My daughter and husband live in Atlanta but last year flew down to Florida and went out of Miami to Madrid, Spain which saved them about $800 each. We are looking to go with them and our other children to Italy this next May. We do not plan to go to Rome because we have been there. But they have not. So they are looking to fly out of Miami to Rome before us and then return to Atlanta from Milan. My daughter accidentally found a flight Itinerary that potentially could work really well but it means skipping the last part of the flight. The itinerary is direct from Miami to Rome and then from Milan to Ft Lauderdale via a seven hour layover in Atlanta. It is priced less than $700 but if you try the same itinerary and end in Atlanta (as opposed to a ticket continuing to Ft. Lauderdale) then it is over $5000!!!!
The flight back is on Delta. I would think as long as they carry on their luggage they would be OK. They would go through passport control and immigration and then proceed through security with their luggage to connecting domestic flights. I would presume though that they could then follow the signs to exit and baggage claim and leave the airport.
There are other options, of course, that are less than $5000 but the next best seems to require connecting flights both ways and is about $400 more than the itinerary outlined above.
I know if you skip out of the second part of a flight on your way to your destination, your return will be cancelled. The only risks I can think of is if the flight got rerouted through another city than Atlanta which doesn't seem likely or if they are forced to check their luggage. Delta has reasonable carry on limits though and I would think this too would be minimal risk as long as they were attentive to those limits.
Any thoughts? My daughter would be willing to even pay a few hundreds more for her preferred itinerary to avoid any worry, although as she says it is crazy to pay more to fly less. But of course, she would not buy a $5000 ticket (and an economy one at that).