What happens if I don't fly back on a RT?

 
Old Dec 31, 04, 9:38 am
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What happens if I don't fly back on a RT?

After 300k miles of NWA flying I face my first option of not taking the return trip of a RT ticket. Will NWA credit my miles for the completed outbound or credit zero miles for the entire trip because I didn't take the return?

Is it any different if I fly someplace else on NWA that same day instead of using the ticket back?
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Old Dec 31, 04, 9:44 am
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Unless you call in to make a change before the return flight takes off, you'll lose the ability to use the return segment of the ticket. But it sounds like you have no intention of using it anyways (it is kind of annoying that round trips are so much cheaper than one ways, which always? price as full Y's).

There's no penalty for not using the return portion of a round trip ticket.
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Old Dec 31, 04, 10:22 am
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I suggest you call to cancel the leg you do not plan to use. You can still use that for credit later (plus a $100 rebooking fee that often make the whole thing not worth it). You should be able to fly anywhere else as well.
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Old Dec 31, 04, 10:44 am
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Yeah, but usually the fare for the roundtrip is less than the one-way fare, so if he calls in to volunteer that he's not flying the roundtrip he may not get a credit -- they may try to hit him up for the one-way tariff he actually flew.

I say tear up the back half of the ticket and don't say anything.
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Old Dec 31, 04, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by davevi
After 300k miles of NWA flying I face my first option of not taking the return trip of a RT ticket. Will NWA credit my miles for the completed outbound or credit zero miles for the entire trip because I didn't take the return?

Is it any different if I fly someplace else on NWA that same day instead of using the ticket back?
0 miles. Just ditch the ticket. But don't make a habit out of it.
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Old Dec 31, 04, 4:59 pm
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What happens if I don't fly back on a RT?

Based upon my experience, I would tear up the ticket. You will get credit for the leg you flew and not for the one that you didn't. It seems like a waste, but that is the way the system is structured.

Last edited by whisprwave; Dec 31, 04 at 5:00 pm Reason: typo
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Old Dec 31, 04, 5:38 pm
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Originally Posted by fromYXU
I suggest you call to cancel the leg you do not plan to use. You can still use that for credit later (plus a $100 rebooking fee that often make the whole thing not worth it). You should be able to fly anywhere else as well.
Almost. With non-refundable tickets, once you begin travel, you can't change your city pairs. So, if you are ticketed to fly BOS-MSP-BOS, once you travel BOS-MSP, the return portion is ONLY valid MSP-BOS. Now, you can change the date and/or time at any time for the change fee plus fare difference, but keep in mind that you are subject to the rules of the fare. Most lower non-refundable fares have a 30 or 45 day maximum stay restriction (60 day for Hawaii), so if you stay longer than that, then your ticket will be upgraded to a higher fare that allows a longer stay. (For those familiar with fare buckets, it's like going from K, T, or L up to H, M, or B...OUCH!)

In reservations, we always request that if you know for a fact that you are not going to take a flight you have scheduled that you call in and let us know. That way, we can cancel your itinerary and open up the seat for someone else. Not only that, but it gives us a more accurate picture of how many people are, in fact, on the plane so we can advise everyone how the standby options really look.
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Old Dec 31, 04, 5:58 pm
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Th eplane will take off without you and there you will not be flying on the plane. You will not only get miles for when your botton was in a seat and the plane in the air.
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Old Jan 1, 05, 1:24 am
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I think it is what the airlines call "throw away ticketing", it is discouraged, but as stated, they will credit you for the miles you actually flew and there will be no retribution for not using the return.

However, it is quite often against the airlines rules and if you did it very often they might go back and charge you the one-way fares. The are looking for habits, not single occurances.

There are a lot of reasons why you did not fly the return. The airline knows this and is not overly concerned with it.
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Old Jan 1, 05, 12:30 pm
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taking the scenario one step further, if i was to buy, for example, MSN-MSP-NRT-MSP-MSN and "get off" at MSP on return and not complete the MSP-MSN portion, what bad things can happen? (I'd get the luggage because immigration/customs need cleared at MSP). Would NW confiscate all miles flown (would be my main concern)?
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Old Jan 1, 05, 5:42 pm
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Originally Posted by worldexpress
taking the scenario one step further, if i was to buy, for example, MSN-MSP-NRT-MSP-MSN and "get off" at MSP on return and not complete the MSP-MSN portion, what bad things can happen? (I'd get the luggage because immigration/customs need cleared at MSP). Would NW confiscate all miles flown (would be my main concern)?
I did this on UA over the wkend the time zone went from Daylight to standard time zones; to be exact it changed back while enroute back to ord on MLI-LAS rndtrip. The plane was going to get in early the pilot at Las told us- so that I would have to wait 4+ hrs for my rtr to mli. I got on phone prior to lving LAS and reseved a 1-way rental to MLI got home hr1/2 earlier as Had to work that day. M+ statement showed credit for MLI-ORD-LAS-ORD and that was it. No retributution for not flying last leg. As others have stated, once or twice a yr isn't enough to trip alarm for skirting fare rules to get cheaper fares.
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Old Jan 2, 05, 1:11 am
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Call 2 cancel it & ask about the maximum stay on your ticket so that you can fly the return at a later date if need be for just a $100 change fee payable at that time. (Is that the current NW rule?)
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Old Jan 2, 05, 10:24 pm
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Originally Posted by worldexpress
taking the scenario one step further, if i was to buy, for example, MSN-MSP-NRT-MSP-MSN and "get off" at MSP on return and not complete the MSP-MSN portion, what bad things can happen? (I'd get the luggage because immigration/customs need cleared at MSP). Would NW confiscate all miles flown (would be my main concern)?
It's called "hidden city" ticketing and is generally against the rules of most of the airlines (WN being the only exception I know of -- the majors all state that you shouldn't). They know it happens but also reserve the right to change the fare basis of your ticket and forfeit all miles earned, yadda yadda yadda.
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Old Jan 3, 05, 1:42 am
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Originally Posted by rustyr
I did this on UA over the wkend the time zone went from Daylight to standard time zones; to be exact it changed back while enroute back to ord on MLI-LAS rndtrip. The plane was going to get in early the pilot at Las told us- so that I would have to wait 4+ hrs for my rtr to mli. I got on phone prior to lving LAS and reseved a 1-way rental to MLI got home hr1/2 earlier as Had to work that day. M+ statement showed credit for MLI-ORD-LAS-ORD and that was it. No retributution for not flying last leg. As others have stated, once or twice a yr isn't enough to trip alarm for skirting fare rules to get cheaper fares.
I too bailed on a ORD-MLI segment of a longish itin years ago.

This is slightly off topic (not exactly the scenario asked about), but if you rent a car for the last leg because of iregular operations (i.e., a severe delay or cancellation), the airline will sometimes refund you that "portion" of the fare even on a nonrefundable ticket. My parents are also based in MLI (go Mallards!), and have many times over the years had the final leg of a trip (ORD-MLI) cxl on UA or AA. They've often just rented a car and driven the 170 miles instead of waiting for the next flight, and UA or AA usually refunds about 15-20% of the total fare originally paid for a MLI-ORD-XXX-ORD-MLI ticket--even on cheap fares.

I had a NW MSP-MLI fight cancel last week, and some of the pax wanted to rent cars rather than staying in MSP overnight. The GA in MSP said they would be able to get refunds for the MSP-MLI portion of their tickets. Note that the airline does NOT pay for the rental car, however.
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Old Jan 3, 05, 6:26 am
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I would at least call and cancel; explain someone came up beyond your control (?), which I suspect is the case. Technically you don't owe em' any explanation, but it's always good to cancel and let them know for load numbers. Perhaps they can either re-sell the seat or have a better seat count when it comes to stand-by.

Many of us here standby and it's always good to have close to accurate numbers when making the decision. You could be helping another FTer or at least another traveler. Recently I had to stand-by at TPA because we arrrived at the airport cutting close to the 45 min mark (heavy traffic), NWA agents were busy with kiosk duty and our tickets would not allow OLCI or kiosk check-in. By the time we saw an agent, the 45 minutes hit and our original tix and seats were gone. We had to standby for two segments on the return -- TPA-DTW was oversold on every flight, but luckily we both made standby on the next flight. If those who did not intend to travel cancelled last minute, we likely would of had a better idea for standby numbers. For us, it was nerve wrecking, as I had a meeting early Monday AM and every carrier I tried who could get us back (CO, DL, US and even WN) was oversold; WN wouldn't even sell me a $299 full fare ticket at the airport, let alone two. Plan B was a one-way auto rental and a long overnight drive (thankfully it didn't come to that).

I don't know how much your ticket is, but I just purchased a $500 non-refundable "T" class on a 7 day advance. Even with a $100 penalty, I'd still have about $150 residual value. Inquire if you do have some residual value - chances are you can only use this for your "return".

As others said, if this is the first time you've done this and you're not a habitual offender, no one at NW will care. These things do happen. You'll get credit for your outbound, nothing for return. I wouldn't worry about getting hit with the full one-way. NW is looking for habitual offenders who do this on a regular basis. Don't make a habit of it, but please do the right thing, call, and cancel your return, even if at the last minute to help standby folks.

Best,

SDF_Traveler
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