Will I pay a change fee if I use a round-trip fare just one-way?

George Hobica, September 19, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I am traveling from Elmira, NY to Charlotte and wanted to purchase a one way ticket, but it is less expensive if you purchase a roundtrip ticket. So, I decided to purchase a roundtrip ticket through Expedia then cancel the flight back, but after purchasing the ticket I found out to cancel the flight returning to Elmira would incur a $100 fee. Would I still be charged if I just didn't show up for the flight or would it be better to cancel?

    A: Just don't cancel the return. However, airlines are now specifically stating in their contracts of carriage that frequent flyer miles will be forfeited because this is a violation of most airlines' policies. If you abuse this strategy, they may wipe out your entire frequent flyer account and take other actions, up to and including asking you to pay for the full round-trip fare. Or they might go after your travel agent for the fare difference, and your agent might go after you.