The Basics

A Strange Issue With My Itinerary of Skipped Flights

travel takes its toll
Written by Charlie

When you skip flights on a ticket, you are not supposed to be able to fly the rest of it. Except that did not happen for me!

I know, the title might sound a little confusing! I wrestled with how best to put it so hopefully the description will help with that!

A Strange Issue With My Itinerary of Skipped Flights

What Normally Happens When You Skip Flights

When someone books a ticket, they need to fly every segment of that ticket to keep that ticket from being cancelled.

That means, if you purchase a round trip ticket New York City to Los Angeles, you cannot just skip the New York to LA part and catch the Los Angeles to New York flight. Once you miss the first flight, the rest of your trip would be cancelled.

It also means that if you had booked something like Pittsburgh to Orlando through Chicago, you cannot just board the plane in Chicago for Orlando and skip the first leg. Again, your whole ticket would be cancelled.

…Except That Didn’t Happen For Me!

This makes a recent experience with one of my tickets very strange! A couple of months ago, I had booked a ticket that was really cheap (and used my US Bank Altitude Reserve points to do it) for a trip I was making. In the end, I had to skip the whole thing since I found a flight that worked much better.

So, I had skipped the first part of the itinerary and that should have cancelled the whole ticket. Except, I began receiving notices to check in for my flight on the return. I decided to go ahead with it to see what would happen.

Checked-in – No Problems!

Sure enough, it allowed me to check in for the return flight – even though I had never taken the first direction of flights. It gave me my ticket without a problem! Out of curiousity, I called Delta to see if the ticket was ok and was assured it was!

I have no idea why this Delta ticket would have allowed me to take the return segment even though I had skipped the first part. First time that ever happened with me! I just wish I had actually been able to take it. 🙂

Of course, this is not something I will try to put into practice ever but I did find it interesting!

Have you ever had this happen with an airline?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


    • It was Delta, ex-EU to the US. I didn’t want to give the exact route info in case others may be currently benefiting from something like this. 🙂

    • It was Transavia to Delta with another Delta connection. You may have something, maybe the partner didn’t process it correctly? Also, strangely enough, the very thing I had been worried about (missing the connection) would have happened so maybe that threw it off?

  • I had something happen similar to you w/ Delta. I booked a ticket through AMEX Travel (never again – horrible CS agents) for a cheap US-EU flight roundtrip. I ended up needing to miss it for work and skipped the flight completely. Almost 10 days after the outbound I didn’t even check in for, I got the notifications for check in on the return and it let me check in. No partners though on mine, it was a DL flight ex-EU connecting.