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FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: FAQ: Missing / Skipping Segment - Hidden City / Point Beyond Ticketing (consolidated)
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FAQ: "Missing" or "Skipping Segments": Hidden City / Point Beyond Ticketing

Q.What will happen if I "skip" a segment?

A. Skipping an intermediate or end segment is most often referred to as "Hidden City / Point Beyond Ticketing" by American Airlines, and doing so invalidates the contract you have with AA regarding your ticket. AA will cancel the remaining segments. If the reason for missing a segment is to drop the last segment to save money on a more expensive ticket to the intermediate destination, it is called a "Hidden City / Point Beyond" ticket. American Airlines states, in the Conditions of Carriage (and more existentially in Tariff Rule 100AA):

Quote:
American specifically prohibits the practices commonly known as:

Hidden City/Point Beyond Ticketing
: Purchase of a fare from a point before the passenger's actual origin or to a point beyond the passenger's actual destination.
Link to American Airlines Conditions of Carriage, Ticket Validity.

Q. Do American Airlines Corporate Security / AAdvantage Fraud have people and algorithms running in the background that check for these?

Assuredly, yes. Can people be found liable for fees and/or lose their accounts / status / miles? Yes, probably more likely for repeaters. Can people be criminally or civilly prosecuted? Doubtful. (Link to article on Contract Fraud.)

Q. Would I get in trouble skipping the final segment?

A. Probably not, if you don't do this on other than the rare occasion.

Q. Can I short check my baggage?

A. In most cases, you may find it difficult, unless you have an overnight connection, must retrieve your baggage for customs or because your connection does not offer interlining of baggage.

Q. Will I get my EQ and Award Miles.

You will likely accrue miles for the segments you actually flew.

Q. Can I claim the residual value for the unused segment?

Au contraire; with a hidden city / point beyond ticket, you owe AA money under their rules.

Archived older posts may be read here.

For Conditions of Carriage - Ticket Validity and Letter used by AA:

Quote:
AA Hidden City and Point Beyond Ticketing:

Skipping an intermediate or end segment is referred to as "Hidden City / Point Beyond Ticketing" by American Airlines, and doing so invalidates the contract you have with AA regarding your ticket. AA will generally cancel the remaining segments, and if it is dropping the last segment to save money on a more expensive ticket to the intermediate destination, it is called the "Hidden City" ticket.

The entire Conditions of Carriage, the contract that governs your ticket (in additon to the Detailed Fare Rules attached to your fare class and readable prior to purchase), are here: CONDITIONS OF CARRIAGE.

The specific language regarding Hidden City and Point Beyond Ticketing is here:

TICKET VALIDITY - COMPLIANCE WITH TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SALE

Tickets are valid for travel only when used in accordance with all terms and conditions of sale. Terms and conditions of sale include but are not limited to:
  1. The passenger's itinerary, as stated on the ticket or in the passenger's reservation record,
  2. Any requirement that the passenger stay over a specified date or length of time (for example, Saturday night or weekend) at the destination specified on the ticket.
  3. Any special purpose or status (for example, age in the case of senior citizen or children's discounts, military status in the case of a military fare, official government business in the case of a government fare, or attendance at a qualified event in the case of a meeting or convention fare) that entitles the passenger to a special or reduced rate, or
  4. Any other requirement associated with the passenger's fare level.

Unless a ticket is reissued by American or its authorized agent upon payment of applicable charges, or an authorized representative of American waives applicable restrictions in writing, a ticket is invalid:
  1. If used for travel to a destination other than that specified on the ticket,
  2. If the passenger fails to comply with applicable stay-over requirements,
  3. If the passenger does not meet the purpose or status requirement associated with the fare category on the ticket, or
  4. If American determines that the ticket has been purchased or used in a manner designed to circumvent applicable fare rules.

American specifically prohibits the practices commonly known as:

Back to Back Ticketing: The combination of two or more roundtrip excursion fares end to end for the purpose of circumventing minimum stay requirements.

Throwaway Ticketing: The usage of roundtrip excursion fare for one-way travel, and

Hidden City/Point Beyond Ticketing: Purchase of a fare from a point before the passenger's actual origin or to a point beyond the passenger's actual destination.

Duplicate and Impossible/Illogical Bookings: Duplicate or impossible/illogical American Airlines bookings are prohibited without prior authorization from American Airlines. A duplicate or impossible/illogical booking includes, but is not limited to, bookings for the same passenger on flights traveling on or about the same date between one or more of the same or nearby origin and/or destination (such as JFKDFW and LGADFW or DFWLAX and DFWONT), or bookings with connections that depart before the arrival of the inbound flight.

Fraudulent, Fictitious and Abusive Bookings: Fraudulent, fictitious and/or abusive bookings are prohibited. These types of bookings are defined as any bookings made without having been requested by or on behalf of the named passenger. Additionally, creating bookings to hold or block seats for the purpose of obtaining lower fares, AAdvantage award inventory, or upgrades that may not otherwise be available, or to circumvent any of American Airlines' fare rules or policies, is prohibited without prior authorization from American Airlines.

Where a ticket is invalidated as the result of the passenger's non-compliance with any term or condition of sale, American has the right in its sole discretion to:
  1. Cancel any remaining portion of the passenger's itinerary,
  2. Confiscate unused flight coupons,
  3. Refuse to board the passenger or check the passenger's luggage, or
  4. Assess the passenger for the reasonable remaining value of the ticket, which shall be no less than the difference between the fare actually paid and the lowest fare applicable to the passenger's actual itinerary
Sample letter from American Airlines on Hidden City Ticketing:

Quote:
Dear ,

Let me take the opportunity to clarify American Airlines position on hidden city or point beyond ticketing. Purchasing a ticket to a point beyond the actual destination and getting off the aircraft at the connecting point is unethical. It is tantamount to switching price tags to obtain a lower price on goods sold at department stores. Passengers who attempt to use hidden city tickets may be denied boarding, have the remainder of their ticket confiscated and may be assessed the difference between the fare paid and the lowest applicable fare.

Because we compete with other airlines with different route structures, we sometimes find it necessary to give a traveler who is traveling beyond a connecting point a better price than travelers who are just traveling to the connecting point. For example, a passenger who is traveling to Austin, Texas from Los Angeles can go on one airline via Phoenix for a price that is lower than the cost of traveling on American between Los Angeles and Dallas. If we want to offer the same price to Austin as the other airline, but the only way we can get travelers there is via Dallas, we find ourselves charging the Austin passengers less than the Dallas passengers.

Although the issuance and usage of hidden city tickets is not illegal in the sense that one could be fined or sent to jail by the government, it is unethical and a breach of a passengers (sic) contract with AA. Both tariff rule 100AA and American's Condition of Carriage, which are incorporated into every ticket sold by American as part of our agreement to carry the passenger named on the ticket, bar hidden city ticketing. In addition, it violates the agencies' contract to act as an agent for American Airlines.

If American Airlines continues to lose revenue as a result of hidden city transactions, the fares we charge must inevitably rise.

Sincerely,
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Old Feb 14, 14, 7:11 pm   #1
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A different question on skipping a segment

I think I want to fly STL-MIA-AUA-MIA for $620 in December, then MIA-SCL for a 30K SAAver.

But the MIA-SCL trip may not happen. So I can instead ticket STL-MIA-AUA-MIA-STL for $627, just $7 more, and skip the last segment if the trip to SCL does happen.

Either way, I have to pick up the bags after AUA-MIA for customs. I can either check them to STL or to SCL as needed.

So, the question: will AA systems realize that I cannot fly MIA-STL at 8:00 pm and also fly MIA-SCL at 10:00 pm?
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Old Feb 14, 14, 7:14 pm   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siankaan1
I think I want to fly STL-MIA-AUA-MIA for $620 in December, then MIA-SCL for a 30K SAAver.

But the MIA-SCL trip may not happen. So I can instead ticket STL-MIA-AUA-MIA-STL for $627, just $7 more, and skip the last segment if the trip to SCL does happen.

Either way, I have to pick up the bags after AUA-MIA for customs. I can either check them to STL or to SCL as needed.

So, the question: will AA systems realize that I cannot fly MIA-STL at 8:00 pm and also fly MIA-SCL at 10:00 pm?
Won't you clear U.S. Customs and Immigration at AUA? AUA has pre-clearance.
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Old Feb 14, 14, 7:18 pm   #3
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
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Won't you clear U.S. Customs and Immigration at AUA? AUA has pre-clearance.
Oh, I didn't know that...I've never been there. Ok, and thanks!
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Old Mar 5, 14, 9:58 am   #4
  
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I am booked on a multi city flight to Ord.. The last leg I am planning to buy a new ticket to nyc, would I be able to buy such a ticket with aa even so I'm scheduled to fly with them to Ord?
Would it be different if I bought it through us airways? Ta?
I would like to credit the miles to my account
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Old Mar 5, 14, 10:33 am   #5
  
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Originally Posted by ProudBrit View Post
I am booked on a multi city flight to Ord.. The last leg I am planning to buy a new ticket to nyc, would I be able to buy such a ticket with aa even so I'm scheduled to fly with them to Ord?
Would it be different if I bought it through us airways? Ta?
I would like to credit the miles to my account
Should not be a problem buying another AA (or US) ticket. No fare rules can require you to stay in a particular city for any duration. Presuming ORD is your final destination on the PNR, otherwise you do stand a risk of losing the rest of your ITN if you don't board the next flight.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 2:47 pm   #6
  
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Thanks!
But would they sell a ticket to me even so I'm scheduled to fly with them somewhere else?
I put such a ticket on hold and it worked.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 3:31 pm   #7
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Originally Posted by ProudBrit
Thanks!
But would they sell a ticket to me even so I'm scheduled to fly with them somewhere else?
I put such a ticket on hold and it worked.
Are you planning to fly XXX-LGA instead of XXX-ORD? Or are you planning to fly to LGA from ORD?
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Old Mar 5, 14, 4:38 pm   #8
  
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
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Are you planning to fly XXX-LGA instead of XXX-ORD?
That
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Old Mar 5, 14, 6:08 pm   #9
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudBrit View Post
Thanks!
But would they sell a ticket to me even so I'm scheduled to fly with them somewhere else?
I put such a ticket on hold and it worked.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudBrit View Post
That
Ah, missing data...

Yes, there is a chance they will do a sweep and cancel the conflicting flights. The safe way would be to book the second flight without your FF# and add it at the airport.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 6:47 pm   #10
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Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
Ah, missing data...

Yes, there is a chance they will do a sweep and cancel the conflicting flights. The safe way would be to book the second flight without your FF# and add it at the airport.
SFPD alone could be sufficient...
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Old Mar 6, 14, 10:28 pm   #11
  
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Originally Posted by AA_EXP09 View Post
SFPD alone could be sufficient...
Sufficent? to cancel the ticket?
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Old Mar 7, 14, 9:28 am   #12
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Sufficent? to cancel the ticket?
Not to cancel the ticket on its own but to identify conflicting bookings.
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Old Mar 7, 14, 10:05 am   #13
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Originally Posted by AA_EXP09 View Post
SFPD alone could be sufficient...
Whats SFPD
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Old Mar 7, 14, 10:08 am   #14
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Whats SFPD
Secure flight passenger data. The name and DOB data that goes to TSA and other agencies
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Old Mar 7, 14, 10:19 am   #15
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Secure flight passenger data. The name and DOB data that goes to TSA and other agencies
Thanks another good thing learned on FT
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