Outbound ticket unused, no reason to refuse on return flight

5 February 2014 the European Parliament (EP) adopted several new laws to protect the air traveler. We already have been notified of the fact that the EP proposed a ban on admin fees for refunds of airport taxes. In other words; if an air traveler is unable to use his ticket, he is able to request a refund for airport taxes FREE OF CHARGE.

Please be aware that this new EP law is ONLY applicable on the refund of airport taxes. All airlines have their own general conditions of fares of the ticket. Most people probably have non-refundable fares, but in those cases, the air traveler is still able to get an airport tax refund, free of charge.

Using only 50% of your ticket

In addition to this new law, the EP also helps the air traveler who has a return ticket but is not using the outbound ticket, but only the return ticket. Currently, airlines are allowed to refuse you on the return flight if you haven’t used the ‘first’ part of the ticket, but with ‘Amendment 59’, the air traveler will still be allowed to use his return ticket. Even after not showing up for the outbound flight.

Amendment 59
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3 – point b
Regulation (EC) No 261/2004
Article 4 – paragraph 4
‘4.   Passengers shall not be denied boarding at the return journey, including one which consists of multiple flights, on the grounds that he/she did not take the outward journey of a return ticket or did not pay an additional charge for this purpose. If boarding is denied to passengers against their will on such grounds, paragraphs 1 and 2 shall apply. In addition, the operating air carrier shall immediately compensate the passengers concerned in accordance with Article 7 and shall assist them in accordance with Articles 8 and 9.
The first subparagraph of this paragraph shall not apply where the ticket includes multiple coupon flights and passengers are denied boarding on the grounds that carriage per journey is not used on all individual flights or not used in the agreed sequence as indicated in the ticket .

Return tickets vs Multi-city tickets

Amendment 59 is ONLY applicable on direct airport-to-airport return tickets (for example: Amsterdam Schiphol-London Heathrow v.v.). If you book a return flight with a transfer or stop-over, the amendment is not applicable on this ticket.

In case of a multi-city ticket (for example: Amsterdam Schiphol-Paris ChdG-London Heathrow v.v.), the air traveler is still obligated to use the ticket ‘in sequence’ of the flight coupons. In this case, the air traveler is NOT allowed to board the airplane in Paris ChdG and fly to London Heathrow for example.