Throwaway Stopover

November 06, 2013
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. My girlfriend and I are traveling from Mexico to Puerto Rico for the first time. We have a JetBlue flight from Cancun that connects in Fort Lauderdale. We'd like to spend some time in Miami on our way back to Cancun, so we wanted JetBlue to cancel the second leg of the flight from Fort Lauderdale to Cancun and just book a new ticket. JetBlue wants us to pay about 150 dollars for a change fee, as well as any extra cost if there is a difference. All I want is to cancel the second flight! This is a service I paid for that I no longer want, and I don't think I should be charged extra for that, but it's clear airlines think differently.

    A friend suggested I could just not board the flight and that my luggage would be dropped at the airport. Is there a way I can do this? And is it even legal? This is my first time flying with JetBlue and also my first time with connecting flights.

    A. If you decide to miss the final leg home and make other arrangements, it shouldn't be a problem so long as you don't check bags and take only carry-ons. By the way, this is called throwaway ticketing. We have heard cases where the airlines go after repeat offenders by clearing out frequent flyer accounts, but this is super rare.

    If your bags are too big to carry on, you might also find it easier to pack what you need in smaller bags and ship the rest.

    Luggage image via Shutterstock

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