Not going on the last leg of the flight

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manatee2005
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Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by manatee2005 »

I have an airport 2 hour drive from me and an airport 20 min drive from me. I found a very good price from the airport 2 hours away and on the return flight it says it will have a stop at the airport 20 min drive from me and then land at the originating airport which is 2 hrs away.
I’m thinking of just getting off that flight when it lands at the airport 20 mins away from me and not completing the last leg. I know this is a big no no on the way there because they will cancel your whole itinerary, but how about on the way home?
123
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by 123 »

They can't cancel you itinerary if you get off the plane on the way home. But they might do something else (if they can figure out who you are). If you fly an airline without assigned seats and only carry on luggage I don't know how they would know it was you without verifying who everyone else on the plane was.
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MotoTrojan
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by MotoTrojan »

If you don't make a habit of it, I don't think it is a terrible idea. Just tell them an emergency came up at the gate so they don't hold the plane and bother everyone else.
sailaway
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by sailaway »

Read the contract. Often, they reserve the right to charge you the difference and/or cancel your frequent flyer miles - either for the trip or to block you from the program entirely.

Flyertalk forums note:
1) consequences are unlikely if this is a one off
2) it is usually a breach of contract and therefore unethical

Outside of any of that, you should be aware that if you are checking bags, they will be checked through to your final destination, so you will likely have to travel there, anyway.
barros
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by barros »

I've done before, flying from Sacramento, CA to Phoenix, AZ. I found a much cheaper flight that would make a connection in Phoenix before heading back to another city in California. I landed in Phoenix and never boarded the next flight. I gave them a courtesy call saying I wouldn't be boarding the next flight so they don't keep calling my name for nothing. This is technically bad, airlines don't like it and can actually go after you if you're intentionally and frequently abusing it, but on a one off situation, I don't see a problem. Just make sure you don't check any bags otherwise you be able to get it.
increment
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by increment »

123 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:31 pm If you fly an airline without assigned seats and only carry on luggage I don't know how they would know it was you without verifying who everyone else on the plane was.
They scan everyone else's boarding pass. So they could identify you by the process of elimination.

If circumstances (weather, operations, etc.) require them to route you a different way to your ultimate destination, your trip may not stop at the place where you plan to get off.
MotoTrojan
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by MotoTrojan »

increment wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:36 pm
123 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:31 pm If you fly an airline without assigned seats and only carry on luggage I don't know how they would know it was you without verifying who everyone else on the plane was.
They scan everyone else's boarding pass. So they could identify you by the process of elimination.

If circumstances (weather, operations, etc.) require them to route you a different way to your ultimate destination, your trip may not stop at the place where you plan to get off.
The plane is stopping in the intermediate location so generally they just count the passengers remaining on the plane and if there is a discrepancy they could see what seats are not occupied that should've been. Not sure what Southwest for example would do; call out every passengers name?
retiredjg
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by retiredjg »

Even if they stop, if the stop is brief, they may not let you off the plane...
centrifuge41
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by centrifuge41 »

NY Times Ethicist.

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manatee2005
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by manatee2005 »

retiredjg wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:40 pm Even if they stop, if the stop is brief, they may not let you off the plane...
It’s a different flight by a different airline. The flight is coming back from overseas and taking the smaller plane to the airport that’s farther away from me. They’re connected because I used Orbitz to book.
Last edited by manatee2005 on Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

This was standard practice when I flew for a living. Another was getting a round trip ticket on an airline, which was cheaper than one way and not using the return flight. Our travel agent made sure we didn't travel on that airline for the rest of the trip.
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manatee2005
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by manatee2005 »

barros wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:35 pm I've done before, flying from Sacramento, CA to Phoenix, AZ. I found a much cheaper flight that would make a connection in Phoenix before heading back to another city in California. I landed in Phoenix and never boarded the next flight. I gave them a courtesy call saying I wouldn't be boarding the next flight so they don't keep calling my name for nothing. This is technically bad, airlines don't like it and can actually go after you if you're intentionally and frequently abusing it, but on a one off situation, I don't see a problem. Just make sure you don't check any bags otherwise you be able to get it.
Yeah I mean I don’t see it as unethical, I see it as unethical on their part actually to charge me more to fly less.
They will save fuel by not having to fly me a few hundred miles.
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manatee2005
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by manatee2005 »

sailaway wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:33 pm Read the contract. Often, they reserve the right to charge you the difference and/or cancel your frequent flyer miles - either for the trip or to block you from the program entirely.

Flyertalk forums note:
1) consequences are unlikely if this is a one off
2) it is usually a breach of contract and therefore unethical

Outside of any of that, you should be aware that if you are checking bags, they will be checked through to your final destination, so you will likely have to travel there, anyway.
Me flying on their airline to this other airport does nothing for them. I will call them and tell them I won’t be able to make it so they can give some Standby Flyer my spot.
theplayer11
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by theplayer11 »

manatee2005 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:45 pm
retiredjg wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:40 pm Even if they stop, if the stop is brief, they may not let you off the plane...
It’s a different flight by a different airline. The flight is coming back from overseas and taking the smaller plane to the airport that’s farther away from me. They’re connected because I used Orbitz to book.
I would do it and have done it. What if you missed the connection?..same result
sailaway
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by sailaway »

manatee2005 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:56 pm
sailaway wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:33 pm Read the contract. Often, they reserve the right to charge you the difference and/or cancel your frequent flyer miles - either for the trip or to block you from the program entirely.

Flyertalk forums note:
1) consequences are unlikely if this is a one off
2) it is usually a breach of contract and therefore unethical

Outside of any of that, you should be aware that if you are checking bags, they will be checked through to your final destination, so you will likely have to travel there, anyway.
Me flying on their airline to this other airport does nothing for them. I will call them and tell them I won’t be able to make it so they can give some Standby Flyer my spot.
Clearly it does do something for them, otherwise the ticket would not have been cheaper in the first place.
Johnny Thinwallet
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by Johnny Thinwallet »

I did this once about 10 years ago on a return flight home. I had a ride and one small carry on bag so no checked luggage and no car to worry about picking up. Got off the plane, walked out to meet my ride and got home two hours earlier.
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Prokofiev
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by Prokofiev »

manatee2005 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:56 pm
sailaway wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:33 pm Read the contract. Often, they reserve the right to charge you the difference and/or cancel your frequent flyer miles - either for the trip or to block you from the program entirely.

Flyertalk forums note:
1) consequences are unlikely if this is a one off
2) it is usually a breach of contract and therefore unethical

Outside of any of that, you should be aware that if you are checking bags, they will be checked through to your final destination, so you will likely have to travel there, anyway.
Me flying on their airline to this other airport does nothing for them. I will call them and tell them I won’t be able to make it so they can give some Standby Flyer my spot.
I would NOT tell them in advance. Nothing to gain. Just get off the plane and say nothing. Drawing attention to your plans might cause them to charge you the difference in fare.
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Freefun
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by Freefun »

It’s against the contract of carriage. Whether the airline does anything about it is another thing.

This is well known with a small cottage industry build around it.

Many blogs on it.

https://onemileatatime.com/skip-flight-what-happens/
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?
lkar
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by lkar »

manatee2005 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:56 pm
sailaway wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:33 pm Read the contract. Often, they reserve the right to charge you the difference and/or cancel your frequent flyer miles - either for the trip or to block you from the program entirely.

Flyertalk forums note:
1) consequences are unlikely if this is a one off
2) it is usually a breach of contract and therefore unethical

Outside of any of that, you should be aware that if you are checking bags, they will be checked through to your final destination, so you will likely have to travel there, anyway.
Me flying on their airline to this other airport does nothing for them. I will call them and tell them I won’t be able to make it so they can give some Standby Flyer my spot.
I would definitely not do that. They will give away your ticket if you aren't boarded by the time they call final boarding and they will allow a standby passenger to board anyway, if there is one.

It sounds to me like the first stop is after an international flight and this actually works to your favor, since you likely would have to reclaim bags so you don't have to worry about having a bag checked all the way to your final destination.

As others have noted, the two biggest concerns with doing this (which is actually called "hidden city ticketing") is that in the case of irregular operations the airline's (or in this case airlines') duty is to get you to your final destination so they may re-route you in a way that thwarts your plan. Or, if you don't have an early boarding group and overhead space is all taken they generally will insist that you check your bag to your final destination, which can be a problem. Again, if your preferred offloading spot is the port of entry to the USA this problem is not significant since you have to claim your bag anyway.

There are always rumors that airlines are going to get more sophisticated in punishing or deterring hidden city ticketing, but it still goes on. If you don't make a habit of it, you'll probably be ok. If the mileage earning is not great or in a program where you don't collect miles, some people advise against putting your frequent flier number in the reservation just to be safe. For a one-off, this is probably too much erring on the side of caution.
billfromct
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by billfromct »

I think in the old days, this was called "hidden city ticketing".

bill
oilrig
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by oilrig »

I did this exact thing recently. I live in houston and took a return flight with United from Cancun to Canada, with a connection in houston. I just got off in houston and never made the Canada flight. It was much cheaper than booking a flight to houston directly.

Nothing happened to me. As long as you don’t list your frequent flier number, or book with miles, then there’s not much the airline can do. There’s a website called skiplagged.com whose entire business is finding flights like this. Apparently they were sued by the major airlines but ended up winning.
lkar
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by lkar »

oilrig wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:15 pm I did this exact thing recently. I live in houston and took a return flight with United from Cancun to Canada, with a connection in houston. I just got off in houston and never made the Canada flight. It was much cheaper than booking a flight to houston directly.

Nothing happened to me. As long as you don’t list your frequent flier number, or book with miles, then there’s not much the airline can do. There’s a website called skiplagged.com whose entire business is finding flights like this. Apparently they were sued by the major airlines but ended up winning.
While hidden city ticketing generally is not yet something that airlines seem to be too motivated to try to clean up, I would be extremely reluctant to attempt to press your luck with another itinerary like that. The city in which you end your journey should always be in the same country as the final destination, to avoid the potential of raising considerable flags and potentially causing trouble with a mismatched entry or exit notation on a visa. It also, in some circumstances (not here) could constitute prohibited cabotage.

Back in the high flying days of weird tricks that could be used to book very esoteric and cheap hidden city tickets using the Avianca lifemiles program, people definitely got away with this sort of stuff but you have to be very well versed in what you're doing to avoid potentially creating a problem for yourself even years later when you show up at a border of a country you were ticketed to fly to and did not in a prior time, and get pulled aside.
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manatee2005
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by manatee2005 »

lkar wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:36 pm
oilrig wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:15 pm I did this exact thing recently. I live in houston and took a return flight with United from Cancun to Canada, with a connection in houston. I just got off in houston and never made the Canada flight. It was much cheaper than booking a flight to houston directly.

Nothing happened to me. As long as you don’t list your frequent flier number, or book with miles, then there’s not much the airline can do. There’s a website called skiplagged.com whose entire business is finding flights like this. Apparently they were sued by the major airlines but ended up winning.
While hidden city ticketing generally is not yet something that airlines seem to be too motivated to try to clean up, I would be extremely reluctant to attempt to press your luck with another itinerary like that. The city in which you end your journey should always be in the same country as the final destination, to avoid the potential of raising considerable flags and potentially causing trouble with a mismatched entry or exit notation on a visa. It also, in some circumstances (not here) could constitute prohibited cabotage.

Back in the high flying days of weird tricks that could be used to book very esoteric and cheap hidden city tickets using the Avianca lifemiles program, people definitely got away with this sort of stuff but you have to be very well versed in what you're doing to avoid potentially creating a problem for yourself even years later when you show up at a border of a country you were ticketed to fly to and did not in a prior time, and get pulled aside.
It's in the same country. I'm flying into California from overseas, direct to my city and then the cheap itinerary wants me to fly few hundred miles more.
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manatee2005
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by manatee2005 »

lkar wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:00 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:56 pm
sailaway wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:33 pm Read the contract. Often, they reserve the right to charge you the difference and/or cancel your frequent flyer miles - either for the trip or to block you from the program entirely.

Flyertalk forums note:
1) consequences are unlikely if this is a one off
2) it is usually a breach of contract and therefore unethical

Outside of any of that, you should be aware that if you are checking bags, they will be checked through to your final destination, so you will likely have to travel there, anyway.
Me flying on their airline to this other airport does nothing for them. I will call them and tell them I won’t be able to make it so they can give some Standby Flyer my spot.
I would definitely not do that. They will give away your ticket if you aren't boarded by the time they call final boarding and they will allow a standby passenger to board anyway, if there is one.

It sounds to me like the first stop is after an international flight and this actually works to your favor, since you likely would have to reclaim bags so you don't have to worry about having a bag checked all the way to your final destination.

As others have noted, the two biggest concerns with doing this (which is actually called "hidden city ticketing") is that in the case of irregular operations the airline's (or in this case airlines') duty is to get you to your final destination so they may re-route you in a way that thwarts your plan. Or, if you don't have an early boarding group and overhead space is all taken they generally will insist that you check your bag to your final destination, which can be a problem. Again, if your preferred offloading spot is the port of entry to the USA this problem is not significant since you have to claim your bag anyway.

There are always rumors that airlines are going to get more sophisticated in punishing or deterring hidden city ticketing, but it still goes on. If you don't make a habit of it, you'll probably be ok. If the mileage earning is not great or in a program where you don't collect miles, some people advise against putting your frequent flier number in the reservation just to be safe. For a one-off, this is probably too much erring on the side of caution.
I only travel with a carry on, but you're right, if it's too full they will make me check it. In that case I'll just go to my final destination and find the way home.
Valjean
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by Valjean »

Remember that time you got stuck in traffic on the way to the airport and you missed your flight and the airline called wondering what happened to you?

Yeah, me neither.
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Nate79
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by Nate79 »

I would not make a habit of doing this (hidden city) as it is in the targets of the airlines in the last few years. But once should be fine.
Shallowpockets
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by Shallowpockets »

I would do it. What’s to lose really. Airlines/ethics, that’s a joke.
They have their business model geared towards their own interest and wants.
You have yours.
sheepla
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by sheepla »

I've done this many many times.
johnnyc321
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by johnnyc321 »

There used to be an app that would search flights based on the connection but I believe the airlines sued the guy and forced Apple to delete it from the App Store.
2cents2
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by 2cents2 »

MotoTrojan wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:38 pm The plane is stopping in the intermediate location so generally they just count the passengers remaining on the plane and if there is a discrepancy they could see what seats are not occupied that should've been. Not sure what Southwest for example would do; call out every passengers name?
On Southwest -if the through passenger count does not match, they will ask to see all the through passenger's ID--which they must sort out before the passengers board for the next leg. Ideally, it is best to tell the gate agent so the next leg of the flight doesn't get delayed.
If you have a plane change, you can have them cancel out your boarding pass for the last leg you are not taking once you land (otherwise, they might be paging you in the terminal).

I don't know about what their policy is in such a circumstance, though. I'm not sure which airline the OP is booking. But, I wonder if ticket might be priced out as 2 one ways along the desired itinerary instead of a round trip?
ddurrett896
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by ddurrett896 »

My coworker use to do it on work trips since the cost was almost 50% cheaper. Never an issue as long as you don't have a checked bag.
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8foot7
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by 8foot7 »

Skiplagged.com is the site United sued and lost. I use it from time to time, living in a fortress hub. There can be considerable savings. As others have said, be sure your frequent flyer number is not associated with a reservation in which you are skipping the last leg; they can technically still track you but it will be harder and you’ll at least evade the first layer automated systems that look for this sort of thing. If you do it too much they will likely send you a warning letter before taking some drastic action like cancelling your miles. (On the flip side, I am all but certain I have saved more actual cash with this method than all of my miles combined were ever worth.) But to be sure there is absolutely no ethical issue with doing this.

In fact just last month, Miami to Charlotte was $570. Miami to Baltimore with a stop in Charlotte was $89. Same plane on the MIA-CLT leg, same fare basis code. It is so stark a difference as to be a no-brainer.
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Re: Not going on the last leg of the flight

Post by Flyer24 »

This is often a violation of the carriage of contract with the airline. Discussion of this action is not allowed on this forum. Topic is locked.
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