There’s endless controversy, excitement and mystique to missing a flight on purpose. The trick known as “hidden city ticketing” is a proven way to save money on flights, by finding trips that go through where you actually want to go or finish. Though much of the fear involving this money saving magic is hype, there’s one thing that’s absolutely not.

As Soon As You Miss A Flight It’s Over

That’s right, hidden city ticketing only works if you plan to drop the last segment you need, no other segment will work. Anything in between will cancel all the rest of your trip that’s on that ticket. In the interest of abundant clarity, NO, you cannot: miss the first flight, start somewhere in the middle by skipping the first flight, or skip any other flight except the last one you don’t need.  The airline will cancel your ticket as soon as you miss a flight, so  no matter how much you saved by using this trick, buying a walk up ticket at the airport will cost you more if you screw this up.

Addressing The Rumors

There are lots of rumors about people losing miles or being questioned at the airport. Other than perhaps a few very isolated cases in history- these rumors are all hype and created by airlines to scare you into paying the prices they want you to pay. Generally, you keep the miles for the flights you take, you don’t earn for flights you don’t physically take and unless you’re like the worst serial flight missing person in history, no one cares. Airlines are far too busy. This author is living proof. There are a million reasons people miss flights, legitimate reasons. Oh, and when it comes to bags, it’s true that if you switch airports or have an overnight connection that you can get your bags back…

How To Successfully Miss Flights

The first rule of missed flight club is that there are no checked bags in missed flight club. Unless you have some insider knowledge, your bags will continue to their final destination. So if you wanted to go to Los Angeles and found a cheaper one way ticket from New York to Phoenix via Los Angeles, your bags would continue to Phoenix. Carry on is the way. This also works really well for taking advantage of pricing from countries or cities where tickets are cheaper. So if you live in London but found a great deal from Dublin connecting to your destination via London, you could fly to your destination, fly back into London and then just hop off instead of going on to Dublin. Again, if you have bags- this makes a mess of it all, so no checked bags- unless you really, really know what you’re doing.

Takeaway

Hidden city ticketing can create massive savings, which are too attractive to avoid. Many people successfully do this every day without issue, and this article is an important hammering in of the one thing you really cannot do. It’s a question we receive almost daily and would hate to hear of someone overpaying or running into issue by missing the first segment or any other, other than the last one they don’t need.