My Crazy Alternative to Canceling a Plane Ticket

Canceling a Plane Ticket

As part of knowing a lot of folks in the frequent flyer community, I was recently able to get involved with attending the annual American Airlines Sky Ball, held each year in Dallas to honor our nation’s military, certainly a worthy cause. Several weeks ago, I made flight arrangements to be at the event on the Saturday it was being held, and was fortunate enough to find a very cheap fare, under $150 on American, my preferred carrier.

Unfortunately, just last week I found out the re-scheduling of an important event with an exciting project I’m involved with. Not wanting to miss out, I looked into the options of canceling or re-scheduling my now purchased airline ticket to Dallas.

  • I could change the ticket for a $200 penalty. Not too exciting of an option considering I paid less than that for the ticket itself.
  • Just cancel the ticket and forfeit the fare.

AA Boston

However, I had another crazy idea.

Since my outbound fare was from Dulles to Dallas, and back, I did a bit of searching for an intermediate ticket that would bring me from Dallas to New York, and back to Dallas, thus being a round-trip within a round-trip.

I was able to find a sub-$150 fare, again on American, from Dulles to La Guardia, in the middle of my original round-trip (I urgently purchased the ticket, but turns out I didn’t need to.). So, it goes something like this:

  • Fly from Washington Dulles to Dallas.
  • Layover in Dallas for about an hour. Perhaps grab a bite to eat in the Centurion Lounge.
  • Then, depart on a flight from Dallas to La Guardia, at which point I’ll attend the event I’m scheduled to be at.
  • Depart from La Guardia back to Dallas to volunteer and attend the Sky Ball charity dinner.
  • Depart from Dallas back to Washington Dulles.
READ MORE  Cut Your Cable Bill By 30%

So, it was cheaper to purchase a second round-trip getting me to where I needed to go than to cancel a ticket. Go figure!

At less than $150, I guess I’ll call it a mileage run, even though I don’t need the miles and I don’t need any additional qualifiers for Executive Platinum status this year. So, I guess in the most logical sense, I’ll just call it a Dallas to La Guardia flight with a connection in Dallas… 😉

Have you ever found a creative way of dealing with a need to cancel a ticket or re-arrange flights?

Find those elusive Awards & Upgrades - Find Flight Availability, Flight Upgrades & Awards, Frequent Flyer Information and more with

Looking for the best way to earn miles and points quickly? Visit the "Credit Cards" drop down on the main menu bar above for the hottest deals! Want to learn more and stay up to date on the latest tips, tricks and deals? Join My Travel Tips Facebook Page!   This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


  1. Rich says

    Not the same situation, but when I have a ticket that I don’t need, I wait until just before flight time to cancel. If the flight experiences a significant delay or is rescheduled, I call the airline and say “The flight has been delayed [or rescheduled] and is no longer useful for the plans I needed it for,” and they refund it. (What I say is true if misleading–it has been delayed (or rescheduled), and, although not for that reason, it’s no longer useful for the plans I needed it for.) If there’s no delay or rescheduling, I haven’t lost anything by waiting to cancel.

  2. Gene says

    Sounds like something I would have done a few years ago. Now, I am too tired, and I value my time too much. Today, I would just eat the ticket and be done with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *