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Texas77
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:42 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:58 pm

AEROFAN wrote:
Texas77 wrote:
AEROFAN wrote:

I simply do not understand why so many of you suck at the teats of airlines. If UA doesn't suit you, fly another. Vote with your pocket and you will see how soon any company changes its tune.


Live by IAH and then tell me that...


So you are telling me that UA is the only airline that flies out of IAH? Really? Good for you, well keep flying them, but please do shut up about it.


really? yes, I see why my incredibly inflammatory, complaint filled post warranted such an incredibly rude response. if being hidden anonymously behind a KB makes you feel so powerful, good for you, but you certainly warrant no conversation from me and hopefully others here.
 
agentskelly
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:19 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:40 pm

I work for a certain really big motor club as a tow truck operator, which we have travel agents under our services. I recently was talking with our agents about some plans for Kona actually; I asked her about what she thinks about hidden city fares on United. Oh boy, I got an earful!

Her opinion in her 20 plus years as a travel agent is that United put this on themselves. UA always had weird lower fares from smaller O/D airports, especially if the route involved an United Express partner in an connection and to compound this more, there is a bunch of airports that are close and far away at the same time to some of its hubs that you could almost drive to the hub. DL and AA have a few of these types of routes but they generally have consistent fare rules that they don’t have this problem. Her opinion is that UA has their fare rules setup to discourage hub to hub tickets for some reason.
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1763
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:47 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:30 pm

Texas77 wrote:
AEROFAN wrote:
Texas77 wrote:

Live by IAH and then tell me that...


So you are telling me that UA is the only airline that flies out of IAH? Really? Good for you, well keep flying them, but please do shut up about it.


really? yes, I see why my incredibly inflammatory, complaint filled post warranted such an incredibly rude response. if being hidden anonymously behind a KB makes you feel so powerful, good for you, but you certainly warrant no conversation from me and hopefully others here.


Inane comments should be received how? Do you honestly think they are sacrosanct?
 
greendot
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:08 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:24 pm

NYKiwi wrote:
So I have used this before not on UA dont think its illegal its all about airline fares and pricing. Last year i needed to get home but fares to AKL where high so i saved 500.00 by flying through AKL to SYD and then did return to AKL on next flight.....had to recheck my bag and added an extra AKL - SYD to my NYC- AKL but to save 500 id do it again and NZ website allowed


Good for you! It's just business after all.

I'm amused at how so many people here are indoctrined to think an airline has some kind of authority. They are merely corporations, nothing more. Use and exploit them. A corporation's policies mean nothing. At the end of the day, a customer does not have to give them the honor of their business. If airlines created a financial incentive they didn't plan on, take advantage of it. They would do the same to you.
 
greendot
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:08 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:33 pm

dc10co wrote:
What’s funny to me is that even when United tries to create a policy of deescalation for front line agents and passengers they can still do no right. Whatever your stance on hidden city ticketing is the bottom line is that ALL three majors consider this to be a form of fraud. I personally know people who used hidden city ticketing on DL and stupidly checked a bag. DL flat out refused to return their bag. This used to be a common practice at UA as well, the bag would be held until the passenger paid either a change fee or add collect and then it would be returned to the customer. Additionally the previous guidelines were to void tickets and refuse transportation if it was discovered that a passenger was attempting to hidden city ticket. The new policy takes the policing aspect away from the front line and reduces friction between agents and would be hidden city ticket travelers. In my opinion this is actually an acknowledgement by UA that they cannot win every single hidden city ticket battle and instead they will focus their efforts on what UA considers to be egregious abusers of the loophole.


The airline's opinions on whether it is fraud or not don't matter. There is no law against it and therefore the customer cannot be convicted of a non-existent fraud law.

The airline cannot make you fly against your will. If you're sick, if you're nervous, if you had a change of plans, or if you just didn't feel like it, you are never compelled by legal authority to complete a flight.

These are the same clowns that brought you the contract of carriage. They wrote the contract and you are forced to agree with it to use their services. Under it, THEY don't even have to get you to the destination.
 
BC77008
Posts: 452
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:48 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:02 pm

It's taken me 3 days to figure this one out, so go easy on me: Hidden city travel is akin to going to the movies, purchasing a $5.00 ticket to a 4-hour movie, and instead, enjoying a different movie that costs $8.00 but is only 2 hours long. -AND/OR- Hidden city ticketing is the reverse of a movie-goer watching the first movie that he paid for, and then sneaking into another movie afterward. And yes, I am about to go and enjoy a movie!
MY favorite airline and hub is bigger and/or better than YOUR favorite airline and hub!
 
Aliqiout
Posts: 293
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:10 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:42 pm

greendot wrote:
dc10co wrote:
What’s funny to me is that even when United tries to create a policy of deescalation for front line agents and passengers they can still do no right. Whatever your stance on hidden city ticketing is the bottom line is that ALL three majors consider this to be a form of fraud. I personally know people who used hidden city ticketing on DL and stupidly checked a bag. DL flat out refused to return their bag. This used to be a common practice at UA as well, the bag would be held until the passenger paid either a change fee or add collect and then it would be returned to the customer. Additionally the previous guidelines were to void tickets and refuse transportation if it was discovered that a passenger was attempting to hidden city ticket. The new policy takes the policing aspect away from the front line and reduces friction between agents and would be hidden city ticket travelers. In my opinion this is actually an acknowledgement by UA that they cannot win every single hidden city ticket battle and instead they will focus their efforts on what UA considers to be egregious abusers of the loophole.


The airline's opinions on whether it is fraud or not don't matter. There is no law against it and therefore the customer cannot be convicted of a non-existent fraud law.

The airline cannot make you fly against your will. If you're sick, if you're nervous, if you had a change of plans, or if you just didn't feel like it, you are never compelled by legal authority to complete a flight.

These are the same clowns that brought you the contract of carriage. They wrote the contract and you are forced to agree with it to use their services. Under it, THEY don't even have to get you to the destination.

No, they can't make you fly against your will, and no there is no law against hidden city ticketing, but the airlines have legal recourse in the courts via contract law.

No airline has ever tried to force someone to take a flight, they have followed passengers to make sure they got on a flight under threat if being charged the fare difference.

There certainly is a moral argument to be made that can justify using hidden city tickets, the customer is powerless to change the contract and was not consulted in writing it, but to deny the fact that the airlines lose money in the aggragate due to hidden city ticketing is to lose all credablity.
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 3924
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:44 pm

BC77008 wrote:
It's taken me 3 days to figure this one out, so go easy on me: Hidden city travel is akin to going to the movies, purchasing a $5.00 ticket to a 4-hour movie, and instead, enjoying a different movie that costs $8.00 but is only 2 hours long. -AND/OR- Hidden city ticketing is the reverse of a movie-goer watching the first movie that he paid for, and then sneaking into another movie afterward. And yes, I am about to go and enjoy a movie!


No, it ain't like that.

More like you go to the movies, buy a ticket for two movies after each other. You only want to see the first movie, the second one doesn't bother you. However they sell tickets for only the first movie more expensive than tickets for both movies.

Since you're only interested in the first movie, you sneak out during the break in between the two movies. But the movie theater says this is not allowed and they come after you for the money they lost. In the meanwhile they sold your seat for the second movie, which according to your ticket you are entitled to, to someone else.

See how crazy that is? That is hidden ticketing. The seat for the second movie was rightfully yours, regardless if you use it or not. But because you don't use it, they claim it back and resell it. And on top of that they charge you for the price difference of only seeing the first movie instead of both movies.
 
afcjets
Posts: 2923
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:20 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:33 pm

That example is more like purchasing a four hour flight to Las Vegas but sneaking on a two hour flight to a different city that costs more. Not the same at all.
 
jplatts
Posts: 2782
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:56 pm

There were some hidden-city travelers flying to CVG on DL back when DL served IND, SDF, DAY, and CMH nonstop from CVG, and CVG also had high fares back in those days. Hidden-city travel to CVG on DL has largely disappeared with (a) DL dropping CVG-IND/SDF/DAY/CMH nonstop service, (b) DL significantly downsizing its CVG operation following the DL-NW merger, (c) F9, G4, and WN adding service to CVG, and (d) DL lowering fares on nonstop flights out of CVG.
 
bob75013
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:05 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:23 pm

I have flown hidden city on UA. AA flew nonstop DFW to SPI. UA flew DFW/ORD/SPI but matched AA's lower fare. The DFW/ORD fare was higher than the DFW/SPI fare. Didn't do it often, but I did do it. UA never said anything.
 
KD5MDK
Posts: 805
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:05 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:37 pm

Easy solution: allow the customer to resell the additional leg to someone else. That way the seat gets occupied but the airline doesn’t need to overbook.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2427
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:09 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Since you're only interested in the first movie, you sneak out during the break in between the two movies. But the movie theater says this is not allowed and they come after you for the money they lost. In the meanwhile they sold your seat for the second movie, which according to your ticket you are entitled to, to someone else.


Terrible analogy. You have a seat for the second movie. If the theatre wants to sell your seat for the second movie, they have a five minute window to do so. They can't sell it until they realize you broke the contract you signed, and they can't sell it once the second movie starts. Please try again.
 
Chemist
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:46 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:27 pm

IPFreely wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:
Since you're only interested in the first movie, you sneak out during the break in between the two movies. But the movie theater says this is not allowed and they come after you for the money they lost. In the meanwhile they sold your seat for the second movie, which according to your ticket you are entitled to, to someone else.


Terrible analogy. You have a seat for the second movie. If the theatre wants to sell your seat for the second movie, they have a five minute window to do so. They can't sell it until they realize you broke the contract you signed, and they can't sell it once the second movie starts. Please try again.


The day before the movie, you need to change your showing time. The movie theatre charges you $10 to change your reservation on your $12 ticket, and then they sell your original reservation to a new customer. That's also what they do. Very scummy.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2427
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:38 pm

AEROFAN wrote:
Texas77 wrote:
AEROFAN wrote:

I simply do not understand why so many of you suck at the teats of airlines. If UA doesn't suit you, fly another. Vote with your pocket and you will see how soon any company changes its tune.


Live by IAH and then tell me that...


So you are telling me that UA is the only airline that flies out of IAH? Really? Good for you, well keep flying them, but please do shut up about it.


Gotta agree with Aerofan on this one. Between IAH and HOU, the Houston area has over 700 flights a day on airlines that aren't United. People in most cities would be happy to have that much choice total, without excluding an airline. If someone doesn't like United, don't fly them. But don't pretend to be a victim of no choice because of where you live. It's simply false.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2427
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:44 pm

Chemist wrote:
The day before the movie, you need to change your showing time. The movie theatre charges you $10 to change your reservation on your $12 ticket, and then they sell your original reservation to a new customer. That's also what they do. Very scummy.


Scummy? Sorry, it's what YOU agreed to in YOUR contract. If you don't like change fees either buy a fully refundable ticket or buy from a business (like WN) with no change fees.

If you sign a contract you don't like, then decide you don't like it, the other party isn't scummy -- you're just dumb.
 
Aliqiout
Posts: 293
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:10 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:10 am

IPFreely wrote:
Chemist wrote:
The day before the movie, you need to change your showing time. The movie theatre charges you $10 to change your reservation on your $12 ticket, and then they sell your original reservation to a new customer. That's also what they do. Very scummy.


Scummy? Sorry, it's what YOU agreed to in YOUR contract. If you don't like change fees either buy a fully refundable ticket or buy from a business (like WN) with no change fees.

If you sign a contract you don't like, then decide you don't like it, the other party isn't scummy -- you're just dumb.

I mostly agree with you, but it is hard to be completely on the airlines side on this. The problem is that for the majority of city pairs there is no option to fly an airline that doesn't charge change fees. The airlines know this, so they charge more than most travelers can afford for refundable tickets. For example WN only is a viable option on 1 out 20 trips I take.

If there was more competition and/or less collusion the free market would work to give passengers reasonable power in the transaction and it would be dumb to sign a bad contract, but as it is there is very little choice. All that being said, its partly the customers fault we are in this situation. The blind purchasing of the cheapest fare with no consideration for the value if the product helped to get us here.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2427
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:19 am

Aliqiout wrote:
The airlines know this, so they charge more than most travelers can afford for refundable tickets.


Then don't fly. The entitlement mentality of people on this board gets out of control.

I know several people who want a high performance Italian sports car. There are only a couple of good manufacturers and their dealers charge more than most people can afford -- so most people don't buy them. For some reason people accept this. But a lot of the same people think they're entitled to air travel between cities they want at a price they think is fair with free baggage, free changes, and they, not the airline, should dictate how what size seat and personal space they get.
 
Aliqiout
Posts: 293
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:10 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:29 am

IPFreely wrote:
Aliqiout wrote:
The airlines know this, so they charge more than most travelers can afford for refundable tickets.


Then don't fly. The entitlement mentality of people on this board gets out of control.

I know several people who want a high performance Italian sports car. There are only a couple of good manufacturers and their dealers charge more than most people can afford -- so most people don't buy them. For some reason people accept this. But a lot of the same people think they're entitled to air travel between cities they want at a price they think is fair with free baggage, free changes, and they, not the airline, should dictate how what size seat and personal space they get.

Its not personal entitlement. Only a small percent of airline travel is elective. If the choice is between contracts we don't like and not flying, I hope we don't get a mass decision to not fly. The economy would collapse. Travel is crucial to the economy, so it is an entitlement of the whole, not the individual.

This is why the airlines used to be regulated. Deregulation has been good, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better, or that it wont get much worse.

Your expensive car analogy doesn't work for me. An Italian sports car would be fun, but a Toyota Yaris will get you to work just as well. The alternatives to air travel, for al but the shortest trips are orders of magnitude less time efficient. Taking a bus from LA to Boston, or a ship from New York to London is not a viable alternative.
 
alo2yyz
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:53 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:34 am

IPFreely wrote:
Aliqiout wrote:
The airlines know this, so they charge more than most travelers can afford for refundable tickets.


Then don't fly. The entitlement mentality of people on this board gets out of control.

I know several people who want a high performance Italian sports car. There are only a couple of good manufacturers and their dealers charge more than most people can afford -- so most people don't buy them. For some reason people accept this. But a lot of the same people think they're entitled to air travel between cities they want at a price they think is fair with free baggage, free changes, and they, not the airline, should dictate how what size seat and personal space they get.


I get what you're saying about pax feeling entitled to free things (and I think another rough analogy is seafood - if you want shrimp that aren't farmed with abusive labour practices and aren't causing the wholesale destruction of mangrove forests, well, they won't be $5 a pound. If you want free bags, wide seats, etc those aren't free either)

But "don't fly"? That presumes there are alternates.

I regularly fly YYZ<>PDX. The alternative travel methods are, in a word, ludicrous. (Amtrak? Driving 3 days each way?).

WN (and others), with no change fees & free bags, does not serve all city pairs, and not all city pairs have reasonable alternative, non-airline connections.
 
airzona11
Posts: 1539
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:44 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:40 am

While not hidden city, but same good deals to had, when UA and US were both in Star, I would book UA flights at usairways.com, but choosing the nonstop options on UA metal, for very discounted rates. I flew SFO-EWR/ORD/BWI/PHL and never paid more than $50 round trip. This was 2013/14 when mileage runs were what ruled the day for status. Those were the days!
 
Aliqiout
Posts: 293
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:10 pm

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:56 am

IPFreely wrote:
Aliqiout wrote:
The airlines know this, so they charge more than most travelers can afford for refundable tickets.


Then don't fly. The entitlement mentality of people on this board gets out of control.

I know several people who want a high performance Italian sports car. There are only a couple of good manufacturers and their dealers charge more than most people can afford -- so most people don't buy them. For some reason people accept this. But a lot of the same people think they're entitled to air travel between cities they want at a price they think is fair with free baggage, free changes, and they, not the airline, should dictate how what size seat and personal space they get.

Its not personal entitlement. Only a small percent of airline travel is elective. If the choice is between contracts we don't like and not flying, I hope we don't get a mass decision to not fly. The economy would collapse. Travel is crucial to the economy. If we want to maintain our standard of living middle class people need to be able to afford to fly and airlines need to be profitable. The freedom to disagree with an airline contract is mostly theoretical, and this could potentially unbalance the whole thing.

This is why the airlines used to be regulated. Deregulation has probably done more good than bad, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better, or that it wont get much worse.

Your expensive car analogy doesn't work for me. An Italian sports car would be fun, but a Toyota Yaris will get you to work just as well. The alternatives to air travel, for al but the shortest trips are orders of magnitude less time efficient. Taking a bus from LA to Boston, or a ship from New York to London is not a viable alternative.
 
SwissCanuck
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:06 am

Re: United going after hidden-city travellers

Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:16 am

Just thought I'd add my thoughts on hidden-city I had to pull once. I literally had no choice. I don't know if UA splits inventory in this way. I'll keep airline/airport names out of the example because they're really not relevant.

So I was at AAA. I needed to get to ZZZ, on a continent that is notoriously difficult to maneuver. I found a route that would take me from AAA to BBB on FF, then on GG I would fly BBB to CCC then to ZZZ. Problem was, there was zero flight availability (at any price) on the FF flight AAA-BBB. HOWEVER, if you did a search for AAA-MMM, it would let you book AAA-BBB-MMM. So inventory availability was split for O-D flying versus connection flying. AAA-BBB was J0/Y0, but popped up to J9/Y9 for the same flight as long as you were booking to MMM and not BBB.

What else was I to do? So I pulled a backpack out of my steamer trunk, gave the trunk to a colleague to bring back to Canada, and booked AAA-BBB-MMM on FF then BBB-CCC-ZZZ on GG. At BBB, I simply got on the other flight. I heard them calling me for BBB-MMM over the intercom as I boarded the BBB-CCC flight.

Just thought I'd point out that sometimes hidden city isn't even to save money, its to get where you need to get to when you need to get there. And in this case you can't even claim "loss" from the airlines perspective, they just weren't willing to take my money. As it was a business trip, I'd have paid almost any price.
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