I'm traveling with KLM from Chicago via Amsterdam to Frankfurt. I decided spontaneously to stay a few days in Amsterdam. Therefore I wanted to cancel my connection flight, but the KLM website says I'll have to pay a fee in order to do that. I don't see the point as I'm not using a service I payed for anyway.

So is it possible for me to tell the people at the check in to book my luggage for Amsterdam, not Frankfurt? And just get off over there?

As I am German, there should be no problem with border controls I assume.

  • 1
    I assumed it from that link: klm.com/travel/gb_en/plan_and_book/booking/change_cancel_flight/… I'll just call them tomorrow. Would it be possible that a friend picks up my luggage in Frankfurt while I stay in Amsterdam? – AnatraIlDuck Sep 10 '14 at 4:25
  • @Vincent A friend travelling with you could, but someone in Frankfurt would not be able to enter the luggage collection area. – Relaxed Sep 10 '14 at 4:35
  • If you do skip your Amsterdam -> Frankfurt leg, your return trip will also be cancelled. – Flimzy Sep 10 '14 at 12:57
  • sure I will. I am just very busy at the moment. Also the results might be biased, as I have also different other issues with KLM – AnatraIlDuck Sep 13 '14 at 20:47
  • 1
    So the result was: they just don't allow it. If you have an European flight and enjoy some risk, you could just not board onto your connection flight, as carriers are in general not allowed to fly luggage without the passenger. But I guess this will get you into big trouble. – AnatraIlDuck Oct 24 '14 at 8:25

The point is enforcing their price discrimination practices. What airlines do is trying to extract as much profit as possible from each passenger. Ideally they want to sell the ticket at the highest price a person is ready to pay for it and the distance, costs, etc. aren't directly relevant (see also Why do hotel booking sites ask for the number of people? Does it matter how many I say?).

It might very well be that a ticket to Amsterdam is more expensive than a ticket to Frankfurt through Amsterdam (among other reasons because a direct flight is more comfortable and people are ready to pay a premium for it – on Chicago-Frankfurt, KLM would be competing with nonstop flights from Lufthansa and United so it has to be cheaper, not so on Chicago-Amsterdam).

Similarly, there are some more expensive fares that allow cancellation (or changes and stopovers) for free. So cancellation with the cheaper fare is arbitrarily restrictive so that KLM can sell the flexible one at a premium.

There are many ploys to use these differences to get cheaper tickets (hidden city ticketing, throwaway ticketing, fuel dumping, etc.) but airlines try to do what they can to discourage them, to protect their ability to set prices flexibly on different routes. What you are trying to do is actually a form of “hidden city ticketing”.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.