Repercussions of not flying on last leg?

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by cheryld, Apr 29, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. cheryld
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    cheryld Silver Member

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    Hi, DD is flying with a group from her school from St. Louis to Hong Kong with a stop both ways in Detroit(on Delta). We live near ORD. I would love to have her fly from Detroit to ORD on the return home instead of her flying into STL. Since this would be the last leg of the journey - is it OK for her not to board that flight? This is a group ticket. I would be happy to call ahead and cancel just that flight - but she is not the only one on the ticket and we did not book it. I have read that airlines will cancel your ticket if you don't board your booked flight on a multi-flight trip - but since this is the very last part, I was hoping this might be doable. Would really appreciate your advice.
    Thank you.
     
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  2. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    even though she is booked with other travellers she still should have an individual ticket so her not being on the last flight wont hurt anyone else. Its done all the time. If she doesnt get on the last leg, she wont get mileage credit for that last leg. Just make sure her luggage isnt checked through to STL. If she is clearing immigration/customs in DTW, she will have to claim her bag anyway and just keep it with her to recheck on the ORD flight.

    Hopefully others can validate this strategy, but I have done it successfully several times. The only question I have is exactly what kind of group itinerary/ticket are you talking about?

    You are correct in thinking an airline will cancel the rest of your itinerary if you miss a leg along the way.

    Sometimes airlines in their fine print reserve the right to charge a fine if a leg is missed like that but I have never heard of it being enforced, and not every airline has that threat in their fine print. I think your strategy is acceptable. I assume you'll be buying a new ticket from DTW to ORD? If thats the case look at a round trip DTW-ORD-DTW, usually will be cheaper. Make the ORD_DTWreturn flight several months later so it stays open and may potentially be used for a future trip involving ORD-DTW.
     
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  3. cheryld
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    cheryld Silver Member

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    Hi 744, thank you for your response! When I look at her itinerary - there are 6 'travelers' listed on it. But when I look down at the bottom for pricing - they show 8 separate tickets purchased with 6 of these matching the travelers named in the reservation. There are separate ticket numbers and I can see my daughter's among these. I did sign her up for a skymiles account so I am glad she won't miss out on the mileage earned for the other legs. Good point on the luggage! I assume she would clear customs in Detroit as there is a 3 hour layover. The only glitch I thought of was what would happen if the flight from Hong Kong was delayed so much that she would miss the flight I booked for her to ORD. I was thinking of booking Southwest to make a change easier and have her fly into MDW. Worse case scenario though is her being stuck in Detroit overnight. I really would not want that to happen. DH just told me we could drive to get her if that was the case.... :)
     
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  4. Italy98
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    First, I believe you mean DTW for Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and not Camarines Norte Airport (DTE) in the Philippines. With your daughter using her SM account the DL agents at DTW may be able to see her continuation to STL, even if she removes the luggage tags (I am certain our more learned colleagues can provide clarification on this) and book her to STL.
     
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  5. MSPeconomist
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    I don't understand this. She will be ticketed to STL, but wants to abandon the journey at DTW and then continue to MDW. After she clears customs in DTW with her bags, there's no reason for further contact with a DL agent. She should just rip the tags off her bags and proceed to the Southwest check in area, in another terminal at DTW.

    A problem could arise if for some reason she is rerouted on a different connection to STL that doesn't go through DTW, but depending on where she's coming from, this is probably low probability.

    How is she getting to STL to start the trip? If you're purchasing a separate ticket, a RT is likely to be cheaper than OW and putting in a return STL/MDW (or ORD) for the day after she is ticketed into STL, for example, could provide insurance at no cost if she somehow is forced to fly into STL without going through DTW.

    Note that she doesn't want to call attention to these plans by airline staff, so she should check her bags through to STL and not say anything to DL about the plan to abandon the journey in DTW. Of course, she should be sure that her group leaders are aware of this plan so that they don't panic when she "misses" the DTW-STL final flight.
     
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  6. Italy98
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    I understood that the OP had purchased a DL ticket - DTW - ORD for the last leg "she would miss the flight I booked for her to ORD".
     
  7. USAF_Pride
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    FYI,
    SWA operates out of the North Terminal while DL operates out of the McNamara Terminal. These terminals are not physically connected. There is a shuttle that operates every 10 minutes between the two.
     
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  8. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Yep, I'm thinking detroit energy! (stock symbol). sorry. Its corrected now.....I knew something didnt look right....
     
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  9. cheryld
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    cheryld Silver Member

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    Thank you for all of the information. I have not booked anything yet for her myself in regards to her flying between Detroit and Chicago. I quickly looked at options with AA and it doesn't look like it is cheaper to book RT as opposed to OW. I have read this advice before...but I never seem to find that it works for me, maybe I am missing something? Thank you MSPEconomist - I had not thought of what would happen if for some reason she is routed differently coming home! As for having her SM account on the ticket... I would like her to get the mileage for the flights flown, but DL is not an airline we usually fly and if this might make her skipping the last leg more difficult, I am willing to remove her number from the reservation. I did not realize the luggage tags could be an issue. We travel fairly light and I would expect her to only check one bag - so she could tear off the tag. Am I safe assuming she will clear customs in Detroit? If her luggage is for some reason not loaded on her plane to Detroit though - then it would ultimately be routed to STL...right? Ugh - I guess this has the potential to be fairly messy.

    Oh and also, yes I intend on asking the group leader first if this is ok with her that we pursue this idea. But I wanted to make sure this was doable first.
     
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  10. Italy98
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    IF she is not checking any luggage at Hong Kong and will only have her carry-ons, then I don't see where switching at DTW for ORD would be a problem.
     
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  11. Lufthansa Flyer
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    When she arrives at DTW, she will have to claim her bag regardless of her next flight. She will have to clear customs with her luggage and then forward the luggage to her connecting flight whether its STL or ORD. The fact that she is checking luggage shouldnt impact the travel arrangements you can make for her from DTW. You're right in assuming if her luggage isnt loaded in HKG for her flight to DTW, then her bag would wind up going to STL. I'm not sure what would happen if the luggage followed her a day later from HKG and what would happen to it at DTW because at that point they would know that she didnt travel onward to STL, and there may be a chance the luggage would find a new home in DTW's lost and found. But its extremely unlikely that luggage wouldnt be loaded at HKG though. She's originating in HKG and the aircraft is large enough so there shouldnt be a risk of luggage not traveling with her.
     
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  12. cheryld
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    cheryld Silver Member

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    Thanks 744...as you can probably tell, if there is something to worry about - I'll find it! :) So bottomline, we should be ok in altering the final leg of her journey?
     
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  13. Lufthansa Flyer
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    I dont see why not. I think the risks are far outweighed by the pro's of doing this. Its not an uncommon practice, but just have a plan B and C just in case. Good luck and let us know how it worked out for her.
     
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  14. MSPeconomist
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    HKG is an efficient airport so I would not think the risk of being separated from bags would be high at all.

    You always go through immigration and clear customs at the first airport you visit in the USA. For this not to be DTW when originating in HKG would require IROPs there and rebooking on HKG-NRT-USA, where USA could well be MSP, LAX, SFO, PDX, SEA, for instance. However, if something were to go wrong, it's unlikely that DL would have enough space to accommodate everyone on HKG-DTW, which leaves around the same time as the HKG-DTW flight. My best guess is that most passengers, including your daughter who is traveling on a group fare without status, would fly the following day. In this case, she could do exactly the same strategy: check bags HKG-DTW-STL but after exiting customs (when she turns in the blue form with her declaration), tear off the bag check tags and walk to the check in desk of whatever airline she is using for DTW-MDW. There's no reason not to put her DL FF number on the flights, although she will not get miles for the flight DYW-STL not taken.
     
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  15. cheryld
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    cheryld Silver Member

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    Thank you everyone for your quick and expert advice! I have just emailed the group director for this trip. I am hoping she will agree to our request. It could be that she might prefer to have everyone stay together until they land in St. Louis - I will update you either way. :)
     
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  16. Lufthansa Flyer
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    You can throw out a few likes towards the posts that you found helpful!!;)
     
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  17. MSPeconomist
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    I agree that two hours seems too tight given that she must change terminals and will be one separate tickets and carriers. Four hours will give her a comfortable amount of time to go over there and check in.
     
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  18. NYBanker
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    The OP will be forfeiting about 8,500 miles if they don't fly this leg! The daily serice from Daly Waters, Northern Territories, Australia to St. Louis is a great flight!

    This thread must be jinxed as to IATA codes! ;)
     
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  19. MSPeconomist
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    It would be fun in a RJ puddle jumper (as long as one is in FC) stopping at a bunch of Pacific islands along the way. Why fly nonstop when you can have a memorable experience that lasts a week, like in the early days of flying I would imagine?
     
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  20. USAF_Pride
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    Not just the early days of flying. Those 25k award tickets have you going everywhere to get to a destination also!!
     
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  21. MSPeconomist
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    Unfortunately without the fun of stopping at exotic islands along the way.
     
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  22. NYBanker
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    They fare it as a direct flight, so the pax will only get one segment credit.
     
  23. NYBanker
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    Back on topic...I had an experience last night which should further comfort the op about not taking the last flight. I booked an award ticket on DL last night and the agent was having a hard time getting the ticket to issue. Though not exactly the route (to shield my identity, and the nice DL agent's, from any lurkers), it was something like las-atl-fll / stop / fll-atl that I was seeking to book. Low miles f seats were available on the flights I wanted.

    The agent said the computer kept saying I needed two round trip awards to be able to have this booking. Before I suggested it, she said "I'll just add a throw away segment for you and we will get this done." She found a flight a day or two later for atl-las that had a low miles seat available and booked it. Now, I would have suggested this had she not, but here is at least one more example of this not being a problem.
     
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  24. cheryld
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    cheryld Silver Member

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    Updating thread - DD decided to stay in STL overnight on her return to visit with friends before heading home to ORD. So she will fly entire trip originally booked. Good to know the info provided here though for future possible use. Thanks again everyone!
     
  25. KyRoamer
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    In the future check on cost of changing ticket. It might be less than buying a separate ticket DTW to CHI.
     

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