Air France: Need to "no show" first leg of trip

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Mar 8, 2017
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I booked round-trip travel for myself and my husband from Morocco to Paris and from Berlin to Morocco. Due to his grandmother's death, my husband had to return to the United States, and he will now be meeting me in Paris instead of flying from Casablanca.

I know that if he doesn't show up for the Casablanca to Paris flight they will cancel the entire itinerary. So, I called to let them know the situation and requested that they simply cancel the outbound leg of the trip so that the return flight wouldn't be affected. No dice. The agent repeatedly told me that the booking is unchangeable, that there's absolutely no way to cancel only one leg. Either I can cancel the whole booking, he can no show (and the booking will be automatically cancelled) or he can figure out a way to be in Casablanca for the flight.

I understand the airlines' no show policy. I know that once he's marked as a no-show we're screwed. But I've always been under the impression that as long as you talk to an agent and explain that you still want the return flight you'd be fine. Is this standard procedure or is something weird going on?

I'm not sure if I'm better off:
-Trying to talk to AirFrance HQ in France (I spoke to a Moroccan rep, because according to their site, flights can only be changed by agents in the country of booking)
-Showing up for the departure alone and trying to talk to an agent at the airport
-Or, taking them at their word and paying for a NEW flight from Berlin to Morocco (so that would be a total of 3 flights paid for and one taken -_-)
 

Michelle Couch-Friedman

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@KellyB Believe Air France. They will cancel his entire ticket if he doesn't show up for that initial flight. We get complaints like this on a frequent basis -- unfortunately these complaints usually come after the missed flight, when the value of the ticket has become zero.

I would recommend that you cancel the flight and use the value (minus the change fee) for a ticket that your husband will be able to use.
 
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Michelle Couch-Friedman

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According to my research, as long as you inform them of the no show in advance they'll usually just cancel that leg. Is that not the case? Is treating this as a "change" a correct/standard application of the policy?

No, this is not the case. I am not sure what your research has entailed but I know that your husband's flight will be canceled if he does not take the original flight... then he will lose the entire value of the ticket.
Where did you purchase this ticket? Are you sure that it is not changeable if you pay a fee?
 
Feb 9, 2016
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If you no show at any point in the itinerary, the rest of the itinerary is cancelled. Hopefully that makes sense.

DFW-LAS-SFO
SFO-LAS-DFW

If I flew DFW-LAS but was a no show for the SFO-LAS flight, the rest of my ticket would be cancelled. If I didn't show up for my initial DFW-LAS flight, the rest of my ticket (in this case, the entire ticket) would be cancelled.

I would first call customer service (back) and explain the death, offer a death certificate when you can get it, let them know you would like to rebook specific flight itinerary X,Y, Z and ask them, if you cancel, can they waive the change fee, and that you will be forever grateful.

If they say no, and you have the time, email customer service stating the same thing. If they say no, and you have the time, email the first executive.

Sometimes being ready to commit to the new booking helps them want to help you.
 
Mar 8, 2017
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Hi all, I 100% understand that if you no-show any part of the trip, the entire trip is cancelled. No qualms there.

Based on this article (which is what led me here), I was under the impression that as long as you told them in advance, you'd be in the clear. I suppose I missed the key phrase "sometimes the airlines will work with passengers." Ugh.

My husband is calling back with his man voice and trying again to get them to cancel just one leg. If that's still a no, he'll try requesting the refund (minus cancellation fee) on the condition he re-book immediately.

Sidenote: I only bought the non-changeable itinerary because I thought my travel insurance would cover any emergency travel changes, but that's a whole other catastrophe.
 

Neil Maley

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You absolutely cannot have him be a no show for the first leg, every airline will cancel the remaining legs.

What you can do is call and ask if you cancel the entire ticket will the give you a credit to use toward another flight less the cancellation fee. Then you can simply buy the one way return you need. Depending on the ticket class they might be able to do that even for a nontefundable flight. But the cancellation fee will be hefty but it's better than losing everything.

If you had brought a refundable ticket you would have been able to change.

Glad you came here before you did this so you didn't get a surprise at the airport.

If you had bought a cancel for any reason insurance policy it would have covered this but you wouldn't get a full refund, they only reimburse 70-80%. The cancellation reason you site is not a coveted reason in most popular policies.
 
Mar 25, 2015
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cali
maybe if you go to the airport very very early?
my situation was a little different. I had to get from A-B then B-A in order to fly from A-C for a different trip.
My B-A trip was delayed 2 days so there was no way I was going to make my A-C leg. American offered to fly me and my husband B-C so I would not be late for my obligations in C. We arrived in C and my husband told me to ask about out return flight.

I asked the man at the ticket counter "There is going to be a flight leaving out of A in 4 hours, we were supposed to be on it but...." (explained situation.)

He said "Not a problem," and issued us our return tickets for C-A, so we would not be stranded in C.

Again, this was American Airlines but anything is possible.
 
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Neil Maley

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maybe if you go to the airport very very early?
my situation was a little different. I had to get from A-B then B-A in order to fly from A-C for a different trip.
My B-A trip was delayed 2 days so there was no way I was going to make my A-C leg. American offered to fly me and my husband B-C so I would not be late for my obligations in C. We arrived in C and my husband told me to ask about out return flight.

I asked the man at the ticket counter "There is going to be a flight leaving out of A in 4 hours, we were supposed to be on it but...." (explained situation.)

He said "Not a problem," and issued us our return tickets for C-A, so we would not be stranded in C.

Again, this was American Airlines but anything is possible.
Nope. Every airline works the same. If you don't show for first leg, it's canceled. And ina no show case you usually will not received ANY credit to be reused.
 

Neil Maley

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For more in this exciting saga (and why I thought my trip was insured): http://forum.elliott.org/threads/a-gap-in-my-world-nomads-coverage.5410/

Will update here after hubs gets off the phone with them....
You really should have used a travel agent. Obviously just because you can book it all online doesn't mean that you understand the ramifications of what you booked. It seems you misunderstood both how flights work and how the insurance works. I commented on the insurance because unless you put in an effective start date of April 1 for the insurance, if you bought a policy beginning Feb. whatever that began coverage on that date, you should have had coverage for March. Are you sure they didn't decline the claim for another reason, such as the grandmother having a pre-existing condition when you bought the extension?

I'd like to see the terms of the policy.
 
R

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Your airline ticket is a contract between you and the airline. That contract basically dictates that you will fly that routing, no showing for any part of the flight will void the entire ticket. In most cases you can make changes to the ticket by paying a reissue (change) fee, plus any difference in the fare.

Some very restrictive tickets (which are normally cheapest) will not allow for any changes, they are basically use or lose.