Today, a primary objective for the majority of consumers of any product or service type, including airline tickets, is to purchase them at the best possible price. Also, in many instances, if it involves taking “shortcuts” and taking advantage of the thin-red-line, or being tempted by a seemingly full-proof scam, then to save some significant dollars, it could be worth it!

Is ‘Hidden City Ticketing’ Legal?

If you ask the question of whether it’s possible to use your Frequent Flyers miles and points on the “Hidden City Trick”, the answer is yes. However, it is also dangerous. If you ask is “Hidden city ticketing legal” – or contravenes airline regulations, let it be said that customers who practice it too often can risk forfeiting their Frequent Flyer Miles or being refused service.

Like various other forms of negotiating or dealing, producers or providers believe ‘hidden city ticketing is simply a means of cheating, but for the consumer, it remains one of the leading methods of making significant savings on your flights’. However, that is if you know how it operates!

How Does Hidden City Ticketing Work?

For instance, a particular flight costing $250 may stop midway, whereas another ticket for a shorter-distance destination may cost $450. This results in a ticket saving of $200. This is a well-designed method of saving money that operates on the principle of finding cheaper flights from disembarking at an airline stopping point en route to the booked destination.

Although having read this quickly may seem appealing, there are various negative factors in play for the airlines and also for travelers that are worth considering.

Is It Too Good to Be True?

It may appear that finding cheaper flights could result in huge financial gains for you. However, Hidden City ticketing consequences can pose financially-related coercion and other threats or consumers in the long-term. Travelers who genuinely need to land at the pre-booked and intended destination of the ticket will discover the cost of their tickets will increase due to the minimal number of seats available.

Those benefiting from using Hidden City Tickets use these seats only on a part trip. This effectively either causes a situation of other travelers/consumers to be flightless or being forced to pay a higher price to reach their destination. Over time, this behavior pattern will give rise to increased costs in all airline fares because of the decrease in revenue created by the empty seating.

Is It an Airlines and Consumer Conflict?

It is recognized that the cheapest flights can be searched to help find layover flights that correspond with your intended destination. But there are various warnings attached to hidden city ticketing, or as some would say “hacking” due to it being regarded as a practice tainted with controversy.

Although in general terms Hidden City Ticketing is legal, however, it is a business activity that contravenes the contract of carriage as laid down by the airlines. In effect, meaning that they do not like passengers doing it! There is also the possibility that if an airline is aware of your doing this, they may not allow you on that plane, or even remove you.

Hidden City Ticketing Tips

If you have decided that this strategy is for you then when you use it:

  • The booking agents should not be informed of your intentions
  • Do not check-in luggage
  • It will finish the trip at your originally booked destination
  • A bag because your luggage is going to end up at the final ticketed destination
  • Ensure your flight is not rerouted to land in a different location to its final destination

According to insider travel hacks do not purchase a round-trip ticket when employing Hidden City Ticketing. This is because that when you don’t exit the plane at your booked ticket destination, the remainder of your trip will be canceled by the airline.

Potential Penalties

Various penalties could be imposed by the airlines upon those passengers who either for the money or sheer excitement of bucking the system use this ticketing tactic. In theory, the airlines could look at it as a “hacker fare” and rule that if you want to fly the rest of the booked itinerary, you must pay the full price of the ticket. The cost could be whatever amount they determine it as!

A further theory could be the confiscating of some frequent flyer miles, on the premise that your actions are contrary to the rules and regulations of the airline program. Another one to think about is that the airline could theoretically prevent you from boarding that particular flight.

It’s your decision but using the Hidden City Trick is possible!