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Missing a Leg of my Delta Flight

After a long bout with cancer, my husband to be and I decided to take a vacation to Europe. We bought a round trip flight to Berlin, but since it had a stop over in Paris, we decided to miss our flight from Paris to Berlin and instead spend a few days in Paris. We book non-refundable hotels and trains, etc. However, today, we decided to call Delta and let them know (so they wouldn't delay the flight or something). It turns out that they want to charge us $500 ($250 change fee for each of us) and then they want us to PAY THE DIFFERENCE ON WHAT OUR FLIGHT WOULD COST TODAY. This totals to, get ready, THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH!!!!

Instead of paying an additional $6,000 WE CANNOT AFFORD, we are desperate for answers. Does anyone know of a way out of this ridiculous Delta policy? We are completely desperate!!!

Posted by
8959 posts

Other than paying the additional penalty, there's not much you can do. Not taking the second leg of your flight is a violation of terms of your ticket, and it will cancel the rest of reservation back to the US. When you purchased the tickets you agreed to these terms- you did read the fine print:) If you really want to go to Paris, take the two legs to Berlin, and then book a cheap flight from Berlin back to Paris. It's a bit of a pain, but will cost you significantly less than six grand.

Posted by
1809 posts

Thank goodness you called.

Here's the deal You miss the flight to Brussels and they cancel the ENTIRE remaining trip. In other words you are STUCK in Paris.

No, there's no way around this and it's not just Delta. This is standard in the airline industry WITH the exception of SouthWest (who of course does not fly to Paris)

Posted by
10261 posts

As both Michael and Carol have stated, there is no way out of it. By booking an inexpensive ticket, you get very little in the way of changes.

Michael has the best thought...book cheap flights between Berlin and Paris. Air Berlin and Easyjet both offer inexpensive flights Easyjet flies from a different airport in Berlin than Delta, but fares are as low as $104 round trip. It depends on when you're going.

Posted by
180 posts

If I were you I would definitely find a way to get to Berlin and then take the original return flight back from Berlin. Unfortunately you might be out your money for the non refundable hotels and trains in Paris.

Nothing ridiculous about the policy - every airline has it except Southwest for a non refundable airfare. There is a change fee and you pay any difference in the airfare - it's a standard policy

Posted by
9363 posts

As Carol said, it's lucky that you called them. Otherwise you would have found yourselves stranded. Plane tickets are contracts. You can't just decide to not fulfill your end and expect it to be OK. But no harm has been done yet (unless one of those nonrefundable hotels was in Paris). Taking Michael's suggestion would obviously add hassle and time to your travel day, but you'd only be out the cost of the budget flights, and you could still use the Paris hotel reservation. As annoying as it is right now, this is one of those "learning experiences" that will serve you well in the future -- know the rules. (Which reminds me -- make sure you check those luggage rules, too.)

Posted by
1 posts

I'm sorry to hear this happened to you. I once had a similar situation and was stuck taking the bus home.

One more thing - is it just me or do some of the other posters sound a little too slick? It seems like some of the other comments were posted by professional PR personnel for the airlines. Also, what regular people like "Michael Schneider" or "Nacy have the time to post 1400 and 1700 times?????

Posted by
638 posts

Once when I was traveling to Ireland I was booked to Shannon on Delta, when I noticed I had one stopover I looked into it and discovered the flight landed in Dublin first, then backtracked to Shannon, since I had about 3 days till I needed to be near Shannon I thought spending time in Dublin would be fun, I called Delta and asked if I could simply get off in Dublin and basically got the same story, "the plane can't take off if someone is missing the ticket to Dublin is more expensive etc. During the flight over I struck up a conversation with one of the flight attendants, told her my story, she understood and said when we landed just remain in my seat and she would talk to people on the ground, so after landing she waved to me, had me talk to someone for about a minute, he asked if I had any bags checked, no (travel the Rick Steves way), took a quick look at my ticket and said "enjoy Dublin!" can't say it will work all the time but you might try finding a friendly attendant and give it a try. I didn't run into any problems when I returned to Shannon and returned home.

Posted by
7975 posts

First Alex, yes go ahead to Berlin and take a plane or train to Paris. This is not that big of a cost.

Second - Marlowe. Many of us on here have worked in these varíous industries, like airlines, tour companies, travel agencies, hotels, etc. or have lived in Europe or have traveled extensively here which is why our information may sound "slick". As to the large amounts of posts. Some of these people have been posting on here since years. It adds up. I myself may answer 3-4 a day or sometimes none, but at the end of the year, that is a lot of posts. So, welcome to the Travelers Helpline and if you keep visiting us, you will see what I mean.

Posted by
8959 posts

Marlow if you think 1400 posts is a lot, I belong to other message boards (not travel related), where the average user had about 14,000 posts! And yes I wish I didn't have time in my life to post even 1400 messages:)

Posted by
9363 posts

Marlow, as a first time poster you might not recognize the names of regular posters such as Michael and myself. I have been a regular member of this board for a couple of years now (I think it's been slightly over two, but I'm not sure). I have a lot of travel experience that I am happy to share, and I find participation on the helpline to be an enjoyable hobby. I learn things here all the time that I find useful, too.

Michael has been here quite some time, too. F/A works for Air Canada, which is no secret to anyone who has been here for awhile. We all just try to do our best to help and advise other travelers, and we are all volunteers. If you ever have a travel question or problem, we'd be happy to try to help you, too.

Posted by
21329 posts

Marlow, it is just you. Cannot believe that in your first posting to the board you have enough background and experience to be critical of other posters.

Alex, the prior postings are accurate relative to what will happen if you try to cancel in advance. That is just the rules and common to all airlines especially when you buy the cheap ticket. But security is one of the driving factors. When a passenger doesn't show for a second leg the concern is that his checked luggage may have a bomb and he got off to live another day.

But as someone else posted, it may be possible to game the system if you are a little creative. Two years ago son and girl friend flew to Paris via Amsterdam but want to get off at Amsterdam. They planned for it by taking only carryon. In Amsterdam she faked an illness with the need the rest in the terminal for a few hours. The gate people were very polite, understood her situation but advised them that they would be responsible for obtaining a later flight to Paris but assured them that it would not affect their return flight from Paris because of the "emergency." They had not checked any luggage for everyone was happy and 30 minutes she had an amazing recovery.

Alex, the other thing, I have never heard of non-refundable hotels and train tickets. I suppose under very special deals that might be the case but I would focus on the hotel and train. During 300+ days through Europe we have always been able to change hotel and train reservations very easily. May lose the seat reservation fee but that is a very small amount.

The other thing I noticed is that standard policy becomes ridiculous when it is contrary to something I want to do for my reasons. Probably need a little change of attitude to make this work a little better for you. If you cannot go with flow, Europe can be frustrating at times. Most Americans are used to the idea that the customer is always right. At times that is not true in Europe.

Posted by
1809 posts

Let's all just hope that Marlow never needs assistance LOL!

Posted by
1809 posts

And don't count on the creative methods described to get away with trick of changing your flights without penalty. Due to the "tricks" of others before you the loopholse have been closed.

Delta in Paris uses AirFrance personnel. Not known for thier desire to help customers. Trust me, don't try it!

Posted by
10261 posts

While I don't know much about Alex's flights...most of Delta's flights to Berlin, with change in Paris, are codeshares that are actually Air France flights.

Bonne Chance.

Posted by
1167 posts

If, as Frank notes, you are actually going to be flying Air France you may have another possibility since AF allows a free stopover in Paris. Check with DL. If it is an AF flight they may be able to give you the AF routing/confirmation number and you can contact AF to see if they will help. You might even try entering your DL number on the AF website to see if they recognize you. I have a flight booked with Continental FF miles that will be on NW and AF and each airline used its' own confirmation number.

Posted by
3580 posts

This won't help in Alex's present situation, but layovers of a day or more can be arranged and paid for at the time of making the reservation. I did this several years ago and decided I wanted to spend a few days in my layover city (Amsterdam); the airline said it would cost $100 extra to do this. I was glad to pay to stay. Sounds like you are locked in, Alex, and would be wise to go on to Berlin and return by plane/train to Paris.

Posted by
4555 posts

I'd LOVE to get paid as a PR person to post responses here.....dream job of a lifetime!

Posted by
11798 posts

I'm not sure I understand the whole thing. If its going to cost that much, you can take a flight from Berlin to Paris and back for significantly less. Alternatively you can just go with your original plans.

I was once ticketed from Spokane to Frankfurt with a stop in Minneapolis and Amsterdam. I was planning to lease a car and checked out prices. It turned out the price was enough better picking up in Amsterdam, so I left the flight in Amsterdam. We were all carry on so no issues with luggage. Our return flight was out of Rome and no one seemed upset that I missed the leg from A'dam to Frankfurt. I didn't call ahead to change my flight just got off and hooked up with the leasing agent who picked us up at the airport.

Posted by
1167 posts

Brad:
Because the airlines sometimes, for whatever reason, price flights to intermediate stops higher than to the final destination it was possible at one time to do what you suggest: buy the cheaper ticket and get off at the intermediate stop - the so called "hidden destination." The airlines caught on to what people were doing and to prevent it adopoted the policy of cancelling the whole remainder of the trip if you failed to board for the second leg of the outbound trip.

Posted by
11798 posts

I'd heard of that when flying in the United States. People would price a flight to Denver, then book a flight to Atlanta that stopped in Denver but cost significantly less. I'd also heard the airlines were going to do something about it but didn't know they were canceling the rest of your flight.

This leg was three years ago and fortunately they didn't cancel then although there wasn't any real price break for flying into Frankfurt instead of A'dam. The real price difference was picking up the car in A'dam v. Frankfurt. Flying open jaw may have made a difference but I can't say for sure. It may have also been that we had to change flights and airlines in A'dam anyway.

Posted by
1357 posts

Alex, a lot of these policies about missing legs of flights have been added since 9/11. The airlines like for everyone who has been checked in for a flight (and you would be checked in for the connecting flights at your initial check-in) to be in their seats for all flights. If not, for many airlines, it is their policy to cancel your return ticket for security reasons.

That being said, I haven't known anyone who has had their flight cancelled. But it's a gamble, and you could end up paying a LOT more than $6000 to get back home.

Posted by
1 posts

Another version of the same question. If I book a one way trip from Houston to NY via Atlanta and each leg is a separate flight (and flight number) and don't check any bags, will I have any type of problem if I take the first leg from Houston to Atlanta but don't get on the second flight???

For some reason a flight from Houston to NY is $200 but a flight from Houston to Atlanta is much, much more.

I appreciate those with experience in these matters taking the time to help those with less experience out...

Matt

Posted by
8959 posts

If as you say this is just a one-way ticket, you can just take the leg from Houston to Atlanta, and "throw-away" the leg to NYC without any problems. Technically it is a violation for the terms of the ticket, but there's nothing the airline can do about it.