AA pays you $121 to fly SAN-LAX-SAN?!

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by timfrost, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:
    I was invited to go to Hawaii (OGG) the first week of November. In playing with fares I found it to be generally $570 out of LAX. I live in Orange County, CA and LAX is very easy to get to. However just to play the devil's advocate, I plugged SAN in to see what would happen. It puts you on an Eagle flight from SAN-LAX naturally, then the same flight out of LAX to OGG, but the round-trip price drops from $570 to $449. The same happens with HNL. The starting fare LAX-HNL is lower at $489 but the new price from SAN is $449. With PLT and the minimum miles plus bonus I'd get 2000 RDM total for those short hops, save enough money to do a day of diving in Hawaii AND pay for the gas I'd burn driving to San Diego. It's a little pricey for a MR at 8cpm (and I'm 38000 miles short of EXP, so no point in trying as my travel budget is about $3k for the rest of the year) but almost impossible to resist flying that extra segment based on the lower pricing. Better yet I work for Amtrak so I could get to SAN for free if the times worked out.

    Anyway, what is the logic behind this... and is anyone else aware of similar situations involving these short hops where you are "paid" to fly an extra leg?
    zpaul likes this.
  2. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:
    It's very common for tickets connecting beyond destination A to have a lower cost than tickets to destination A. This is the basis of the "throwaway ticket" system of getting cheaper fares. I assume there are a number of reasons it happens, but in general it's because the airline dominates the destination A market so there are few alternatives to paying their price whereas they have to compete in the other market against another dominant player, or someone who offers direct flights without the change in A.
    zpaul and thesterlingtraveler like this.
  3. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:
    Being out of MCI, I find myself looking for those "throwaways" to make our fares more bearable...for example, flying to LIH out of LAX seems to average more than 150 more than SAN for me, depending on dates...
  4. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:
    Same thing happens from BOS-JFK -San where that routing is less expensive by $100+ and the JFK -San is more expensive.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
    travelingmore likes this.
  5. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:
    Just did SEA-MIA and then MIA-DCA which was about $500 total via multicity vs SEA-dfw-dca at about $1000 as a one way. Makes no sense. But happy to save $500.
  6. flynhwn

    flynhwn Silver Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:
    What you have found is called a "Hidden City Fare". there are a lot of them out there. It can save you a lot of cash to fly to a secondary airport away from a hub. We use to fly to Oxnard, Palm Springs and Burbank instead of LAX. Our business in LA was such that it didn't matter where we flew into. Oakland instead of SFO, Houston instead of Dallas. And yes you can throw away the last segment. Simply don't get on the plane but don't miss a starting or mid-segment or your ticket will be cancelled.
  7. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:
    Airlines have turned normal economic logic on its head in so many ways. This situation is very common. Just google "hidden city ticket" or similar and read away. :)
  8. bhamsan01

    bhamsan01 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:
    Last week found one for SAN-ORD-MKE, where SAN-ORD was $360 and SAN-ORD-MKE was $225. Ultimately needed to go to ORD.

Share This Page