A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a message on Twitter regarding a missed AeroMexico flight in Mexico City and if the airline really can cancel the rest of the ticket as a result?
Here’s the message from the reader:
Hi, do you have any insight or contracts to pursue Aeromexico and Orbitz — I booked a round trip from Buenos Aires to Cancun, connecting through Mexico City.
My girlfriend missed the boarding in Mx City to Cancun and Aeromexico now claims they canceled my return flight Cancun > Buenos Aires, and the payment is forfeited. Seems like theft to me. I paid for the seats. Orbitz is doing any responsibility saying its Aeromexico policy, they can’t help.
I probed the reader what the reason for the missed connection was:
She was talking on the phone with her mother. The grandmother is in the hospital so she disnt hear the last call for boarding.
Why shouldnit matter. I paid for the seat whether she is in it or not.
I pointed out if the reader checked the fares rules when the purchase was made:
Well, I appreciate your time in responding. However, because they have some hidden rule doesn’t (A) make it legal, or (B) make it enforceable if they don’t disclose the rule — and when I booked through Orbitz I don’t see any disclaimer saying if you miss one of the connections it voids the entire trip
UPDATE: We receive the following update from the reader after publishing this piece:
However, we went to the airport on a whim and checked in and they provided the boarding pass and she flew on the “supposedly canceled” ticket without incident. Maybe it was a glitch, I don’t know, but it worked.
AeroMexico hadn’t, in the end, suspended the ticket. Only canceled the one segment in question.
There are few issues here on hand:
Some fares allow changes after the travel has started. You always need to consult the fare rules before you make the purchase. Sometimes these changes are permitted only before the next segment is scheduled – not after.
Airlines sell tickets at different prices for different destinations.
Direct flights tend to be more expensive than connecting ones. It wouldn’t surprise me if an AeroMexico flight from Buenos Aires to Mexico City is far more expensive than to Cancun, even when there is an additional segment.
Some airlines have “flat tire” rules in place, but most airlines outside of the US won’t allow you to standby for the next flight if you miss your connection. The rest of the ticket is forfeited.
AeroMexico is not the most comfortable airline to deal with when it comes to “waivers,” and they haven’t even refunded tickets for flights that they have canceled. The airline is currently going through bankruptcy.
I wanted to publish this case because sometimes you need to stress out to no so frequent travelers that they need to pay attention when the flight closes, both for checking in and the gate.
The other year I purchased a ticket for a friend from Rio to meet me in Sao Paulo. He thought it was a good idea to show up at the airport 30 minutes before departure and missed the flight. Luckily, I was able to buy a new one at a reasonable price a few hours later.
You really need to know the fare rules of the ticket you purchase that are usually available when buying through one of the Expedia owned companies such as Orbitz.
When you purchase Orbitz (I have done 100+), there is a warning that most tickets are non-refundable (even when you are buying a refundable fare – just their standard warning).
You can click the highlighted part to read and print out the fares rules.
When you miss an international flight, it can get costly very fast, especially if you need to repurchase a one-way flight usually priced at a premium. If the misconnect is due to a late arrival flight, the airline merely rebooks you to their next service or on a flight with an airline they have a contract with.
The airline pricing is based on what markets bear, and direct flights are usually more expensive than connecting ones. I have been in Mexico for the past month and purchase quite a few tickets.
You can fly from Guadalajara to Cabo San Lucas on AeroMexico business class for $90 directly or through Mexico City. Simultaneously, the GDL – MEX flight itself is far more expensive (and you can engage in hidden city ticketing if adventurous and no checked luggage).
I have missed many flights over my flying career, and it still sucks to pony up and pay for a new ticket. But that is just life.