Leaving plane at intermediate stop?

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The answer seems to be "the airlines". If you're willing to pay the potential consequences, good for you. Some people take agreements that they enter into a little more seriously.
Well said! That's the bottom line of this silly argument.

Silly in part because I wonder how many folks want to go from A to C with a connection at B, and then return only as far as B. And, I wonder how many fare structures would make that scenario financially better. I have no idea, except that when I fly Delta SFO-CDG, the non-stop flight they offer, operated by Air France, is always cheaper than the one- or two-stop flights operated by Delta.
 

caravanman

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"Some people take agreements that they enter into a little more seriously."

Well said! That's the bottom line of this silly argument.

Silly in part because I wonder how many folks want to go from A to C with a connection at B, and then return only as far as B. And, I wonder how many fare structures would make that scenario financially better. I have no idea, except that when I fly Delta SFO-CDG, the non-stop flight they offer, operated by Air France, is always cheaper than the one- or two-stop flights operated by Delta.

My request for information was straightforward, and I have a good idea now about the pros and cons!
These days, I live pretty much "hand to mouth", and while I love to travel, I have to watch the pennies. Should I stop travelling because I can't afford it, or get creative to enjoy a few more trips before I fall off my perch?
I have identified a way to save around £100 on a transatlantic flight, which pays for two nights accommodation in a USA hostel, or a coach seat fare from NYC to CHI...

While it might lower some posters opinions of my character to try to save money in this way, that is a cross I can carry.... :D
 

BCL

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Legally the airlines have no grounds to go after any customer that engages hidden city ticketing. No US airline has tried, and when Lufthansa did they failed. You can find that information by googling hidden city ticketing lawsuits.

Airline contracts of carriage are very specific and spell out in no uncertain terms that they are selling transportation between two points. They do not guarantee specific seats, or specific planes, or even specific routes. When you buy a ticket between three cities the airline has agreed to transport you between those three cities. That you may not need the last portion of transportation is none of the airlines business. Pepsi doesn’t get mad if I buy a soda take a sip and throw the rest out do they? Furthermore, if you pay your fare, show up on time, engage in the kabuki theatre that is TSA checkpoints, respect airport and airline workers, and don’t cause any trouble on the planes you are following the rules. If you want to subject yourself to arbitrary rules designed by corporations for their benefit then that’s on you.

Legally one has only purchased transportation between two points. I could imagine that if there's something like a train breakdown, Amtrak could bring in a bus or perhaps call for Uber to bring a group of passengers to the final destination, even if someone intended on getting off early.

That being said, I've gotten off on intermediate stops on Amtrak, but that was specifically allowed. I had a multi-ride ticket that I made sure covered all bases, even though I didn't always use the endpoints. A conductor would typically ask me if I was going all the way, and if I said it was at an earlier stop that would go right on the seat check under the same reservation number on the ticket.
 

BCL

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Well said! That's the bottom line of this silly argument.

Silly in part because I wonder how many folks want to go from A to C with a connection at B, and then return only as far as B. And, I wonder how many fare structures would make that scenario financially better. I have no idea, except that when I fly Delta SFO-CDG, the non-stop flight they offer, operated by Air France, is always cheaper than the one- or two-stop flights operated by Delta.

It actually happens a lot like that, where they're only pricing it based on supply and demand for those two specific endpoints. The airlines have to be competitive with other airlines, and many still use a hub and spoke system. Once the cheapest flight I had from Chicago to San Francisco was with Northwest via their Detroit hub, even though it was going backwards.
 

Bob Dylan

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"Some people take agreements that they enter into a little more seriously."



My request for information was straightforward, and I have a good idea now about the pros and cons!
These days, I live pretty much "hand to mouth", and while I love to travel, I have to watch the pennies. Should I stop travelling because I can't afford it, or get creative to enjoy a few more trips before I fall off my perch?
I have identified a way to save around £100 on a transatlantic flight, which pays for two nights accommodation in a USA hostel, or a coach seat fare from NYC to CHI...

While it might lower some posters opinions of my character to try to save money in this way, that is a cross I can carry.... :D
Not only do I not question your character in this matter, I applaud you since I'm also a pensioner living on an ever decreasing income as Inflation ( aka Greed!) Runs amok!
 

railiner

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A different scenario than the so-called “hidden city” scheme, but what if you were flying (or taking a train) on a continuous trip from point ‘A’ to point ‘Z’, and due to a pricing glitch ( or perhaps market design), you could get a lower total by buying the trip in 2 (or more) segments than what the thru fare was.
I don’t believe there is any rule against taking advantage of the system that way, is there?
 

ehbowen

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Legally, by their one-sided and non-negotiable 'contract of carriage', the airline holds all the cards. If they choose they can make your life miserable. And, while I haven't read their contract(s), I'd be very surprised if there wasn't a provision which limited you to 'binding arbitration' while they, of course, are free to bring the full wrath of god down on you.

From a standpoint of morality and ethics (see also: 'contract of adhesion') the airlines' practice is as indefensible as back in the day when you could purchase a railroad ticket to California for (as little as) one dollar, but fares to intermediate cities were full price and even inflated. That practice was quite rightly stomped out and, while I generally prefer less regulation to more, it's not possible to have a fair game without consistent and consistently enforced rules.
 
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Here is a concrete example currently available: I can fly from Toronto (YYZ) to DFW, AA's hub, on a given day for $391CAD one-way. However I can take the same plane from Toronto, connect in DFW to Austin for $292CAD. Heck, I can continue all the way to LAX for $362CAD, so it's understandable why someone needing to go to Dallas with no checked bag might look at other options.
 
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Silly in part because I wonder how many folks want to go from A to C with a connection at B, and then return only as far as B. And, I wonder how many fare structures would make that scenario financially better. I have no idea, except that when I fly Delta SFO-CDG, the non-stop flight they offer, operated by Air France, is always cheaper than the one- or two-stop flights operated by Delta.
I would suggest that going from A to C with a connection at B may have been an accidental discovery arrived at by searching the lowest fare from A to C. Returning to B was likely not the original plan. Certainly in North America, domestic flights are often cheaper with a connection in your favorite airline's hub versus a non-stop. International is a whole other ballgame.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I'd like to see how that might end up in court.
The only hidden city lawsuits I could find involved United Airlines and Lufthansa and neither airline prevailed. When airlines are able to collect money in response to accusations of hidden city ticketing it's probably due to a threat of expensive legal action rather than a favorable judgement. In other words, those who have the time and money to defend themselves in court will likely win while those who cannot will often pay up just to make the threat go away.
 
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Outside of the US there have been a few, laws of other countries are generally tougher on businesses than the US. United sued Orbitz and Skiplagged, Orbitz settled. It isn't worth suing an individual, not worth the bother for a small amount. But they have no problem cancelling mileage accounts, or return tickets, or putting you on no fly with that airline, that puts the ball in the passengers hands, and they don't have strong cases, since contracts of carriage are generally upheld.
 

blueman271

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Outside of the US there have been a few, laws of other countries are generally tougher on businesses than the US. United sued Orbitz and Skiplagged, Orbitz settled. It isn't worth suing an individual, not worth the bother for a small amount. But they have no problem cancelling mileage accounts, or return tickets, or putting you on no fly with that airline, that puts the ball in the passengers hands, and they don't have strong cases, since contracts of carriage are generally upheld.
If I ever plan on using hidden city ticketing in Turkmenistan I’ll keep this in mind. Here in the US customers do not have to worry about civil or criminal proceedings being brought against them.
 
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If I ever plan on using hidden city ticketing in Turkmenistan I’ll keep this in mind. Here in the US customers do not have to worry about civil or criminal proceedings being brought against them.
Actually, in general the US is tougher on consumers than foreign countries. The airlines won't waste their time and money going after small timers, but if they feel like it they can cancel your tickets and leave you in the position of buying a very expensive no advance ticket on another airline. Better than suing for no gain. I don't think anyone mentioned anything about authorities being involved or criminal action, it is just simple contract law. You enter into it voluntary, and if you don't like the terms don't agree to them.
 

flitcraft

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I'm surprised at those defending the airlines in these cases. These are adhesion contracts, with no meaningful choice by consumers. For example, in the Before Times, I wanted to fly from Seattle to Tokyo and back. My only choice was Delta from Seattle, and given their monopoly position, the flight was extortionately expensive . So, I wondered if maybe flying from Vancouver BC to Tokyo might be a better option. And, indeed, it was hundreds of dollars cheaper--flying from Vancouver to Seattle, then taking the same exact Seattle to Tokyo Delta flight! No way is this anything but pure unadulterated airline greed--it couldn't cost them more to fly us Seattle to Tokyo than Vancouver-Seattle-Tokyo. So, in the end, we drove to Vancouver, stayed overnight in a Vancouver hotel, had a great meal in a Vancouver restaurant, left our car for two weeks at a Vancouver parking lot, and still saved a couple hundred dollars over the Seattle to Tokyo roundtrip flight. I admit it was tough after a trans-pacific flight to our home airport to have to fly oneway to Vancouver on Alaska to pick up the car and drive home. But the outrageous behavior of Delta made me determined never to fly them again.

And, I haven't. And never will. I doubt that Delta will miss my business, but I'll be damned if I let them cheat me again. Pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered.
 

JontyMort

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A different scenario than the so-called “hidden city” scheme, but what if you were flying (or taking a train) on a continuous trip from point ‘A’ to point ‘Z’, and due to a pricing glitch ( or perhaps market design), you could get a lower total by buying the trip in 2 (or more) segments than what the thru fare was.
I don’t believe there is any rule against taking advantage of the system that way, is there?
That’s a common scenario on the trains in Britain, especially on a trip A-B-C, where the fare for A-C is set by by Operator X and A-B and B-C are set by Operator Y (or Y and Z). Savings can exceed 50%. It’s perfectly OK, provided that the train is booked to stop at station B (strictly speaking, it needs to be pick up AND set down). Notorious and well-known examples are Cross-Country runs from Birmingham, via Derby or Cheltenham.

In Britain, there has sometimes been a problem with long-distance trains out of London in the evening peak hour getting clogged up with short distance commuters. Reading (36 miles from London, non-stop) has often had “pick-up only” stops in an attempt to stop this, but of course the regulars are wise to this (even though their tickets are not valid). Sometimes the railway fights back. In the 1960s Gerry Fiennes once arranged for a relief train to run from Reading (to cater for the pick-up), and ran the main train non-stop from London to its next booked stop at Taunton or Exeter, well over 100 miles further on. Then he sent his revenue protection team down the train for some return fares.
 

toddinde

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At first impression, I had no issues with this although I personally wouldn’t do it. As I wrote this though, I reconsidered. I think it’s wrong. If you don’t have the money to travel, then take a holiday closer to home. Since you raised morality, you are potentially taking a seat from another person and driving up the fare for somebody else. If you are going to New York, but you buy your ticket to Cleveland and get off in New York, you hogged a seat on the New York to Cleveland leg. A struggling college kid might have needed that seat to see their grandparent, or comfort family through a loss, or travel for medical treatment. I think it’s selfish and rude. As for doing the same thing on Amtrak, I did it not long ago where my son was picking me up to do something in an area away from my original destination. I got off one stop before. I asked the agent, and if I had changed my ticket, it would have given me a much higher fare. Since I did not do this deliberately just to get a lower fare, I’m ethically comfortable with my decision. Deliberately hogging accommodations you don’t intend to use on a scarce commodity like today’s Amtrak or the airlines is, in my view, unethical and morally repugnant.
 

toddinde

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The answer seems to be "the airlines". If you're willing to pay the potential consequences, good for you. Some people take agreements that they enter into a little more seriously.
I would be laughing when the airline rerouted the person through a different city than the hidden destination city due to a delay or schedule change. It’s just unethical, and karma is going to get them.
 

toddinde

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If I ever plan on using hidden city ticketing in Turkmenistan I’ll keep this in mind. Here in the US customers do not have to worry about civil or criminal proceedings being brought against them.
But you could lose your miles, and the airline could refuse carriage in the future. Then you would bear the cost of arbitration to try to get your miles back. You would also lose because you knowingly breached your contract for a few bucks. Not to mention driving up fares for others and wasting a seat that might go empty for no reason. It’s just not cool.
 

toddinde

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I'm surprised at those defending the airlines in these cases. These are adhesion contracts, with no meaningful choice by consumers. For example, in the Before Times, I wanted to fly from Seattle to Tokyo and back. My only choice was Delta from Seattle, and given their monopoly position, the flight was extortionately expensive . So, I wondered if maybe flying from Vancouver BC to Tokyo might be a better option. And, indeed, it was hundreds of dollars cheaper--flying from Vancouver to Seattle, then taking the same exact Seattle to Tokyo Delta flight! No way is this anything but pure unadulterated airline greed--it couldn't cost them more to fly us Seattle to Tokyo than Vancouver-Seattle-Tokyo. So, in the end, we drove to Vancouver, stayed overnight in a Vancouver hotel, had a great meal in a Vancouver restaurant, left our car for two weeks at a Vancouver parking lot, and still saved a couple hundred dollars over the Seattle to Tokyo roundtrip flight. I admit it was tough after a trans-pacific flight to our home airport to have to fly oneway to Vancouver on Alaska to pick up the car and drive home. But the outrageous behavior of Delta made me determined never to fly them again.

And, I haven't. And never will. I doubt that Delta will miss my business, but I'll be damned if I let them cheat me again. Pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered.
There is nothing the matter with what you did except from a climate change perspective, but I question your sanity. Extending an already long trip, the price of gas, meals and hotels to save a buck or two on the airline fare seems kind of ridiculous. But then people camp out in the freezing cold in front of Best Buy the night before Black Friday. You do you man.
 

blueman271

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But you could lose your miles, and the airline could refuse carriage in the future. Then you would bear the cost of arbitration to try to get your miles back. You would also lose because you knowingly breached your contract for a few bucks. Not to mention driving up fares for others and wasting a seat that might go empty for no reason. It’s just not cool.
Hence the reason I recommend doing this on an airline that you don’t hold status on. Taking away all of zero is still zero.
 

caravanman

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Deliberately hogging accommodations you don’t intend to use on a scarce commodity like today’s Amtrak or the airlines is, in my view, unethical and morally repugnant
If you don’t have the money to travel, then take a holiday closer to home.

Oh dear! I have decided to cancel my visit to the US this autumn, so I won't now attend the San Diego Gathering as intended.
 

blueman271

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At first impression, I had no issues with this although I personally wouldn’t do it. As I wrote this though, I reconsidered. I think it’s wrong. If you don’t have the money to travel, then take a holiday closer to home. Since you raised morality, you are potentially taking a seat from another person and driving up the fare for somebody else. If you are going to New York, but you buy your ticket to Cleveland and get off in New York, you hogged a seat on the New York to Cleveland leg. A struggling college kid might have needed that seat to see their grandparent, or comfort family through a loss, or travel for medical treatment. I think it’s selfish and rude. As for doing the same thing on Amtrak, I did it not long ago where my son was picking me up to do something in an area away from my original destination. I got off one stop before. I asked the agent, and if I had changed my ticket, it would have given me a much higher fare. Since I did not do this deliberately just to get a lower fare, I’m ethically comfortable with my decision. Deliberately hogging accommodations you don’t intend to use on a scarce commodity like today’s Amtrak or the airlines is, in my view, unethical and morally repugnant.
What about the person flying for bereavement purposes who gets their flight canceled because the airline doesn’t have enough staff to fly the schedule they have created and sold? Is that morally repugnant? What about the family with a toddler that bought a ticket to minimize connection time whose flight was changed to a four hour connection because of a schedule change? Is that morally repugnant? It amazes me how many of you friends of the airlines are going out of your way to defend corporation that only care about their bottom lines.
 

BCL

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At first impression, I had no issues with this although I personally wouldn’t do it. As I wrote this though, I reconsidered. I think it’s wrong. If you don’t have the money to travel, then take a holiday closer to home. Since you raised morality, you are potentially taking a seat from another person and driving up the fare for somebody else. If you are going to New York, but you buy your ticket to Cleveland and get off in New York, you hogged a seat on the New York to Cleveland leg. A struggling college kid might have needed that seat to see their grandparent, or comfort family through a loss, or travel for medical treatment. I think it’s selfish and rude. As for doing the same thing on Amtrak, I did it not long ago where my son was picking me up to do something in an area away from my original destination. I got off one stop before. I asked the agent, and if I had changed my ticket, it would have given me a much higher fare. Since I did not do this deliberately just to get a lower fare, I’m ethically comfortable with my decision. Deliberately hogging accommodations you don’t intend to use on a scarce commodity like today’s Amtrak or the airlines is, in my view, unethical and morally repugnant.

It might not make that much of a difference because of overbooking. They expect a certain proportion of no-shows or cancellations so they often book more passengers than space availability. Of course this doesn't always work out, and they'll end up offering money (as well as transportation (hopefully) the next day plus meals and a hotel room. I know a travel agent who said that early volunteers often got the best offers.
 
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