My brother would like to travel from city A/country A to city B/country B, as you many know sometimes it's cheaper to buy a return ticket instead of a one way one even when you are not planning to return.

Is there a best practice for a similar case? best practice as in problem-free and cost wise.

The options available assuming he wants to be in city B on June:

  1. Make the booking from country A on June, He misses the return.
  2. Make the booking from country B (to country A) on May, He misses the first flight but catches the return on June.

The question Is it fair to buy a return ticket I know I will never use just because it's cheaper? has no sufficient answers.

  • 3
    Case #2 is not possible, except on some low-cost carriers which book all their tickets as one-ways. Generally, if you miss any segment of a flight, all subsequent segments are canceled.
    – choster
    May 9, 2017 at 14:34
  • @choster even if he checks-in but never get on board?
    – Ulkoma
    May 9, 2017 at 14:39
  • 1
    If the boarding pass is not scanned at the gate, he would not be recorded as having taken the flight, and if he has the boarding pass scanned but does not board, it still wouldn't work as the flight attendants' head count would not match up with the scanned BPs, and they would soon figure out who had not boarded.
    – choster
    May 9, 2017 at 14:46
  • @choster damn! I was planning to scan his boarding pass myself, thank you.
    – Ulkoma
    May 9, 2017 at 14:50
  • 1
    Regarding 2 you absolutely cannot get away with 2, these days. (For say 20 years now.) Forget it.
    – Fattie
    May 9, 2017 at 16:55

2 Answers 2


Option 2 will not work, the entire itinerary will be cancelled.

All brother need to do is book the cheapest r/t with the best outbound option. The airlines don't like this, but it's a relatively common practice.

  • Curiously, as I found out last weekend, even the AY ticket desk at HEL will sell you a return ticket (unprompted) instead of a oneway ticket, to save you a few euros over the oneway walkup full flex fare. I'm not sure whether their colleagues in the revenue management group would be best pleased about that.
    – Calchas
    May 10, 2017 at 12:19
  • @Calchas Semi-related, in some circumstances, it might be better to sell a restricted ticket since they can record some of the revenue sooner, rather than having to wait for the ticket to expire or worse, be refunded.
    – DTRT
    May 10, 2017 at 12:55

Yes, option #2 generally will not work with a roundtrip ticket from the full-service airline as when you miss any segment all subsequent segments would be canceled automatically in event of no-show. In Europe, it is slowly changing and in Italy airlines were fined for doing this: http://www.internationallawoffice.com/Newsletters/Aviation/Italy/Studio-Legale-Pierallini-e-Associati/No-show-rule-and-round-trip-tickets

So in most cases, you should go with option #1 but instead of roundtrip, it's often cheaper to find an open-jaw with the cheapest throw-away part.

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