There is one single piece of advice that is important to know about airline tickets. It is something that catches people out from time to time, and for some reason I have been seeing it a lot in the press.

Most of the time, you are not going to have this issue. You book your flights, you go on your trip, you come home and everything went like clockwork. One thing can ruin all of this though.

Airline Tickets and the First Flight Rule

Airline tickets are a little bit different to train tickets. The hard and fast rule is that you must take the first flight in your travel itinerary.

People are continually getting caught out when plans change. Instead of changing that nicely priced return ticket and incurring large fees, they buy a new flight out to their holiday destination on a low cost airline.

Once the holiday is complete, they then try to use the return portion of their original ticket. This is just not permitted. When you don’t use the first flight on your return ticket, the airline will cancel the entire thing.

Presumably the rationale is that you haven’t gone on your holiday, so you won’t be needing to come back. It is really important to remember this, because getting stuck abroad with no flight home is not for the faint hearted.

Overall Thoughts

Obviously you can feel free to not take the return portion of your airline ticket as there is no penalty to you. Even so, you are best to cancel it formally with the airline, as most of the time you are entitled to a refund of the Government taxes and fees.

I have never been caught out by this problem myself, but it seems it is increasingly occurring thorough a plain lack of knowledge. Keep that in mind next time your plans change.

Have you ever been caught out by this first flight issue? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Featured image by Jim Rice via Traveller.
Airbus A380 in text by G-R Mottez via Unsplash.