I have an Air India (round trip) flight from Chicago (ORD) to New Delhi (DEL) to Kolkata (CCU). However, due to some emergency I have to be in Delhi for a couple of days on my way to Kolkata. As a result I am planning not to take the connecting flight from New Delhi (DEL) to Kolkata (CCU).

Can I cancel my connecting flight and claim my baggage at Delhi Airport?

While returning I will fly from Kolkata (CCU) to Delhi (DEL) and finally to Chicago (ORD).

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    @pnuts Baggage will have to be retrieved for a customs inspection at DEL because this is an international-domestic connection. But yes I agree with you that the airline should be informed in order to preserve the rest of the ticket. – Calchas Jan 12 '17 at 12:47
  • What fare class are you booked in? – Johns-305 Jan 14 '17 at 19:16

You absolutely must talk to the airline. Buying an A-B-C ticket and flying A-B is called hidden city ticketing and airlines generally frown at it and most definitely do not allow normally to claim luggage in B. In fact, your ticket is A-C with B just being a coincidence. If there is a problem the airline has absolutely every right to route you through A-D-C or even A-D-E-C as the contract between the airline and you is for A-C and nothing else (although in this case you will likely be late and there might some compensation due to that but that's an aside).

The reason here is that it's not unheard of to A-B-C be cheaper than A-B alone! Flights are not priced by distance or number of connections, they are priced by supply and demand. So perhaps there's a competitor which flies A-C direct but this airline wants to undercut it so they will sell A-B-C for cheaper -- but B in this case is a hub and A-B very well might only be served by this airline and so it might be more expensive than A-B-C.

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    I'm downvoting because this does not answer the question. OP is not trying to hidden city ticket. – Johns-305 Jan 12 '17 at 14:44
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    " I am planning not to take the connecting flight from New Delhi (DEL) to Kolkata (CCU)." how on earth is that not hidden city? He has other reasons, yes, but that won't matter. – chx Jan 12 '17 at 16:50
  • Because OP is not trying to beat a fare rule. OP is legitimately trying to change the itinerary. @chx – Johns-305 Jan 12 '17 at 16:56
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    And yet, if OP doesn't talk to the airline, the airline will presume hidden city shenanigans -- how on earth they would know it's not? Even if OP never heard of the expression, that's what it is. I have answered the question in great detail, even pointing out that without changing the itin ahead of the time OP might not even fly to New Delhi as the airline has no obligation to get OP there. – chx Jan 12 '17 at 17:04
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    Sorry, great detail on hidden city tickets, but still irrelevant because that is not what OP is trying to do so really, it's just confusing the situation. Yes, call the airline. I say that all the time and get dinged for it so....EoL – Johns-305 Jan 12 '17 at 17:42

You will have to contact Air India because your situation technically becomes three separate itineraries (ORD -> DEL, DEL -> CCU, CCU -> ORD). You can most definitely cancel and reschedule your flights and retrieve your bags at DEL, although there may be cancellation/rescheduling fees associated with that.

If you cancel within 24 hours, there is no fee.

  • (+1) The OP should note that there might be some fees and a fare difference. Even if you cancel within the 24-hour window and rebook immediately, there is no guarantee that the fare for ORD-DEL-CCU-ORD will the the same than for ORD-CCU-ORD. – Relaxed Jan 12 '17 at 12:43
  • @Relaxed Isn't it a federal regulation that there will be no fee if cancelled within 24 hours? But I agree that there may be a repricing. – Calchas Jan 12 '17 at 12:49
  • I downvoted because OP makes no mention of when the booking was made so talk of any 24 hour rule is speculation. – Johns-305 Jan 14 '17 at 18:57
  • @Johns-305 You're correct, OP did not mention when the booking was made. However, the 24 hour rule is not speculation. I was stating what was on the website, thus not speculation, but rather fact. – Michael Jan 14 '17 at 19:07
  • It's speculation as to whether or not OP can use the 24 hour rule. – Johns-305 Jan 14 '17 at 19:14

In a nutshell:
Not flying any segment for any reason cancels the rest of the ticket, including the complete return trip.

So even if you are successful in getting your luggage, you will lose the rest of the ticket. If you want to keep it, you must work with the airline and change the booking (and accept the fees).


To answer the specific question: Can I cancel my connecting flight and claim my baggage at Delhi Airport?

YES. You can cancel the DEL-CCU segment once you arrive in DEL and if you did not claim your baggage in order to clear Customs, it should be offloaded and returned. However, this will also cancel the entire itinerary, including the return.

Your options are:

  • Contact Air India to change the Itinerary. It will be repriced and you will almost surely have to pay more.
  • Keep your itinerary with Air India and book a separate CCU-DEL trip.

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