Using half of a round trip ticket...

Sep 15th, 2016, 06:48 PM
Original Poster
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Using half of a round trip ticket...

A friend asked me if there would be a problem in the following scenario, and I told her I didn't think so, but what might I be missing? She is thinking of flying non rev (standby) to Amsterdam, and then returning to the US using the first half of a round trip ticket, and throwing away the return (to AMS) portion (because it's cheaper than a one way ticket). Any potential problems that I didn't think of? Thx for any helpful thoughts!
travlsolo2 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2016, 07:13 PM
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We did that once. We were stuck in Madrid and could not get back to Chicago as our flight connected thru Newark which was shut down due to super storm Sandy. UAL had us going home 5 days past our original date and that was impossible for work reasons. It was cheaper to book a RT vs. a one way so we did that.

We flew Lufthansa and upon our return I called them to cancel the return and told them why. They told me that by booking a RT with no intention to use the return I had committed fraud! Good Lord! Well nothing happened so no biggie but I suppose those are the rules. No one will bug you of you don't use the return portion. I called them just to open up space for others but hey it is what it is.
jacketwatch is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 01:52 AM
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If you don't tell the airline, extremely unlikely they will say anything. Just don't tell them. Will not get FF miles, though.

Not sure I completely understand from where the person is actually starting - but check-in, TSA, immigration sometimes will question a person using a 1-way ticket as to what their return plans are.
gail is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 02:14 AM
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So they have stupid tarriffs but don't allow customers to be smart ?

I did it several times inside Europe.

2 roundtrips including a day of week-end were cheaper than 1 roundtrip with 2 days of the working week. I never thought of canceling or calling the airline.
As a rule, I never tell an airline when I don't use my non refundable ticket. I paid for a service, don't use it, I don't have to justify myself.

Especially when there is nothing to be gained.
And by not cancelling I actually kept my miles...
The stupidity of some programs is awesome.
WoinParis is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 07:03 AM
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Unless you do this repeatedly, it should be fine. Set the return date a month or more out and you should still get FF miles if that's a concern.

However, one easy work-around I've used for expensive one-way tickets over the pond is to buy enough frequent flyer miles from an airline to cover a one-way flight. For example, it takes 22,500 AA miles for a one-way flight from Europe to North America (or v.v.) Several times during the year AA has a sale on purchased FF miles where the price can get down to around 2c per mile. After taxes, that means you could buy enough miles for a one-way ticket for around $475 or $500, which is likely cheaper than buying a "throw-away" ticket.

There are also frequent sign-up bonuses with various credit cards that will give you 25,000 or 30,000 miles with approval; you can turn around and redeem them for a trip right away. The Alaska Airlines Signature Visa card (B of A) gets you 30K Alaska miles (lots of redemption partners) AND an annual $99 companion certificate - fly on Alaska metal, one person pays the standard price, the other pays $99 plus taxes - good for anywhere Alaska flies including Alaska, Mexico, Hawaii...
Gardyloo is online now  
Sep 16th, 2016, 08:58 AM
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It is done all the time and chances are pretty good it will work but...

Be aware this is technically a violation of airline tariff rules and could (not probably) lead to them charging you the full one way fare. Not likely but you really are breaking the rules.
xyz123 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 09:09 AM
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She is thinking of flying non rev (standby) to Amsterdam

What type of traveller is she?
Odin is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 03:14 PM
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What type of traveler is she? She is a relative of an airline employee, and because of the "iffiness" of seats available, she is reluctant to try the return as NR.
travlsolo2 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2016, 12:54 AM
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Oooops Relative of an airline employee and breaking the rules of the airline ? Hope it is not the relative's airline...
WoinParis is offline  
Sep 17th, 2016, 02:54 AM
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She is a relative of an airline employee,

Precisely. IME what she is trying to do is wrong on many levels & it can backfire on the airline employee. Is the return ticket that she is planning to throw away half of, the same airline as the one she is using a NR ticket on? Quite honestly if the flight loads are looking iffy then she should not travel or go somewhere else or change dates or just buy a regular ticket for the whole trip and not mess around like this. What does the airline employee think about this plan?
Odin is offline  
Sep 17th, 2016, 05:12 AM
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She hasn't told the relative, and I'm going to tell her to go elsewhere, someplace "easier", and forget about this route.
Thank you all for your thoughts. Gives me the "backup".
travlsolo2 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2016, 04:53 AM
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I have never thrown away part of a RT ticket.
I have bought RT tickets under similar circumstances, but booked the return, that I did not need at that time, for several months ahead, so I could use it as part of a different trip. I have also done multi-citi that I knew I could use months down the line.
Example. Ending of cruise in Naples. Needed to come to the states, but knew I would be going to Ireland a few months later.
RT from Naples to US, via Milan and back to Milan, was less than a one way. So, looked at dates and booked: multi-city, RT, Naples to US, US to Milan for five months later. Flew home.

Months later, flew back to Milan and got a super cheap flight from Milan to Ireland.

At the time, one way flights from US to Ireland were nearly same as RT, but one way from Ireland to US was cheap, so came home on a one way flight.

Anyway, look at possible future travel and book the return for months, even a year, later. You might end up being able to use it later.
Sassafrass is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2016, 06:15 AM
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Thats another angle Sass. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!
jacketwatch is offline  
Sep 25th, 2016, 07:38 PM
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If buying a cheap RT anyway, why not just use a RT going & coming back, rather than bothering with the standby ticket? What am I missing?
MmePerdu is online now  
Sep 27th, 2016, 06:19 PM
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Sassafras, that is an interesting strategy.
Saraho is offline  
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