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.

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?

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Comments

  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.

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