Throw-away ticketing?

 
Old Apr 28, 99, 5:35 pm
  #1  
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Throw-away ticketing?

How tight is Continental about throwing away the second half of a round-trip ticket? I need to fly one-way (I'm moving across the country) and don't want to pay the obscenely high one-way fare. It's a lot cheaper to buy a round-trip and throw away the return, but I don't want CO to take away my miles or elite status as punishment for doing this. Is that a risk? Has anyone done this?
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Old Apr 28, 99, 6:13 pm
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roberton, I have done this and have never been penalized in any way. However, if I were you, I'd schedule the return portion way out in the future and then, if you want to change it to use on another flight, pay the fee and use the return toward another ticket, one-way or round trip.
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Old Apr 28, 99, 7:04 pm
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Or you can book your r/t on a partner, either America West or Northwest, and avoid problems that way...
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Old Apr 28, 99, 10:49 pm
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One thing I've heard is that if you don't use your FF #, the odds of the airline taking the time look for you is next to zero.

You're not accruing miles, but you aren't risking the benefits from the miles you've already earned.

"... so you gotta ask yourself a question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?"

(Sorry, I stumbled across a Dirty Harry movie the other day on TBS)
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Old Apr 28, 99, 11:14 pm
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I have no experience with CO, but have done this many times with UA...Not only did I use my frequent flyer number each time, but I booked the tickets as e tickets. UA can review your entire travel history (including unused legs) just by entering your FF #. They have never critizied my practice, and some helpful agents at the premier exec desk have even helped me "apply" the value of partially used discount tickets to new tickets (UA Shuttle) for a different route.

Do the airlines really audit us that closely?
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Old Apr 29, 99, 2:33 am
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with UA (one-call Center for 1K's in Frankfurt): they themselve sold me a Skypass ticket with 3 segments (3 is the minimum) to get a low prize for my crazy same-day Puerto Rico trip (ORD-SJU-ORD) to accompany Matt on the return leg. The 3rd segment is just a phantom ORD-DTW-segment.
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Old Apr 29, 99, 8:58 am
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Or, fly into an airport which is regularly discounted, like Providence, Islip NY, or BWI. - good chance that there might be a 1 way available at a discount price.

The reason? Well, these are markets which SouthWest airlines serves, and many, many times Continental, NorthWest and many other airlines match the fares and limitations. I just bought a $99 each way ticket from Providence to Los Angeles, going out on a Tuesday, and returning 2 days later on a Thursday. No Sat. Night stay.. (They were matching the sale by SouthWest, but I believe that sale just ended 4/27)

Summary: Watch SouthWest fare sales, and then book on CO on a route that they serve.
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Old Apr 29, 99, 9:53 am
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In summary, roberton, you can get miles and segments with no penalties by not using the return. Just Do It!!!!!
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Old Apr 30, 99, 12:00 am
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And one other funny thing about this...

If you buy the ticket from UAL directly, there is almost no risk of trouble. However, if you buy your ticket through an agent, there is a greater likelihood of a crackdown. Sad but true.
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Old May 1, 99, 9:04 am
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Even if they do catch you, is it so hard to make up an excuse??? "I had to leave at a different time on another airline" or "I went to visit some nearby family and left from another airport on another airline". It's not like they are going to send the FF mile police after you?!?!
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Old May 1, 99, 10:42 am
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I don't think you'll have a problem throwing the return ticket away. It's the outbound or mid-segments where you would encounter problems. Most airlines will cancel the rest of your ticket if you fail to show for the departing outbound flight and try to re-insert yourself elsewhere on your itinerary.
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Old May 1, 99, 5:40 pm
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normally I've never had a problem. Had an interesting one this week, though. Booked TPA-FLL-TPA on DL (they have 1 flt/day) for RT $92. Did not take the orig. TPA/FLL, but wanted the FLL/TPA. Called my tvl agent-she checked and said "usually if you miss the 1st leg, they cancel the 2d, but in this case, they didn't." She gave me the advice to play dumb. I did-worked fine.
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