these, but am wondering if there are any other problems which may arise from this?

Also, if i do not intend to take these flights, should i contact AF/KL and advise them of this?

Thanks ^
In practice, and if this is a one off rather than something you end up doing regularly, there will be no issue.
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Old Nov 13, 12, 4:48 am
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Cheers orbitmic
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Old Nov 13, 12, 5:46 am
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Just make sure you do not check in for the flight that you do not intend to take. Or if you did accidentally check in, use the "Check out" feature. This prevents the flight from being held, waiting for you to show up at departure time.
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Old Nov 13, 12, 12:44 pm
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You can call them and cancel the flight - absolutely not a problem on AF/KL.
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Old Nov 13, 12, 1:53 pm
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Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

I spoke too soon and jinxed things.....going to be here until Friday now so will be taking the planned flights.

Good to have the information for future reference though ^
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Old Nov 13, 12, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
You can call them and cancel the flight - absolutely not a problem on AF/KL.
I would not do that. Ever.

Perhaps some do not mind, but what you are doing is breaking the contract. If you call them to tell them you are going to do this they will probably charge you for the fare difference. Maybe you have been lucky, but generally they will not accept it without a fight.
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Old Nov 14, 12, 2:53 am
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Sorry - but that is incorrect.

I have done this probably 10 times a year for the past 15 years - never a hint of a problem, and even on some occasions been refunded the taxes!

This is not a case of breaking a contract, it is a case of not using a product that you have purchased - I don't think Heineken will sue you if you don't drink the last beer in a six-pack.
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Old Nov 14, 12, 4:30 am
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Thanks for the further points, much appreciated and always good to have the knowledge going forward.
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Old Nov 14, 12, 4:39 am
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Originally Posted by jsfr View Post
Sorry - but that is incorrect.

I have done this probably 10 times a year for the past 15 years - never a hint of a problem, and even on some occasions been refunded the taxes!
I would side with the earlier poster and say that you have been "let off the hook" rather than offering your (worryingly frequent) experience to the contrary as comprehensive proof that doing this is not against the airlines' conditions of carriage.

Having just looked at KLM's conditions of carriage, they could easily come after you for more money:

Article III 3.3a
"The Fare applied on the Ticket issue date is only valid for a Ticket used fully and in the sequential order of Flight Coupons, for the specified journey and on the specified dates. Any non-compliant use may result in the payment of an additional fare under the conditions defined below."


The ticket should be flown in its entirety, in the order of the coupons issued.


Article III 3.3c
"A change in the departure or arrival point for the journey by the Passenger (for example, if the Passenger does not use the first Coupon or does not use all the Coupons or if the Coupons are not used in their issue order), may result in a change in the Fare initially paid by the Passenger. Many Fares are only valid on the dates and for the flights specified on the Ticket. In the event of a change as outlined above, the Passenger may be required to pay an additional fare [or be entitled to a refund, as the case may be] equating to the difference between the Fare initially paid and the Fare that the Passenger should have paid when the Ticket was issued, for the journey actually made by the Passenger. In the event of a change, administration fees will be applied, where applicable. "


Even if you were to drop off the final sector, for instance, rather than skip the entire return journey as originally proposed in this thread, that would contravene that article.

At least there is a "Force Majeure" clause mentioned in this clause which would allow you to take up the remainder of a ticket, if you have a good enough reason for missing a first or subsequent sector.

Article III 3.3(d)
"If the Passenger does not use all their Flight Coupons and prematurely interrupts their journey, the Passenger may be required to pay a fixed amount, specified by the Carrier when the Reservation was made, in order to be able to retrieve their Checked Baggage. "


Don't ever do this with checked luggage! You may definitely have to pay the fare increase, and a penalty, to retrieve your bags at the break-off point!!! (And given that they may have had to offload your bags from the onward flight, thereby possibly delaying it, I think they would definitely charge in this case).


Article IV 1 (extract)
"Except as otherwise provided for, Fares apply solely to the Carriage from the airport at the Place of Departure to the airport at Place of Destination. Fares do not include ground carriage between airports and between airports and town terminals. The fare shall be calculated in accordance with the Fares in force on the Ticket purchase date, for a journey scheduled on the dates and for the itinerary shown on said Ticket. Any change in itinerary or journey date may have an impact on the applicable Fare."



This would again suggest that, if they were to stick to the letter of their own law, ringing up to tell them you were dropping certain sectors should cause them to recalculate the fare. You've had taxes, etc, refunded suggesting that your "new" ticket was cheaper. In many cases, it could also go the other way.


There have been reports of other airlines (BA, LH come to mind) taking action when people "abuse" the fare rules - such as billing the travel agency that bought the tickets, or suspending/auditing the frequent flier account associated with the passenger in question.

The odd one-off failure to complete a journey would probably never come onto their radar. But if you frequently miss sectors, or continually book the same journey but never complete it (if, for example, your booked itinerary is cheaper than the one you consistently end up flying) it may be noticed. However, perhaps KLM are more lenient on this point - it came up recently in a different thread that it apparently seems to be well known, and accepted, that people offload themselves at Kilimanjaro rather than continuing on to Dar es Salaam on their cheaper KLM AMS-DAR tickets.

And yes, I know the OP was referring to Air France, but I don't think their conditions of carriage would differ appreciably from KLM's in this regard.

Last edited by irishguy28; Nov 14, 12 at 4:50 am
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Old Nov 14, 12, 6:52 am
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Big airlines sell their direct flights from hub to destination at a premium price. They then try and sell extra tickets to customers who have to fly into the hub from an outstation - and they have to offer them lower prices to compensate for the indirect flight and the layover.

So obviously the airline want you to use the WHOLE route on your ticket.
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Old Nov 14, 12, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
You can call them and cancel the flight - absolutely not a problem on AF/KL.
Up to now, correct. They might choose to implement a less lenient approach, though, as LH and BA already have.
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Old Nov 14, 12, 9:43 am
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This question has been discussed at great length in all forums.
Airlines require you to fly all segments (and in the proper order). Let's not discuss again about the legal terms to be used for not following the terms of a contract that the pax has agreed to. My suggestion is that you do not call the airline as they are getting increasingly sensitive to this issue. As long as you are not a repeat offender, you will have no problem.
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Old Nov 14, 12, 12:21 pm
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These generic statements are not useful for the specific question the OP had.

Call any ticket agent at KL/AF and ask whether you should fly or can cancel the return leg - 100% will tell you that you can cancel. It is not leniency - it is in effect compliant use of the fare rules not to fly the return.
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Old Nov 14, 12, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
It is not leniency - it is in effect compliant use of the fare rules not to fly the return.
Except that, on the route in question, the price of a one-way is more than that of a return - almost 3 times more expensive, in fact.

Checking a one-way from MAN-VCE 3 months hence, the cheapest one-way costs 472 on both airfrance.co.uk and klm.co.uk.

Checking a return trip, out on the same date as mentioned above and returning 7 days later, the cheapest return costs 159.

Hence, compliant use of the fare rules could result in a request for an additional 313 (using the prices of the example above).


The advice would be - if you're not going to use your return, don't say anything, but don't check in.
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