Author Topic: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline  (Read 6526 times)

MrsCoolCat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 445
  • Age: 2017
Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« on: March 20, 2015, 10:58:36 PM »
On Dateline it said something about (for example), if I'm flying from NYC to Vegas but there's a cheaper flight that flies NYC to LA but first connects in Vegas... So it's cheaper if you just stayed and don't continue your flight to LA because you wanted to go to Vegas all along! Has anyone actually done this and it works? I'm curious because back in 2012 I saw flights were cheaper flying into Seoul but connected in Tokyo first, and one of my destinations was Tokyo! I actually inquired about it. Now I don't remember exactly WHAT I SAID when I asked, but the airline customer service pretty much said that if I miss my flight then there's a good chance that they will cancel my return flight since I never made it on the initial flight, etc. I've never tested it and maybe back then I said a bit too much about why is it cheaper so can I just not complete my full flight... Anyone know?! :-) Yeah, I'm a hustler without the help of Dateline.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 05:21:17 PM by MrsCoolCat »

terran

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3565
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 11:11:17 PM »
I first heard about it when skip lagged (https://skiplagged.com/) was in the news about over their fights with the airlines. You have to do one way flights because the airlines will cancel your return flight when you don't board the connection.

MrsCoolCat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 445
  • Age: 2017
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 11:22:11 PM »
I first heard about it when skip lagged (https://skiplagged.com/) was in the news about over their fights with the airlines. You have to do one way flights because the airlines will cancel your return flight when you don't board the connection.

Perfect; thanks for your answer! I was just really curious and if the airline was just saying that bc they were pissed that I'm such an "evil genius". J/K! I did notice (particularly in 2009) that sometimes it's cheaper to fly "multi one-way" than it is to fly multi-destinations to the same locations. E.g. FLL to Ireland to Budapest. Let's say the connecting flights are really FLL to London to Ireland to Berlin to Budapest... Sometimes it was cheaper to just stay in each of those locations for a day or two, and as a bonus you get to visit more destinations!

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2212
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 08:31:55 AM »
1) Yes, the airlines hate this practice, and 2) don't check any luggage!

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2879
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 01:51:22 PM »
I have booked a round trip ticket and only used it one way because it was cheaper then flying one way.

MrsCoolCat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 445
  • Age: 2017
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 02:14:53 PM »
Wow, yes, interesting and haha, I know about the checked luggage! Can you imagine! LOL plus the airlines will start worrying, so not a good idea!

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2212
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2015, 02:56:53 PM »
Decades ago when I worked at a Travel Agency (remember those?), business travelers would circumvent the Saturday night stay requirement for cheap tickets by buying "back to back" tickets.  Buy a cheap RT ticket from RDU to LAX Monday, with a fake return the following Monday, and then a second ticket on from LAX to RDU on Friday, with a fake return the following Friday, throwing away both returns.  The airlines threatened to start issuing Debit Memos (chargebacks) to the Travel Agents for this practice.  I don't know if they ever did since I left soon after.

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3188
    • My Blog
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2015, 03:12:04 PM »
In the frequent flyer community this is called hidden city ticketing.

I helped one my friends book a hidden city ticket. She saved about $90 overall.

I also told her to pay the $15 for priority boarding. This is important if you're flying economy class because if you board late, you may be forced to do a curbside luggage check, and they'll take your bag to the cargo area. And then they won't take your bag out at your desired destination.

Know that if there are any delays or cancellations, you may get rerouted. If you do get rerouted, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will be routed through your intended destination, and you may end up at the final destination on your ticket instead. So probably not such a great idea to do this in the winter if airports at either end are in snow prone areas.

And finally, don't put your frequent flyer number on the itinerary. Airlines hate hidden city ticketing, and they may confiscate your miles. I believe people have actually fought airlines in court and won, but whether that's true or not, that's way more hassle than it's worth.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2015, 01:07:27 PM by johnny847 »

netskyblue

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Location: Midwest USA
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2015, 03:24:56 PM »
Kind of don't get why airlines hate it... I mean, what's it to them if your butt's not in the seat on the second flight?  They save the cost of a soda & crackers, maybe a meal, possibly a miniscule amount less fuel used.

tj

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1377
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Maui
    • Arcadia Power
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2015, 03:48:20 PM »
Kind of don't get why airlines hate it... I mean, what's it to them if your butt's not in the seat on the second flight?  They save the cost of a soda & crackers, maybe a meal, possibly a miniscule amount less fuel used.


They over-book flights so much as it is, that they'd probably fill up the seat anyway. I guess it depends on the route, but it seems like there are always people on standby.

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3188
    • My Blog
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2015, 03:54:28 PM »
Kind of don't get why airlines hate it... I mean, what's it to them if your butt's not in the seat on the second flight?  They save the cost of a soda & crackers, maybe a meal, possibly a miniscule amount less fuel used.

If they could force you to not be able to book and fly hidden city tickets (I don't know how they would do this, but suppose they could), then they would make far more money. Typically hidden city tickets come about because of competitor pricing:

My friend wanted to fly ROC -> ATL. These flights were expensive at the time. US Airways flies ROC -> CLT non stop, because they have a hub in CLT. Because they have a hub in CLT, their cost of operating flights to/from CLT is pretty low, and in theory should be lower than that of any other airline. Hence, they can afford to set a low price for ROC -> CLT.
Because US Airways set low prices for ROC -> CLT, Delta needs to set a similar price to able to compete on the ROC -> CLT route. So Delta sets a low price on their ROC -> CLT route, which ends up routing through ATL because they have a hub in ATL.
So now Delta is forced to set a low price on a hidden city ticket for ROC -> ATL -> CLT, even though a ticket for ROC -> ATL on Delta is expensive.

So Delta could have sold an expensive ROC -> ATL flight, but instead sold a cheaper ROC -> ATL -> CLT flight instead. If you weren't allowed to buy this hidden city ticket, they would have made a much better sale.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1474
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Not Taking Connecting Flight to Save Money - Dateline
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2015, 12:58:17 PM »
Johnny847 has explained the pitfalls and rationale quite well. From my own limited experience doing this and from reading on Flyertalk, you should be fine with putting your frequent flyer number on the ticket anyway, as long as you're not doing this all the time.

Be aware that you're violating the terms and conditions of your ticket when you do this. That probably doesn't matter, but if you do the same route regularly, after a couple of missed final segments the airline's computers will notice you, and the airline may cancel your remaining tickets. Yes, you could probably sue them and maybe win, but you probably wouldn't bother.

Optimal strategy, probably: do it occasionally, not regularly on the same route or with the same airline, and only when the payoff is big. For example, because Air Canada has to compete on price/inconvenience on tix from the US to Europe, NYC-Europe is often slightly cheaper than NYC-Europe on American carriers and much cheaper than Toronto-Europe on Air Canada. So Torontonians might want to get to NYC somehow, fly to Europe via Toronto, then fly back to "the US" and just get off the plane in Toronto. Or fly Toronto-Europe-"NYC" and save less money, but also avoid the hassle of getting to NYC in the first place.

"Somebody I know" did this last year to get to Istanbul, and saved about $400.