Delta cancelled my flight home because I didnt use the ticket out

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Feb 19, 2019
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I'm on vacation with my folks and find myself battling Expedia and Delta Airlines for recanting on my tickets. The short of it is, I bought a ride to Fort Myers Beach for 2/18 and a ride home on 2/25 to Minneapolis. I decided to start my vacation early so I bought another ticket from Spirit and arrived in Florida 2/16 thinking the 2/18 ticket is a sunken cost - Expedia was unable to change the flight time. Now I get an email from Expedia stating they cancelled my 2/25 RETURN flight home because I didn't make it to the 2/18 flight(!?).

I called Expedia who said it was a Delta rule. The first rep reviewed my file, asked me to explain the situation, called Delta and then apologized that she can't do anything. I insisted on speaking with her manager who, after a 20 minute hold, did the same. I escalated to corporate who, after a 30 minute hold, did the same thing but in a more contentious manner. I spent 2 hours on the phone and still have no flight home or my money back.

If you buy a salad and a main course the restaurant doesn't refuse you the main course because you didn't like the salad. How can they get away with taking my return flight and my money? Any assistance you can provide would be appreciated.
 
Mar 29, 2016
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It is basically a universal airline policy that if you no-show for any portion of your flight, any subsequent legs on the same ticket are automatically cancelled. One tactic to try is to request the the consideration of a credit for the value of return portion of the ticket against the value of a new one way. That there is a third party, Expedia, invilves makes this cumbersome and difficult. The value of your outbound no-show is likely gone and any refund or reinstatement is, at best, slim.
 
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Barry Graham

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#4
Like AMA said they had every right to do this. What you should have done was tell Delta what had happened. If they wanted to (unlikely - a big IF) they could cancel the outbound without canceling the return but unless you tell them what's going on they will assume the ticket is no longer needed. If you want to pursue, try calling Delta and see if they will reinstate it. I don't think they will but unless you try you will never know. Also if the original ticket was more than the cost of the change fee it's possible Expedia or Delta could apply the value of the ticket (minus the change fee) to a new ticket. Going through Expedia makes it so much more difficult. Next time do your shopping with a travel site like Expedia or Kayak and then book the ticket directly with the airline.
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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#5
Most tickets have some wording such as “must be flown in sequence” — which means one buys a product — the ticket — from A to B and back to A. If the A to B is not flown the ticket is canceled.

You may have a credit, you may not depending on the fare amount and change fee.
 
Feb 19, 2019
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Like AMA said they had every right to do this. What you should have done was tell Delta what had happened. If they wanted to (unlikely - a big IF) they could cancel the outbound without canceling the return but unless you tell them what's going on they will assume the ticket is no longer needed. If you want to pursue, try calling Delta and see if they will reinstate it. I don't think they will but unless you try you will never know. Also if the original ticket was more than the cost of the change fee it's possible Expedia or Delta could apply the value of the ticket (minus the change fee) to a new ticket. Going through Expedia makes it so much more difficult. Next time do your shopping with a travel site like Expedia or Kayak and then book the ticket directly with the airline.
That is asinine. They did not have every right to take my money and cancel my seat on the return flight. They are screwing me plain and simple.
 

Barry Graham

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#7
That is asinine. They did not have every right to take my money and cancel my seat on the return flight. They are screwing me plain and simple.
If you don't show up for a flight to Fort Beach why should they assume that you are at Fort Beach unless you tell them? You can use our company contacts at the link above to plea your case.
 
Feb 19, 2019
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#8
Why would they need to assume anything? I own the seat so their thoughts on the matter are irrelevant. No need to respond - we won't see eye-to-eye on this. I have contacted Delta corporate, thank you.
 

Dwayne Coward

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Apr 13, 2016
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#9
That is asinine. They did not have every right to take my money and cancel my seat on the return flight. They are screwing me plain and simple.
Unfortunately, when you purchase a roundtrip ticket (or multicity ticket), airlines consider it part of the contract that you use each portion in the order they are ticketed. In some cases, these tickets may be cheaper than purchasing one-way fares for each segment, which is why they don't allow this. By not using all the flights you are, in essence, changing the contracted terms of your ticket.

Some fares do allow changes to be made, but this normally requires repricing the ticket to the current fare on top of paying a fee to do this. But this has to be done before the flight departs.

All you can do now is write the company to request a possible credit for the flights as a goodwill gesture. As the ticket was purchased by a 3rd party, you will need to make this request through them. The following posting will give you some pointers on how to do this effectively.

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 

Neil Maley

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#10
Unfortunately every airline has this rule- if you didn’t fly the first leg then they assume you aren’t flying home.

The proper way to do this was to contact Delta and change the date.

This is one of the drawbacks of booking on your own- you don’t know all the rules of the airlines or tour operators - and you don’t know what you don’t know.
 
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Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#11
Ah, the problem with not reading the terms of an airline ticket. You have every right to be angry but the terms of the ticket were available to you at the time of purchase. This is an industry practice, not specific to Delta. If you called the airline prior to missing your outbound flight, the agent would have told you what would happen. At that point, you could have paid a change fee and been rebooked on a one-way fare. Please do not misdirect your frustration at the members of this site who are here to help consumers that have been truly wronged.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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Why would they need to assume anything? I own the seat so their thoughts on the matter are irrelevant. No need to respond - we won't see eye-to-eye on this. I have contacted Delta corporate, thank you.
I won't get very far with Delta Corporate. The terms, whether we like them or not, are clear. And it is not just Delta that does this. If you write to Delta, you'd have a slim chance of them considering to give you a credit if you ask nicely. An aggressive, angry demand will go nowhere.
 

Neil Maley

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#15
And to top it you booked through Expedia, which adds another layer to the problem because I would anticipate Delta is going to tell you that you need to go through Expedia.

If you tried to change the date in the ticket with Expedia and they couldn’t it was probably because the flights in Delta were sold out. They could have rebooked you as a one way by canceling the ticket, applying the ticket amount less a cancellation fee to the new one way return and booked the earlier flight on another airline.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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#16
I bought a Delta ticket last month and this is printed (tiny print, of course, but it's there) right on the confirmation with my flight information I received immediately after I purchased it: "This ticket is non-refundable unless the original ticket was issued at a fully refundable fare. Some fares may not allow changes. If allowed, any change to your itinerary may require payment of a change fee and increased fare. Failure to appear for any flight without notice to Delta will result in cancellation of your remaining reservation." - Note the last sentence.

This is not a matter of seeing eye to eye with people; it is just a matter of what is fact.
 

Neil Maley

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#17
You entered into a contract when you bought your ticket that you would be flying from Minneapolis to Fort Meyers, then from Fort Meyers to Minneapolis. You paid for that flight and contract. When you didn’t appear for the flight go Fort Meyers, you broke the contract. Therefore you voided the contract and terms of sale.

This is what Delta says in the Conditions of Carriage:

C) Tickets are valid for travel only when used in accordance with all terms and conditions of sale.

D) Where a ticket is invalidated as the result of the passenger's non-compliance with any term or condition of sale, Delta may:

A) Cancel any remaining portion of the passenger's itinerary or bookings,

B) Confiscate any unused portion of the ticket,

C) Refuse to board the passenger or check the passenger's baggage, and/or

You can read this here:

https://www.delta.com/us/en/legal/contract-of-carriage-dgr/#1ge

Your only option is to do what we call
“Artful begging” as johnbaker has advised you.

Again, this is a problem when you book on your own- you don’t know the rules and regulations you are contending with.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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I just noted it was bought on Expedia - does this provision not appear on anything before or after purchasing the airfare? (I only buy directly with an airline so don't know what the 3rd party websites include)

Yes, the 3rd party website issue will likely add an extra layer of problem, as Neil points out.
 
Sep 27, 2017
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The OP must remember that the people replying here are not trying to sound rude. It's just an airline's logic is not our logic and there is a cold hard truth here. Airlines have calculated every situation possible, it seems, to find a way to squeeze money from passengers; you just got caught up in one of their traps.

If the OP plans on traveling a lot in the future, I hope he/she doesn't dismiss this site. It's a crash course in all the ways the 'hospitality industry' is so much less than that these days. Hard mistake this time by OP, maybe he/she can prevent another one next trip.

(FWIW, if other industries used Airline logic: Let's take pro football. If I owned season tickets, and could not go to a game, I could resell my tickets easily, then go back and attend the next one. If my team were the 'Delta Airline Cowboys' however, not only would my reselling of my ticket be outlawed, if I don't show up for game #3 of the season, my 'Cowboys' would assume I'm not going to the rest of the games either, and resell my seats for homer games #4-#8 to someone else while refusing me a refund... It's double-dipping, it's outrageous, but until Congress grows a pair to charge the laws, it is the rules for most every airline out there. In essence, their attorneys and onerous 'contract of carriage'> customer outrage.)
 
Feb 14, 2019
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I feel your pain - the same thing happened to us last Christmas when my son came home from college for the break. The finals schedule changed and he ended up being able to come home a day earlier and found a cheap one way flight. I happened to call to ask a question about his return flight about 5 days before he was scheduled to return to school and they told me it was canceled. I was as shocked as you are. It may be in the small print but it seems illogical. An expensive lesson learned....
 
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