Thrifty Traveler reader Matty messaged me on Facebook to ask:
“I booked a flight to Bangkok that first connects in Tokyo. Can I fly to Tokyo and then fly home without ever going to Bangkok?”
This is a question I receive frequently and I wish airlines allowed you to pick and choose which flights to fly but sadly they don't. If you skip any part of your flight itinerary, anything after that will be canceled. If Matty was to fly to Tokyo and then not continue on to Bangkok, her entire flight itinerary would be canceled, and she would be stuck in Tokyo with no way home.
Another similar question I frequently receive is skipping the initial flight and catching the second connection. For example, if you find a great flight deal from Chicago to Paris which first connects in NYC. If you live in NYC and try to board without first flying out of Chicago, your flight itinerary will already be canceled due to missing the first flight from Chicago to NYC. Don't even attempt this!
The only flights you should ever skip is the last leg of your flight. If you do choose to skip the final flight you should not face any adverse circumstances. One thing that is important to note is that you always carry-on your luggage if you are planning to skip the final flight. Otherwise, the luggage will continue on to the final destination!