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I bought a round-trip ticket from Vancouver to Toronto. I am now in Toronto, but due to family emergency I need to go back to Vancouver and then come back to Toronto. In this case, can I purchase a new round-trip ticket in Toronto, or do I NEED to reschedule my ticket (going to Vancouver) and once I am in Vancouver buy another round-trip ticket? I am purchasing WestJet for both round-trip tickets. Isn't it more convenient to buy another round-trip ticket back to Vancouver?

  • It looks like a domestic trip, buy tickets as you please – Hanky Panky Aug 10 '17 at 6:54
  • It's called a nested trip/itinerary and is perfectly fine. – Johns-305 Aug 10 '17 at 13:59
  • Airlines love repeat customers. Buy as many tickets as you want. You don't have to buy the ticket starting in the place you live. – Calchas Aug 10 '17 at 19:02
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If I understand you correctly, you're flying four legs in total:

A: Vancouver to Toronto
B: Toronto to Vancouver
C: Vancouver to Toronto
D: Toronto to Vancouver

You already have a round-trip ticket for A+D, and you have just discovered that you need B+C.

Buying A+D and B+C instead of A+B and C+D fits the pattern of back-to-back ticketing, and airlines have been known to frown on that.

However this is mostly in cases where buying A+D and B+C is cheaper -- such as if there's a Saturday night between B and C and the airline offers cheap round-trip fares when there's such a night between the outbound and inbound leg (because that way they can attract pleasure travelers who wouldn't otherwise go, without needing to offer the same low price to business travelers on short trips within the working week).

If the airline you're flying with does not offer such deals in the first place (they have become less common than they were 10 or 15 years ago) -- or if you're not getting a good deal for B+C anyway, such as if you need to buy it on short notice -- it is unlikely that the airline would have any problem with it.

In any case, even if the airline does take offense, it is extremely unlikely they would refuse to transport you. At worst they may get stingy with frequent-flier points, or demote any preferred status you may have in their bonus program -- but if you're not a frequent traveler anyway you could just decide not to care about that.

  • As the OP did not buy the tickets at the same time, rather is buying the second ticket after flying leg 1 in response to an emergency, his situation would not be considered back to back ticketing by any airline. – user13044 Aug 10 '17 at 10:02
  • @Tom: Yes, that is what I meant by "if you're not getting a good deal for B+C anyway ..." – Henning Makholm Aug 10 '17 at 11:35
  • I don't think any airline even claims to prohibit this practice, even if they technically or legally had the means to do so. These days they would be happy to see you are a repeat customer. It's perfectly fine. That said, have an upvote for the clear explanation of the practice. – Calchas Aug 10 '17 at 19:06
  • Airlines typically only frown on bookings where you do not intend to fly one or more legs like hidden city ticketing or booking two opposite round trips and only using the first leg of each (because of the stupid Sat night rule). As long as you fly what you booked, no one will take issue. – Hilmar Aug 11 '17 at 0:39
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You can buy a new Toronto to Vancouver return ticket and use it. There are no rules that force you to reschedule your original flight.

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