KLM Policy on Hidden City / Skip Lagging

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Old Feb 10, 18, 5:17 pm
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KLM Policy on Hidden City / Skip Lagging

I've been looking for a cheap flight from the U.S. to Amsterdam on KLM and couldn't find any, almost all of them were $1500 USD. So finally I decided to look a little beyond Amsterdam and found a flight from U.S. to Brussels for $500. Interestingly, this is the exact same flight as the $1500 flight, same airline, same plane, same schedule and it stops in AMS then continues on to Brussels. So the question is will KLM cancel my return itinerary if I walk off the plane in AMS and never bother getting onto the Brussels segment?

Yeah I know I will need to go to Brussels to get on the return flight back home but even with the train rides both ways it is still cheaper than $1500 and get to see another city as a bonus. I will never understand airline pricing, seems a bit of a rip off for a flight to cost 2/3 less for going further into another stop!

It is becoming a norm for me to travel this way and I always now plan my vacation on the assumption of visiting a hidden city on my journey!

What is everyone's experience with this gambit?
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Old Feb 10, 18, 6:22 pm
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If you skip a segment, all following segments are cancelled.
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Old Feb 10, 18, 6:33 pm
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Thank you for the response, I guess I need to look for cheap one-way fares then I won't need to worry about the cancelled segments. And if the response is, "we'll cancel your separate return flight" then I may need to look into booking separate airlines for each part of the trip....there will always be a travel hack
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Old Feb 10, 18, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by MrBizFlyer View Post
I will never understand airline pricing, seems a bit of a rip off for a flight to cost 2/3 less for going further into another stop!

It is becoming a norm for me to travel this way and I always now plan my vacation on the assumption of visiting a hidden city on my journey!

What is everyone's experience with this gambit?
The price difference is because they are different city pairs. [Insert US airport] to AMS is priced different than [insert US airport to BRU (via AMS).

As mentioned, skipping segments will cancel all your downstream (remaining) flights.

If you are making a habit of hidden city ticketing, don't be surprised when airlines confiscate your account and bill you for the would be price.
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Old Feb 10, 18, 7:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
...

If you are making a habit of hidden city ticketing, don't be surprised when airlines confiscate your account and bill you for the would be price.
Not sure what legal standing they would have "bill me for the would be price" since this was already shot down in the U.S. as perfectly legal in United vs Skiplagged. As far as the frequent flier account goes, yeah it can be shutdown but not sure if this is a winning long term business strategy to punish your customers for using common sense when pricing itineraries. I would love to also tell my employer that an airline is blocking me from booking flights because I only used a portion of their product saving THEM a ton of money. How well do you think that will go for the airline?

The real problem is airlines and their crazy pricing strategies. I don't see how it is cheaper for KLM to have to fly me from U.S. to Brussels instead of just AMS. There is more fuel, labor, etc getting me from U.S. to Brussels than there is from U.S. to AMS. As I stated originally, it is the exact same plane flying from U.S. to AMS that then goes on to Brussels. I suspect that the AMS to Brussels flight are empty and KLM is trying to find ways to fill those spots, I don't blame them but it seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I am actually fairly new to KLM, I have been through various colors on United from Silver to 1K (currently Gold) over the last 15 years and simply got burned out with them and their terrible service so I've committed this year to KLM. I already have 3 international flights booked with KLM and partner Air France and am planning more but if I suffer the same way I did with United then I'll move on to the next carrier(s) which will likely be ME3 permanently.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/today...eral/26864961/
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Old Feb 10, 18, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by MrBizFlyer View Post
Not sure what legal standing they would have "bill me for the would be price" since this was already shot down in the U.S. as perfectly legal in United vs Skiplagged. As far as the frequent flier account goes, yeah it can be shutdown but not sure if this is a winning long term business strategy to punish your customers for using common sense when pricing itineraries. I would love to also tell my employer that an airline is blocking me from booking flights because I only used a portion of their product saving THEM a ton of money. How well do you think that will go for the airline?

The real problem is airlines and their crazy pricing strategies. I don't see how it is cheaper for KLM to have to fly me from U.S. to Brussels instead of just AMS. There is more fuel, labor, etc getting me from U.S. to Brussels than there is from U.S. to AMS. As I stated originally, it is the exact same plane flying from U.S. to AMS that then goes on to Brussels. I suspect that the AMS to Brussels flight are empty and KLM is trying to find ways to fill those spots, I don't blame them but it seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I am actually fairly new to KLM, I have been through various colors on United from Silver to 1K (currently Gold) over the last 15 years and simply got burned out with them and their terrible service so I've committed this year to KLM. I already have 3 international flights booked with KLM and partner Air France and am planning more but if I suffer the same way I did with United then I'll move on to the next carrier(s) which will likely be ME3 permanently.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/today...eral/26864961/
Check FT threads here. Airlines sending invoices to repeat offenders are nothing new. Skippedlagged is a website; the validity of the site has nothing to do with airlines taking actions against pax.

Ticket pricing is NOT based on flying distance and operation costs.
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Old Feb 10, 18, 7:28 pm
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The suggestion that KL will bill you for the fare difference is theoretical because there are no reports of it having happened to individual travelers. There are reports of carriers back-billing TA's because it is simple and.those are commercial relationships. No idea what the TA does when it happens.

The easier tactic and there are numerous examples worldwide is for hidden city ticket fraud to result in account closure, loss of status and cancellation of pending redemption tickets. That is because the carrier holds all the cards.

In OP's hypothetical, the result is simple because he would be skipping a segment. That, of course, results in the cancellation of the return, leaving him to purchase a single to get home at walk-up prices.

It is always possible that OP will find similar savings in two singles, but unlikely.
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Old Feb 11, 18, 1:09 am
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Originally Posted by MrBizFlyer View Post
I've been looking for a cheap flight from the U.S. to Amsterdam on KLM and couldn't find any, almost all of them were $1500 USD. So finally I decided to look a little beyond Amsterdam and found a flight from U.S. to Brussels for $500. Interestingly, this is the exact same flight as the $1500 flight, same airline, same plane, same schedule and it stops in AMS then continues on to Brussels. So the question is will KLM cancel my return itinerary if I walk off the plane in AMS and never bother getting onto the Brussels segment?

Yeah I know I will need to go to Brussels to get on the return flight back home but even with the train rides both ways it is still cheaper than $1500 and get to see another city as a bonus. I will never understand airline pricing, seems a bit of a rip off for a flight to cost 2/3 less for going further into another stop!

It is becoming a norm for me to travel this way and I always now plan my vacation on the assumption of visiting a hidden city on my journey!

What is everyone's experience with this gambit?
If it is a real flight, then you have to take it, because KLM knows if you're on it or not.
If it is a trainsegment, you can pickup the ticket and "forget" to use it. So you can try to look to tickets to ZYR, ZWE or ZYZ (Brussels or Antwerp). You only need to be sure you pickup the ticket, and ofcourse, do the same on the return - but in that case it may be more practical to actually use the train.
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Old Feb 11, 18, 2:19 am
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Originally Posted by MrBizFlyer View Post
As I stated originally, it is the exact same plane flying from U.S. to AMS that then goes on to Brussels.
This is certainly not the case. KL uses logically RJ (Embraers) on such a very short flight and not the widebodies used for the transatlantic sectors.

To come back to the rest of your post/questions, the pricing situation you describe is nothing specific to KL and you'll find the same with all airlines. Itineraries involving a connection are most of the times cheaper than non-stop options in order to attract customers of those cities. Otherwise, why would people choose to connect somewhere instead of flying non-stop if there was no price incentive. Add to this that all markets and city pairs are different.
And, as other posters said, if you skip your outbound AMS-BRU, the rest of your itinerary will be cancelled. You mentioned, you will look at cheap one way fares. Well unless you want to fly a long-haul LCC (Norwegian, etc), I'm afraid you'll pay way much more than your return US-AMS at $1500.

Last edited by Goldorak; Feb 11, 18 at 6:43 am
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Old Feb 11, 18, 3:08 am
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Originally Posted by MrBizFlyer View Post
Thank you for the response, I guess I need to look for cheap one-way fares then I won't need to worry about the cancelled segments. And if the response is, "we'll cancel your separate return flight" then I may need to look into booking separate airlines for each part of the trip....there will always be a travel hack
If you were already happy to travel back to Brussels to catch the return flight, why not also continue on to Brussels and travel from there to Amsterdam? You can take the train. If it saves you $1000 it sounds worth it.

[or more sensible - book an indirect flight on another carrier such as BA, LH, etc]
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Old Feb 11, 18, 3:24 am
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Originally Posted by MrBizFlyer View Post
The real problem is airlines and their crazy pricing strategies. I don't see how it is cheaper for KLM to have to fly me from U.S. to Brussels instead of just AMS. There is more fuel, labor, etc getting me from U.S. to Brussels than there is from U.S. to AMS.
KLM is not a non-profit that sets prices such that only their costs are covered (that would lead to the end of cheap/Apex fares) and the days of state-regulated air fares is long in the past. All airlines are in this game for the money, not merely to cover their costs [in many cases, the airlines sell some tickets at a loss. If everyone paid the cheapest available ticket price for EVERY ticket sold, that airline would be gone in day].

It is fairly well known that airlines - any and all airlines - can charge a premium for direct flights. More than 70% of KLM's passengers transfer at Schiphol, so the Amsterdam O/D market is a small fraction of their business - but one that they can charge handsomely.

Have a look at this recent thread in the Delta forum: I get why.. but paying more for coach than first is depressing.

Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
I understand revenue management and why this is done. But my god, this is depressing. Especially since I always end up in Y-.

The flight I just booked in Discomfort-Y:



The flight I could have booked if I was in Miami:



How often do people see this? I know flights are priced cheaper with connections (due to competition) but it's still quite depressing.


Originally Posted by MrBizFlyer View Post
As I stated originally, it is the exact same plane flying from U.S. to AMS that then goes on to Brussels. I suspect that the AMS to Brussels flight are empty and KLM is trying to find ways to fill those spots, I don't blame them but it seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
As others have noted, KLM does not operate wide-body jets on the 99-mile AMS-BRU route. KLM Cityhopper operates 5 daily Embraer 175 services [with 88 seats] to and from BRU for KLM. This is the smallest aircraft in the KLM Cityhopper fleet.

Last edited by irishguy28; Feb 11, 18 at 3:34 am
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Old Feb 11, 18, 3:56 am
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Originally Posted by Brobbel View Post
If it is a real flight, then you have to take it, because KLM knows if you're on it or not.
If it is a trainsegment, you can pickup the ticket and "forget" to use it. So you can try to look to tickets to ZYR, ZWE or ZYZ (Brussels or Antwerp). You only need to be sure you pickup the ticket, and ofcourse, do the same on the return - but in that case it may be more practical to actually use the train.
I am not 100% sure, but I think it is required that you get a stamp on your ticket in the train.
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Old Feb 11, 18, 4:01 am
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Originally Posted by pepe C View Post
I am not 100% sure, but I think it is required that you get a stamp on your ticket in the train.
On the way TO Amsterdam, yes; you can only check in for your onward flight at the KLM desk for these train tickets - online/mobile/app/kiosk checkin is disabled - and, anxious to protect the integrity of these train tickets, they ask to see your stamped train ticket before unblocking the flight.

On the way FROM Amsterdam, you should exchange the flight coupon for a train ticket at the NS desk, but there is no further requirement to actually travel.
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Old Feb 11, 18, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by pepe C View Post
I am not 100% sure, but I think it is required that you get a stamp on your ticket in the train.
I travelled in October (AMS-BRU-CDG and back) both TGV and Thalys. TGV to/from CDG there was no check on the train, so no chance to get a stamp. On Thalys the ticket guy scanned the ticket.

Difference seems that you get a regular seat on Thalys, whereas AF have their own reserved carriage.
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Old Feb 11, 18, 5:42 pm
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[QUOTE=MrBizFlyer;29403326
The real problem is airlines and their crazy pricing strategies. I don't see how it is cheaper for KLM to have to fly me from U.S. to Brussels instead of just AMS. There is more fuel, labor, etc getting me from U.S. to Brussels than there is from U.S. to AMS. As I stated originally, it is the exact same plane flying from U.S. to AMS that then goes on to Brussels. I suspect that the AMS to Brussels flight are empty and KLM is trying to find ways to fill those spots, I don't blame them but it seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
[/QUOTE]

They simply try to attract customers flying cheaper and non-direct by choosing a non-direct airline.
I regularly fly BKK-BRU in business class, flying direct with Thai that will cost me 5000+, chosing a ME airline with a half-way stop over will cost me max 4000 and mostly 3000 and sometimes 2000- when i find a promotion.
My next trip is with QR paid 1850 and the following trip with TK paid 1550.
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