What happens if I "throw away"/don't use a segment on an itinerary?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by jfhscott, Mar 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I'm contemplating an MR, say MSY-ORD-LAX-ORD-MSY, and would prefer to end up in ORD, not MSY. I'm willing to forego the miles associated with the final ORD-MSY, but would just walking out of ORD violate the contract of carraige? If it does, would that interfere with EQM accumulation? Or is UA not that smart?
     
  2. Gnopps
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    Gnopps Silver Member

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    Usually nothing happens. I would try not to check-in for the last flight in order not to cause extra trouble for the gate agent. If you "have" to check-in for that segment then in the lounge or at the gate let them now you suddenly feel very ill and will not fly.
     
  3. milepig
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    milepig Silver Member

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    Yes, it violates the contract of carriage.
    Will it interfere with EQM accumulation? Yes - you will not receive any miles, either RDM or EQM for that flight. All others on the itin will accrue.
    Will doing this cause you trouble? If done seldom, common wisdom is no - you'll never hear a thing about it.
    Should you tell anyone you're going to do this? NO.
    Gnopps suggests not checking in for the final flight. Likely you'll just be checked in automatically for both segments when you begin your return at LAX. That's perfectly fine, at ORD just "get off the plane and keep walking." Don't tell anyone at ORD that you're skipping the last segment, just leave.
    All this assumes you don't have checked luggage - if you do then you're in trouble, and this will involve trying to pursuade the agent at LAX to short-check your bags to ORD only - this is asking for trouble.

    Being ORD based I don't do connections often, but I don't think Mr. Chicken (tm) let's you check in for only one segment, does it?
     
  4. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Thank you for the responses. I will not have checked bags - an obvious issue for some. I don't plan on making a habot of it, however.
     
  5. dream7
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    dream7 Silver Member

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    Many of us have done this a few times. I have never heard of anything bad happening. Don't make a habit of it and don't publicize it, and you should be ok.
     
  6. catgirl
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    catgirl Gold Member

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    This is a relief as I am going to do the same thing on a run. I was getting a little nervous that my EQMs wouldn't post for the flights up to the point where I am not taking the last flight/segment. This would be the 1st time doing it and this will not be something that is habitual.
     
  7. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    I think everyone has summed up what usually happens pretty well. But, just so both the OP and catgirl are fully informed, this is technically against the rules. It's called hidden city ticketing and is specifically forbidden in the contract of carriage which requires you to fly all ticketed segments.

    The airline would be within its rights, in the OP's case, to charge you the price difference between the MSY-ORD-LAX-ORD-MSY ticket you bought and the MSY-ORD-LAX-ORD open-jaw you flew. If they did that, you wouldn't have a leg to stand on in disputing it with your credit card or anyone else.

    Now, many of us have flown hidden city tickets before and have never been charged. The only time I've ever heard of the airlines coming after anyone for the additional fare (and even this may be apocryphal) was a case where a group of business travelers was flying MKE-ORD-XXX-ORD-(MKE) on the same flights pretty much every week.

    But, it's always worth knowing when you're technically breaking the rules and running a risk so you can make an informed decision about whether it's a risk worth taking.
     
  8. catgirl
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    catgirl Gold Member

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    Hi. Fully aware this is against the rules, hence my anxiety about this. I did look for hidden city ticketing, here and on FT. Nothing too recent though, then I saw OP's post.

    I am debating weather to suck it up and buy a one way ticket back to ORD or just get off at ORD now (which option #2 would be my preference, lol). :)
     
  9. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Funny thing is that it wasn't even against the United Contract of Carriage until a couple of years ago. Everyone thought it was. But UA actually only added the rule recently.

    Around the same time they stopped short-checking bags.

    Travel agents can get debit memos, it's very rare that UA would go after individual travelers. It has happened, at least there are stories of it happening, but the occasional missing of a connecting flightt that you don't reschedule isn't generally a big deal at all.
     
  10. catgirl
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    catgirl Gold Member

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    This was booked through CO.com by me. This is something I haven't done before, nor do I want to make a habit of it. Ironically, this run is going to put me at 1K for the year, which is why I am a little nervous. So I should be ok to just skip the last segment and not do it again, right? Sorry to be so needy and need reassurance, lol. Doing this is very new to me.
     
  11. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Don't be nervous. :)
     
  12. DeltaExpert
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    DeltaExpert Gold Member

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    Great question! It really depends on the airline. If this is a one-time thing, nothing will happen. I sure everything will workout. Post back and let us know what happens.
     
  13. Geo
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    Geo Gold Member

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    I've heard rumors (urban legend?) that they can take back all of your points and chuck you from the program. I know that there have been instances where people have been re-charged for the flights they took based on what they'd actually flown, but as others have said, this is typically applied to the low hanging fruit... the frequent offenders.
     
  14. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Did this once last year, though not with the cities mentioned by the OP. Not a MR; complicated reason.
    No repercussions and no credit for the last segment I threw away.

    Would not recommend doing this on a regular basis though.
     
  15. milepig
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    milepig Silver Member

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    Right - we must be clear that this IS against the terms of carriage you agreed to when you bought the ticket, and they can indeed do all of what you list as possibilities. There have been reports of people getting chucked out of the program, but from what I've read they were habitual offenders. Given how many reports we see of people who weren't credited with miles for flights they DID take, I expect there is some tolerance in the system, and a one-time no-show just isn't going to come to their attention. But, it is technically against the rules, so I'm not advising anyone to do it - I'm just saying that many people, including me, have done this in the past with no consequences - never even heard anything about it.
     
  16. Morsel
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    Morsel Active Member

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    Could use some help with a slightly different situation: purchased a round trip applying an e-cert SFO-IAD-(somewhere small in the northeast). My plans are changing and I'll have to hang around a little longer and will end up in NYC.

    It's cheaper by a few hundred $ to chuck the return leg and buy a new one-way from NYC-SFO a few days after my original return. Would UA let me hold both the original return and my new NYC-SFO return at the same time? Could there be any impact on the NYC-SFO leg once I fail to show for my original return? Would the fact that I used an e-cert raise any further flags? (Or should I book NYC-SFO on a different airline just to be safe?)

    Took a look at the contract of carriage and it prohibits tickets "purchased and used in violation" of rules like throw-away ticketing--I wouldn't have purchased it in violation since I intended to take both legs when I bought, but any actual experience with this would be helpful.
     
  17. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    You can hold an extra o/w NYC-SFO ticket a few days later without any issues; for all UA knows, you might be planning to take B6 or Amtrak to get to NYC after your original return date. I would actually call and cancel the return portion of your original round-trip after getting to the destination.

    As others have mentioned, if you don't make a habit out if it, you will likely be fine.
     

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