Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Air Travel
Reload this Page >

Book 2-way with intention to refund return flight

Book 2-way with intention to refund return flight

May 24th, 2011, 11:33 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 2
Book 2-way with intention to refund return flight

Dear all,

I have a small dilemma;

I have to fly one way from Europe to Costa Rica.
I could book a one way flight (usually around 400 euros). But I prefer flying Continental, because the reward points. In that case I would have to book a two way ticket, which is cheaper than a one way ticket. I would intend to request a refund of the the non used return flight.

I am wondering if I can expect a decent refund or whether it will be reduced to zero because of penalties, reasonable fees and administrative costs etc. etc.
Ron_Rumba is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 11:37 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
if I was SURE you were kidding i would laugh.

However on the chance you are serious....

if you book a round trip and don't use the return - especially if you have given your Frequent flyer number to get the miles to count, you run the risk of the airline charging you the FULL FARE and closing your account. it's unlikely they will do this if you only do it once but under no circumstances will you get a refund or indeed should call them about it at all.
mztery is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 11:48 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 2
Thanks, I'll go for the one way ticket
Ron_Rumba is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 11:51 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 513
Agreed.

Ron, if you think about it, if this were legal, EVERYONE would be doing it every time the one-way fare was higher than the round-trip. Continental would have every right to charge you the higher fare if you don't show up for the return. (They probably wouldn't but they could, especially if they had your ff number on the booking).
Jimingso is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 05:03 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,044
Ron, if you think about it, if this were legal, EVERYONE would be doing it every time the one-way fare was higher than the round-trip.

It's not illegal. You won't go to airline prison if you do it; in fact, many, many people do. It's a violation of the terms and conditions of the ticket "contract," and yes, the airlines technically could try to up-charge you to get the one-way price instead. But this almost never happens, and usually only for people who make a habit of it.

If you no-show for the return, then you'd probably lose any FF miles you earned for the first flight (although I never have in in previous cases.)

I might suggest that you see how many United/Continental miles it would take to purchase, then redeem for the one-way flight. For some one-way itineraries, it might be cheaper to buy miles (usually around US$0.025 each) then turn around and use them for a one-way flight that would cost much more than the cost of buying the miles.
Gardyloo is online now  
May 24th, 2011, 05:07 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 583
We did it for my student daughter with Lufthansa on a domestic flight in Europe.... A one way ticket was about DOUBLE than a RT... I responded to my travel agent angrily, to which she said "one way tickets are mostly purchased by business people, who the airlines assume can pay this kind of a fare." We bought RT ticket and my daughter ignored the return ticket.

I had no guilt about it. Not at all.
mamamia2 is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 05:12 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,503
Buy the R-T -- just don't ask for a refund. They wouldn't owe you anything. (since the R-T is cheaper than the one-way what sort of 'refund' would you expect anyway??)
janisj is online now  
May 24th, 2011, 05:21 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 583
...And my travel agent was caring enough to warn my daughter not to mention anything to the airline, when boarding the original flight, about skipping the return flight....
mamamia2 is offline  
May 25th, 2011, 11:37 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 513
Hmm...I thought breaking a contract was illegal (Webster's says illegal also means: "not authorized or sanctioned, as by rules"). Whatever you call it, people will continue to do it as long as airline pricing remains screwy vis-a-vis R/T versus one-way fares. I did it myself to get my son home for Christmas from blizzard-bound Frankfurt, although I didn't use his ff number when I booked.
Jimingso is offline  
May 25th, 2011, 12:30 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 583
See, we're all dirty bunch of low-life criminals.
mamamia2 is offline  
May 26th, 2011, 02:54 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 36
We're off in a couple of months for our "Trip of a lifetime" to Europe for our 37th Wedding Anniversary and our TA down here found it was far more economical to book a return trip than try to book a one way flight between European cities. As FF miles are not in our equation I have no guilty conscience about not taking the return flight.
OzJohnno is offline  
May 27th, 2011, 02:27 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,719
mammamia:

The legal situation has changed in Germany.

Last year, the Supreme Court voided clauses in airlines' terms which nullified flights when not all coupons had been used as booked.
But the court allowed the airlines to re-calculate fares based on the actually used segments and based on the fare at time of booking.
Lufthansa has incorporated this into their terms, and now charges the difference.

So if you buy RT Munich-Paris for €100 instead of O/W €250, LH cannot deny you boarding no matter which part of the ticket you don't use.
But if you use just one part, they will charge your CC another €150 once the trip is finalized.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
May 27th, 2011, 08:49 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,630
I am getting a Marx Brothers flash back:

How much is a round trip?
$100.
How much is one way?
$250.
How much not to go at all?
You can't afford it.
AJPeabody is online now  
May 27th, 2011, 09:43 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 583
Cowboy,

I'll be watching my credit card statements...
mamamia2 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:33 PM.