Travel

Skipping the last leg of a flight?

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  • Feb 14th, 2019 4:06 pm
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[OP]
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Jul 21, 2005
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Skipping the last leg of a flight?

Hi guys,

So going to Japan soon, and if anyone saw my previous PR thread, I am thinking of getting off in YVR airport on the way home instead of going all the way back to YYC. My flight does a connection through YVR, and I have flown this many times, and I know despite what they put on the tags, you have to pickup your bags and drop them off again. I am flying with ANA/Air Canada and it would make more sense for me to get out in YVR, get a rental car, and drive the rest of the way after picking up my wife in Seattle. Anyone done this? Any issues? Should I tell the airline ahead of time, or at all? Also, I believe despite having to pickup and dropoff your luggage at YVR, I think the sticker in Japan will still say YYC as the final destination. Any issues with me having this luggage going through customs when it will say YYC on it?


Thanks
15 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2017
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As long as you clear your bag in YVR, should be no problem but don't tell AC. Just walk pass the connecting flights baggage dropoff and exit out.

Not sure how you're going to get a YVR-YYC one-way car rental cheap though. Might be better to drive back to YVR and buy whatever tickets back to YYC (cheaper and given it's winter).
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD
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Dec 20, 2003
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Ottawa
Short version - yes, you can skip the last leg of your itinerary (do NOT do it before the very last flight, as all the following ones will be cancelled!), but do NOT tell AC as thirftshopper mentioned. This is not permitted by the T&C, and mentioning it to an agent could kick off a series of events resulting in your not traveling with the airline again.

This is known as Hidden City Ticketing; where you add on a city at the end of a ticket that ends up making it cheaper. An example - instead of going CDG-YYZ on Air Canada, as YYZ is a major hub, it might costs hundreds less to book a CDG-YYZ-BOS ticket, even if you don't intend to go to Boston. Airlines hate this, as even though it's cheaper for you, you take up a seat you don't intend to use, and cause headaches as staff waste time tracking people down, holding a plane, pulling off luggage, etc. It doesn't matter if you didn't intentionally book this as a hidden city ticket... they will consider it to be one, unless you call them and re-book your ticket (at a higher fare most likely) as NRT-YVR, instead of NRT-YVR-YYC.

Airlines have banned people, sued people, etc., if they do this too often.

You have two options:

1 - Check in your bags as normal, as you mentioned and then don't re-check them in. Customs doesn't care, as long as you're a Canadian - you're returning to your home country and can go anywhere you'd like. It's the airline who doesn't like people skipping tickets.
2 - At check-in, as to "short-check" your bags to YVR. If they ask, say that you're meeting a family member at the airport, and have souvenirs from your travels you want to share with them, and will re-check it to YYC afterwards. That only works if you have enough connection time, though :)

In an airport like YYZ, #2 is the only option if you're flying on AC, since you don't pick up the luggage anymore - it transfers automatically.
- Absolute
[OP]
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Jul 21, 2005
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thriftshopper wrote:
Jan 1st, 2019 8:30 pm
As long as you clear your bag in YVR, should be no problem but don't tell AC. Just walk pass the connecting flights baggage dropoff and exit out.

Not sure how you're going to get a YVR-YYC one-way car rental cheap though. Might be better to drive back to YVR and buy whatever tickets back to YYC (cheaper and given it's winter).
Thanks guys. Regarding the car rental, I looked it up and I can get a car for $200 from Alamo for 3 days, (with Calgary drop off) first day to drive from airport to my sister's place for the night, and the following day to go pickup the wife and either drive straight back home if in the morning, or stay another night in Vancouver and head out the following day. $200 is not too bad, will save me like 11 hours of driving (in winter with unknown conditions) and the gas for that drive.
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Jul 7, 2017
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Double and triple check for the presence of a drop off fee. Sometimes they don't state it's there and what the amount is.
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD
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Feb 14, 2009
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https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/luft ... index.html

.....
According to a court document, an unnamed male passenger booked a return
flight from Oslo to Seattle, which had a layover in Frankfurt.
The passenger used all legs of the outbound flight, but did not catch
the Frankfurt to Oslo return flight. He instead flew on a separate Lufthansa
reservation from Frankfurt to Berlin.

Lufthansa saw this as a violation of their terms and conditions and is seeking €2,112 (around $2,385) in compensation.
....

Cheers!
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2014
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Tip: if you do this, do NOT attach any frequent flyer # to it, best to forfeit the miles, which is not much to begin with if you are booking the lowest fares.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
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If you will fly again with this airline, you risk getting blacklisted for doing this. Even though you don't provide frequent flyer, you still need to provide some records to identify who you are.

I myself wouldn't do this over a few hundred dollars of savings. I like to fly more times in the future.
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Jun 12, 2007
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tequilla wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 1:16 pm
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/luft ... index.html

.....
According to a court document, an unnamed male passenger booked a return
flight from Oslo to Seattle, which had a layover in Frankfurt.
The passenger used all legs of the outbound flight, but did not catch
the Frankfurt to Oslo return flight. He instead flew on a separate Lufthansa
reservation from Frankfurt to Berlin.

Lufthansa saw this as a violation of their terms and conditions and is seeking €2,112 (around $2,385) in compensation.
....

Cheers!
A Berlin district court dismissed the lawsuit in December, but Lufthansa's spokesperson confirmed to CNN that the company has "already filed the appeal against the decision."

They already lost the first round

Edit - according to some websites, the lawsuit was valid, but was thrown out because the judge did not understand the way Lufthansa had arbitrarily calculated its loss.
Last edited by l69norm on Feb 12th, 2019 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Feb 25, 2007
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The airlines don't like this since it is against their T&C's. They also don't like bad publicity that will shine a light on their byzantine (but effective!) revenue-maximizing pricing policies.

As a result, airlines *will* go after people who do this regularly, and they *will* go after travel agents who facilitate it by silently charging them back the fare difference and letting them sort it out with the customer. But they are extremely unlikely to go after an individual who does it as a one-off. This is in part since a far more likely explanation of someone missing their final flight will be some sort of snafu, and airlines' dinosaurish IT systems don't make it easy to match up the records (and non-records from not taking the flight) to flag it.

The Lufthansa lawsuit, which btw was dismissed by the court even though Lufthansa claims it is appealing the dismissal, is a new development. To the extent any airline does want to fire a shot across the bow of hidden-city ticketing, going after someone who saved several thousand dollars, clearly thought this out in advance, and brazenly in advance booked and then flew on a supplementary ticket to his actual desired destination on the same airline, makes a logical target. A traveller who - in a history without such shenanigans - somehow missed a connecting flight, and there is no evidence whether they took an earlier or later flight or whatnot, is not a likely target. And that's true whether they provided their FF number or not, *as long as they don't do this often* and don't leave a provocative trail of evidence.
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Feb 22, 2016
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houska wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 4:09 pm
To the extent any airline does want to fire a shot across the bow of hidden-city ticketing, going after someone who saved several thousand dollars, clearly thought this out in advance, and brazenly in advance booked and then flew on a supplementary ticket to his actual desired destination on the same airline, makes a logical target.
This is huge, the bold/italicized part. I'm sure all the travel hackers out there are hoping Lufthansa loses the appeal because if they win this will be a huge victory for the airline industry at the expense of the scammers. If they can kill hidden-city ticketing through the courts,, next obvious target will be fuel dumping. Germany uses a civil law system so Lufthansa merely has to convince a judge or judges (and not a jury stacked with a bunch of Gabor Lukacs or FlyerTalk types) to see it their way.
Member
Dec 20, 2018
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EastGTARedFlagger wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 5:33 pm
This is huge, the bold/italicized part. I'm sure all the travel hackers out there are hoping Lufthansa loses the appeal because if they win this will be a huge victory for the airline industry at the expense of the scammers. If they can kill hidden-city ticketing through the courts,, next obvious target will be fuel dumping. Germany uses a civil law system so Lufthansa merely has to convince a judge or judges (and not a jury stacked with a bunch of Gabor Lukacs or FlyerTalk types) to see it their way.
I don't see how LH can demonstrate an actual loss (which is what's required for civil litigation they're pursuing) when the customer chose not to consume a service they purchased

Their T&C are irrelevant if LH can't demonstrate how they suffered a realized loss by the passenger not taking a leg of the flight. They couldnt have resold it or sold that leg of the flight for revenue

No doubt it costs LH very little money to try to pursue this again as hidden city ticketing is not good for business
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Aug 22, 2006
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Absolute wrote:
Jan 1st, 2019 9:11 pm
you take up a seat you don't intend to use
Wouldn't this be a positive to the airline? They now have a seat they can use for someone else since they probably oversold the flight.
cause headaches as staff waste time tracking people down, holding a plane,

This I can understand since they're paging and waiting for a passenger that's never coming.
But wouldn't they just shut the door at the regular time? I thought they didn't actually hold the door unless it was a delay on a connecting flight.
pulling off luggage
Wouldn't I already have my luggage though? Be it for customs purposes or your "short check" recommendation.
Sr. Member
Jan 10, 2009
687 posts
267 upvotes
Toronto
If it's the same plane and the passenger just got off when they shouldn't have then the big issue is they thought they had a passenger on board flying from Germany to the US when they didn't. As a result their manifest going to the US was wrong and the fines for that can be substantial. Basically the airline told the US they were bringing passenger X in to the country, and confirmed they were onboard, but they were nowhere to be found. It's not like not turning up for a flight when you're then not checked in.
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Jun 26, 2011
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death_hawk wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 8:46 pm
Wouldn't this be a positive to the airline? They now have a seat they can use for someone else since they probably oversold the flight.

This I can understand since they're paging and waiting for a passenger that's never coming.
But wouldn't they just shut the door at the regular time? I thought they didn't actually hold the door unless it was a delay on a connecting flight.


Wouldn't I already have my luggage though? Be it for customs purposes or your "short check" recommendation.
That's just based on your assumption that the flight is oversold. You do what you do, but don't assume you are doing the business a favour. As others have pointed out, since you were in the previous leg of the flight, the airline, while still going to close its door if you don't show up, is still obligated to search for you with at least a bit of effort. Moreover, since you were technically checked in for your flight from the last leg, the airline and was confirmed to have gotten off the plane, they don't actually know until the gates are closing that you aren't coming. By then, even passengers that have been waiting may have been turned away already.

This practice is done from time to time, and again, and you do what you do if it fits you better, but as others have said, you risk being flagged by the airline and please don't assume you are doing them a favour and that it's a positive for them.

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