unused return flight ok?

Apr 14th, 2002, 12:25 PM
  #1  
robert
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unused return flight ok?

I'm flying to Europe on United FF tickets. I booked a roundtrip flight from Paris to Milan on Alitalia, as it was cheaper than a one-way ticket.

We may use the return ticket, but may decide to take the train and see the alps instead.

Is there any reason for us to be concerned about not using the return flight?
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 12:32 PM
  #2  
Rex
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Often asked here, and the answers seem to invoke theoretical concerns, more than actual experiences.

If you pay with a credit card, a case can be made that Alitalia could retrospectively charge your credit card for the more expensive one way ticket. In practice, no one thinks that this ever happens. Paying with cash, or canceling the credit card would seem to make the risk zero.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 01:13 PM
  #3  
jahoulih
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Rex and I have had this discussion before. His idea that an airline could retrospectively charge your credit card for the balance of the one-way fare is indeed theoretical, since to my knowledge it's never happened to anyone, and if an airline did this you would dispute the charge and the airline could not recover. Someone to whom you give your credit card number may only charge the card for an amount that you authorize; nowhere in the fine print on your ticket does it say that the airline may help itself to more of your money if you fail to show up for your flight.
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 01:23 PM
  #4  
Patrick
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I think the idea of an airline tracking you down and charging you for a flight you "missed" is pretty far fetched. Can you imagine the possibilities if you actually did miss a flight and they tried to charge you even more than you had already paid for the ticket? If you really wanted to protect yourself, I suppose you could call the airline about 30 minutes before the flight and say you are too far from the airport to make the flight -- I suppose that would be true. At least you've allowed them to resell your seat and you've set the groundwork for showing that you "tried" but missed your flight. It seems to me that when an airline charges more for a one way ticket than they do for a round trip, they must expect some of this.
And I really don't think we need to rehash the whole "moral issue" thing again.
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 01:26 PM
  #5  
Patrick
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Another thought:

You've all seen those restaurants where you get a fixed price -- three courses for less than what one or two courses would be. Suppose you chose one of those set menus, you ate the appetizer and the main course, but when the dessert came you were too full to eat it, so you pushed it aside. Do you think the restaurant would come back and charge you ala carte prices for the appetizer and main course since you didn't take advantage of the full three course deal? Seems to me that not using your return flight is the same thing.
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 02:23 PM
  #6  
Geoff
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I hate to say it but the airlines may not have had that fine print in the past but some do now. However, I can tell you from real life experience when circumstances made me switch plans that in fact airlines simply do not go back and try to get their money back. (airline was SAS) So I tend to agree that technically there is some argument on the airlines part that they could do this. However in actual practice it simply does not happen. (or at least often)

That said, be careful about assuming that you can simply dispute a credit card charge. If the airline had a policy and the fine print, you may well lose the battle. More than that - if the airline is international there is little you can do if you dispute but the airline refuses to credit the charge. The credit card company can do little to get the money back if the company is not in the US. I learned this the hard way when I made a reservation in Canada, canceled it, and the hotel refused to give the money back. I had a valid cancelation number, but the hotel in Montreal just refused to give the money back. The credit card company was very nice and originally gave me the credit when I complained because they felt the cancelation was in order. But the hotel protested the credit and the credit card company said there was no way to inforce the normal credit card regulations in Canada. They told me the only thing I could do was to challenge it in court in Canada and insisted I pay it and deal with the hotel directly.
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 07:05 PM
  #7  
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