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We can only use one leg of our round-trip ticket; now the whole thing is no good. What can we do?

Dear Anita,

HELP!

We purchased four round-trip tickets from LAX to Grand Rapids, MI, for June 25 to July 6, 2001, for a family vacation with my husband and twin 15 year-old twins. We bought the tickets through Hotwire and will fly via Northwest Airlines. The process was painless, and we are pleased and looking forward to our vacation.

Here's the problem: Our sons were just recently drafted to compete in a state competition through their high school. They must go on to the Nationals Competition in Kansas City, MO. The problem is that they need to be there on June 25! The school is funding their travel, and has agreed to send them back to us in Grand Rapids after the competition, instead of back to Ontario, CA, (near where we live) with the other children.

I thought this would be great, and didn't mind loosing out on the money we spent to fly them to Michigan. However, now we find out that if they do not take the outbound flight with us to Michigan, that their return flight will be cancelled. Is there any way around this? It seems unfair that they will be with us in Michigan, ready to go home with a perfectly good ticket in their name for the date they want to travel, and they wont be able to use it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Ileen G.
Corona, CA
 

Dear Ileen,

Congratulations on your sons' great achievement! Good luck to them.

Unfortunately, you cannot change your Hotwire tickets. All purchases made through Hotwire are final and cannot be changed, cancelled, refunded, or exchanged. As strict as the policy may seem, keep in mind that these restrictions are what allow airlines to better manage their unsold seats, which in turn, allows you to purchase cheaper fares.

Now, if you had purchased the tickets through the airline instead of Hotwire, you would have more options. With most airlines, you can change flights on any type of ticket, but you would pay a service charge (anywhere between $75 to $100) and the difference in the fare it would take to book a new reservation.


I hope I've been helpful. Happy travels!

Anita Dunham-Potter

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