I'm going to Taiwan in a couple months, and due to a change of plans, I'll be staying an extra week while the others I'm supposed to be flying home with will carry on.

I'm not able to cancel my original ticket, but I'm happy to let the others have an extra seat at their disposal.

My question is, if I go through security and up to the gate with them, would I have any problems getting back out afterwards? I'd like to tell them at the gate to not call for me or wait since I won't be getting on.

And upon entering the country, I guess I should show immigration my second ticket instead?

  • 1
    As Taiwan has several airports, it might be worth clarifying which airport you mean, if you can.
    – zeocrash
    Feb 14, 2020 at 10:58
  • Taiwan Taoyuan Airport Feb 14, 2020 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


Airports have procedures in place for cases like this (because this can happen in legitimate situations), but they usually don’t like it and may give you a hard time, and likewise for immigration authorities.

Note that in some cases if they find out this was intentional they may even fine you (this happened to a guy in Singapore who wanted to be with his partner as long as possible). Also if you use a physical check-in desk you may get flagged as it would be quite unusual for a long haul passenger to have no checked luggage and no significant hand luggage (think roll aboard) either.

I don’t see why you would need to go right up to the gate. Ideally don’t check-in at all. Otherwise, some airlines allow to cancel online check-in right in their app.

If not, you can advise them at a check-in, service or sales desk (if there’s one still open for that airline, which depends on which one it is) or your friends can tell them at the gate. In that last case they won’t cancel the check-in just in their word but they will probably mark you as no show quickly once boarding is finished (especially as you have no checked luggage).

Note that all this still does not guarantee that your seat will be available for your friends: if there are overbooked/waiting list passengers, they’ll give them your seat as soon as regular boarding has ended.

If there’s no overbooking and you don’t check-in at all, have them pick two seats with a free seat in between (e.g. aisle and window on a 3-4-3 or 3-3-3 layout), as far back as possible, this gives them the best chance to keep the seat free.

  • Similar situation with me here, as I'd like to stay with my partner right up to the gate if possible, especially since she's new to flying internationally and would really like me to be there. Do you think there's any way I can make this work? Feb 14, 2020 at 17:33
  • 1
    In some places and circumstances you can ask for a "gate pass", but you usually need to have a better reason than "it's her first time flying", and it's usually a lot more difficult for international flights (especially in places where this means going through exit passport control). But your best option is to create a new question with all the details (especially the departure airport and airline and the destination country).
    – jcaron
    Feb 14, 2020 at 17:53

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