Travelling is extremely common these days. We literally seize every possible long weekend and annual leave to get out of our hometowns.
Unfortunately, life is not a bed of roses and unexpected circumstances do strike us when we least expect it. This means our travel plans have to come to a halt and we would have to cancel our flight itineraries at the very last minute. More often than not, most travellers will instead choose to simply not show up at all.
Which brings us to our next point – did you know that passengers might face a penalty fee for missing their flight?
Depending on the type of your air ticket, travellers might have to pay a fine for not showing up for his/her flight. Additionally, their remaining connecting flights associated with that particular booking would too be cancelled altogether. While this might seem unfair, it is necessary for airlines to minimise wastage of seats.
Here comes it – you are planning your overall finances for an upcoming trip i.e. accommodation, meals and shopping. Little did you know that you too have to set aside an amount of money in the event where you are unable to turn up for your flight. This might seem unfamiliar to most people, but is actually not new news.
THE VARIOUS AIR TICKET TYPES & ITS PENALTY
To set the context right, this no-show fee is not applicable to all airlines, but it is essential to know that major popular airlines such as Emirates and Singapore Airlines do have a no-show clause in their terms and conditions.
For instance, those who have purchased either an economy-flexi-saver or an economy-flexi ticket from Singapore Airlines, the penalty for failing to show up is US$150 per pax.
Business, suite and first class ticket holders would too have to pay a few hundred dollars for no-show on Singapore Airlines – depending on your destination. On the other hand, those who have bought an economy-saver ticket from Singapore Airlines will not encounter any charges for no-show.
Similarly, Emirates also has a no-show penalty for its passengers, but even costlier. By not showing up for your flight, you are subjected to pay an additional fee of at least US$400 and US$800 for economy class and business class respectively. First class ticket holders will not be charged for no-show.
IF YOU MISS YOUR FIRST FLIGHT, YOU WILL MISS THE SUBSEQUENT ONES TOO
Regardless of the type of your Singapore Airline ticket, one rule applies for all – once you have failed to show up for your first leg of the flight, you will not be able to board your remaining/ connecting flights.
Take for example – your original Singapore Airlines booking will have you flying from Singapore to San Francisco, with Hong Kong as a layover. If you miss the first SIN-HKG leg, Singapore Airlines automatically extends your no-show to your next flight. Which means your flight from HKG-SFO would be forfeited as well.
Missing the second leg of your flight is already bad, but that is not all. You are still subjected to a minimum fee of US$150 to Singapore Airlines for not showing up.
And in the case of Emirates, your return flight will too be cancelled. In other words, even if you book the next flight out to your destination, you would still have to purchase a separate return ticket.
WAIVER FOR SPEICAL CASES AND EXCEPTIONS
Singapore Airlines do accept a waiver of such penalty fees under certain special conditions – where they will be negotiated on a case-to-case basis.
These scenarios include falling sick or being involved in an accident etc. Medical documents and other relevant files are required as evidence.
This might seem ridiculous to most passengers, but it is actually an essential move for the airline to survive in the competitive aviation industry. Simply put, your no-show ticket cannot be used and airlines cannot resell the ticket to someone else.
The no-show fee implementation encourages passengers to inform the airline earlier should they need to change their flight itinerary and consequently allow planes to protect their pricing structure.
Whether or not your travel insurance could cover these unnecessary exorbitant fees would ultimately depend on your insurance provider’s varying policies.
OF POSSIBLE CANCELLATIONS AND PROPER PLANNING
So why do travellers not show up for their flights?
The most common reason boils down to the fact that changing of flight details can be a costly process – especially when one books his/her flight during a promotional airfare sale or through third-party travel agents.
The rebooking fees cost at least half or even the same amount as the original air tickets most of the time! Shockingly, it could be more cost-effective to forfeit the airfare altogether and to purchase a new one instead. However, do remember to factor in the cost of no-show fees the next time you decide to do a no-show.
Before making any drastic amendments to your flight itinerary, do consider your flight situation and the remaining options you have on hand.
For example, changing of your open-flight on major full-service airlines might not cost much. You might even get a substantial amount of refunds for early cancellations!
Last but not least, good news to all budget travellers – most low-cost carriers do not impose a no-show fee. Hurray!