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Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

Calgary, Canada
posts: 23
reviews: 74
Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

Hi all, I have a strange question and it is a bit complicated so bear with me.

I am getting married in Cancun next year and we booked a large group travel package with Sunwing. Round trip flights to/from Canada, hotel, all inclusive package, etc. was included in the price. Well my soon to be husband and I are now thinking that we don’t want to stay in Cancun for the honeymoon and that we would like to fly somewhere else after the wedding week, like Costa Rica or Peru, etc.

I contacted my travel agent and she basically told me we could not do that because the package deal is book with a charter airline and if you enter on a charter flight you have to depart on one from the same airport. Basically we are limited to only extending our stay in Cancun and we cannot cancel the return leg of the trip due to it changing the entire group package deal.

So my question is, what if we happened to "miss" our return flight home with the airline and instead went to the airport and checked in to our new departure flight to our honeymoon location.

We would depart the same day as originally planned. (Basically we would purchase a one way flight out of Cancun to a different location and just not show up for our charter flight)

My travel agent is not the most helpful person in the world and just kept telling me no, no, no and did not entertain any of my alternative options. She said when you arrive in Cancun you fill in a tourist card that has your departure flight on it so if you then check into the airport for a different flight we will be fined or held up in customs and possibly denied check in to the new flight....

So my questions to you are:

1) What happens when you miss charter flight? Are you able to book your own flight out of the country without a hassle? It seems strange to me that they would not let you leave unless it was another charter flight. People must miss flights all the time so there has to be a reasonable option.

2) When you enter the country and fill in the tourist card, could we just fill in the new departure flight information and leave out the return charter flight? Or will someone notice that you arrive on a charter and do not plan to leave on one? (To be honest I don’t even remember having to fill in my return flight details on the tourist card in the past, I just thought we had to put the date of departure...am I wrong?)

3) People must change travel plans all the time, is doing something like this completely crazy? My travel agent is making us seem like we are doing something very bad! We just want to go on our darn honeymoon and don’t want to be restricted by having to take a charter flight back home and then travel somewhere else from our home city in Canada. What a hassle....especially if we want to go to central or south America...

If anyone has any insight for me it would be greatly appreciated.


Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 27,558
reviews: 74
1. Re: Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

Seems to be 2 issues here.

1) Airlines don't like you doing this, it's called hidden city ticketing in that normally a round trip ticket is priced lower than a one way so lots of people do this all the time. Can they hold you responsible? Yes in theory. Will they do anything about it? Possibly but not likely.

Your agent is just giving you advice as it is in the letter of the law. If she told you differently and it came back on her then she could be in trouble.

2) I am not sure what immigration would make of it. Canadians don't even need any kind of visa to enter Mexico so I think your TA is bullshitting you but since I have never been to Cancun perhaps someone else could advise better.


If you are worried about it that much then suddenly develop a case of the Mexican two step and tell them you are unable to fly and you will arrange your own way home.

Edited: 1:29 pm, May 01, 2013
Toronto, Canada
posts: 5,918
reviews: 35
2. Re: Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

You won't be the first Sunwing client to miss the return flight--happens due to family emergency, flying home for a health reason or similar.

It would be courteous for the co-travellers in your group to at least let Sunwing know you won't be flying home so they don't waste time looking for the 2 missing passengers (but I don't think they really waste much time doing that anyway). Just don't have them go into the specifics of why.

Edited: 1:45 pm, May 01, 2013
London, United...
posts: 20,023
reviews: 23
3. Re: Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

People miss flights all the time. Just book another flight and fill that in on your card. Or if you book when there, fill another card. No big deal.

Airlines don't like it, but as long as you don't do it frequently, it's no biggie.

Just don't use the same travel agent lol.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 12,951
reviews: 23
4. Re: Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

Whilst people miss flights, scheduled and chartered, for all sorts of reasons, both legitimate and otherwise, I would have some concerns over your plans.

You have already alerted your travel agent to your intention to miss the flight and he/she might, or might not, have already discussed this with Sunwing - as you stated that missing the flight could affect "the entire group package deal" there is a risk , albeit remote, that Sunwing could seek the financial difference from you.

London, United...
posts: 20,023
reviews: 23
5. Re: Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

What financial difference,,,the difference between the cost of a single v return?

How much is that,,,and how low is the risk, it certainly would not concern me, and I certainly would not dictate my honeymoon to be something I did not wish, based on the risk involved here.

Los Angeles...
posts: 254
reviews: 4
6. Re: Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

Here is a link to the tourist card. http://www.mapchick.com/immigration.html

This may be the old version because it has changed in the last year. I do not ever remember putting my return flight info. I see nothing wrong with what you want to do. I change my flights all the time in cancun...returning later, earlier, rebooking on another airline...I have never had any issues.

But since I am a very frequent visitor to the areas around cancun just as a thought....you could go to Isla Mujeres-my favorite, Cuba, Tulum, or even Belize by bus. And you could come back for your charter flight.

Leyland, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
posts: 24,535
reviews: 44
7. Re: Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

As the OP has booked a 'package', transfers from the hotel to airport will be included. The rep will have to be told at that stage if they are not getting on the transfer coach or the flight, or people will be running around trying to locate them. What the rep would do then I don't know, but wanting to know the reason why isn't a bad guess.

Using being ill and not fit to take the flight isn't quite as straightforward either. Usually on a package, if you have a problem with not being able to fly, the first person you would speak to would be your rep. They would probably presume you'd seen the doctor, and then would ask him about being fit to fly. If you're not fit enough, the rep would normally assist in getting you onto a later flight. I doubt many people would just not speak to their rep, and just book another flight when they felt better.

Packages are more involved than just missing a flight only.

Whether the rep would say or do anything further, is anyone's guess.

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,414
reviews: 159
8. Re: Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

The only thing that I'm not sure about is a package deal with a charter airline, I would have no problem advising the OP to just go ahead and miss the flight if it was with a schedule airline but I don't know how this works with a package deal so think you should get more info on this as it may result in problems for the rest of the group or yourself.

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,414
reviews: 159
9. Re: Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?

Just to add maybe you should contact sunwing direct but keep it vague don't give your name or say where you want to go just say what you're thinking of doing and how it works, at least you'll know what you're up against.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 12,951
reviews: 23
10. Re: Intentionally miss a return charter flight from Mexico?


"What financial difference,,,the difference between the cost of a single v return? " - The OP said that missing the flight could change the entire group package deal and there is a chance that they could have got a group discount or something similar because of the group size (at least that's how I interpret the OP) that they might no longer be eligible for if they don't complete the whole package including the return flight.

I don't know but as it's a package it's likely to be something other than the return/one way fare difference.