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Using part of a ticket

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Oct 24th, 2010, 01:22 PM
  #1
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Using part of a ticket

I live in Chicago and have found an amazing rate from Milwaukee ( 1 hour from me) to Phoenix. The flight goes from Milwaukee with a stopover in Chicago before it heads off to Phoenix. I would like to get on the fight in Chicago and forgo the trip to MKE. United says that I can't do this, but I figure that is their "official" response. Has anyone tried this? I don't want to be denied the Chicago portion of the flight, but I would love not to have to drive to MKE to take a flight back to chicago and then wait 2 hours for the remaining portion of the trip. Thanks.
rpowell is offline  
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Oct 24th, 2010, 01:34 PM
  #2
 
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Once you miss the initial leg of the flight - they cancel the ticket. I don't see a way to pull this off. If it was only the return - you could do it (if you didn't have luggage) but you can't miss the first leg...
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Oct 24th, 2010, 07:16 PM
  #3
 
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"United says that I can't do this, but I figure that is their "official" response. "

That is the official, unofficial, and REAL response.

You can't board a flight in the middle of its itinerary.

"Has anyone tried this? "

Probably not since they couldn't get a boarding pass valid in Chicago.
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Oct 25th, 2010, 07:04 AM
  #4
 
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Where do you think "Stand-by" passengers sit? In "No Show" seats. Miss the first leg and you are a no show. A simple principle to understand so don't know why you would think that there is a way to beat this. Even skipping the last leg carries some risk. While it is frequently done, the airline has the right to come after you.
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Oct 25th, 2010, 07:49 AM
  #5
 
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Even though the answer is, no, you absolutely cannot do this or you will lose all your flights, I can see why someone would think, what's the big deal? You buy an entire product but you're not using it all, so it seems that should be okay. The reality is that United has somehow determined that it needs to offer a more competitive fare for the MKE market. Maybe Midwest, which uses MKE as a hub, is having a sale? Who knows? The fact is, you can't circumvent these things by abandoning early legs in your itinerary. You'd try to check in at ORD and find you have no itinerary.
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Oct 25th, 2010, 09:09 AM
  #6
 
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I don't know if the answer is quite as cut and dried as you all make it out to be.

The OP doesn't have to check in and get a boarding pass at ORD; s/he can easily check in online and print out the 2 boarding passes at home. Assuming no checked luggage, the OP would have no trouble going through ORD security with the valid boarding pass. The only question -- and it's a big one -- is whether s/he would be flagged at the gate when getting on to the airplane. Common sense says that UA's system would flag the boarding pass, but a lot of what happens at UA doesn't jibe with common sense. Obviously, if this were a round-trip ticket, the return portion would be invalid.

Personally, I wouldn't try it. Still, as a theory exercise, there's a chance one could get away with it.
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Oct 25th, 2010, 09:45 AM
  #7
 
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You can skip the very last leg of a plane ticket, you can't skip any of the earlier legs or it will invalidate the entire fare.
suze is online now  
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Oct 25th, 2010, 11:05 AM
  #8
 
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rp - why don't you try it and report back? We'd all like to know.
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Oct 25th, 2010, 12:11 PM
  #9
 
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Rizzuto, that won't work. When the OP doesn't board at MKE, the itinerary will be flagged at that point. The rest of the legs will be invalidated. I doubt there's any chance one could get away with this.
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Oct 25th, 2010, 12:28 PM
  #10
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Thanks for the input. We are not going to risk it on the outbound flights, but are going to hop off in O'hare on the way back. I can't imagine under what theory the airline would come after us if we didn't make the last leg of the trip.
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Oct 25th, 2010, 01:09 PM
  #11
 
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"but are going to hop off in O'hare on the way back. I can't imagine under what theory the airline would come after us if we didn't make the last leg of the trip."

That would work -- except -- Will you have luggage? Even if you only use carry on's- there is a chance it would be gate checked. Then you'd be SOL.

If you don't have more than a small carry on (unlikely to be gate checked) you should be fine. If you have bags it won't work.
janisj is online now  
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Oct 25th, 2010, 01:11 PM
  #12
 
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Your contract with the airline is for you to pay $xxx to them for them to fly you MKE-PHX and back. You are in breach of this transaction for missing any of the legs. Of course, if you do it once, for the last ORD-MKE leg, they definitely won't come after you.

But if you do this all the time and UA managed to pick this up, then they can come after you. Whether they WILL do it or not is another question.
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Oct 25th, 2010, 01:15 PM
  #13
 
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The common wisdom is that as long as you don't make a habit of this, you can ditch the last leg of the itinerary. You have to have only carry-ons.

In theory, United could charge the fare difference between ORD-PHX-ORD and MKE-PHX-MKE to your credit card. They would still have those numbers. I've never heard of this actually happening if it's just a one-time "transgression."
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