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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 Sep 1, 16, 4:36 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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[deleted..already answered]


================= MODERATOR NOTE====================

Skipping an intermediate or end segment is referred to as "Hidden City / Point Beyond Ticketing" by American Airlines, “skiplagging” is another commonly used term. 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 in the graphic below.

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. 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,
American Airlines may intervene in ticketing prohibited by the AA Conditions of Carriage


Ticket validity link to these Conditions of Carriage

Tickets are valid for travel only when used with all terms and conditions of sale.

Your ticket is valid only when:

Travel is to/from the cities on your ticket and in your trip record
You meet all the fare requirements

Fare requirements, like dates, special purpose or status, may include:

  • Dates of stay (a Saturday night, weekend, etc.)
  • Military status (to qualify for a military fare)
  • Official government business (to qualify for a government fare)
  • Attendance at an event (to qualify for a meeting or convention fare)

Your ticket is not valid when:
  • You don't meet the dates of stay, purpose or status requirements for the fare
  • We find that the ticket was bought using an exploitative practice

Exploiting fare rules

Reservations made to exploit or circumvent fare and ticket rules are strictly prohibited.

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Purchase a ticket without intending to fly all flights to gain lower fares (hidden cities)
  • Buy a ticket without intent to travel, including to gain access to our airport lounges or other facilities
  • Combine 2 or more roundtrip excursion fares end-to-end to circumvent minimum stay requirements (back-to-back ticketing)
  • Book a ticket in someone's name without the person's consent (which is illegal)
  • Hold reservations for reasons including securing upgrades, blocking seats or obtaining lower fares

If we find evidence that you or your agent are using an exploitive practice, we reserve the right to:

  • Cancel any unused part of the ticket
  • Refuse to let the passenger fly and check bags
  • Not refund an otherwise refundable ticket
  • Charge you for what the ticket would have cost if you hadn't booked it fraudulently.

Fare errors

If we sell a fare in error, we have the right to cancel the ticket. This includes fare errors, computer errors and third party errors (human or computer). We make every effort to prevent, detect and correct errors as soon as possible.

When we issue a mistaken fare, we'll void the ticket, give a full refund and notify you within:

  • 72 hours after we learn of the mistaken fare
  • At least 24 hours before departure if you bought the ticket less than 72 hours before departure

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Last edited by JDiver; Jun 17, 19 at 9:11 am Reason: Add moderator note and graphic
SeeBuyFly is offline  
Old Jan 13, 17, 11:28 am
  #2  
 
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Could I get some feedback on whether this scenario would cause any issues?

I have an award reservation for a return leg, C > A. I was waiting to see if an award seat opened for outbound A > B. Note, this is an open-jaw.

Now, an excellent r/t fare has become available from A > B. Can I book it, discard the return portion and still use the award travel seat from C > A. Not sure if this is a problem since this scenario seems a little different with the award seat mixed in.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 13, 17, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by AnthonyGT View Post
Could I get some feedback on whether this scenario would cause any issues?

I have an award reservation for a return leg, C > A. I was waiting to see if an award seat opened for outbound A > B. Note, this is an open-jaw.

Now, an excellent r/t fare has become available from A > B. Can I book it, discard the return portion and still use the award travel seat from C > A. Not sure if this is a problem since this scenario seems a little different with the award seat mixed in.

Thanks!
Won't be an issue. Just make sure the date for the return portion of the roundtrip B>A isn't the same as your award ticket C>A. I'd put it at a date way off in the future, you never know if you may need it.
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Old Jan 13, 17, 12:19 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Won't be an issue. Just make sure the date for the return portion of the roundtrip B>A isn't the same as your award ticket C>A. I'd put it at a date way off in the future, you never know if you may need it.
Assuming you if you book 1-way, the fare is higher (as in most cases on this thread), otherwise just book 1-way. Just reality check...
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Old Jan 13, 17, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by weezl View Post
Assuming you if you book 1-way, the fare is higher (as in most cases on this thread), otherwise just book 1-way. Just reality check...
Thanks. Yes, the one-way fare is significantly higher.

Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Won't be an issue. Just make sure the date for the return portion of the roundtrip B>A isn't the same as your award ticket C>A. I'd put it at a date way off in the future, you never know if you may need it.
Thanks for the feedback. I placed the return date out beyond the award date, even though it's unlikely I'll need it.
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Old Jan 13, 17, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Won't be an issue. Just make sure the date for the return portion of the roundtrip B>A isn't the same as your award ticket C>A. I'd put it at a date way off in the future, you never know if you may need it.
One follow-up question, if we are unable to use the return trip portion, should we call AA and cancel it? Or just let it go?
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Old Jan 16, 17, 5:17 pm
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Reason not to provide frequent flyer number before the flight?

Hello guys,

I have thought about one scenario and I just want to validate it with you. Suppose you book a flight with the intention to do possible throw away ticketing. For example, the odds of me taking the last return leg of the itinerary is 50%.

If that happens I am guessing it might be a good idea not to reveal myself to the airline through my frequent flyer identifier.

In such a case, could be a good idea to provide the number after all the flights have been taken?

Can you think of any other scenario when it's beneficial NOT to provide your frequent flyer number before the flight?
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Old Jan 16, 17, 5:26 pm
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So you're afraid of telling them before, doing a throw away then telling them after you did the throw away? I think they will know who you are either way.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 5:53 pm
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They don't care if you throw away a return. Maybe if you make a habit of it in ways that are obviously designed to game the system, but 99% of the time they don't care.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 6:13 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
They don't care if you throw away a return. Maybe if you make a habit of it in ways that are obviously designed to game the system, but 99% of the time they don't care.
This.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 6:14 pm
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People do throw-aways for legit reasons all of the time. I've had a number of cases where plans changed and it was cheaper to blow off the return and buy a new one-way ticket. Not all of those new tickets were on AA. I have never had any repercussions.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 6:20 pm
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Well, the ticket does have your name on it. The number just makes it easier to track if you're a serial abuser.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 6:22 pm
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I thought the days of the sat night stayover were gone
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Old Jan 16, 17, 6:41 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by parnass1 View Post
Hello guys,

I have thought about one scenario and I just want to validate it with you. Suppose you book a flight with the intention to do possible throw away ticketing. For example, the odds of me taking the last return leg of the itinerary is 50%.

If that happens I am guessing it might be a good idea not to reveal myself to the airline through my frequent flyer identifier.

In such a case, could be a good idea to provide the number after all the flights have been taken?

Can you think of any other scenario when it's beneficial NOT to provide your frequent flyer number before the flight?
Wouldn't it just be easier to assure your credit for the flights you did fly by having your FFN on the record, and just not fly the return? They already know who bought and ticketed, and if they're actively searching I'm sure the FFN won't make a critical difference in doing so. (After all, you are talking about "throw away ticketing"; given the price on a one way US <-> Europe ticket, often considerably more than a round trip in many instances, I'd be surprised if they're surprised people did this.)
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Old Jan 24, 17, 9:44 am
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A friend and his girlfriend (no FF status with AA) have booked a RT NYC-OMA-NYC (via ORD both directions). He just found out that for business reasons, he needs to stay in ORD for a day more so he wants to skip the final ORD-NYC segment, but his girlfriend would fly as ticketed. The fee to change the return for him is $200 plus fare difference, but he says he can buy a OW ORD-NYC the next day for less than $100.

He asked my advice, ordinarily, I would just say skip the final segment just this one time (he doesn't even have an AA FF flyer number), but he and his girlfriend are on the same rec locator. My guess is that the gate agent would notice his no-show but his companion boarding and come on board as a courtesy and ask where he is. He'd rather not put her is this position. If they were on separate reservations, this would not happen. Is there some way that he could split them into 2 record locators in advance so this would not be an issue?

Any other advice?
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