Round-Trip Airline Ticket (Royal Air Maroc via JustFly) Cancelled Mid-Trip -- Help!

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Aug 9, 2018
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I had a confirmed round-trip ticket to Morocco (IAD-CMN-RAK) cancelled by Royal Air Maroc in the middle of my vacation earlier this week, forcing me to purchase a separate (and expensive) one-way flight back home. I received no notice of the cancellation until I arrived at the airport in Marrakesh for my first leg of my return flight. The airline is pointing to the booking agency, and the booking agency (Justfly.com) is pointing to the airline. I am writing to ask for guidance how to try to recoup my incremental travel expenses.

More specifically . . .

I used Justfly to book tickets on Royal Air Maroc for flights to and from Dulles to Marrakesh (connecting in Casablanca) for a 9-10-day trip. Two days before my initial departure I received notice from the airline that my departing flight would be delayed by two hours (making it impossible for me to clear immigration in Morocco and catch my connecting flight to Marrakesh). The only seat that the airline offered me was scheduled to depart 9.5 hours later, and I asked them to re-book me on that flight. However, the airline had separately warned me that they were experiencing schedule "disruptions" due to "social tensions", and so when I arrive in Casablanca I chose to take a train to Marrakesh. (The airline delays had already cost me a day of my vacation, and a cancelled flight would leave me stranded at the airport late at night.) My vacation then proceeded on schedule.

However, when I returned to the Marrakesh airport to fly back to Washington (connecting again through Casablanca), I learned that the airline had cancelled my ticket because I didn't board the much-delayed flight a week earlier from Casablanca to Marrakesh. I was never notified of this cancellation. I had no other choice then to make alternative, expensive ($902) arrangements to fly home on one-way ticket. (I arrived late last night.)

As a medical student, this hits my wallet especially hard, and I would like to file some type of refund request/complaint to try to recover some of my losses.

I have now spent hours on the the phone with both Royal Air Maroc and Justfly. Both disclaimed any responsibility for notifying me of my mid-trip cancellation, and pointed to the other for redress. An agent from Justfly actually told me that (a) I should have assumed that I was forfeiting the return flights because I did not board the connecting first flight in Marrakesh, and (b) that it was Royal Air Maroc's responsibility to notify me of the reservation cancellation. A follow-up call to Royal Air Maroc agent repeated this vicious cycle of irresponsibility, this time telling me that it was no one's responsibility to notify me that my reservation had been cancelled.

I have found this process to be incredibly frustrating, and both agencies to be rather unprofessional.

How would you recommend I proceed? Your advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIxIrkeJ7D4&authuser=0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdpC4X0ftrc&authuser=0
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
All airlines have a policy if you are no show on an outgoing flight, the rest of your ticket is canceled.

So did you allow them to rebook you in a flight from Casablanca to Marrakesh and you just didn’t show up? If that’s the case- you were a no show and are not due any compensation.

What you needed to do was have the airline cancel the ticket from Casablanca to Marrakesh.

And if you are a no show- you don’t get any notice.

Here are there rules:

Cancellation of Reservations on an Onward or Return Flight
If a Passenger does not check in for a flight, the Carrier may cancel their Reservations for the onward or return legs, unless the Passenger has informed the Carrier in advance and in compliance with the fare conditions (see, in particular, Article III.3 "Coupon Order of Use").
 
Aug 9, 2018
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Hi Neil,

Thank you for your reply. I was confused in part because I've used Skiplagged in the US before, an airfare search engine designed to find cheap flights usually through hidden-city ticketing trips (which necessitate getting off at a layover). But how is it acceptable (or professional) for an airline to cancel a paid reservation and not notify the passenger?

Thanks.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Well if you have been using skiplagged and doing hidden city ticket then you are aware of the issues of ticketing and sequences.

Most of the airlines automatically cancel when there is a no show it is a computer program. I do not think there is an effort to contact the passenger— if you do not bother to tell them you are not coming why should they bother to contact you to say the ticket is canceled.
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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Hi Neil,

Thank you for your reply. I was confused in part because I've used Skiplagged in the US before, an airfare search engine designed to find cheap flights usually through hidden-city ticketing trips (which necessitate getting off at a layover). But how is it acceptable (or professional) for an airline to cancel a paid reservation and not notify the passenger?

Thanks.
There is some sort of irony when one takes hidden city tickets and does not inform the airline of their intent not to fly the ticketed route and then complains that the airline does not contact them on an automatic cancellation
 
Feb 23, 2018
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As far as the airlines are concerned, you cancelled the rest of the flights when you didn't show up for the one leg.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,014
22,966
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Hi Neil,

Thank you for your reply. I was confused in part because I've used Skiplagged in the US before, an airfare search engine designed to find cheap flights usually through hidden-city ticketing trips (which necessitate getting off at a layover). But how is it acceptable (or professional) for an airline to cancel a paid reservation and not notify the passenger?

Thanks.
And this is why skipplagged has received so much criticism. Because they do not tell you about the possibility of this happening. They advise illegal actions that are against airline policy. They aren’t going to notify you if you pull something that is against their policy. Hidden city ticketing to lower fees is against airline policy.

The airlines cancel itineraries just for this reason. Why would you need a return ticket home if you weren’t on the flight to get you there?

If that was your intent - hidden city ticketing- you just learned a lesson about the shortcomings of listening to Skiplagged. Did you book this intentionally like this?

Just because you can book tickets on your own doesn’t mean you should. You act as your own travel agent but don’t have the knowledge that a travel agent does. An agent would have told you this would happen when you skip a piece of your itinerary. If you are going to skip anything it’s the final stop, not anything in between.

All you needed to do was tell the airline you didn’t want the alternate flight and had them cancel. Why didn’t you do that?

Again- the rule is in the airlines terms and conditions. When you do something against policy they don’t owe you an explanation.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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I'm sorry you're learning this lesson in such an expensive way. Booking through online services is a no-win situation, except for them. They get paid a commission for taking your order. The airline keeps your money and cancels the rest of your tix if you don't communicate with them. This is an awful way for you to become educated on how things work. It's vital to book directly with an airline, or use a real travel agent. I'm sorry this happened to you.