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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 Nov 9, 18, 8:49 am
  #271  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
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.
Also, do check to see if your return flight happens to get canceled or significantly delayed. You would be entitled to a partial refund and also EU 261 compensation.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 9:27 am
  #272  
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Originally Posted by donotblink View Post


Also, do check to see if your return flight happens to get canceled or significantly delayed. You would be entitled to a partial refund and also EU 261 compensation.
That may be difficult in certain circumstances if he's not checked in to the flight.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 12:32 pm
  #273  
 
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Hello all. Longtime lurker here with a quick question (now that I'm in the right place).

A friend and I are flying from BNA to MEX for a long weekend soon. We booked basic economy tickets on American Airlines roundtrip. My friend's work changed her plans, and her work is booking a separate ticket for her to fly out earlier on Sunday than anticipated. Is this going to cause an issue? Can she still fly down on the roundtrip ticket and fly back separately? Does this being international complicate anything? I've read some about airlines reacting negatively to "throwaway ticketing", but we aren't trying to deliberately avoid paying them anything, so I'm unsure how to proceed. Our tickets are also on one booking if that information helps. Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old Jan 10, 19, 12:45 pm
  #274  
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Originally Posted by setalpgninnpseki View Post
Hello all. Longtime lurker here with a quick question (now that I'm in the right place).

A friend and I are flying from BNA to MEX for a long weekend soon. We booked basic economy tickets on American Airlines roundtrip. My friend's work changed her plans, and her work is booking a separate ticket for her to fly out earlier on Sunday than anticipated. Is this going to cause an issue? Can she still fly down on the roundtrip ticket and fly back separately? Does this being international complicate anything? I've read some about airlines reacting negatively to "throwaway ticketing", but we aren't trying to deliberately avoid paying them anything, so I'm unsure how to proceed. Our tickets are also on one booking if that information helps. Any help would be much appreciated!
Did you take a moment to read the wiki?
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Old Jan 10, 19, 12:48 pm
  #275  
 
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Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly View Post
Did you take a moment to read the wiki?
Yes I did, and I browsed through some of the more recent posts. I should have clarified that my main concern is that this is an international route, not a domestic one. Also, we are on one booking, and I am concerned about that too. Will I be okay checking and flying back without her with me? Do I need to call the airline and let them know she can't make it?
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Old Jan 10, 19, 12:59 pm
  #276  
 
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Originally Posted by setalpgninnpseki View Post
Hello all. Longtime lurker here with a quick question (now that I'm in the right place).

A friend and I are flying from BNA to MEX for a long weekend soon. We booked basic economy tickets on American Airlines roundtrip. My friend's work changed her plans, and her work is booking a separate ticket for her to fly out earlier on Sunday than anticipated. Is this going to cause an issue? Can she still fly down on the roundtrip ticket and fly back separately? Does this being international complicate anything? I've read some about airlines reacting negatively to "throwaway ticketing", but we aren't trying to deliberately avoid paying them anything, so I'm unsure how to proceed. Our tickets are also on one booking if that information helps. Any help would be much appreciated!
A similar situation happened to my husband in May (we were on same PNR) but we were coming back from Hawaii. Multiple AA reps advised us not to change anything on our reservation because of rates, etc. He was getting off on a connecting flight while I continued home. I would recommend that when you check in for your return that you inform AA that your companion had to get an earlier flight home.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 1:00 pm
  #277  
 
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her ticket is a total loss, both out and back.
her work should buy a roundtrip.
hope for a sched change refund.
you are fine. dont do anything.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 1:04 pm
  #278  
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If the earlier flight is on AA then yes she stands a chance of having that flight cancelled as she couldn't fly both returns. Possibly is the flight back with you was much later in the day (meaning in theory she could fly back from Mexico City and back in the same day using another airline for the return), but even that would be dicey. Others have reported not putting a FF account on the earlier flight but others also claim AA has other ways of identifying paxs with duplicate reservations.

This shouldn't effect you, particularly if she doesn't fly AA. So the safest bet would be for her not to fly AA, you simply OLCI at T-24 for the flight you two were originally going to take together.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 1:22 pm
  #279  
 
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
her ticket is a total loss, both out and back.
her work should buy a roundtrip.
hope for a sched change refund.
you are fine. dont do anything.
That's not correct, the outbound as booked is very usable in this case.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 1:28 pm
  #280  
 
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Originally Posted by setalpgninnpseki View Post
Hello all. Longtime lurker here with a quick question (now that I'm in the right place).

A friend and I are flying from BNA to MEX for a long weekend soon. We booked basic economy tickets on American Airlines roundtrip. My friend's work changed her plans, and her work is booking a separate ticket for her to fly out earlier on Sunday than anticipated. Is this going to cause an issue? Can she still fly down on the roundtrip ticket and fly back separately? Does this being international complicate anything? I've read some about airlines reacting negatively to "throwaway ticketing", but we aren't trying to deliberately avoid paying them anything, so I'm unsure how to proceed. Our tickets are also on one booking if that information helps. Any help would be much appreciated!
As long as both of her tickets from MEX are not at the exact same time, and both are fully paid for and ticketed (not on hold) then AA will not arbitrarily cancel one of them (in spite of the conspiracy theories around here that constantly say this will happen when this comes up).

Being an international ticket doesn't complicate anything, so don't worry about that.

Follow these steps and everything will be fine:

1) Call AA now and have them split your PNR. If they ask why, tell them your friend may need to cancel her ticket, easier with separate PNRs.
2) Both of you take your original flights to MEX, as usual
3) As soon as you get to MEX, have your friend go online to aa.com, pull up her initial reservation, and cancel it. This will remove any chance of duplicate booking issues.
4) Enjoy your weekend in MEX
5) You depart MEX on your original flight, you friend departs MEX on the new flight her work booked
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Old Jan 10, 19, 1:40 pm
  #281  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
As long as both of her tickets from MEX are not at the exact same time, and both are fully paid for and ticketed (not on hold) then AA will not arbitrarily cancel one of them (in spite of the conspiracy theories around here that constantly say this will happen when this comes up).

Being an international ticket doesn't complicate anything, so don't worry about that.

Follow these steps and everything will be fine:

1) Call AA now and have them split your PNR. If they ask why, tell them your friend may need to cancel her ticket, easier with separate PNRs.
2) Both of you take your original flights to MEX, as usual
3) As soon as you get to MEX, have your friend go online to aa.com, pull up her initial reservation, and cancel it. This will remove any chance of duplicate booking issues.
4) Enjoy your weekend in MEX
5) You depart MEX on your original flight, you friend departs MEX on the new flight her work booked

Not sure I agree .... what if they are upgrading based on OP's status. Splitting the PNR will mess with that. Additionally, it might change seat linkage.

I wouldn't split the PNR until they are in MEX.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 1:42 pm
  #282  
 
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Not sure I agree .... what if they are upgrading based on OP's status. Splitting the PNR will mess with that. Additionally, it might change seat linkage.

I wouldn't split the PNR until they are in MEX.
They are in Basic Economy so both of those are non-issues...
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Old Feb 7, 19, 4:44 pm
  #283  
 
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International Hidden City Flight

Hi everyone, So my questions is I booked 2 hidden city one-way flights from US to Europe. Both tickets with separate confirmation numbers. First flight going from A-B-C and the return flight is a direct from B-A. The first flight is where we'll ditch the last part of the flight. Although I booked 2 separate reservations, do you think the airline will cancel my return flight being that it's the same airline? Will they know?
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Old Feb 7, 19, 5:22 pm
  #284  
 
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Seems like you are going to find out

flights are booked and unless you can cancel I say give it a try. As different record locators you should be ok but then again you are technically breaking the terms of carriage with aa. Could they cancel your return, sure. Will they, tbd

i know people do this stuff to save money but imo it’s not worth the hassle. You are going to stress about this until you get home from your trip.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 5:38 pm
  #285  
 
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Thank you for your feedback

you’re right, I am stressed. Fingers crossed....
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