Hidden City Ticketing + Award Flight Question

Old Jan 28, 19, 3:20 pm
  #1  
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Hidden City Ticketing + Award Flight Question

Long time lurker I was hoping to get some help from all of you...

I booked a one-way, 1-stop award flight to BIO via AF with a layover in CDG, with the intention of planning the trip and waiting for a good deal on a return award flight before booking that one. But in the course of talking things over with my wife, we decided we actually preferred to just visit CDG instead (ok, so she changed her mind ).

I looked up award flights for that day direct to CDG and they are substantially more expensive, so I figured we would need to pick a different (but less optimal day). But we figured we would call AF to see if there was some way we could just remove the last segment on the flight. To our surprise, the agent told us that we could just not get on the next flight.

So, two questions:
  1. Is AF ok with hidden city ticketing? I was always under the impression that this was frowned upon, even if they let you get away with it a few times. It surprised me that an agent would proactively suggest it.
  2. If we have our return flight with AF as well and under the same AF account, but on a separate itinerary / ticket, would skipping the CDG-BIO segment on the departure flight cause AF to cancel our return flight? Or would that only happen if they were on the same itinerary?
Very curious to see what all of you have to say thanks!
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Old Feb 3, 19, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by lamorindaflyer View Post
Long time lurker I was hoping to get some help from all of you...

I booked a one-way, 1-stop award flight to BIO via AF with a layover in CDG, with the intention of planning the trip and waiting for a good deal on a return award flight before booking that one. But in the course of talking things over with my wife, we decided we actually preferred to just visit CDG instead (ok, so she changed her mind ).

I looked up award flights for that day direct to CDG and they are substantially more expensive, so I figured we would need to pick a different (but less optimal day). But we figured we would call AF to see if there was some way we could just remove the last segment on the flight. To our surprise, the agent told us that we could just not get on the next flight.

So, two questions:
  1. Is AF ok with hidden city ticketing? I was always under the impression that this was frowned upon, even if they let you get away with it a few times. It surprised me that an agent would proactively suggest it.
  2. If we have our return flight with AF as well and under the same AF account, but on a separate itinerary / ticket, would skipping the CDG-BIO segment on the departure flight cause AF to cancel our return flight? Or would that only happen if they were on the same itinerary?
Very curious to see what all of you have to say thanks!
there are numerous threads about "hidden city", better to post in an existing thread.

I am not sure about the first question, but I am surprised by the agent suggesting it. I have myself just bought a similar ticket (in purpose!). the award cost me 29K while the award I wanted was 77K (surprisingly, the latter it is not available anymore after I bought although it is one year from now). From what I have read on other threads, it seems ok to "throw" the last leg as long as it is not a habit.

For the 2nd question. your return ticket will not be affected as it is on a different PNR. you should not worry about that IMOO.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 12:32 am
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You will have to travel without checked luggage in order to skip the last flight. The check-in agent at your origin airport will not allow you to short check any bags to CDG.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 10:16 am
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You could short check the bags at your origin, but they might request a reprice of your ticket for the itinerary actually travelled, which for awards should not have a major impact. The problem is in the execution: they might not know how to process it, or finding it too difficult and feeling lazy which could result in short check without caring about the fare, or mandatory through check or denied boarding. Tough to know it in advance, so it could possibly be risky.

If you have status, it might work to ask to reissue the ticket "involuntarly" by skipping the last segment, to have a proper ticket to check in bags, and AF keep the excess of CDG taxes. The platinum line did it for me once on a revenue ticket.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 10:19 am
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a side question on this hidden city subject, for GIG CDG NYC (planning to do only GIG CDG), will i be asked for ESTA at departure in GIG?
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Old Feb 5, 19, 10:47 am
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Yes. You will not only be asked for an ESTA or visa, but will be required to produce one or the other (or more precisely, evidence of an ESTA). Without proper documentation for both a CDG transit and entry to the US, you will be denied boarding.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:17 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Yes. You will not only be asked for an ESTA or visa, but will be required to produce one or the other (or more precisely, evidence of an ESTA). Without proper documentation for both a CDG transit and entry to the US, you will be denied boarding.
Thanks! I am planning to have ask for the ESTA, just wanted to be sure.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 1:47 am
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Isn't there also a risk that you would be asked to produce evidence you intend to stay in the US for less than 90 days?
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Old Feb 6, 19, 3:22 am
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You got GIG CDG NYC on a single ticket? award or cash?
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Old Feb 6, 19, 5:10 am
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Originally Posted by newflyer27 View Post
but I am surprised by the agent suggesting it.
Nothing to be surprised about. AF staff will graciously sell you a return ticket if it is cheaper than a one-way. Or two weekend returns if it is cheaper than a week return,

They will actually look for the cheapest dates of the returns for you.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by ranskis View Post
You got GIG CDG NYC on a single ticket? award or cash?
Award ticket for 29K
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Old Feb 6, 19, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by Porcepic View Post
Isn't there also a risk that you would be asked to produce evidence you intend to stay in the US for less than 90 days?
i did not think about this but you are right. i ll buy an award ticket return from he US then just in case and cancel it after i return. it is worth the 50k miles (X2 as i bought for my partner) of saved miles i made. Thank you very much for pointing this out.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by newflyer27 View Post
i did not think about this but you are right. i ll buy an award ticket return from he US then just in case and cancel it after i return. it is worth the 50k miles (X2 as i bought for my partner) of saved miles i made. Thank you very much for pointing this out.
And hope that your flight isn't canceled and you are re-routed GIG-NYC!
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Old Feb 7, 19, 2:11 am
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Originally Posted by TomMM View Post
And hope that your flight isn't canceled and you are re-routed GIG-NYC!
Yeah well that would be some bad luck i am willing to risk !! there weren't other option available to go to NYC other than through Paris on my dates. I saw routes through Panama on some dates but no DL option which usually goes through ATL. if my flight is cancelled i ll be happy to visit NYC again and get back with the compensation i ll get for my cancelled flight !

i might as well change my award and go to PTP as i just saw it is even cheaper (22K). less risk to find me a ST alternative on this route other than through Paris.

Last edited by newflyer27; Feb 7, 19 at 2:35 am
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Old Feb 7, 19, 3:47 am
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You should rather book, just before going to GIG airport, a flight US to Europe one way on a big carrier (not a low cost like norwegian) on expedia.com (US version of the website) with a departure 10-15 days later than your GIG CDG. Once you arrive in Paris and clear immigration and customs, you connect on expedia.com and cancel your ticket for free. In this case, you should have at least 24 hours free cancellation window after you buy a ticket.

Check the cancellation deadline during the booking (it should be written "free cancellation until ... " next to the fare). And once you get the eticket confirmed, check on your booking for this information, take screenshot just in case you run into issues during the cancellation. I had issues only once and it was quickly resolved by phone, did not even need the screenshot. This way you save the FB cancellation fee.
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