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Need help with a situation -- skipping a last segment and booking alternative travel?

Need help with a situation -- skipping a last segment and booking alternative travel?

Old Feb 19, 20, 8:20 am
  #1  
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Need help with a situation -- skipping a last segment and booking alternative travel?

Hi everyone,

Need help with a situation and how to handle it. I have the last leg of an itinerary that is fully paid for reimbursed by my work for travel from IAH-BDL. Here is the situation...I need to go to IAH-SFO last minute because of a family friend who is sick. It doesn't make any sense to change the flight and incur a $200 change fee plus the fare difference. Yes, I am aware I can do a same day change as a Silver member for $75 to alleviate some of the pain. BUT, I was thinking of an another option and want to run it by you. Am I able to just no-show for my IAH-BDL and create a new reservation where I can use my Chase points or United miles to get myself from IAH-SFO? It would be much cheaper for me to just no-show. Can I get in trouble with the airline for this? Any insight is greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by igotjays22; Feb 19, 20 at 8:31 am Reason: more descriptive title
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Old Feb 19, 20, 8:30 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by igotjays22 View Post
Hi everyone,

Need help with a situation and how to handle it. I have the last leg of an itinerary that is fully paid for reimbursed by my work for travel from IAH-BDL. Here is the situation...I need to go to IAH-SFO last minute because of a family friend who is sick. It doesn't make any sense to change the flight and incur a $200 change fee plus the fare difference. Yes, I am aware I can do a same day change as a Silver member for $75 to alleviate some of the pain. BUT, I was thinking of an another option and want to run it by you. Am I able to just no-show for my IAH-BDL and create a new reservation where I can use my Chase points or United miles to get myself from IAH-SFO? It would be much cheaper for me to just no-show. Can I get in trouble with the airline for this? Any insight is greatly appreciated.
Welcome to FT!
If I understand your plans correctly, it seems to me that you would be creating two conflicting reservations on UA. If that's so, UA has the right to cancel either or both, since you can't possibly make both flights.
One further piece of advice: The next time you post, you may wish to compose a more descriptive title. Then more people will read the post and you're likely to receive more responses.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 8:40 am
  #3  
 
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Yes, UA might cancel the second booking (or both). You could try booking with or without your middle name and leave your MileagePlus number off the booking (and add it back later) then when you get to IAH ask United to cancel the last segment. Obviously you can't have luggage in this situation either. It's still very chancy in theory they should match your birthdate and name but who knows what goes on in the bowels of the IT booking system; I have never done this. I HAVE had to do the step off the plane in LAX and cancel a second segment on the way back from Hawaii one time and go to Baltimore instead of back to Toronto, but it was separate airlines (transferring from American to Southwest - not fun at LAX).

You could also look at another airline with a stop, but that will also take longer and may be a waste depending on how many FF programs you participate in.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 9:07 am
  #4  
 
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Would your company be willing to help you re-route IAH-SFO-BDL with a stopover? Basically, would they let you change the ticket and pay the difference, then expense the original amount? Same day change won't really help you as you would be changing to a completely different airport. Your best option if you want to fly IAH-SFO is to book on another airline. I did something similar last year - had a SCE-ORD-DEN flight booked far in advance, then needed to go to FRA for work, so I booked the ORD-FRA flight on LH and then just told the UA gate agent in ORD that I wasn't taking the ORD-DEN flight. IIRC, the SCE-ORD-DEN flight was an award flight.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 9:16 am
  #5  
 
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I'm not sure I totally understand your situation. Why do you want to keep the IAH-BDL trip? Your employer will hopefully be understanding enough to still reimburse you for any expenses you incurred for a trip you can no longer make. Or, you might consider asking your employer to pay a change fee to reschedule your BDL trip to a later date.

Assuming that your employed will reimburse you regardless and you no longer need the BDL trip, I would recommend calling UA, explaining the situation, and asking them to change your itinerary to IAH-SFO so that you may apply the fare you paid for the BDL trip to your SFO trip. When they explain that you will incur the change fee, ask politely if they will waive it as a courtesy. If they decline (which is likely), ask them to cancel the IAH-BDL trip. And then go ahead and book your new flight.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 9:19 am
  #6  
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Just cancel the IAH-SFO segment. That will create a credit for the value of the segment. You would then pay a $200 penalty in new money in order to use that credit. But, if you don't use the credit, you won't ever pay the penalty. Same thing as a no show.

Alternatively, have you priced changing your ticket from IAH-SFO to IAH-SFO-BDL. You may be surprised at the pricing. The other approach is to simply fly IAH-SFO on a carrier other than UA. While that means a connection, at least AA has significant frequencies via DFW. If you do go the "no show" route, make sure that you check whether the flight is substantially delayed or cancelled. You may then request a full refund of that segment.

Finally, do not try to scam the system as suggested elsewhere in this thread. UA's systems are much more sophisticated than suggested. Dropping your middle initial and the like won't do anything for you other than flag you to the system even quicker.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 9:29 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by igotjays22 View Post
Need help with a situation and how to handle it. I have the last leg of an itinerary that is fully paid for reimbursed by my work for travel from IAH-BDL. Here is the situation...I need to go to IAH-SFO last minute because of a family friend who is sick. It doesn't make any sense to change the flight and incur a $200 change fee plus the fare difference. Yes, I am aware I can do a same day change as a Silver member for $75 to alleviate some of the pain. BUT, I was thinking of an another option and want to run it by you. Am I able to just no-show for my IAH-BDL and create a new reservation where I can use my Chase points or United miles to get myself from IAH-SFO? It would be much cheaper for me to just no-show. Can I get in trouble with the airline for this? Any insight is greatly appreciated.
UA has never canceled a flight / given me any hassles when I've booked two flights departing from the same airport where it would be impossible to take both, even when I just no-showed for one (as opposed to refunding it). I've legitimately had to do so on many occasions when I wasn't sure where I needed/wanted to fly until the last minute.

I assume your IAH-BDL fare is less than the change fee so you're just going to throw it away. If it's not, might as well use the residual, unless you really need to burn the miles/points instead of paying cash.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Just cancel the IAH-SFO segment.
Don't think you read the OP correctly.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 9:40 am
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If OP is going IAH-BDL-IAH ... and wanting to cancel the IAH-BDL leg but keep the BDL-IAH leg, it shouldn't be a problem? He'll just have to pay out of pocket IAH-SFO-BDL.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 10:25 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by gengar View Post
UA has never canceled a flight / given me any hassles when I've booked two flights departing from the same airport where it would be impossible to take both, even when I just no-showed for one (as opposed to refunding it). I've legitimately had to do so on many occasions when I wasn't sure where I needed/wanted to fly until the last minute.
You’ve gotten lucky. What you describe is expressly prohibited by UA’s contract of carriage, meaning that there are no legitimate reasons to do it (as far as UA’s concerned). They don’t want you reserving space on two planes and only taking one. They want you paying sky-high last minute fares.

There are many, many reports on the forum of people who have gotten a phone call from UA asking which one to cancel — or of people who have had conflicting itineraries cancelled outright. There are even some reports of UA shutting down MileagePlus accounts for making a lot of unneeded reservations and then cancelling them at the last minute.

To the OP: While you can certainly try pricing out IAH-SFO-BDL, in most cases that’s going to be extremely expensive. Instead, just cancel the IAH-BDL segment; there’s no charge for cancelling. Then, book IAH-SFO.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 10:27 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
You’ve gotten lucky. What you describe is expressly prohibited by UA’s contract of carriage, meaning that there are no legitimate reasons to do it (as far as UA’s concerned). They don’t want you reserving space on two planes and only taking one. They want you paying sky-high last minute fares.

There are many, many reports on the forum of people who have gotten a phone call from UA asking which one to cancel — or of people who have had conflicting itineraries cancelled outright. There are even some reports of UA shutting down MileagePlus accounts for making a lot of unneeded reservations and then cancelling them at the last minute.

To the OP: While you can certainly try pricing out IAH-SFO-BDL, in most cases that’s going to be extremely expensive. Instead, just cancel the IAH-BDL segment; there’s no charge for cancelling. Then, book IAH-SFO.

How is there no fee for cancelling? When I try to do it online it says $200 change fee.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 10:33 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by igotjays22 View Post
How is there no fee for cancelling? When I try to do it online it says $200 change fee.
Don’t do it online. Just call, tell them that you won’t be needing the flight, that your plans aren’t settled, and that you’d like to leave the credit on the ticket for future use. If necessary, you can mention that you have a family friend who’s sick and that you can’t travel to BDL right now. The $200 fee is charged when you reissue the ticket — that is, when you actually use the remaining credit for a new flight somewhere. There’s no fee charged to cancel.

In the worst case, if the agent starts talking about a fee, say you didn’t realize there was a charge and you’ll try to figure something out. But that would have to be a very confused agent.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 12:08 pm
  #12  
 
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I recently had conflicting bookings and UA cancelled one after a few days. Luckily they cancelled the one I really didn’t need.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 1:28 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by igotjays22 View Post
How is there no fee for cancelling? When I try to do it online it says $200 change fee.
There is a change fee. But, it is not paid until you use the credit balance. If you never use the value of the credit, it will zero out a year from purchase.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 1:30 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
There is a change fee. But, it is not paid until you use the credit balance. If you never use the value of the credit, it will zero out a year from purchase.
Are you forced to use the value of the credit on future bookings? I travel all the time for work.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by igotjays22 View Post
Are you forced to use the value of the credit on future bookings? I travel all the time for work.
No, although your employer may want to do so, if the amount of the credit is more than the change fee. Having the cancelled itinerary hanging around won't affect any future travel plans.
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