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FAQ: Skipping Segment - Hidden City / Point Beyond / Throw Away Ticketing (master thd

FAQ: Skipping Segment - Hidden City / Point Beyond / Throw Away Ticketing (master thd

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Old Sep 16, 20, 12:42 pm   -   Wikipost
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FAQ: "Missing" or "Skipping Segments": Hidden City / Point Beyond and Throw Away 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 “skiplagging” by others; doing so invalidates the contract you have with AA regarding your ticket. AA will at least 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):

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. What about buying a round trip and not flying the return?

"Throw away" ticketing, that is purchasing a less expensive round trip ticket with the intent of not flying the return segments ("throwing away" the return tickets) is similarly frowned upon, but may be acted upon - particularly if this becomes frequent or a pattern

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, we have had many reports on FT, and the risk increases 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. Possibly not, if you don't do this on other than the rare occasion, but there is risk.

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. But “skiplagging” could result in miles confiscation and potentially account closure.

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. United and Lufthansa have billed skiplaggers, AA may have.

Q. What has AA said they can do to me about hidden city or throwaway ticketing?

“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.”

A highly recommended article on this topic is 3 Words on Hidden City Ticketing: Don’t Do It (link) from ExpertFlyer, 27 Feb 2019.

Archived older posts may be read here.

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

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,
    • 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.
      • 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
        • 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,
    • If the passenger fails to comply with applicable stay-over requirements,
      • If the passenger does not meet the purpose or status requirement associated with the fare category on the ticket, or
        • 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,
    • Confiscate unused flight coupons,
      • Refuse to board the passenger or check the passenger's luggage, or
        • 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:

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 (sic). 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,

In August 2020 AA went after user HappyInTheAir561 for Hidden City Ticketing, demanding payment of $2,500 or permanent closure of his AAdvantage account and loss of 600,000 miles balance. Below is the letter (missing is the 2,500 quote), and there is an entire thread about it here: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...rmination.html The user says he ultimately paid the money.
Mr. XXXX,

As an analyst with American Airlines, one of my responsibilities is investigating violations of the General AAdvantage® Program Conditions. An audit of your AAdvantage account, determined that you have engaged in the practice known as ‘Hidden City ticketing’; the purchase of a fare to a point beyond your actual destination. Hidden city ticketing is explicitly defined in AA’s Conditions of Carriage as a violation of ticket validity. The Terms and Conditions of the AAdvantage program further state that compliance with the Conditions of Carriage is compulsory for participation in the AAdvantage program. As such, AAdvantage account XXXXXX is restricted, pending the outcome of our investigation. You may review the terms and conditions of the AAdvantage ® program (several parts of the terms and conditions are noted below) by clicking the link below or by copying and pasting it into your browser.

The audit of your account XXXXXwas completed on August xx, 2020. The following reservations were not issued in compliance with the AAdvantage Terms & Conditions, Conditions of Carriage or AA.com Site Usage policy:

52 HIDDEN CITY TICKETS (Included each one of the flights they believe is a hidden city ticket)

Not unlike other commodities, airline seats are market priced. A seat on a non-stop flight is a premium product and commands a higher price. Seats in connecting markets must be priced competitively and hence can be substantially cheaper. The ill-effects of point beyond ticketing are two-fold; the customer receives the flight for a price for which they aren’t entitled and a seat is spoiled on the separate connecting flight. An airline ticket constitutes a contract and the terms of that contract are stated explicitly in the Conditions of Carriage. Please see excerpts below.

Mr.XXXXX, these actions have resulted in clear and considerable losses to American Airlines. In addition to our loss for the travel provided, tickets booked through prohibited practices are considered fraudulent, and therefore not eligible to accrue mileage. In this case, our loss is further compounded through the Elite mileage accruals, benefits, and services used that were not otherwise available. Generally, violations of this nature subject the AAdvantage account to termination. However, we are willing to provide you with an opportunity to restore an equitable relationship through restitution for the loss on your identified travel.

You may respond to this message by 3pm, CST, Friday, August 31, 2020 stating you would like to bring your account back to good standing. At that time, the segments will be re-priced based on your intended travel and we will send you the information so that you may make the appropriate reimbursement for the travel provided. Failure to return the account to good standing or to reply, will result in the termination of your AAdvantage® membership and all its benefits, including all remaining AAdvantage® miles in your account and any award tickets issued from it.




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Old Jul 16, 18, 11:04 am
  #256  
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Originally Posted by MSP_Monopoly View Post
I’m traveling ORD-LAS round trip. There was a massive schedule change to both flights so I am going to take advantage of the flight change.

For the return, one of the flights routes through MIA. What I want to do is choose that flight that connects in MIA but just throw away the last segment and not travel MIA-ORD (so I can stay a few days in MIA).

Then, I’d like to buy a one way home from FLL to ORD a few days after the throw away flight.

Question: will the throw away last leg raise any red flags?

Question 2: when I book the one way from FLL to ORD should I leave my FF # off the reservation until like the day before the flight so it doesn’t somehow get flagged or canceled?
Having a trip a few days later from the same area isn't going to raise a red flag.
Requesting them to short check a bag to MIA might as they can flag that it was short check, and someone can later verify if you took the connecting flight.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 12:03 pm
  #257  
 
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Is hidden city for award likely to cause problems now in 2018
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Old Aug 6, 18, 12:29 pm
  #258  
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Originally Posted by aubreyfromwheaton View Post
Is hidden city for award likely to cause problems now in 2018
If you’re disembarking before your destination (e.g. XXX-DFW-SAT and you abandon your itinerary at DFW) and you have no baggage to worry about, generally no.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 12:45 pm
  #259  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Not to mention the lesson for the 15 YOA about honoring the agreements one makes.
Is this ParentingTalk, or FlyerTalk???
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Old Sep 5, 18, 10:56 am
  #260  
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
If you’re disembarking before your destination (e.g. XXX-DFW-SAT and you abandon your itinerary at DFW) and you have no baggage to worry about, generally no.
How about CDG-PHL-JFK? Since we'll get the luggage for customs on PHL, will we be in trouble if we skip the PHL-JFK part?
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Old Sep 5, 18, 11:42 am
  #261  
 
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Originally Posted by 9Benua View Post
How about CDG-PHL-JFK? Since we'll get the luggage for customs on PHL, will we be in trouble if we skip the PHL-JFK part?
Of course not. Once you pick up your bags off the carousel at PHL I'd rip the luggage tags off though, otherwise the AA agents will direct you to the connecting flights luggage drop off area.
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Old Sep 27, 18, 8:27 pm
  #262  
 
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I’ve never done this before so curious to get some feedback. On Tuesday I fly PHX to ORD to CVG on a one way ticket. I had a meeting come up Tuesday evening in the Chicago area and will need to stay the night there and then fly on to CVG on Wednesday. Tickets to CVG on Wednesday are around $200 so it’d be cheaper just to skip the second leg on Tuesday and book a Wednesday flight. Does any foresee any issues with just skipping the leg?
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Old Sep 27, 18, 9:18 pm
  #263  
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Old Sep 27, 18, 9:25 pm
  #264  
 
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Obviously, the invitation to report passengers gaming the system is directed toward agents at the check-in counter.

Flight attendants don't have the time nor the motivation to serve a PDB; they cannot possibly be bothered to play undercover cop (unless they receive a piece of the action as they do with the credit card applications).
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Old Sep 27, 18, 10:39 pm
  #265  
 
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I just don’t see how what I’m doing could be considered wrong. I had no intention of booking the flight for a cheaper fare. My plans have changed and rather flying my full two segments I skip the last and book a new segment the next day. I still end up at my destination.
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Old Sep 28, 18, 5:22 am
  #266  
 
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Originally Posted by WiscAZ View Post


I just don’t see how what I’m doing could be considered wrong. I had no intention of booking the flight for a cheaper fare. My plans have changed and rather flying my full two segments I skip the last and book a new segment the next day. I still end up at my destination.
You will be fine, don't worry about it. Just hop off in ORD and go on your way. As soon as you get to ORD, pull up your reservation at aa.com and cancel it (the remaining segment). This will offload you from the flight and no one will ever look at that record again.
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Old Sep 28, 18, 10:36 am
  #267  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
You will be fine, don't worry about it. Just hop off in ORD and go on your way. As soon as you get to ORD, pull up your reservation at aa.com and cancel it (the remaining segment). This will offload you from the flight and no one will ever look at that record again.
Agreed. I'm sure anyone who's never done something like this before also never drives 65 in a 60 mph zone. Good suggestion to cancel the onward segment after arriving at ORD. Hopefully AA doesn't treat the next day's ticket as a duplicate because then they might cancel it.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 8:15 am
  #268  
 
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CAN I?? I'm embarking on a Transatlantic cruise from the U.S. to Europe to actually poke around a month, meet up with my daughter mid May and do a Bordeaux river cruise before returning. I'd like to fly CDG-MIA but a one way ticket is 3K. If I use an award, it gives me crappy routing and not the direct. I can pretty much get a r/t CDG-MIA-CDG (return was cheaper in June) for $500 main. Then I can request upgrade using copay + miles. I'd like to disregard the return. Another option is to look at a return next November and do a transatlantic back, lol. But for now my question is will AA come after me if I do not use the return ticket.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 8:21 am
  #269  
 
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If this is a one off and you don't have a history of doing this, you sure can. There could be all sorts of "reasons" you don't use the return. You could just not show up or give them a call and say you have to cancel the return (after getting there of course) Heck, maybe you'd even get lucky and get some sort of credit for the unused portion.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 8:27 am
  #270  
 
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Originally Posted by trekker954 View Post
CAN I?? I'm embarking on a Transatlantic cruise from the U.S. to Europe to actually poke around a month, meet up with my daughter mid May and do a Bordeaux river cruise before returning. I'd like to fly CDG-MIA but a one way ticket is 3K. If I use an award, it gives me crappy routing and not the direct. I can pretty much get a r/t CDG-MIA-CDG (return was cheaper in June) for $500 main. Then I can request upgrade using copay + miles. I'd like to disregard the return. Another option is to look at a return next November and do a transatlantic back, lol. But for now my question is will AA come after me if I do not use the return ticket.
No issues whatsoever, unless you're buying roundtrips every other week for months on end and throwing away the returns AA is not going to come after you or anything like that.

You don't even have to call AA, once you fly the outbound just go online at aa.com and cancel the rest of the itinerary. If you want to rebook it you can later call and pay fare difference and change fee, etc., otherwise after a year it just falls off into the abyss.
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