Hidden City

Old Apr 28, 17, 1:22 pm
  #1  
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Hidden City

Any recent experiences?

Just wondering if this will still be ok come 9/29/17 when I fly - Especially after reading the thread about SW's plans on not overbooking any more.

I booked CLE to SFO (which stops in Vegas) for $152 earlier in the week. The actual CLE to LAS flight at that time was $194. Today the CLE to LAS dropped to $173. I used points and did not pay real money except the $5.60 in taxes when I booked.

I know people have said that I should tell the agent that I won't be getting on the next flight as a courtesy.

Do I need to go to the actual gate where they leave for SFO to tell the agent or can I just tell the agent at the gate where I just deplaned.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 6:50 pm
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If you go to either gate and tell them in advance of boarding, they will know then that you're not flying that last leg and they will put the next standby in your place.

If you just "no-show" without telling them in advance, they will know then that you're no flying that last leg and they will put the next standby in your place.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 7:38 pm
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All that matters is the COC in effect on the date of purchase. That is your contract. WN is certainly free to prohibit hidden city ticket fraud going forward, but that won't affect the ticket you now hold and the rules which apply to that ticket.

There is "courtesy" involved or necessary. When you no show for the second segment, WN will either board a standby into the empty seat you create or, if there are no standbys, the seat will go our empty.
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Old Apr 29, 17, 6:50 am
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Just to be clear on SWA hidden city flying, my understanding is that their rules specifically ALLOWED hidden city ticketing until a few years ago. Now the rules have been revised to be SILENT about hidden city ticketing. The sense on this board is that this represents SWA's implied permission to still do it.

(I do it from time to time on SWA with no issue. I do it on Delta as well, with a specific rule against it, and have never had a problem either.)
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Old Apr 29, 17, 1:06 pm
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Usual caveats: Don't check bags, and you will not earn points.
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Old Apr 29, 17, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Justin026 View Post
Just to be clear on SWA hidden city flying, my understanding is that their rules specifically ALLOWED hidden city ticketing until a few years ago. Now the rules have been revised to be SILENT about hidden city ticketing. The sense on this board is that this represents SWA's implied permission to still do it.

(I do it from time to time on SWA with no issue. I do it on Delta as well, with a specific rule against it, and have never had a problem either.)
The COC for DL, UA, AA, and AS (at least), expressly prohibit hidden city ticketing as well as a series of other ticketing schemes.

The COC for WN does not.

As a customer you do not need WN's permission, implied or express, to engage in this practice. You simply may not engage in a prohibited practice which you agree, by contract, agree not to.

Bottom line, it is not against the rules. Until and unless WN chooses to amend its COC to prohibit hidden city ticketing, you are doing nothing wrong. Period.
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Old Apr 29, 17, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Bottom line, it is not against the rules. Until and unless WN chooses to amend its COC to prohibit hidden city ticketing, you are doing nothing wrong. Period.

You are correct, but with that comes the courtesy not to abuse the system to the point that they change the COC and forbid Hidden City for everyone.

You advocated just not showing up for the next leg unannounced. I whole heartily disagree. If you are checked in and issued a boarding pass especially on a connecting flight that has arrived, they are gonna hold that flight and seat for you until the last second...the 10 min rule does not come in here, you are already checked in and they are expecting you. If you advise them, they can release that seat board everyone and get on their way without playing the waiting game to see if you are gonna show or not. I have been on MANY flight where the door is closed early and we are on our way ahead of schedule cuz everyone expected is on board.

Multiply that waiting game by many flights and suddenly it becomes a problem resulting in cutting off that benefit. Since it is not against the rules...just let them know as a courtesy.

I belong to a organization where certain members started abusing the system to their advantage to access benefits. Their argument was the same "Well it's not AGAINST the rules"...but their actions certainly were using the benefits not as intended to their advantage. The result was a massive clamp down and further restrictions on benefits of ALL members cuz of these handful of jackwaggon members. Just remember, it is not a problem till it is then we all pay.

Last edited by PAX62; Apr 29, 17 at 2:01 pm
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Old Apr 29, 17, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by PAX62 View Post
...the 10 min rule does not come in here, you are already checked in and they are expecting you.
The 10 minute rule is applied whether or not you are checked in, and whether or not you flew a previous leg.

The one and only time I flew hidden city, I went to the connecting gate and let the agent know I was not continuing on, and she thanked me, but didn't bother to take my name or make any notes as far as I could tell. As always, YMMV.
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Old Apr 29, 17, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
The 10 minute rule is applied whether or not you are checked in, and whether or not you flew a previous leg.

The one and only time I flew hidden city, I went to the connecting gate and let the agent know I was not continuing on, and she thanked me, but didn't bother to take my name or make any notes as far as I could tell. As always, YMMV.
+1 - This.

Think about walking 10 minutes at some place like BWI or MDW to find a line of pax who actually need an agent for something.

The reason the GA didn't bother to take your name is that it takes longer for her to access your PNR, cancel out the segment, wait for the inventory to update and then issue a BP to a standby than it does to simply wait for the system to handle this without her becoming involved at T-10.

Air carriers prohibit hidden city ticketing fraud not because they care that you walk bug a gate agent, but because it louses up their fare discrimination. WN doesn't care.

It's more likely that the end of overbooking will push the drop dead time at the gate to T-15 like other carriers and spell the end of hidden city than what people who are skipping the final segment do.
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Old Apr 29, 17, 5:22 pm
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I have often wondered what would happen if WN just announced it was fine with Hidden City and encouraged people to do it and hunt for it.

Not sure whether they'd come out ahead from a competitive standpoint or not.
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Old Apr 29, 17, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
The 10 minute rule is applied whether or not you are checked in, and whether or not you flew a previous leg.
This cannot possibly be a true blanket statement. As a victim of many late incoming connections during the 2013-2014 meltdown years and going end to end at BWI with my name booming over the loudspeakers to hurry, they would give my seat away? If it was the last seat? Never happened to me although I never stopped to see if there were standby's waiting being the last person to board with A01.
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Old Apr 29, 17, 10:55 pm
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The reason WN never really cared about hidden city ticketing is because their fare structure rarely created any significant savings. In addition, because of the point-to-point system, if your flight is cancelled, they can easily re-route you and your advantage is gone.

With the legacy airlines using their old fare system of ripping you off for non-stop flights to a fortress hub but competitive fares on city pairs changing planes at the hub, the fare difference could be much much larger. In addition, if your flight gets canceled, it's easier to get on the next one to the same hub. On WN, the next flight that goes BNA-LAS or whatever might not be for hours or not all today, so here's your (useless?) boarding pass for HOU or whatever.

WN has hubs, yes, but they're not in the same category as the old DEN UA fortress hub, the old MSP fortress NW or MEM NW fortress hub, etc. Are there any fortress hubs left? I think the last one to go was CVG...
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Old Apr 30, 17, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by joshua362 View Post
This cannot possibly be a true blanket statement. As a victim of many late incoming connections during the 2013-2014 meltdown years and going end to end at BWI with my name booming over the loudspeakers to hurry, they would give my seat away? If it was the last seat? Never happened to me although I never stopped to see if there were standby's waiting being the last person to board with A01.
They generally start the announcements before 10.

If they need a seat at 10, they'll take the seat at 10. Because they can.

If they don't need the seat, they can still close the door at that point, but they'll usually wait until scheduled departure and perhaps make more announcements.
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Old Apr 30, 17, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
They generally start the announcements before 10.

If they need a seat at 10, they'll take the seat at 10. Because they can.

If they don't need the seat, they can still close the door at that point, but they'll usually wait until scheduled departure and perhaps make more announcements.
+1 - If the flight is overbooked and at risk of an oversale (something which WN says won't happen anymore) and you are not at the gate by T-10 and they don't offload you, WN is on the hook for at least VDB if not IDB. Better to rebook you for the next flight than to shell out $1,350 for an IDB.

On the other hand, not all flights are at risk of an oversale. Just because they are overbooked doesn't mean that more people really show up at the gate for the flight. So, when you are called, there may well be plenty of seats left and there is no reason to offload you. WN may well be able to board you and any standbys as well.

All of this stuff only matters in the limited situation where there really are not enough seats.
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Old Apr 30, 17, 10:46 pm
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I wonder if WN did tests of their new reservation system to see what the overbooking rate should be to get them way down the list of IDB rates, and realized that with this very good technology, say for example the old overbooking rate was 5 and the new overbooking rate is 2. Dropping the number of seats in inventory by 3 is not going to affect things all that much besides increasing the chances of getting a seat on the next flight.

This isn't the old days where a 737 could be overbooked by 35 and still go out with 10 empty seats.
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