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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 May 29, 19, 3:14 pm
  #406  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Exactly, this. If you can get a cheap stopover, this is the way to go. Schedule the final flight as far out to end of schedule as possible without blowing up the price.

It might turn out that you want the segment later, in which case you would be able to use it for just a change fee (to change the date). Also if there is any kind of schedule or equipment change at all (basically a 100% probability on AA) you can refund the final segment.

And, the stopover removes any chance of not getting to your intermediate destination (since AA is contracted to get you there), and you can check a bag if you end up wanting to.
Unfortunately, I did book it a few months back. I actually make the journey down to Argentina each year so had been hoping to structure it such that I wouldn't have to throw away the last segment, but it didn't work out from a pricing standpoint.
I guess I can keep my fingers crossed for a schedule change!
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Old May 29, 19, 5:41 pm
  #407  
 
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Just a thought, try forcing another segment from NYC to EZE, like JFK->MIA->EZE with a tight connection in MIA, might get luckier with the schedule change.
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Old May 29, 19, 11:17 pm
  #408  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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the thing about unflown AA segments is that the guys at prefunds.aa.com are comically liberal about returning money to customers - think a 5 minute delay being quite sufficient for a residual value refund on a flown distance basis (not a flown fare basis). give it a try and laugh all the way to the bank. they put the biggest tightwads in charge of saver J award inventory and leave Spicoli in charge of the coffers.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 1:24 pm
  #409  
 
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Quick question: Do airlines check whether you flew the entire itinerary when the carrier changes?

For example EWR-TPE one way with the EWR-HKG segment on UA and HKG-TPE on CX.
Is it safe to use your FF info for the UA segment on something like this?
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Old Jun 23, 19, 1:31 pm
  #410  
 
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Originally Posted by TomA View Post
Quick question: Do airlines check whether you flew the entire itinerary when the carrier changes?

For example EWR-TPE one way with the EWR-HKG segment on UA and HKG-TPE on CX.
Is it safe to use your FF info for the UA segment on something like this?
Generally speaking, airlines pretty much never check whether you fly the entire itinerary, carrier change or no carrier change. If you no-show for a segment then you're offloaded from that flight, the rest if your itinerary (if any) is of course cancelled and no one will look at that ticket/record ever again.

You're looking at booking EWR-HKG-TPE on UA/CX and just getting off in HKG? For a once or twice occurance then no issues whatsoever using your UA number. Not sure what this has to do with AA though.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 3:41 pm
  #411  
 
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Originally Posted by TomA View Post
Quick question: Do airlines check whether you flew the entire itinerary when the carrier changes?

For example EWR-TPE one way with the EWR-HKG segment on UA and HKG-TPE on CX.
Is it safe to use your FF info for the UA segment on something like this?
That's quite clever. I assume the ticket to TPE was much cheaper than to just HKG?
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Old Jun 23, 19, 4:14 pm
  #412  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Generally speaking, airlines pretty much never check whether you fly the entire itinerary, carrier change or no carrier change. If you no-show for a segment then you're offloaded from that flight, the rest if your itinerary (if any) is of course cancelled and no one will look at that ticket/record ever again.

You're looking at booking EWR-HKG-TPE on UA/CX and just getting off in HKG? For a once or twice occurance then no issues whatsoever using your UA number. Not sure what this has to do with AA though.
Oh, Haha... sorry, I only noticed the thread title when I searched, not the overall forum title. Nonetheless thanks for the info. And yes, your assumption is correct.

Originally Posted by no1cub17 View Post
That's quite clever. I assume the ticket to TPE was much cheaper than to just HKG?
About $650 vs over $1000.

Last edited by TomA; Jun 23, 19 at 4:28 pm
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Old Jun 23, 19, 6:00 pm
  #413  
 
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Originally Posted by TomA View Post
Quick question: Do airlines check whether you flew the entire itinerary when the carrier changes?

For example EWR-TPE one way with the EWR-HKG segment on UA and HKG-TPE on CX.
Is it safe to use your FF info for the UA segment on something like this?
Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Generally speaking, airlines pretty much never check whether you fly the entire itinerary, carrier change or no carrier change. If you no-show for a segment then you're offloaded from that flight, the rest if your itinerary (if any) is of course cancelled and no one will look at that ticket/record ever again...
This is patently false at least with several US airlines so tread with great care if you do this and even more so, make a habit of it.

The Wiki at the start of this thread sums it up.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 7:14 pm
  #414  
 
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Originally Posted by enpremiere View Post
This is patently false at least with several US airlines so tread with great care if you do this and even more so, make a habit of it.

The Wiki at the start of this thread sums it up.
Tread with great care? Lol...

As mentioned, for a once or twice occurance there is zero chance of anything "bad" happening. Over the course of a day in the airline industry folks will miss thousands of flights for one reason or another, and AA (or any other airline) is not going to micro analyze each case and try to determine whether the pax intentionally skipped a segment or not.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 7:19 pm
  #415  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Tread with great care? Lol...

As mentioned, for a once or twice occurrence there is zero chance of anything "bad" happening. Over the course of a day in the airline industry folks will miss thousands of flights for one reason or another, and AA (or any other airline) is not going to micro analyze each case and try to determine whether the pax intentionally skipped a segment or not.
This is kinda my thought too. It's one thing to miss a segment on a one way itinerary, and another to miss a flight AND do something additional, like book a conflicting segment (say HKG-BKK) an hour later. Now THAT would be a problem.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 7:25 pm
  #416  
 
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you can do it far more frequently than once or twice a year.

and if it’s 001 stock, don’t forget to eat your cake too and claim your residual refund for the unflown segment.

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Old Jun 25, 19, 8:12 pm
  #417  
 
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Let's say i book an award ticket, 25K Round Trip, but cancel the second leg after already flying the first leg (each leg is 12.5K).

Will I get 12.5K miles back?
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Old Jun 25, 19, 8:16 pm
  #418  
 
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Originally Posted by waterskifly View Post
Let's say i book an award ticket, 25K Round Trip, but cancel the second leg after already flying the first leg (each leg is 12.5K).

Will I get 12.5K miles back?
Probably not. Why would you want to though? Book two one-ways.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 8:26 pm
  #419  
 
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The one ways are more expensive stand alone.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 8:29 pm
  #420  
 
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Originally Posted by waterskifly View Post
The one ways are more expensive stand alone.
How could that even happen? I can't think of an award ticket fare bucket that relies on a round trip purchase.
I guess anything could happen, but that's really odd.
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