If you live in a large city that is a hub airline, you could likely benefit from hidden city ticketing. But should you take advantage of it just because it saves you money?
What Is Hidden City Ticketing
Let’s say for example, you want to fly from Los Angeles to Charlotte but the cost is too high. So instead, you book from Los Angeles to Miami with a connection in Charlotte to save money. Instead of going all the way to your “destination” of Miami, you get off at Charlotte and throw away your last segment to Miami.
The airline thinks they are selling you a ticket to Miami and since this route has less competition, or fewer Charlotte hub captive people, they price the routing lower than just the direct flight from Los Angeles to Charlotte.
What Should You Consider
Airlines frown upon hidden city ticket and it can technically be against the contract of carriage with your airline. So be careful if you think this is a foolproof way to save money. Airline miles could be removed or even worse case, theoretically the airline could ban you from flying them. But for those that don’t fly very often or have any loyalty to an airline, do either of these repercussions matter? It depends.
Also, checking bags will send them to your final destination. If you happen to need to “skip” the last segment to any reason, your bags may continue on to your original destination.
Saving Money Example Using Hidden City Ticketing
Let’s continue with the Los Angeles to Charlotte example. Assume you price out a one-way ticket on the US Airways direct flight. For a sample date, this will cost you $570 for the one-way flight.
Now let’s assume instead a ticket is purchased from Los Angeles to Miami with a connection in Charlotte. That ticket, for the same date and same flight on the same plane, will cost only $186 for the one-way flight.
The cost savings for these two tickets on the same plane equals a $384 savings.
Hidden city ticketing can potentially save some flyers a lot of money but it doesn’t come without risk so evaluate whether it makes sense to you or not.
There are many routes where hidden city ticketing will save money. Have you ever considered using hidden city ticketing? Did you end up booking this way and how much money did it save you?