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For complicated reasons, I want to buy a flight to Australia through New Zealand, but get off in New Zealand and not use the ticket to Australia.

One problem with this approach is that I can't have luggage because it would be transferred to Australia.

But assuming I would fly without checked in luggage, another problem is that I don't have a visa for Australia. Will they check it before the first leg of my journey and not allow me to fly at all, or can I fly to New Zealand because they would only check my visa status there before my flight from New Zealand to Australia?

Thanks.

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    Anecdotal evidence on this site suggests that both approaches are possible, but in my experience the more usual approach is to check visas for all destinations at initial checkin. So if you try to do this without a visa for Australia, there is a very real risk that you will waste money, not save it. – phoog Feb 28 at 16:02
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    "Complicated reasons'? Your plan may be weirder than this, but in effect it is just Hidden city ticketing which is well-understood. – Harper Feb 28 at 17:51
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    Note that the airline will cancel the return half of your ticket when you don't show for the flight from New Zealand to Australia. – David Richerby Mar 1 at 13:27
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Presuming that your connecting flight to Australia is the same day as your arrival into New Zealand, you will be required to have a visa for Australia in order to board your original flight to New Zealand. Without an Australian visa you will be denied boarding.

If your connecting flight is the next day (but still within 24 hours of arrival) then you may be allowed board the flight to New Zealand, but it's still unlikely.

If your connecting flight is more than 24 hours after your arrival in New Zealand then you will probably be allowed board the flight to New Zealand without an Australia Visa, although it can potentially depend on your citizenship.

Note that once you fail to board your flight to Australia any additional flights on that ticket will be canceled (including the return trip, if there is one). Depending on your citizenship it's also possible that you will need to show an onward ticket in order to pass through immigration in New Zealand.

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