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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 Aug 12, 19, 7:49 pm
  #436  
 
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Originally Posted by EZEDoesIt View Post
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.
LOL well it sounds like the pax self reported themselves. There's always a risk in booking a hidden city but to do so when your in zone 9 (or really anything above 4) with any carryon that won't fit under the seat is just asking to get busted so for those who got caught my only response is: "sympathy" falls between "sh--" and "syphilis" in the dictionary.
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Old Feb 4, 20, 5:14 pm
  #437  
 
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LHR-LAX SJC business class costs 75000 miles + tax, and LHR-LAX costs 88000 miles + same tax. LHR-LAX is the same flight, and LAX-SJC departs in the next morning.

If I book LHR-LAX-SJC but does not fly LAX-SJC (I assume since this is international and overnight connection, I can take the luggage out at LAX), would AA care?
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Old Feb 4, 20, 5:18 pm
  #438  
 
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Originally Posted by uclacolumbiaunc View Post
LHR-LAX SJC business class costs 75000 miles + tax, and LHR-LAX costs 88000 miles + same tax. LHR-LAX is the same flight, and LAX-SJC departs in the next morning.

If I book LHR-LAX-SJC but does not fly LAX-SJC (I assume since this is international and overnight connection, I can take the luggage out at LAX), would AA care?
AA won’t care because no AA human being will ever look at your reservation
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Old Feb 4, 20, 5:36 pm
  #439  
 
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
AA won’t care because no AA human being will ever look at your reservation
would AA system raise any red flag if i don't show at the LAX-SJC flight?
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Old Feb 4, 20, 6:11 pm
  #440  
 
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the answer is no human being will ever look at your reservation
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Old Feb 4, 20, 6:15 pm
  #441  
 
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
the answer is no human being will ever look at your reservation
how would they enforce the T&C if that's the case?

if the system raises some red flag, then someone from the aadvantage department would shut down my account, right?
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Old Feb 4, 20, 6:20 pm
  #442  
 
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AA does not pay staff to review every unflown segment. To the limited extent AA reviews any unflown segment, it would do so by looking for a pattern of behavior. Absent a pattern, no AA human being will ever look at your reservation.
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Old Feb 4, 20, 6:25 pm
  #443  
 
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
AA does not pay staff to review every unflown segment. To the limited extent AA reviews any unflown segment, it would do so by looking for a pattern of behavior. Absent a pattern, no AA human being will ever look at your reservation.
so you're saying if i am not repeat offender (this would be my first time doing this if i do it, on paid or award ticket), they don't really care?
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Old Feb 4, 20, 6:25 pm
  #444  
 
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uncle
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Old Feb 4, 20, 6:30 pm
  #445  
 
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
uncle
??
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Old Feb 4, 20, 6:54 pm
  #446  
 
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Originally Posted by uclacolumbiaunc View Post
so you're saying if i am not repeat offender (this would be my first time doing this if i do it, on paid or award ticket), they don't really care?
Correct.

Once you get to LAX, you can pull up your reservation at aa.com and cancel it. This will remove you from the LAX-SJC flight and no one will ever look at that reservation again.
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Old Feb 4, 20, 7:00 pm
  #447  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Correct.

Once you get to LAX, you can pull up your reservation at aa.com and cancel it. This will remove you from the LAX-SJC flight and no one will ever look at that reservation again.
you can cancel a reservation voluntarily after you check in?

Last edited by uclacolumbiaunc; Feb 4, 20 at 7:14 pm
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Old Feb 5, 20, 4:51 am
  #448  
 
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Originally Posted by uclacolumbiaunc View Post
you can cancel a reservation voluntarily after you check in?
Yep, this is an aa.com feature that has existed for years. Just pull up your reservation at aa.com and there will be a cancel link at the top. Doesn't matter if you've already checked in and flown a few segments, etc., works the same. This removes you from any remaining flights, cancels your ticket, and as mentioned no one will ever look at the record again.
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Old Feb 5, 20, 11:59 am
  #449  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Yep, this is an aa.com feature that has existed for years. Just pull up your reservation at aa.com and there will be a cancel link at the top. Doesn't matter if you've already checked in and flown a few segments, etc., works the same. This removes you from any remaining flights, cancels your ticket, and as mentioned no one will ever look at the record again.
Thanks!
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Old Feb 6, 20, 11:23 pm
  #450  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Yep, this is an aa.com feature that has existed for years. Just pull up your reservation at aa.com and there will be a cancel link at the top. Doesn't matter if you've already checked in and flown a few segments, etc., works the same. This removes you from any remaining flights, cancels your ticket, and as mentioned no one will ever look at the record again.
Will that really work for any hidden-city ticket? (Yes, once; but if you do it weekly, will it continue to work?)
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