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Consolidated "Hidden City Ticketing Questions"

Consolidated "Hidden City Ticketing Questions"

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Old Oct 28, 18, 1:24 am   -   Wikipost
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Throwaway ticketing is purchasing a ticket with the intent to use only a portion of the included travel. This situation may arise when a passenger wants to travel only one way, but where the discounted round-trip excursion fare is cheaper than a one-way ticket
Throwaway Tickets , such book RT and only use OW - any issues with UA?

Hidden city ticketing (HCT) is a variant of throwaway ticketing. The passenger books a ticket to a fictitious destination (the "hidden" city) with a connection at the intended destination, walks away at the connection node, and discards the remaining segment.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 8:04 am
  #406  
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OP, I recently had a reservation from LAX-EWR refuse to ticket, presumably because I had a UA flight booked an hour earlier on the same route (wasnít sure which one I wanted and price was good). Interestingly, only when I cancelled the first ticket did the second reservation ticket.

The UA system is getting smarter.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 8:58 am
  #407  
 
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
It's actually generally called "end-on-end" ticketing, not end-to-end, and it has to do with combining multiple fares on a single ticket. Some cheaper fares restrict the ability to combine the fare with another fare on a single ticket. The restrictions are listed in the Combinability section of the fare rules and you will see something like " IF THE FARE IS USED END-ON-END MUST BE AN A-B-A COMBINATION. SIDE TRIPS NOT PERMITTED". Which means the fare can only be combined with another fare on a single ticket if it's a simple roundtrip booking. Unlike HCT, it is NOT a CoC violation to simply book the additional fare on a separate ticket. In order to get the desired routing on a single ticket, you have to upfare to a higher fare class that does not have the end-on-end restrictions. The disadvantage of booking as separate tickets is that you may not be as well protected in the event of schedule changes and IRROP's.
Agree, I believe that typically, if you book end-to end being all on UA, they will still protect you. It just requires manual intervention since they wont know automatically. You have to call in or talk to an agent. I'm not sure how that changes with a HCT component. Probably more YMMV
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Old Oct 28, 18, 9:05 am
  #408  
 
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Originally Posted by high.and.above View Post
United does have the possibility to findout, im telling you from my own experience. They caught me with two bookings for about same times. Funny i thought i was clever and one was on Ua and another one was on LH and they still found it. I was socked that their system could pick up even from LH so I have no doubt that Ua to Ua would be a breeze for their system to find out
Did you put your MP number on the LH reservation? I presume you did.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 9:20 am
  #409  
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My advice would be that the OP should plan to fly to LAX, as ticketed for the EZE RT, and then continue to SEA on a separate UA LAX-SEA ticket, allowing a somewhat more than MCT at LAX just in case. Upon check in at EZE, show the agent printouts of both tickets and reservations (hard copy) and ask that the bag be checked through to SEA. If this doesn't work, I would try again after exiting customs at IAH (there should be a service counter there with UA agents) to have the bag re-tagged to SEA, again showing hard copies off both tickets and reservations. Do this before re-checking the bag, of course.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 9:24 am
  #410  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
But the price of the first ticket wasn't the given reason for dropping the IAH-LAX, it may or may not be cheaper if the original booking did not have the IAH-LAX segment.
Given OP hasn't booked the ticket yet, they presumably have checked that it wouldn't be cheaper to book LAX-EZE-IAH than LAX-EZE-LAX or LAX-EZE-SEA. Their goal seems to be cost minimisation.

In my opinion, this is textbook HCT and duplicate booking, and I'd strongly concur with the above recommendations to book LAX-SEA on UA. Worst case scenario, if EZE-IAH or IAH-LAX is delayed, UA will likely be willing to reroute OP on EZE-IAH-SEA direct, as it's a UA-caused misconnect. They're not going to extend the same courtesy in an HCT scenario.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 9:33 am
  #411  
 
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
Did you put your MP number on the LH reservation? I presume you did.
YEs I did that mistake I have to say, still very surprised since it was a LH reservation( LH ticket number) without and UA segments and the booking was not showing on my UA app. Leason learned I suppose
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Old Oct 28, 18, 10:03 am
  #412  
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Originally Posted by high.and.above View Post
YEs I did that mistake I have to say, still very surprised since it was a LH reservation( LH ticket number) without and UA segments and the booking was not showing on my UA app. Leason learned I suppose
yeah, yikes. Would have thought that's safe as well.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 10:21 am
  #413  
 
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book IAH-SEA in format last name Doe first name JohnDavidMr via Priceline.
don’t put a frequent flyer number on booking and enter your DOB with a typo.
OLCI IAH-SEA.
arrive EZE-IAH, Immigrations/Customs/TSA airside on IAH-LAX boarding pass.
cancel self-service IAH-LAX segment via app or telephone agent (cough cough).
at departure gate IAH-SEA, add frequent flier number.
fly IAH-SEA.







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Old Oct 28, 18, 11:12 am
  #414  
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
OP, I recently had a reservation from LAX-EWR refuse to ticket, presumably because I had a UA flight booked an hour earlier on the same route (wasn’t sure which one I wanted and price was good). Interestingly, only when I cancelled the first ticket did the second reservation ticket.

The UA system is getting smarter.
This is concerning. I often make a dummy booking as I need an invoice for my clients for their portion of my trip so I book, wait for the eticket and then cancel. This will mean I will need to do the dummy booking before the real booking. *sigh
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Old Oct 28, 18, 11:21 am
  #415  
 
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
This is concerning. I often make a dummy booking as I need an invoice for my clients for their portion of my trip so I book, wait for the eticket and then cancel. This will mean I will need to do the dummy booking before the real booking. *sigh
Per the above comments, don't use your MP# (or log in at all) when making the dummy booking.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 12:22 pm
  #416  
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Originally Posted by J.Edward View Post
At the end of the day any corporation who has to face a jury will have tremendous pause due to the inherent risk in doing so.

However many "normal" citizens are emplaned will carry their unknown biases, prejudices, beliefs, etc. which will be used to articulate the jury's verdict. There's no way to know these in advance and jury selection can only weed out the obviously biased potential jurors. Point is even if the law is blatantly on UA's side, a jury can STILL tell the airline to pound sand - think back to the northern juries pre civil way who refused to convict those who aided runaway slaves if you're looking for a dramatic example of this in action.

If it becomes precedent that UA (or any carrier) cannot enforce an unconscionable aspect of the Contract of Carriage - i.e. FORCING a customer to take a flight - it kicks out a major component of how airlines sell and price their fares. Moreover, it also opens the door for lawsuits against the carrier for retributions taken against customers. UA closed my account for hidden city ticketing? That's not fair! The entire concept of "hidden city ticketing" is unconscionable therefore it is also unconscionable for UA to take any negative action against me! AND if a sanction or closure of a M+ account goes to a jury the law might again be on UA's side but the jury might STILL decide against UA and blow a massive hole in the concept of loyalty accounts are the property of the issuer and can be changed/closed at the issuer's whim.

Anyways the tl;dr of this is litigation is fraught with peril. If UA loses the entire industry may be dealt a serious blow and even if UA "wins" they can still lose in the long run.
IANAL but this discussion is making me wonder about the DOT rule prohibiting post-ticketing price increases, for example the prohibition against charging customers more when they are reboooked during IROPs or collecting upgrade fees for OPUPs. Could sending an ex post bill to the customer after a hidden city itinerary has been flown violate this regulation?
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Old Oct 28, 18, 2:50 pm
  #417  
 
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I got both reservations ticketed, and the IAH-SEA without a MP number, so its all good!
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Old Oct 28, 18, 3:46 pm
  #418  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
IANAL but this discussion is making me wonder about the DOT rule prohibiting post-ticketing price increases, for example the prohibition against charging customers more when they are reboooked during IROPs or collecting upgrade fees for OPUPs. Could sending an ex post bill to the customer after a hidden city itinerary has been flown violate this regulation?
I don't see how it could -- IMO, the major distinction is that HCT is -- in addition to being a violation of the rules applicable to the purchased fare -- a voluntary change where IROPs and OPUPs are both involuntary changes at the airline's convenience

If collecting the proper fare for the actual itinerary flown were to be an impermissible post-purchase price increase I don't see how change fees/re-faring for more formal voluntary changes (e.g. calling or via the website) could escape the same fate -- and clearly DOT hasn't found change fees/refaring to be problematic.

Specifically 14 CFR 399.88(a) specifies that "It is an unfair and deceptive practice within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. 41712 for any seller of scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, [...] to increase the price of that air transportation, [...], after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer, except in the case of an increase in a government-imposed tax or fee. A purchase is deemed to have occurred when the full amount agreed upon has been paid by the consumer"

Although I was hoping to find a more formal definition of "air transportation" 14 CFR 298.2 incorporates the definition from 49 USC 40102 in which air transportation is defined as including interstate air transportation, further defined as, essentially, transportation of passengers between two places when any part is by aircraft and it's not solely within one state.

My [admittedly biased based on my predisposition on the subject] interpretation of that is that air transportation is transportation between two ultimate points, regardless of routing (and not even entirely by air) -- thus the "purchase" applies only to AAA-(any route)-BBB transportation and not, for example, the AAA-CCC portion of an AAA-CCC-BBB trip. In fact, the passenger has not purchased air transportation from AAA-CCC, so there's no "post-purchase" price to increase.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 4:45 pm
  #419  
 
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Originally Posted by macintoshd View Post
More expensive, and I am not sure they can actually check in my baggage all the way through from EZE to SEA if the LAX-SEA is a different ticket. LAX requires you to exit security to pick up baggage and to go through security again to recheck it.
No. You clear at IAH. You are considered a domestic passenger.

Generally speaking, IAH-SEA is more expensive than LAX-SEA. You already have LAX-EZE-LAX as a separate ITIN.

How much time are you giving yourself as a buffer in case of delays on arrival at IAH?

You are likely to have UA link itinerary of LAX-IAH-EZE-IAH-LAX and LAX-SEA, but you are on you own for LAX-IAH-EZE-IAH-LAX and IAH-SEA.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 5:20 pm
  #420  
 
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
No. You clear at IAH. You are considered a domestic passenger.
The OP wrote off the possibility of having the bags checked through across two tickets, or rechecking the luggage at IAH. While interlining across two UA itineraries can be challenging, itís by no means impossible; I had it done just last week. It took five minutes (in my favor, the second flight wasnít sold out; thatís the case when it gets complicated).

OP: Two last points, since you still have 24 hours to change your mind. (a) A MileagePlus number isnít the only way UA can match you up; Iím guessing you either used the same credit card or, at a minimum, the same billing address. They also monitor this forum, including threads that ask about prohibited ticketing practices. (b) UA is under no contractual obligation to deliver you to IAH. If the EZE-IAH flight is cancelled, UA will re-route you through EWR without a momentís thought. Itís a small chance, but itís certainly not zero.

I must say, Iím extremely surprised that LAX-EZE + IAH-SEA was cheaper than either LAX-EZE/EZE-SEA or LAX-EZE + LAX-SEA.
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