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European return flights are cheaper than one way?

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Mal P

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
36
Hello everyone,

Just doing some calculations on websites for a couple of European flights. Trying to put together an itinerary from Amsterdam -> Rome and then Rome -> Paris. It appears that selecting one-way fares are much more expensive (the fares typically become business class) than return flights! For example, Amsterdam -> Rome is $350 return, whereas the one-way would end up being over $700.

Would it be ok to book return flights, so that the outgoing leg is the one I want, and then upon arrival inform the airline I won't need to use the return leg? Is this typically done?

Thanks!
 

Dave Noble

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
6,419
Mal P said:
Would it be ok to book return flights, so that the outgoing leg is the one I want, and then upon arrival inform the airline I won't need to use the return leg? Is this typically done?

Thanks!
You should be ok as long as you do not tell the airline that you wont be flying back, however they could charge you the differene between the fare paid and the fare for the journey undertaken

Looking at FCO-CDg though, Air Berlin has oneway fares ( ex tax ) of AUD42

Dave
 

Travel Guru

Established Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
2,002
Mal P said:
Hello everyone,

Just doing some calculations on websites for a couple of European flights. Trying to put together an itinerary from Amsterdam -> Rome and then Rome -> Paris. It appears that selecting one-way fares are much more expensive (the fares typically become business class) than return flights! For example, Amsterdam -> Rome is $350 return, whereas the one-way would end up being over $700.

Would it be ok to book return flights, so that the outgoing leg is the one I want, and then upon arrival inform the airline I won't need to use the return leg? Is this typically done?

Thanks!

As an agent I was always booking clients on return flights where they just noshow the return sector.

Don't inform the airline, just no show the sector you dont want (so long as there arent any other sectors following on from that on the same booking), i've never had a client charged because they noshow the return sector.

I could never understand why airlines in Europe make one ways more expensive and then are forced to constantly oversell their flights due to a high number of noshows.

TG
 

littl_flier

Active Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
898
Providing you don't book the ticket with a TA and don't inform the airline, then you should be able to book the return ticket. I know of one TA that took a huge hit from a certain European airline because they were booking return segments instead of direct. The airline subsequently cancelled all onward reservations and then billed the TA in the form of an ADM. As a personal traveller, I would think you would be fairly safe but they may choose to charge the balance with the credit card you have provided.

Given your choices though, I would run the risk and then fork out the balance if they do charge you. Also, if with the one airline, be carfeul that they don't cancel all onward reservations.
 

Travel Guru

Established Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
2,002
littl_flier said:
Providing you don't book the ticket with a TA and don't inform the airline, then you should be able to book the return ticket. I know of one TA that took a huge hit from a certain European airline because they were booking return segments instead of direct. The airline subsequently cancelled all onward reservations and then billed the TA in the form of an ADM. As a personal traveller, I would think you would be fairly safe but they may choose to charge the balance with the credit card you have provided.
In over 5 years working as a travel agent, I probably booked over 200 return tickets where I knew the pax was only wanting one way, more often than not I was the one who suggested it, and not once have I or anyone i've worked with had any problems.

Lufthansa is ADM'ing agents who book cheap long-haul (Aus-europe vv.) return tickets which are below the one way price where clients don't use the return, but im not aware of any internal EU flights with this policy.

It's a bit of a gray area, because as an agent, you could come to me, ask me to book a return ticket and i've then got no control over whether you no-show the return for whatever reason, so I think it's going to be hard for airlines to ADM agents or charge clients, and will hopefully result in a restructuring of their fares enabling one way sectors to be purchased economically without having to resort to booking an unrequired return flight.

TG
 

Keith009

AFF Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
4,456
You can do BA one way fares for cheap due to their more progressive pricing structure where even return fares are sold as 2 one ways. That's if you don't mind going via Gatwick or Heathrow...twice. :shock:
 

Mal P

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
36
Thanks everyone! I've gone ahead and booked the return flights, with the intent of only using the outgoing portion. I suppose I can call them up right before the return leg and say I won't be able to make it, just to be fair to other passengers if they hold the plane or something.

I'd love to see the airlines just try and charge me for a service I *didn't* use... now that's one heck of a credit card dispute!

Sincerely,
Mal
 

Mwenenzi

Established Member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
1,801
No show

Mal P said:
I suppose I can call them up right before the return leg and say I won't be able to make it, just to be fair to other passengers if they hold the plane or something.
Would NOT do that. No shows are common. If you do not check in they will never hold the plane. Even when people check in and have boarding passes they get left behind if they do not board on time. They are running an airline to a timetable, not a private jet service for people who may or may not show up.
 

Travel Guru

Established Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
2,002
Re: No show

Mwenenzi said:
Would NOT do that. No shows are common. If you do not check in they will never hold the plane. Even when people check in and have boarding passes they get left behind if they do not board on time. They are running an airline to a timetable, not a private jet service for people who may or may not show up.
I have to agree, just throw the return coupon in the bin and forget you ever had it.

TG
 

clifford

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
1,780
Re: No show

Travel Guru said:
I have to agree, just throw the return coupon in the bin and forget you ever had it.
TG
Or frame it and hang it on the wall. A greener approach than throwing it away. :D
 

Hvr

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
8,612
So what happens if there is a genuine reason for not travelling and you apply for a refund for the unused portion?

Surely you must get something back?
 

Travel Guru

Established Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
2,002
Hvr said:
So what happens if there is a genuine reason for not travelling and you apply for a refund for the unused portion?

Surely you must get something back?
In this instance you'd get nothing back.

The way airlines assess refunds is to take the nett fare paid, minus off a one way ticket fare (which on long haul is generally around two thirds of the return fare, but in this case is more than the return), minus off the applicable cancellation penalty and the balance is returned to the passenger.

TG
 
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