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AirNZ: Purchasing return flight and only using outbound...

AirNZ: Purchasing return flight and only using outbound...

Old Feb 28, 2024, 1:43 pm
  #1  
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AirNZ: Purchasing return flight and only using outbound...

Hi Guys,

Have a dilemma here - I'm needing a flight one-way from PVG to AKL mid-May. Want to fly AirNZ PE as I want to try use one of my RU to upgrade to J.
However, on Air NZ's China website, one-way PE PVG-AKL is ~$2,000NZD. However, if I purchase PVG-AKL return with PVG-AKL in PE and the return flight PVG-AKL in Y, the total fare is ~$1,750NZD as the return fare is on sale.

What I'm thinking here is purchasing the return flight as it's cheaper, using the outbound and just not showing up for the inbound return flight.... or potentially ringing Air NZ and saying I won't be taking the AKL-PVG segment once I'm back in NZ.

I'm a NZ citizen and live in NZ, if that matters at all... I'll have a tourist visa approved for China as well.

Has anyone done this before on Air NZ...? Thoughts? Any issues I might run into..? Everything in my head is saying it should be fine as I'm only throwing out the last AKL-PVG segment.

There is a section in fare rules regarding No Shows (see below). My outbound would be class A and inbound (which I won't take) is class K.
W/T/L class: Both no show penalty CNY2,000 and change fee CNY800 apply for changes, plus fare difference applies. The new fare must be equal or greater than the original ticket fare. Changes must be within the validity of the original ticket. Non-refundable.
K/S/G class: Non-changeable. Non-refundable for cancellations.
Service fee CNY300 applies.

Last edited by flyer94; Feb 28, 2024 at 3:47 pm
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 2:02 pm
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Contact AirNZ and ask them to quote you a one way fare. I was in the same situation booking multileg trips intending to return from JFK to AKL (side note: the booking system didn't allow me to book the sequence of journeys I required). The AirNZ US website quoted in USD was nearly triple the price of the equivalent journey as part of an AKL-JFK rtn ticket on a dummy search. I emailed AirNZ and they quoted me the same oneway fare in NZD and bookable directly over the phone.
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by adsho43
Contact AirNZ and ask them to quote you a one way fare. I was in the same situation booking multileg trips intending to return from JFK to AKL (side note: the booking system didn't allow me to book the sequence of journeys I required). The AirNZ US website quoted in USD was nearly triple the price of the equivalent journey as part of an AKL-JFK rtn ticket on a dummy search. I emailed AirNZ and they quoted me the same oneway fare in NZD and bookable directly over the phone.
I contacted AirNZ and they quoted me a more inflated price for the one-way PE fare than what I could've booked online (don't know how that could've happened). I also asked whether they would honor the cheaper one-way fare and they outright said no.... CSR seemed pretty confused about what I was trying to do anyway (sigh)... Maybe I should try another CSR or email the Gold helpdesk...
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by flyer94
I contacted AirNZ and they quoted me a more inflated price for the one-way PE fare than what I could've booked online (don't know how that could've happened). I also asked whether they would honor the cheaper one-way fare and they outright said no.... CSR seemed pretty confused about what I was trying to do anyway (sigh)... Maybe I should try another CSR or email the Gold helpdesk...
For around $200 ‘savings’ you’ll bring additional considerations with you ‘plan’. Presumably the online one-way fare is in a higher fare class and reaps more SPs and $APs. That’ll reduce the savings a touch more. Just things to consider before considering being a ‘no show’ for the return flight AKL-PVG……

I very much doubt the Gold desk will support your intention - they’ll see you as attempting to ‘game the system’ (irrespective of possible technical legality), and perhaps even mark you for an audit.

Have a read here: https://thepointsguy.com/guide/what-is-skiplagging/

Last edited by Thai-Kiwi; Feb 28, 2024 at 3:32 pm Reason: linked skiplagging article
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 3:44 pm
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This is not skiplagging. You will be fine. Book the return and just dont show up for the return leg. The No Show fee applies only if you dont show up and want to change the no showed segment to a different date. If you dont intend to take it your no show will just be ignored.
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Thai-Kiwi
For around $200 ‘savings’ you’ll bring additional considerations with you ‘plan’. Presumably the online one-way fare is in a higher fare class and reaps more SPs and $APs. That’ll reduce the savings a touch more. Just things to consider before considering being a ‘no show’ for the return flight AKL-PVG……

I very much doubt the Gold desk will support your intention - they’ll see you as attempting to ‘game the system’ (irrespective of possible technical legality), and perhaps even mark you for an audit.

Have a read here: https://thepointsguy.com/guide/what-is-skiplagging/
Correct - there is less SP earn but pretty marginal. Regarding skiplagging, this situation is different. Skiplagging is where there is a connection point between the origin and final destination and you would get off at the connecting point, instead of going to the final destination. My situation is two direct flights, but I'm just not getting on the return inbound flight. I guess both ways, you're gaming the system but there is definitely a difference between skiplagging and my situation.

I know $200-$300 isn't much savings in the grand scheme of things but I'm on a tight budget for this trip and I'll take any savings, all things considered

Last edited by flyer94; Feb 28, 2024 at 4:01 pm
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 3:57 pm
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You are absolutely fine not showing up for your return flight. If the fare rule allows you can even refund your return leg when you are back in NZ. If not refundable you could ask for your tax (e.g. airport departure tax) back.
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Last edited by akl_cat; Feb 28, 2024 at 4:07 pm
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by akl_cat
You are absolutely fine not showing up for your return flight. If the fare rule allows you can even refund your return leg when you are back in NZ. If not refundable you could ask for your tax back.
Thanks - reading the fare rules, the actual fare (return leg) definitely doesn't seem refundable. Interesting comment about getting the taxes back though.. is Air NZ legally obliged to do this in my situation?
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by flyer94
Thanks - reading the fare rules, the actual fare (return leg) definitely doesn't seem refundable. Interesting comment about getting the taxes back though.. is Air NZ legally obliged to do this in my situation?
Yes, I even tested this with a non-refundable $1 GrabaSeat fare (back when these were a thing), and just went through the process advising AirNZ I wouldnt fly and they could cancel my ticket, but I wanted the tax back. They grudgingly complied.
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by flyer94
Thanks - reading the fare rules, the actual fare (return leg) definitely doesn't seem refundable. Interesting comment about getting the taxes back though.. is Air NZ legally obliged to do this in my situation?
I am no lawyer but won't hurt to ask. I had success in getting it back for non-refundable grabaseat international flights.
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 4:36 pm
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If you’re not eligible for a full refund, you can claim a refund of taxes. Air New Zealand’s conditions of carriage state you’ll lose the balance of the fare if you request a tax refund.”

https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles...ts-and-refunds
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 4:48 pm
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Slightly OT but I remember being in the UK many years ago when people were buying cheap day return tickets on ferries from memory to get to France but not using their return ticket.

At one point they actually starting retrospectively charging people on their CC with the full fare cost (which was in the T&C) which made the telly one night with people ranting at journalists about how unfair it was!
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Thai-Kiwi
If you’re not eligible for a full refund, you can claim a refund of taxes. Air New Zealand’s conditions of carriage state you’ll lose the balance of the fare if you request a tax refund.”

https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles...ts-and-refunds
Ah perfect - with taxes being able to be claimed for that return flight, this makes the cost savings more worthwhile as the taxes on that Y return leg itself is around ~$270NZD. How is the best way to go about this? Would I need to call AirNZ before the return flight and say I'm not going to be taking this segment, tell them to cancel my return segment and then request for taxes back? Or can I call and request taxes back after I've not taken the return segment flight?
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by flyer94
Ah perfect - with taxes being able to be claimed for that return flight, this makes the cost savings more worthwhile as the taxes on that Y return leg itself is around ~$270NZD.
It seems you might start feeling ill a few days before flying the return sector AKLPVG and so be unable to travel. Pity 😎
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 7:52 pm
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Note that you can often make the return up to a year out for the same price (depending on the fare rules), so you might want to put the return close to the end of ticket validity in case you need it. You might also be able to book an open jaw like PVG-AKL-DPS thats cheaper (typically youre charged half the round trip fair for each leg, so try to find the cheapest AKL-XXX round trip as long as PVG-XXX is shorter than PVG-AKL and XXX-AKL).
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