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No longer earning points with hidden city ticketing

No longer earning points with hidden city ticketing

Old Oct 16, 13, 8:01 pm
  #1  
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No longer earning points with hidden city ticketing

As long as I can recall, I've always received RR points when I deplaned at a stopover and had the gate agent delete my boarding pass/connecting ticket). Often I would receive $5-15 from the 2nd set of taxes/airport fees as ticketless travel credit. If the points didn't auto-post within 24 hours, they would post immediately after I used the leftover funds.

Fast forward to this month, I did not receive any points or flight segment count towards Tier/CP renewal. The A+ hotline could see my travel, fare paid, and told me that I earned points. However, they could not see a points count. Instead, they referred me to the Dallas CS hotline.

The Dallas hotline researched things extensively and stated that their system no longer awards points if the itinerary isn't flown to completion. They admitted this was a new change to discourage hidden city travel since sometimes the cost is less, which 'games the system'. As a gesture of goodwill, I was given half of the base points, and zero of the A+ double points.

Last edited by expert7700; Oct 16, 13 at 8:10 pm
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Old Oct 16, 13, 8:05 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
They admitted this was a new change to discourage hidden city travel sine sometimes the cost is less, which 'games the system'.
If they want to stop hidden city ticketing, perhaps they shouldn't allow it instead of playing these silly games... @:-)
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Old Oct 16, 13, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by tusphotog View Post
If they want to stop hidden city ticketing, perhaps they shouldn't allow it instead of playing these silly games... @:-)
They can't really stop someone from getting off the plane at a stop.

However since they have explicitly allowed hidden cities in the past they should be forthright and simply announce it. I suppose they could claim it is in the new no-show policy but if you cancelled the leg, that shouldn't apply.

Who is keeping the list of things they've changed?
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Old Oct 16, 13, 8:26 pm
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Interesting. A result of the Sept. 13th No-Show policy perhaps? But that would contradict what Southwestgabe specifically said back in April:

"No-show 100% penalty starts September 13, 2013 for travel booked starting May 10"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mke9499
How/will will this impact hidden city bookings?
southwestgabe
Company Representative - Southwest Airlines

"Hidden city" bookings will be subject to the No-Show Policy if any segment of the itinerary includes Wanna Get Away or DING! fares and is not used & not cancelled by the Customer at least ten minutes prior to scheduled departure.
It might be worth escalating, for (at least) clarification that this is an actually policy change, and not that the system just missed your cancellation of the last leg.
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Old Oct 16, 13, 8:44 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
Fast forward to this month, I did not receive any points or flight segment count towards Tier/CP renewal. The A+ hotline could see my travel, fare paid, and told me that I earned points. However, they could not see a points count. Instead, they referred me to the Dallas CS hotline.
My data point is from about May this year. Canceled onward trip at the gate, asked for the tax refund, used the funds and had nothing post. The regular A+ line could see everything but were not able to help. I left it at that and only booked a few tickets with points since. It will simply one less competitive advantage for WN, they are on average $50 higher OW for my short hop and thus I only fly them on their super sale fares.
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Old Oct 16, 13, 8:55 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
The Dallas hotline researched things extensively and stated that their system no longer awards points if the itinerary isn't flown to completion. They admitted this was a new change to discourage hidden city travel since sometimes the cost is less, which 'games the system'. As a gesture of goodwill, I was given half of the base points, and zero of the A+ double points.
Thank you for posting this!! I was within days of attempting to use a hidden city ticket. I'll use a standard award now instead. Less $ for Southwest at least in the short run.

I suppose turnabout is fair play. They are applying an undocumented policy to an undocumented feature of their reservation system.

To be fair, bonus points promos have in the past created some rather absurd net prices for hidden city tickets.

Last edited by nsx; Oct 16, 13 at 9:01 pm
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Old Oct 16, 13, 9:10 pm
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I am also detecting what to me is a disturbing pattern in their customer service policy.

They articulate ambiguous policies then when a customer has a problem it seems the first option is to deny accommodation or low ball it, which probably makes most people go away either because they don't want to argue or because they think it is futile.

However is someone is persistent they get more appropriate compensation, but are told it is "special".

There also seems to be an ancillary set of hidden rules that can only be discovered by the initiated.
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Old Oct 16, 13, 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
They can't really stop someone from getting off the plane at a stop.
If you were to jump off on a through flight, your points should post since the system sees you as flying a completed AAA-CCC (even though you deplane at BBB) ticket.

If you fly AAA-BBB-CCC and skip the BBB-CCC flight, the system (apparently) won't post points.

OP: did you have the GA cancel the second leg of your itinerary or did you just leave? If the latter, perhaps it is related to the new no show policy.
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Old Oct 16, 13, 10:20 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by tusphotog View Post
If you were to jump off on a through flight, your points should post since the system sees you as flying a completed AAA-CCC (even though you deplane at BBB) ticket.

If you fly AAA-BBB-CCC and skip the BBB-CCC flight, the system (apparently) won't post points.

OP: did you have the GA cancel the second leg of your itinerary or did you just leave? If the latter, perhaps it is related to the new no show policy.
at point BBB, I had the GA cancel the 2nd leg, she had the usual trouble in doing so (the system says "the flight is already in process"), but she noted the reservation, deleted the boarding passes, and said I'd get a few $$ back in airport fees.

I asked the GA at the origin airport to do so as well (since I went up to try and volunteer if oversold....but did not verify it had been done).
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Old Oct 17, 13, 4:52 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
I am also detecting what to me is a disturbing pattern in their customer service policy.

They articulate ambiguous policies then when a customer has a problem it seems the first option is to deny accommodation or low ball it, which probably makes most people go away either because they don't want to argue or because they think it is futile.

However is someone is persistent they get more appropriate compensation, but are told it is "special".

There also seems to be an ancillary set of hidden rules that can only be discovered by the initiated.
New motto: Southwest, the In-N-Out of airlines.
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Old Oct 17, 13, 6:08 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
The Dallas hotline researched things extensively and stated that their system no longer awards points if the itinerary isn't flown to completion. They admitted this was a new change to discourage hidden city travel since sometimes the cost is less, which 'games the system'. As a gesture of goodwill, I was given half of the base points, and zero of the A+ double points.
Did they give you credit towards A/A+ List?
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Old Oct 17, 13, 9:16 am
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FWIW, I flew a hidden city flight in August on a BS fare and the points posted fine. It's possible that this is only a WGA issue tied in with no-show. Or maybe I just got lucky.

The August flight qualified me for A+ and CP so I've only flown awards since then.
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Old Oct 17, 13, 9:41 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by tusphotog View Post
If you were to jump off on a through flight, your points should post since the system sees you as flying a completed AAA-CCC (even though you deplane at BBB) ticket.

If you fly AAA-BBB-CCC and skip the BBB-CCC flight, the system (apparently) won't post points.

OP: did you have the GA cancel the second leg of your itinerary or did you just leave? If the latter, perhaps it is related to the new no show policy.
Not true. WN, just like all carriers, verifies the pax count both with a head count by a FA and from the scanned BP's. If that is off, the flight is delayed while they go back and manually figure out what happened.

If you disembark at an intermediate stop, but don't tell the GA so that you are off-loaded, the head count will be off and they will eventually figure out what happened (with 115 other pax delayed).
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Old Oct 17, 13, 10:02 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Tanic View Post
Did they give you credit towards A/A+ List?
no, the points didn't seem to count towards flight segment #, A+, or companion pass. customer service could probably see that I already re-qualified for A+ and was nearly requalified for companion pass.

This was working for me too, in August. I was on a BS fare. I think when the IT team implemented programming changes to enforce the no-show policy (which only applies to WGA trips), one of those changes affected points on all partially-flown itineraries regardless of fare class.
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Old Oct 17, 13, 12:18 pm
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No longer earning points with hidden city ticketing

Man, I wish we had some WN reps on this board that could chime in and explain to us what is going on... Brian is sorely missed!
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