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British Airways Threatens to Seek Out & Punish “Hidden-City” Flyers

British Airways is cracking down on “hidden-city” flyers, threatening to reassess fares for partial-way travelers.

British Airways may become the next airline to punish passengers who only use a portion of their ticket to visit a destination at a cheaper price. USA Today reports the airline could begin seeking out and punishing those who utilize “hidden-city ticketing” aboard the airline.

“Hidden-city ticketing” is the practice of purchasing a ticket for a flight that connects at a destination and continues to a third city with the intention of intentionally missing the continuing flight. Using “hidden-city ticketing,” some flyers have reported a cost savings over the published price of a ticket to the destination city.

Two sources from within the IAG-owned airline claim British Airways will start seeking out those who use “hidden-city” tickets while flying aboard the U.K. flag carrier.

Under the purported new policy, the airline will actively seek flyers who deplane in a city previous to their final destination. If caught, the airline will allegedly charge those flyers the difference in not only the ticket cost, but the return fare cost as well. The result could be a significantly higher charge on top of airfare already paid.

Although “hidden-city ticketing” has been a popular among some frequent flyers, airlines began cracking down on the practice last year. In November 2014, online travel agency Orbitz and United Airlines sued the website Skiplagged for advertising “hidden-city” routes on their website.

In May, United began targeting customers who were using “hidden-city” tickets, saying those who utilize the cost-saving method would be violating the United “contract of carriage … putting the validity of their ticket and MileagePlus status at risk.”

FlyerTalk users have also shared various reports of airlines coming down on them for their ticket purchasing habits.

[Photo: British Airways]

Comments are Closed.
weero July 25, 2015

mvoight I didn't say anything about FFPs here. IIRC, LH was even barred from voiding tickets where one of the segments wasn't flown in sequence. So chasing Hidden City ruler breakers would never fly.

scibuff July 24, 2015

This is nothing more than fear mongering. They can't really do anything but to touch the Avios account. I'd like to see them commit credit card fraud by charging me the extra when I get "sick" and cannot fly ...

IL0072 July 24, 2015

I believe airlines should be aware that more and more business travellers are cautious, and trying to get real value for money - when the gas prices internationally tend to go down, airlines are actually reversing the trend: in order to maximize profits, they raise prices, and incorporate in hidden costs, charged to passengers. Therefore they should not be surprized when travellers are reversing the gun. Simple law of phyisics: action - reaction. Freguent Flier programs have been undergone major restructuring: your bonus miles depend on class flown .... so if you fly frequent economy in Europe , your bonus miles will add up much slower.

mvoight July 23, 2015

Jacke, it is not about what it costs to transport you. Fares are priced based on city pairs. When you buy your ticket, you agree to those terms. Weero, there is a lot more to frequent flyer programs than just award miles. Elite status brings a host of other benefits such as free checked baggage, lounge access, preferred seating, preferred boarding, etc

teevee July 23, 2015

maybe, just maybe, if the airlines stopped thei insane pricing policies and methods, they wouldn't have to worry about this BS. seriously, ho is it even remotely possible that booking a trip to a further destination is cheaper? FACT is, it costs the airline MORE but they are penalizing you anyway.