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Skipping second leg of a QF booking (USA)

12 Discussions

Johnny9

Member since 05 Aug 2017

Total posts 44

Does anyone have experience / know what will happen if you deliberately do not board the second/last leg of your booking (especially in the US)?

For example if you have a QF booking BNE-LAX-DEN (Denver,CO) and you get out in LAX, as you have your suitcase and never board the LAX-DEN flight, despite having a boarding pass and being checked in - can you be fined by QF?

Reason why I am asking is because it is in the news that Lufthansa is suing a passenger for doing exactly the same, skipping second leg (as promoted on "Skiplagged" website).

There is a substantial cost saving in doing so: A J-booking DEN-BNE-DEN on QF (via LAX) is ~$5k and over $2k less expensive than LAX-BNE-LAX ($7k) on same days. I need fly from DEN to BNE and return from BNE to only LAX. Multi city booking is also $1k more expensive than DEN-BNE return. I would skip only the last leg of the booking so not worried if booking is cancelled.

Thanks for your comments

djtech

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Sep 2018

Total posts 309

It is technically against the Contract of Carriage in which you technically can't buy the ticket without the intent to fly it the whole way. The Current Lufthansa case is still ongoing, but there is a high chance they won't win. Realistically, they have a low chance of persuing you for your particular flight, but you definitely won't earn any status credits or points and your FF account maybe shutdown and you maybe banned. All of this of course is if you do this consistently, once or twice should be fine as everyone misses their flights every now and again

Ourmanin

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 08 Jun 2018

Total posts 102

Johnny9 - I would be interested in the responses you get. I am by no means an expert here, but the risk factor you must consider is that you are breaking the rules of carriage for the airline and they can then seek redress. If, for example, you are a Qantas FF then they 'may' be able to 'punish' you through that (cancellation of points, etc). It is probably unlikely that an outright claim such as the Lufthansa one would occur, not least because I doubt very much that it would play out well in the court of public opinion, but it is a risk you run. Ultimately, as absurd as the rules may appear to be, you can't complain if you are held to the terms of the contract that you agreed to when making the purchase. If I was brave enough to risk it, then this is the sort of flight I might be tempted to do it on, given that there is no issue of access to luggage, additional visa required for scheduled final destination, etc. I think one of the mistakes that the individual in the Lufthansa case made, was to book another LH flight, just to an alternative final destination, somewhat giving the game away as to what his true intent was. Clearly you could always come up with a: "I got a last minute call from my friend in LA and I had to stop there because his cat / goldfish / stick insect (delete as appropriate) was ill and I needed to give him support" in the event that they ever did try and follow it up with you.

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 13 Jan 2015

Total posts 74


If you skipped the 2nd flight in a 4 flight booking then they will probably cancel your return flights.

AlexTravAddict

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 May 2015

Total posts 30

Airlines might put this in as a term in their contract of carriage, but that doesn't mean it is legal. Let's assume a consumer skipped a flight in the middle of their itinerary and then the airline denied them boarding on a later flight within their itinerary. If this was then challenged in an Australian court I would be very surprised if the airline would win. On the most basic level imposing these kind of conditions on a consumer is punative and infringes on basic consumer rights.

It would be like going to a restaurant and ordering a set menu, not eating one of the courses and then being told that you weren't being served any of the subsequent courses because it was a condition of entry that you must eat all courses. As a service provider you can't just impose any conditions they want.

brinkers

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jun 2011

Total posts 215

They are not likely to fine you, but the real risk is getting your subsequent flights cancelled. If you intend to skip a flight, it may be best to discuss with Qantas. It depends a bit on the fare rules.

The Qantas Conditions of Carriage state (4.6):

--

If you notify us in advance, in accordance with any timeframes set out in your fare rules, that you will not show up for the flight, we will not cancel any subsequent flight reservations on your Ticket.

--

Aidan

Member since 05 Dec 2018

Total posts 85

Would it change if it was a flex ticket ?

TtheTraveller

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 24 Aug 2018

Total posts 16

I had something similar when I was on the phone to Qantas trying to change the final (domestic) leg returning from an international flight to Sydney via Brisbane, so I could add a longer stopover in Brisbane. It was cheaper to buy a new ticket and to not board the final leg I'd been checked onto.
The Qantas staffer I chatted to on the phone dropped a very heavy hint that I wouldn't need to worry about it. There were no issues.
Last editedby TtheTraveller at Feb 20, 2019, 02:38 PM.

RR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 44

I can’t see how an airline can demonstrate any financial loss when the final leg is not taken.

How can QF claim any loss if you fail to board the final leg LAX-DEN? They are happy to accept the amount you paid for the entire flight, and they don’t have to give anything back, so there is no material loss to them. And frankly the chances of missing a connection in LAX anyway are quite good, given the zoo-like conditions on arrival.

To me it is the same as the LCC non-refundable tix. If you miss the first flight, the entire ticket is cancelled, they keep your money and you receive nothing. They suffer no loss if you are not on board, they are still paid as if you still travelled.

Any claim that they could have re-sold the ticket would not amount to a loss - they would be then selling the ticket twice. Indeed, if you didn’t board the final leg, you could potentially mount a case that the plane was therefore 100kg lighter (pax+bag), and had in fact saved them money.

To take it to its logical conclusion, if all pax didn’t show up - and they were all on non-refundables - then the airline would save a lot of avgas when repositioning the flight! I think Lufthansa are on a loser pursuing this one. The publicity blowback won't be great. Maybe airlines should consider more reasonable and sensible pricing policies.

CBR boy

Member since 12 Feb 2015

Total posts 60

I had something similar when I was on the phone to Qantas trying to change the final (domestic) leg returning from an international flight to Sydney via Brisbane, so I could add a longer stopover in Brisbane. It was cheaper to buy a new ticket and to not board the final leg I'd been checked onto.
The Qantas staffer I chatted to on the phone dropped a very heavy hint that I wouldn't need to worry about it. There were no issues.

Last edited by TtheTraveller at Feb 20, 2019, 02.38 PM.


Your situation is a bit different though in that you were travelling to the destination you'd booked for AND you paid QF extra money to take another flight. So everyone's happy, more or less. A bit different to failing to pay them the amount they want to charge for where you actually want to go...

Johnny9

Member since 05 Aug 2017

Total posts 44

Thanks everyone. The issue I see is that if I'd buy DEN-LAX-BNE-LAX (multi city ticket with LAX as final destination) I would need to pay $6k. If skipping the last LAX-DEN leg on the DEN-BNE-DEN ticket I literally save $1000 compared to the multi-city booking.

Would the carrier be able to impose a penalty demanding to pay the multi-city ticket price? Could they penalise you with not crediting you SC or QFF points for the taken flights of the entire booking?


Worst case I am thinking I could fly back from DEN-LAX as it will still be ~$800 cheaper than going multi-city or $1800 less compared to a LAX-BNE-LAX + separate DEN-LAX ticket.

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

Member since 16 Oct 2017

Total posts 117

I think the most likely outcome in this case would be no action by Qantas, because they won't know. They don't even operate the flight to DEN, and US carriers get plenty of no-shows. Qantas would know about it only if the US carrier informed them, which is most improbable. Even then you can just say you missed the booked DEN flight and made other arrangements. Your baggage will not have been loaded for DEN so that flight will not be delayed while they try to find you, which they won't do for that very reason. I would not be concerned.
Last editedby tommygun at Feb 21, 2019, 09:15 AM.

Johnny9

Member since 05 Aug 2017

Total posts 44

I just spoke to Qantas to clarify this:

1)if you miss one leg of your booking it is detrimental to the entire booking (e.g. if you fly SYD-SIN-LHR and return but you get out at SIN after SYD-SIN flight, then entire booking is cancelled and non-refundable)

2)If it is your last leg(s) of the booking you must/shall say at check-in that you forfeit the last leg(s) and that they should check you (incl. your luggage) only to your desired destination/stop. Obviously forfeited flights are cancelled and non-refundable.

Any taken/boarded flights of the booking will be credited with points or SC accordingly. Of course you don't get points and SC for skipped leg. No penalties apply.


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