Is hidden city travel allowed?

Old Apr 19, 21, 8:16 am
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Is hidden city travel allowed?

I want to go ABQ-OAK. If I buy a ticket ABQ-OAK-DEN (cheapest) and get off in OAK is there a penalty of any sort or can I just do this?
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Old Apr 19, 21, 8:46 am
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As long as you do not have checked bags.
AND most importantly, it is not part of a RT ticket.

Basically - if you "miss" your connection, you are all set.

I assume this is because the longer ticket is more expensive and you are saving money by doing this. Called hidden city ticketing. Though not "allowed" by the airlines, it is hard for them to manage.

P.S. There is a situation that could cause you an issue. You bought a ticket from ABQ-DEN that happens to stop in in OAK. If there are flight disruptions, the airline could put you on a nother flight to Denver that does NOT connect in OAK - screwed.
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Old Apr 19, 21, 10:16 pm
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What is the fare difference? If we are talking $100+, the risks mentioned above might be worth it (and I've done it a few times on the legacies). But if we are talking $20 - $30 in savings, I wouldn't personally risk it.
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Old Apr 19, 21, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere View Post
Called hidden city ticketing. Though not "allowed" by the airlines, it is hard for them to manage.
Not that long ago WN used to specifically permit hidden city tickets in the CoC. Now it is prohibited. GK didn't learn from Colleen.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 2:41 am
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To add to the other comments, but don't book it through your Southwest account. Just book it as a guest because people who do this too often can get their accounts nuked.

I would also go tell the gate agent at OAK that you aren't boarding the flight so they aren't holding the plane and making PA announcements for you. Don't tell him/her why; you don't need to give a reason. Don't lie either. Just keep it vague.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 7:15 am
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No points are earned for an uncompleted trip, if that matters to you.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by Tanic View Post
Not that long ago WN used to specifically permit hidden city tickets in the CoC. Now it is prohibited. GK didn't learn from Colleen.
I believe that the original allowance of hidden city was due to limitations of Southwest's software. Herb and Colleen made a virtue of necessity.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 7:26 am
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Also, if your plane is the continuing plane and you don't need to transfer to another plane, you should tell an FA that you are getting off so their through count is not upset.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 8:07 am
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I'm surprised that there are opportunities in the WN system for big hidden city gains to begin with. I've done this a very small number of times in my life (single digits) and it always involved a legacy carrier's fortress hub.

Usually NW or DL, since their hubs were much stronger "fortresses" than Chicago or Dallas. That's where you'd see stuff like MCI-DTW at $500 and MCI-DTW-IND at $59.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I'm surprised that there are opportunities in the WN system for big hidden city gains to begin with. I've done this a very small number of times in my life (single digits) and it always involved a legacy carrier's fortress hub.

Usually NW or DL, since their hubs were much stronger "fortresses" than Chicago or Dallas. That's where you'd see stuff like MCI-DTW at $500 and MCI-DTW-IND at $59.
I can't speak for recent times, they're a little strange because of limited frequencies, but in my experience Southwest has had more of these for smaller airports than I ever found on other airlines. Oddly, I found the most success booking flights between two of WN's busier airports I could, for instance, book a fairly cheap flight between MCO and Atlanta, and have my choice of small expensive airports to 'connect' in.

I haven't done it in a long time, I'm sad to hear that they've since officially prohibited it. With the change windows, it's been a non-issue for nearly two years, and honestly I'm a little more risk averse these days.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by lougord99 View Post
Also, if your plane is the continuing plane and you don't need to transfer to another plane, you should tell an FA that you are getting off so their through count is not upset.

YES PLEASE

Otherwise the count is bad and they are looking for you.

Just tell them you do not feel good or need to fly back home or whatever.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by synergistic View Post
I can't speak for recent times, they're a little strange because of limited frequencies, but in my experience Southwest has had more of these for smaller airports than I ever found on other airlines. Oddly, I found the most success booking flights between two of WN's busier airports I could, for instance, book a fairly cheap flight between MCO and Atlanta, and have my choice of small expensive airports to 'connect' in.

I haven't done it in a long time, I'm sad to hear that they've since officially prohibited it. With the change windows, it's been a non-issue for nearly two years, and honestly I'm a little more risk averse these days.
Isn't the main WN "prohibition" on it that you won't receive points for not completing the journey? I have yet to see/hear about people getting accounts locked for doing it. But then again, I don't see many stories about habitual hidden-city users on WN....mostly one-off cases.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 11:17 am
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Bottom line is that it violates the contract you agreed to enter with WN and subjects you to whatever penalties could be levied. Primary would be zeroing out and closing your RR account and prohibiting its reopening. All kinds of other parade of horrible ideas, none of which are realistic or necessary.

Everything comes down to risk tolerance and personal comfort level. WN's souped up software which also catches "impossible" bookings does look at RR #'s, but also has the capability to look at many other bits of data including name, address, IP address, credit card and so on.

As others note, what you can't do is: 1. Do this often (maybe more or maybe less post-pandemic) 2. Check bags 3. Book onward or return segments (which is not an issue on WN as it may be on other carriers).
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Old Apr 20, 21, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Isn't the main WN "prohibition" on it that you won't receive points for not completing the journey? I have yet to see/hear about people getting accounts locked for doing it. But then again, I don't see many stories about habitual hidden-city users on WN....mostly one-off cases.
Whatever the penalties may be, it is now clearly against the rules. From the CoC:
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Old Apr 20, 21, 1:25 pm
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All of this said there is very little way for Southwest to prohibit someone from getting off a plane or with open seating to even detect if they did. The only way would be a thru count then checking the identity of everyone on the plane. It seems unlikely that they would take any action except in extraordinary cases.
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