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Old 11-12-2005, 04:11 PM   #1
dublin30303
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Do airlines have a problem if you do not complete the last leg of a two leg flight? I have booked a ticket to a destination and now find it is more convenient for me to get off after the first leg of the flight.
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Old 11-12-2005, 04:19 PM   #2
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If that is the very last flight on the ticket, no problem providing you do not check luggage (which will continue on to the ticketed destination). However, if you have return flight(s) on the ticket they will be cancelled.
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Old 11-12-2005, 04:25 PM   #3
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You also need to be careful. They will consider this a hidden city. It is in all carriers contract of carraige that they have the right to charge you the fare in effect at the time for your itinerary (read that as bend over here it comes) and if you are caught, they can revoke your FF miles as well.

Now, I have not heard of any airline doing that, but they always threaten it. Kairho makes the good point that your luggage is going where you were ticketed so you need to be taking a carryon and it has to be the last leg of a ticket. Whenever you miss any leg, they automatically cancel all downstream legs.
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Old 11-12-2005, 04:26 PM   #4
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Also I believe that (in theory) the airlines have the right to come after you for lost revenue if the flight that you ended up flying would have been more expensive than the original trip. So if you booked (just using random codes here) NYC-LAS-LAX and it was $200, but the NYC-LAS flight would have been $300, then the airline is out $100 if you book the complete routing but only fly part of it.
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Old 11-14-2005, 02:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Annette@Nov 12 2005, 03:26 PM
Also I believe that (in theory) the airlines have the right to come after you for lost revenue if the flight that you ended up flying would have been more expensive than the original trip.* So if you booked (just using random codes here) NYC-LAS-LAX and it was $200, but the NYC-LAS flight would have been $300, then the airline is out $100 if you book the complete routing but only fly part of it.
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You are right that the airlines maintain that they have this right however it has never been tested in a court of law. It seems when push comes to shove most travelers cave in and pay up rather then fight the questionable rules in the contract of carriage. I suspect that if it ever did go to trial that the airline attorneys would argue that the contract is valid and the customer broke the contract by getting off early. The defense would say that the customer fulfilled the contract by paying for the ticket and is free to leave the plane at any intermediate stop. The airline shouldn't have room to complain since the customer paid for the seat all the way through. I suspect the jury would find for the defense.

Now as we all know what really happens is that the traveler gets off and the airline doesn't say anything to him however the airline immediately sends a debit memo off to the travel agent for booking hidden cities.
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Old 11-14-2005, 02:25 PM   #6
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Now as we all know what really happens is that the traveler gets off and the airline doesn't say anything to him however the airline immediately sends a debit memo off to the travel agent for booking hidden cities.

Huh? What's that all about!
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Old 11-14-2005, 02:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ssssmokin'@Nov 14 2005, 03:25 PM
Now as we all know what really happens is that the traveler gets off and the airline doesn't say anything to him however the airline immediately sends a debit memo off to the travel agent for booking hidden cities.

Huh?* What's that all about!
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If you buy your ticket through a travel agency, we are supposed to abide by all the airlines' rules, which are spelled out in the airlines' "Contract of Carriage". If we sell a passenger a through ticket NYC-LAS-LAX, and the passenger only goes NYC-LAS, and that turns out to be a higher fare than the through fare, the airline can come back to us-the travel agency-with something called a debit memo.

A debit memo is a threat to the travel agent. If the agent refuses to pay the debit memo, the airline can refuse to allow the travel agent to write any more tickets for that specific airline. The amount the airline puts on the debit memo can also be astronomical, as they usually charge the full, unrestricted one way fare. For example, say the NYC-LAS-LAX fare was a discounted price of $250.00. The NYC-LAS fare might have been another discount price (but higher than the through fare to LAX) of $450.00. The airline will not debit the agent for the difference between $250.00 and $450.00 ($200.00), but will charge the full fare NYC-LAS of $1250.00, thereby requiring the agent to pay $1000.00.

Now, as an agent, I cannot force you, as a customer, to complete your trip. The airline, however, can hold me hostage for the full amount, and I have no recourse but to pay, or perhaps lose my ability to write any more tickets on that airline. Sometimes, we can argue for the debit memo to be reduced, but as the airlines have laid off or retired most of all of their experienced staff, we usually are unsuccessful.

There are many other reasons for getting a debit memo, but this is one example.
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Old 11-14-2005, 04:29 PM   #8
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And keep in mind that the discount websites (Travelocity etc) are still considered "travel agencies" even though you do all the work and get considerably less (in general) customer support than from a regular travel agencies.

As such I believe (could be mistaken, it's happened once or twice) that these online agencies have their own terms and conditions, many of which state that you agree to abide by not only the airline's terms and conditions but also that the website is not responsible for your actions. Which means that in theory if the airline decides that a hidden city booking has occured, and they whack the website for the difference in fare plus the additional fee, that the website can in turn go ahead and charge your credit card for said amount because, after all, you agreed to it in the T&C when you bought the ticket.

The travel business is fun, isn't it?
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