[Reader Question] Is it Possible to Skip a Flight?

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 cancelled. If Matty was to fly to Tokyo and then not continue on to Bangkok, her entire flight itinerary would be cancelled, 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 cancelled due to missing the first flight from Chicago to NYC. Don’t even attempt this!

 

Bottom Line 

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!

 

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20 Responses

  1. Scott Bietch says:

    Similar topic. With the southwest companion pass, if I have a flight from DCA to SFO and it connects in St. Louis, which is my companions final destination, would that cause any issues if they got off in STL? They wouldn’t have a checked bag.

    • If they are on the same itinerary as you it could create some issues. I’d contact Southwest and make sure they are separate itineraries if possible. I’ll be honest I’ve never tried it with Southwest. Might not be an issue at all.

  2. Will W says:

    I have an interesting case that I’m curious what the consequences will be for skipping the final leg of my itinerary. My itinerary is as follows: Singapore (SIN) -> Tokyo (NRT) -> Detroit (DTW) -> Chicago (ORD) booked on Delta. Originally when I booked these flights there was ample time during the layovers, but scheduling changes occurred and I now only have a 45 minutes layover in Detroit, meaning I would have to collect my bags, go through customs, re-check bags, go through security, and board my DTW->ORD flight within that 45 minutes. I’m a fairly efficient traveler, but I’m thinking that’s not going to be possible. I actually live in Detroit so it would be better for me to just skip the final leg, and since I’ll already have my checked bags from going through customs I figure this is my best option logistically. However, I don’t want to lose the Delta MQMs from the SIN->NRT->DTW portions of my itinerary because I failed to board the final flight. Does anyone know if Delta will revoke those miles for the flights already completed in my itinerary?

    And yes, I have called to ask for them to cancel, but since the schedule change was less than 90 min, they wouldn’t give it to me without charging me the difference in fare ( >$3000 for 2 travelers). Considering asking for an extended (2 month) “layover” in Detroit and then taking the flight to Chicago for a weekend.

    • Don’t board the DTW – ORD flight. You’ll be fine and the MQMs you earned from SIN – NRT – DTW will be credited to your account. You of course will not earn MQMs for DTW – ORD. I’ve dumped the last leg on Delta before with no problems.

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