Listing all the possible reasons “why” someone might need to miss a flight would require so many words the internet could actually run out of space. See, that’s the thing, it’s impossible for an airline to know why you missed a flight or prove that you intended to and therefore it’s a grey area with far more than 50 shades, all of which you can get away with if you play it right. In certain situations passengers can really benefit from skipping the last leg of a journey and we’re going to explain all the ways to get away with it…

People Do This To Save Money. It’s The Airlines Fault…

A flight from a nearby city with a connection through your home city may be a fraction of the cost of starting from your home city. Why not go to some effort on the way out and then just hop off at home on the return for major savings? A flight with a connection through the place you want to go may be cheaper than just booking a ticket to the place you actually want to go. Book a one way ticket with a connection stopping where you want to be and then hop off. 

It Only, Only, Only Works For The Last Flight…

Let’s make this simple: once you miss a flight the rest of your ticket on an itinerary is cancelled. Of course, if you have other separate itineraries at play other endless possibilities open up, but for simplicity sake, once you miss a flight you miss out on the rest of that specific ticket. For that reason you can ONLY skip the last leg of a trip. Separate one way tickets create interesting options.

With No Checked Luggage…

With very few exceptions (requiring expertise) or the tricks listed below, your bags will go to their final ticketed destination. If you have no bags you can simply hop off. Don’t tell anyone your plan to, and if asked (which won’t happen) come up with whatever reason sounds fun at the time. My cat is going through an emotional time should suffice…

Or An Overnight Connection…

You need clothes right? If your connection involves an overnight stay before a flight the next day you get your bag back. Find a connection that accomplishes this and then voila, you can magically disappear overnight and miss your last flight. Particularly useful if you started your journey away from home but can connect on the way back through “home”. 

Or Change Of Airport…

If your itinerary involves an airport change, like Gatwick to Heathrow or JFK to LaGuardia for your connection you’ll need to make your way there on your own. Airlines are stingy! The good news is that you’ll get your bag back for this type of connection, which means you can change your mind about taking that last flight. Plans change right?…

Or If The Airline Changes Schedule Or Plane…

This may require your best negotiation skills. If after you’ve booked tickets your airline changes the scheduled departure or arrival time more than an hour or two, or changes planes, you can argue that the new schedule or aircraft does not suit you. You can request a re routing to a city up to 500 miles away from the departure point, allowing you to return to the place you actually want to go at no additional charge if it’s within 500 miles. Don’t take no lightly…

Or If You’re An Expert, You Can Try A Short Check…

I don’t recommend this for any amateur because it’s the only way things can backfire if you really need to skip a segment. When checking in with luggage you can request a “short check”, where the airline lets your bag off at the connection point, rather than final destination. If they have even a whiff of what you’re trying to do they will not allow this, so you’ll need a pretty compelling reason as to why your bags won’t be “joining” you at your ticketed final destination. I have a great reason, which I’ll share with anyone who asks via email…

What Happens To Your Miles?

If you do this weekly or monthly an airline could take notice, but if you don’t they honestly don’t care about you, which you probably already knew. If you’re worried about your frequent flyer account just don’t use one that matters, but only serial, regular offenders get hit with any trouble. In most cases you will not get miles for the flight you missed but you will get full miles for all the flights you did take. Again, plans change, meetings change, emergencies happen and they want your business at the end of the day.