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

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Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
One of the reasons they do this is to prevent throw away tickets, where one books a round trip ticket because it’s cheaper and then just doesn’t use one of the flights. When it’s the return flight this usually isn’t an issue but it prevents people from doing it when it’s the first flight. If it happens too often and you are marked a no show the airline can actually ban you from flying.
Jan 6, 2015
the United States
Neil is correct. By way of reasoning, when you simply don't show, the airlines "don't know" of your alternate plans. Therefore, they have to free up the seats for other potential passengers. They need you to cancel and rebook . . .
Likes: Neil Maley
Jan 11, 2019
I could be totally wrong but I remember buying two return tickets and going out on the first ticket and returning on the second. That ability changed, I believe after 9/11. Probably a security issue?
Jun 27, 2017
I think the OP is disgruntled and angry that the Elliott advocates were unable to help him. " 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 hope does contact corporate and perhaps his US representatives. In the meantime, our thanks to all commentators here for the excellent advice.

We especially appreciated Riroon's comment -- "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." For us, the Elliott site is a crash course on how to maneuver through many of life's twists and turns.
Jan 6, 2015
the United States
It appears that this poster bought one round-trip ticket and that the second was a one way outbound. Thus he/she had only the one return option, which was cancelled when he/she used the second outbound flight . . .


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
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.
Theoretically you are absolutely right, and as a (former) fellow Minnesotan, I agree with you ... in principal. We mid-westerners tend to see things very clearly. You paid for the seat, it's yours. BUT the airlines have put this rule into force, they all do it, and the unsuspecting traveller pays the price. Until the airline lobbies are sent home, the government won't touch them ... it's all their way and never mind us, the customers. I understand your frustration (that's a nice way of putting it, right?) but "don't yell at us". We're giving you some hope. Passengers who don't call to cancel leave the airplane with an empty seat, one they probably could have filled.

Had you booked direct, perhaps Delta would have done something to help you. You would have called Delta before leaving two days early and an agent MIGHT have explained all this to you. And MIGHT have saved the cost of your return flight. Using an online booking service is always a mistake. My colleagues have laid it all out, contact Delta and ask for a credit towards a future flight. Take a deep breath, grit your teeth and compose a polite email request. Good luck!
Sep 27, 2018
I could be totally wrong but I remember buying two return tickets and going out on the first ticket and returning on the second. That ability changed, I believe after 9/11. Probably a security issue?
When they used to have the Saturday night stay rule, where a ticket was much cheaper if you had a Saturday in your itinerary because a business traveler wanted to get home, so a Wed to Fri trip was $1200, while a Wed to Sun trip was $300, people played all kinds of games.
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