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 May 29, 19, 6:33 am   -   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: JDiver
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,
  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,
Print Wikipost

Reply

Old Jun 25, 19, 8:36 pm
  #421  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Florida
Programs: AA
Posts: 21
i didn't make the rules, i just want to know what happens if i cancel the second leg of an award ticket after having taken the first.
waterskifly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 25, 19, 11:18 pm
  #422  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: AA PLT, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,070
Originally Posted by waterskifly View Post
i didn't make the rules, i just want to know what happens if i cancel the second leg of an award ticket after having taken the first.
Nothing will "happen" that I'm aware of. The same rules apply as if you'd cancelled any other award ticket. Unless this is one of those weird web specials? Then your only option as I understand it is to cancel the ticket and pay $150 to redeposit your miles.
no1cub17 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 26, 19, 4:52 am
  #423  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: The FT AA forum, until it no longer wants me.
Programs: CK or bust
Posts: 1,071
This almost sounds like a married segment scenario. The OP referenced RT but for quite some time RT awards are just two one way awards. Not sure that I have heard of a RT award that was cheaper than a OW.
enpremiere is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 26, 19, 1:32 pm
  #424  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Florida
Programs: AA
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by no1cub17 View Post
Nothing will "happen" that I'm aware of. The same rules apply as if you'd cancelled any other award ticket. Unless this is one of those weird web specials? Then your only option as I understand it is to cancel the ticket and pay $150 to redeposit your miles.
Thanks, I'm EP so i believe cancelation fee waived on award tickets.
waterskifly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 26, 19, 1:46 pm
  #425  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: DFW/DAL
Programs: AA Lifetime PLT, AS MVPG, HH Diamond, NCL Platinum Plus
Posts: 19,096
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?
You can cancel the other award segment, and can get the miles back if you pay the appropriate fee ($0 for EXP)
JDiver likes this.
mvoight is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 26, 19, 1:48 pm
  #426  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: DFW/DAL
Programs: AA Lifetime PLT, AS MVPG, HH Diamond, NCL Platinum Plus
Posts: 19,096
Originally Posted by waterskifly View Post
The one ways are more expensive stand alone.
Mileage awards only come as one way.
Business extra awards are roundtrip, with no credit if you only use one way.
mvoight is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 26, 19, 8:36 pm
  #427  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,279
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?
There’s no such thing as an AAdvantage miles round trip award ticket; all miles awards are one way. You probably have two 12,500 mile awards on the same PNR.

You can cancel without a problem. If you cancel the second half before you’re due to fly it, you can get the 12,500 miles reinstated - at a cost of $150 unless you’re Concierge Key or Executive Platinum, as you are, or AA cancels your flight(s) or substantively changes your schedule.

Last edited by JDiver; Aug 12, 19 at 8:09 pm
JDiver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 27, 19, 6:11 am
  #428  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: TPA 50%/BKK 30%/HKG 20%
Programs: UA:1K 0.925MM – Hilton D – Marriott G – IHG P
Posts: 1,898
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
There’s no such thing as an AAdvantage miles round trip award ticket; all miles awards are one way. You probably have two 12,500 mile awards on the same PNR.

You can cancel without a problem. If you cancel the second hal before you’re due to fly it, you can get the 12,500 miles reinstated - at a cost of $150 unless you’re Concierge Key or Executive Platinum, as you are, or AA cancels your flight(s) or substantively changes your schedule.
He was saying that the fare was cheaper as an "award round trip." I didn't understand that either, but--if that's true would they still do a partial refund?
TomA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 27, 19, 7:08 am
  #429  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Florida
Programs: AA
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
There’s no such thing as an AAdvantage miles round trip award ticket; all miles awards are one way. You probably have two 12,500 mile awards on the same PNR.

You can cancel without a problem. If you cancel the second hal before you’re due to fly it, you can get the 12,500 miles reinstated - at a cost of $150 unless you’re Concierge Key or Executive Platinum, as you are, or AA cancels your flight(s) or substantively changes your schedule.
Thank you, ill give it a shot later today.
waterskifly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 11, 19, 4:38 pm
  #430  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: ATL, BNA
Programs: DL GM (was DL DM for 3yrs), HHonors Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,977
I've heard of this happening with UA, but this was the first I've seen, much less heard, of this happening with AA. There was a third agent at the gate to which any suspected hidden city tickets were directed. "Is ZZZ your final destination? Did you ever intend to travel to ZZZ today? No? Then you'll need to buy a new ticket to our hub. This is fraud."
EZEDoesIt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 11, 19, 4:58 pm
  #431  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: FIND ME ON TWITTER FOR THE LATEST
Posts: 27,356
Originally Posted by EZEDoesIt View Post
I've heard of this happening with UA, but this was the first I've seen, much less heard, of this happening with AA. There was a third agent at the gate to which any suspected hidden city tickets were directed. "Is ZZZ your final destination? Did you ever intend to travel to ZZZ today? No? Then you'll need to buy a new ticket to our hub. This is fraud."
What airport was this?
JonNYC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 11, 19, 9:44 pm
  #432  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: ATL, BNA
Programs: DL GM (was DL DM for 3yrs), HHonors Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,977
Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
What airport was this?
BNA, hospitality capital of The South.
JonNYC likes this.
EZEDoesIt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 11, 19, 10:13 pm
  #433  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: PHL (kinda, no airport is really close)
Programs: AA PPro. Enterprise Platinum woo-hoo!
Posts: 2,987
Wow. They should transfer this guy to investigating domestic terrorists!

Must have been someone who had a history of no-showing on the final leg.
redtop43 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 11, 19, 11:30 pm
  #434  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: DEN/BDL/LGA/HPN
Programs: Marriott Ambassador; AA EXP 2MM; AS MVP, Hilton Gold, CH-47/UH-60/C-23/C-130 VET
Posts: 5,113
Originally Posted by EZEDoesIt View Post
I've heard of this happening with UA, but this was the first I've seen, much less heard, of this happening with AA. There was a third agent at the gate to which any suspected hidden city tickets were directed. "Is ZZZ your final destination? Did you ever intend to travel to ZZZ today? No? Then you'll need to buy a new ticket to our hub. This is fraud."
How many people were directed to this third agent? Not sure from a practical basis how you can tell from the line who intends to skip the last leg absent history.

maybe a group of people with Cowboys and Rangers gear with tickets to Fresno :-)
econometrics and IndyHoosier like this.
C17PSGR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 12, 19, 7:32 pm
  #435  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: ATL, BNA
Programs: DL GM (was DL DM for 3yrs), HHonors Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,977
Zone 9, so they were gate-checking bags. When the agent printed the tag to the final destination he confirmed the location with the pax. If you said NO you were directed to the third agent.

Unless they had some heads-up to expect multiple hidden cities on this specific flight it doesn't seem like the best use of personnel.
EZEDoesIt is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread