Hidden City Tix

February 27, 2012
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I'm just wondering: what would happen if I were to take a connecting flight from New York to Austin, TX, with the connection being in Houston, and I stayed in Houston and did not continue on to Austin. This would be a one-way ticket. Would there be any fees or complications associated with such a thing?



    A. I'm assuming that you wish to do this because the fare from New York to Austin connecting in Houston is less expensive than the fare from New York to Houston. What you're proposing is called in "hidden city" fare in airline parlance. Many airlines forbid this practice in their contracts of carriage, but some do not. And were you to do this on a round-trip ticket (New York-Houston-Austin-Houston-New York) then the airline would cancel the Austin-Houston-New York portion of your trip if you didn't shown up for the Houston-Austin leg. Even those airlines that forbid the practice won't go after your bank account, however if you do this often they might kick you out of their frequent flyer program. To play it safe, if your airline has regulations against the practice then don't use your frequent flyer number.

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