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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 May 29, 19, 6:33 am   -   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,
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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,
  2. If the passenger fails to comply with applicable stay-over requirements,
  3. If the passenger does not meet the purpose or status requirement associated with the fare category on the ticket, or
  4. 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,
  2. Confiscate unused flight coupons,
  3. Refuse to board the passenger or check the passenger's luggage, or
  4. 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,
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Old Feb 26, 19, 12:01 pm
  #331  
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
while all the talk of hidden-city-ticketing is totally off-topic in this thread, when traveling on a hidden-city itinerary, it's certainly prudent to give no AA agent any reason to look at your booking.

and then just a quick form post hoc at prefunds.aa.com for a trivial irregularity and yahtzee.
Throwaway ticketing is a prohibited practice as well, and the forum has rules against encouraging it here (not even -touching- your add-on advice which is... I can't even.)
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Old Feb 26, 19, 12:07 pm
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yeah sure, because the whole point of FlyerTalk is clarification of prohibited practices
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Old Feb 26, 19, 12:20 pm
  #333  
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
yeah sure, because the whole point of FlyerTalk is clarification of prohibited practices
Do -you- even know what you're trying to say here?
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Old Feb 26, 19, 12:29 pm
  #334  
 
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FWIW, people book business class one way and coach on the return is not uncommon. A lot of companies that are cost conscious will allow a business class fare on the overnight sector (expecting that you need to get -some- sleep), and will permit Y or PE-Y on the daylight sector.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 1:27 pm
  #335  
 
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People miss flights for a million and one different reasons. Good luck to any airline coming after you for you for missing a train, getting a flat tyre, Great Aunt Mabel falling off her ItchyFanny 750 motorcycle.

Spike
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Old Feb 26, 19, 1:31 pm
  #336  
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
FWIW, people book business class one way and coach on the return is not uncommon. A lot of companies that are cost conscious will allow a business class fare on the overnight sector (expecting that you need to get -some- sleep), and will permit Y or PE-Y on the daylight sector.
Then airlines should charge less for business class on the daytime return TATL flights.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 1:55 pm
  #337  
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Of course they do-- what are you talking about??
Obviously, I’m saying anecdotally we’ve had nobody post they’ve had trouble from AA for skiplagging. (E.g. as opposed to the lengthy threads about actions like selling miles or other C of C or AAdvantage T & C violations.)

Your posting to the contrary (assuming you’re including skiplagging) is appreciated and added to the information in this thread - and I’ve edited my posts to reflect that, with attribution.

As to hidden city or throwaway ticketing, possibly the best article out there is ExpertFlyer’s 3 WORDS ON HIDDEN CITY TICKETING: DON’T DO IT (February 27, 2019) link.

Moderator hat on: In this forum, we discuss what has or could occur to those who choose to risk violating terms, conditions and the C of C. We actively discourage violations of the C of C and outright ban posts that advocate doing so or instruct others how to do so.

Mod hat off
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Last edited by JDiver; Mar 2, 19 at 7:45 am Reason: Add ExpertFlyer article link
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Old Feb 26, 19, 2:00 pm
  #338  
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Throwaway ticketing is a prohibited practice as well,
Are you actually saying that AA is pursuing recovery from passengers who engage in throwaway ticketing? Because that's what we're talking about here, and it's just not clear to me.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 2:04 pm
  #339  
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
...In this forum, we discuss what has or could occur to those who choose to risk violating terms, conditions and the C of C. We actively discourage violations of the C of C and outright ban posts that advocate doing so or instruct others how to do so.
That was my understanding. Then this thread happened.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
FWIW, people book business class one way and coach on the return is not uncommon. A lot of companies that are cost conscious will allow a business class fare on the overnight sector (expecting that you need to get -some- sleep), and will permit Y or PE-Y on the daylight sector.
I have a booking in J one way and Y the other way (LAX-PVG). Why? Because I want to use a SWU to upgrade, which looks dicey on one leg but almost certain on the other leg.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 3:34 am
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I have seen this topic come up a lot in the media recently and I was wondering out of curiosity, in a situation like this, how could an airline possibly penalize you for this? Who is to say you didn't simply miss the flight or got the time wrong? If an airline was honestly stupid enough to go after someone for this, I honestly couldn't see anything ever coming of it.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 5:30 am
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Originally Posted by mediamonkey View Post
This is why my real name isn't Mr Media Monkey. Phew!
Wonder how many people book J outbound and Y inbound for LAX-LHR?
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Old Feb 27, 19, 5:59 am
  #343  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Then airlines should charge less for business class on the daytime return TATL flights.
That's easily achieved with more discounted business fare bucket availability. Now all we need to test it is a data set of r/t fares -- something like the domestic T-100s.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 6:02 am
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I fly PHL-LHR-PHL several times per year and always book Business outbound and Economy return. I want the flat-bed to sleep and I don't mind Economy during the waking hours. (But I do try to upgrade the return with a SWU). I don't think this is an unusual strategy.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 7:37 am
  #345  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Are you actually saying that AA is pursuing recovery from passengers who engage in throwaway ticketing? Because that's what we're talking about here, and it's just not clear to me.
Of course they do, all the standard caveats and conditions apply (repeat offenders, obvious offenders, etc)

But that's the big problem with this thread; people who have no idea what they are talking about guiding the inexperienced with terrible advice.
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