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Any Experience Here With Hidden City Ticketing?
Old 01-01-2015, 07:56 AM   #1
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Any Experience Here With Hidden City Ticketing?

Although it doesn't break any laws, if you get off the plane in an airport that isn't your final destination, the airline doesn't like it, and probably breaks the agreement you made when purchasing the ticket. But putting the "moral" issue aside (I'm talking about immoral pricing, not consumers doing what they can to save money, lol), are there any travelers here that have done this? Do it routinely?

I just did a CLT/DFW round trip and it was $495 on Kayak (Delta), and $351 on Skiplagged.com (walking out of the DFW-SNA Santa Ana leg on the outbound, and walking out of the CLT-SBY Salisbury leg on the return).

You must book the two legs separately (or they cancel the return on you). You have to carry-on your baggage. The carrier might take-away your frequent flier miles. They could, theoretically, ask you to take your business elsewhere in the future. Not many reports of those latter two punative actions, though.

Although I've never done this, my uncle introduced this technique to me decades ago. The problem is that, until skiplagged, it was a pain to dig out those fares. I'm thinking I might try this technique some time if all I need is a carry-on.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:04 AM   #2
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I did it years ago and actually found out about the flight cancelation thing the hard way. At the time, though, one way fares were also more expensive so it didn't work out that way.

The one thing I did do repeatedly was to purchase overlapping tickets to/from the same destination in order to get the discount for a Saturday night stay over. In other words, instead of flying somewhere M-F every week (I was a consultant in those days), I booked one ticket for M this week through Friday next, then a ticket the opposite direction fromFriday this week to Monday next, etc. these days the airlines could probably catch that pretty easily. But I saved 1000s a month at the time.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:27 AM   #3
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I did it recently on a flight to Rome.

It was the lady at Alitalia Airlines that suggested it! "It'll be our little secret" she said. Saved me about $500.

During my travel days (4 million logged flight miles) I did it from time to time. Was almost accepted practice with us roadwarriors.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:34 AM   #4
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I assume you are aware of the recent news that United and Orbitz have apparently filed a lawsuit against that company. Here is one of those news reports:
United, Orbitz Sue Travel Site Over ‘Hidden City’ Tickets - Bloomberg.
MSN posted a video link yesterday and I think the CEO is only 22 years old. Interesting story. Interesting concept - I never heard of hidden city tickets until now.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:23 AM   #5
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If they succeed at shutting-down skiplagged, you will still be able to do it "manually" by using the "explore" feature on Kayak (or similar)....just find a cheap destination and look for connections through your real destination using the "Layover Airports (only)" feature.
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Any Experience Here With Hidden City Ticketing?
Old 01-01-2015, 05:05 PM   #6
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Any Experience Here With Hidden City Ticketing?

If one is hung up on airline miles, one might find an airline taking them away for skipping out early at a hidden city. I've heard they can do that, though I don't know of it first hand.


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Old 01-01-2015, 05:10 PM   #7
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I don't know if Southwest's routes are ever structured to make this gambit economical, but they would never know if you didn't continue as they just count the people staying on the plane when it lands in one city to know how many seats are available for the next leg--they don't keep track of who the people are.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon-nyc View Post
I did it years ago and actually found out about the flight cancelation thing the hard way. At the time, though, one way fares were also more expensive so it didn't work out that way.

The one thing I did do repeatedly was to purchase overlapping tickets to/from the same destination in order to get the discount for a Saturday night stay over. In other words, instead of flying somewhere M-F every week (I was a consultant in those days), I booked one ticket for M this week through Friday next, then a ticket the opposite direction fromFriday this week to Monday next, etc. these days the airlines could probably catch that pretty easily. But I saved 1000s a month at the time.
I spent a number of years traveling full time -- project work away from home that resulted in lots of trips back and forth to the same destinations. I traveled to the remote city on a one way, then did weekend Friday/Sunday trips to get home every weekend, then at the end of the project traveled home on a one-way. This way I got the discount for Saturday night stay. Got a call from the travel dept manager one day accusing me of back-to-back ticketing. Splained to her what I was doing and that I cleared the technique with the airline before starting this -- and it cuts the cost to just over half of the typical Sunday/Friday fairs. When I stopped talking, there was about 30-45 seconds of silence. I got a long "Ooooh, Iiii see. Well then, just pretend I never called." Expense accounting noticed that I was requesting reimbursements for expenses that were seemingly incurred between trips -- not during trips -- and couldn't figure it out. My manager knew what I was doing and just approved everything I submitted. Well, we were supposed to think outside the nine dots.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustward View Post
I spent a number of years traveling full time -- project work away from home that resulted in lots of trips back and forth to the same destinations. I traveled to the remote city on a one way, then did weekend Friday/Sunday trips to get home every weekend, then at the end of the project traveled home on a one-way. This way I got the discount for Saturday night stay. Got a call from the travel dept manager one day accusing me of back-to-back ticketing. Splained to her what I was doing and that I cleared the technique with the airline before starting this -- and it cuts the cost to just over half of the typical Sunday/Friday fairs. When I stopped talking, there was about 30-45 seconds of silence. I got a long "Ooooh, Iiii see. Well then, just pretend I never called." Expense accounting noticed that I was requesting reimbursements for expenses that were seemingly incurred between trips -- not during trips -- and couldn't figure it out. My manager knew what I was doing and just approved everything I submitted. Well, we were supposed to think outside the nine dots.
I did the same thing once for an interview, except threw away the last ticket as it was not needed.
But of course I only could think outside the 8 dots
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
I don't know if Southwest's routes are ever structured to make this gambit economical, but they would never know if you didn't continue as they just count the people staying on the plane when it lands in one city to know how many seats are available for the next leg--they don't keep track of who the people are.
I do not think this is entirely true. The number of "through passengers" as SW calls them has to match their number. I fly SW a lot for work, and the number of through has to match the intended. Have been on many flights where they had to count several times and wait for someone to get out of bathroom to confirm the numbers. True if you get off the plane, they can figure it out and know who it is, and potentially allow one additional stand-by passenger to board if full.

Back to OP original comment, it seems that the airlines have brought this upon themselves by the screwy pricing matrix they develop.

In past I have used a cheaper round trip ticket and just thrown away the return leg when I needed a one way.
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