Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

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

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

    Hide Wikipost
Old Sep 16, 20, 12:42 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: LovePrunes
Wiki Link
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.




Print Wikipost

Old Feb 8, 19, 1:18 pm
  #301  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Portland, OR.
Programs: AA EP
Posts: 303
Quick follow up question about mileage credit.

Would this passenger still get miles from A - B, even if they didn't travel B -C legs?
tfizzle is offline  
Old Feb 8, 19, 1:24 pm
  #302  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 6,915
Originally Posted by tfizzle View Post
Quick follow up question about mileage credit.

Would this passenger still get miles from A - B, even if they didn't travel B -C legs?
Yes.
JJeffrey is offline  
Old Feb 8, 19, 1:54 pm
  #303  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,490
assuming a standard 001 AA ticket credited into an AA frequent flyer account -- and therefore mileage credit is 5X fare paid (plus elite bonuses) -- the relevant question would be how AA apportions a single thru-fare across multiple segments. would it be via the same basis that AA refunds the value of the unflown segment (B to C), as per the excellent advice of donotblink above?

i don't know the answer as I credit AA domestic to BA and intl to AS.
Colin is offline  
Old Feb 8, 19, 2:17 pm
  #304  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: DFW
Programs: AA,DL
Posts: 567
Originally Posted by Colin View Post
assuming a standard 001 AA ticket credited into an AA frequent flyer account -- and therefore mileage credit is 5X fare paid (plus elite bonuses) -- the relevant question would be how AA apportions a single thru-fare across multiple segments. would it be via the same basis that AA refunds the value of the unflown segment (B to C), as per the excellent advice of donotblink above?

i don't know the answer as I credit AA domestic to BA and intl to AS.
As little as $1, like AA did to me on DFW-LHR-WAW., I can't believe they pay to BA $1 for LHR-WAW.
elpi is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 7:48 am
  #305  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 157
Not taking the transatlantic return flight (throwaway, skiplagging)

Oh hi there,

I'm about to book a one-way from LAX to LHR with AA in Business... however the flight is a LOT cheaper if I book a return.... is there anything to stop me booking the return then just cancelling / rescheduling / not using the second leg?

Thanks
mediamonkey is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 8:03 am
  #306  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP, LT Gold
Posts: 2,980
There's nothing stopping you, no. But it is a violation of the contract of carriage. The chances of AA penalizing you for this are very minimal. This is called "Throwaway ticketing". You can Google it and read the millions of opinions on this strategy out there.

FAQ: Skipping Segment - Hidden City / Point Beyond / Throw Away Ticketing (master thd
JDiver and paris1000 like this.

Last edited by econometrics; Feb 26, 19 at 8:05 am Reason: Added thread link
econometrics is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 8:06 am
  #307  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: LHR
Programs: AA EXP, DL DM, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 904
If you're going to do this, make sure to mix and match with an economy return.

If you're anyway not going to use it...
taxicabnumber is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 8:06 am
  #308  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: DFW/DAL
Programs: AA Lifetime PLT, AS MVPG, HH Diamond, NCL Platinum Plus
Posts: 20,061
Originally Posted by mediamonkey View Post
Oh hi there,
I'm about to book a one-way from LAX to LHR with AA in Business... however the flight is a LOT cheaper if I book a return.... is there anything to stop me booking the return then just cancelling / rescheduling / not using the second leg?
Thanks
One option is to book the return as far out as possible and hope for a schedule change.
Of course, that is as far as possible without any significant fare increase
mvoight is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 8:28 am
  #309  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 48,051
If you do not do this regularly, there are no reports of AA taking any action.

You might want to consider picking a return date (which does not increase your fare) which you might possibly use for some purpose. A schedule change will not help you because the refund for a cancellation of that return flight will be $0.
Often1 is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 8:43 am
  #310  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 157
All very useful answers, I especially like the mix and match with the economy / business... clever! Thank you all.
mediamonkey is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 8:44 am
  #311  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 90,005
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
If you do not do this regularly, there are no reports of AA taking any action.

You might want to consider picking a return date (which does not increase your fare) which you might possibly use for some purpose. A schedule change will not help you because the refund for a cancellation of that return flight will be $0.
If the airline changes the schedule, why wouldn't the refund be half of the RT fare, adjusted of course if the return is booked in coach?

If the schedule change occurs within two weeks of the scheduled departure date, EC261 would apply to the return portion from Europe to the USA.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 8:45 am
  #312  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 90,005
Originally Posted by mediamonkey View Post
All very useful answers, I especially like the mix and match with the economy / business... clever! Thank you all.
OTOH the coach return could be viewed as evidence that you never intended to take the flight.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 8:52 am
  #313  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: DFW/DAL
Programs: AA Lifetime PLT, AS MVPG, HH Diamond, NCL Platinum Plus
Posts: 20,061
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
OTOH the coach return could be viewed as evidence that you never intended to take the flight.
Or you wanted to sleep or work for the overnight to Europe, but not on the way back.
Of course, the biggest evidence of intention was stated in the original post
mvoight is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 8:53 am
  #314  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: USA
Programs: AA Plat, DL WFBF, National Emerald Club, Global Entry, CSR, IHG Gold
Posts: 1,458
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
OTOH the coach return could be viewed as evidence that you never intended to take the flight.
It could be, but plenty of people book Business eastbound and economy or premium economy westbound for TATL.

This makes sense if the main value proposition of Business is the ability to sleep in a flat position, which is much more valuable on an eastbound redeye. In fact I am doing this on an upcoming vacation, since I will be traveling with my wife-- it's much easier to chat in Y/Y+ than in the J "suites"-- and both of us try to stay awake on westbound day flights so we would spend most of the flight sitting upright anyway. Hence the hefty additional $$ to sit in Business on the return doesn't really make sense.
JDiver, Spiff, IndyHoosier and 2 others like this.
wetrat0 is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 9:07 am
  #315  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 157
This is why my real name isn't Mr Media Monkey. Phew!
Calchas, IndyHoosier and Spanish like this.
mediamonkey is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: