On a related question Jim MacKenzie writes that:

If you did this a lot, it's possible an airline might ban you from flying it

Likewise another question mentions that:

if you ditch they have the right to cancel the rest of the ticket, fine you and even ban you from the airline. Though the only times they would ban or fine would be for repeat offenders.

But have any travelers actually been banned with a particular airline for exploiting hidden city or throwaway ticketing in the past decade? Links to authorative references rather than hearsay are welcome.

Note that for the sake of this question simply banning someone from the frequent flyer program doesn't count. I'm only looking for cases where a person could no longer take a flight on a given airline for exploiting their pricing.

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    Why restrict this question to US airlines? We are an international community. Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 15:40
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    @JimMackenzie to avoid making it too broad? Feel free to edit the question if you know about ankther airline doing it.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 15:42
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    I don't, but I think if others have had such experiences, that they would be useful. I don't like to see unnecessary americentrism on the Internet. Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 15:43
  • @JimMackenzie done
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 15:44
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    I would say thay restricting the question to US airlines is the right move. Pricing for airlines in other countries is often times less complicated than that in the US. I have found tickets for $500 one way but then $300 round trip. It doesnt make a lot of sense. That is why i say it is a good idea to restrict it to the US conversation.
    – user79930
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 11:01

2 Answers 2


Here is a reference I found: https://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01831.pdf A US-government study on the issue concluding that openly allowing hidden-city ticketing is not generally desirable

I haven't found any concrete cases of passengers being banned for the practice. In honesty, I suspect it would have to be done to an extreme case to be a problem.

It does cause airlines some operational issues. Flights can leave sooner if all passengers have arrived, but passengers that intend not to arrive, of course, never arrive. This prevents flights from departing as quickly. Also, there may be standby passengers whose reservations can be confirmed more quickly and their bags loaded more rapidly, helping airlines maintain their schedule.

I read a lot of posts at FlyerTalk (a web forum) and have found lots of discussion about the issue there, including some flyers who have been warned that if they continue hidden-city ticketing, that they will face repercussions, but have not found any evidence that repercussions actually happened. (I suspect the passengers stopped doing the practice, or changed airlines.)

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    So if there aren't any valid examples, why do people warn each other about it? It's like an old wives tale :)
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 15:43
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    I mention it because airlines have in the past warned of it as a possibility. I don't think the threats are empty. Personally, though, I think the worst risk of it is rebooking. That's not within your control and you'd have no recourse if it happened, since you've booked passage from A-B-C even though you really wanted to go to B. In the event of irrops or rescheduling, the airline can fly you A-C or A-D-C and you can't do a thing about it. Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 15:59
  • @JimMacKenzie Are there any talks about repricing? Back in the days (around 2010), when one way tickets on e.g. Lufthansa were way more expensive than a round trip (700€ for BCN-STR vs. 100€ for BCN-STR-BCN), it was common practice to book a round trip ticket for a one-way trip. LH explicitly reserved the right to charge the price difference between booked trip and actually taken trip, and it would seem fair to do this first before actually banning someone (they never charged me, but I only did this twice...)
    – Sabine
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 17:02
  • @Sabine I think repricing to avoid hidden-city ticketing would be difficult because of how most airlines do their routes through hubs. If Air Canada flies Calgary-Houston for $200, but United flies Calgary-Denver-Houston, it needs to charge no more than $200 (possibly less), but it may be able to charge $300 for Calgary-Denver and Air Canada charges $300 for Calgary-Toronto-Denver. You may connect through a city that bears higher fares than the destination you seek. This is likely to become even more true as low-cost airlines that avoid hubs become more common. Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 17:07
  • @JimMacKenzie Of course if you book - say - Calgary-Denver-Houston with United (taken from your example), they cannot know that you're planning to get off at Denver. However, AFTER the flight, they would know you never boarded the Denver-Houston flight, so why not send a bill two weeks later, asking for the difference? LH reserved the right to do so, though I wonder if they ever did this (I'm not sure if it's still in their T&C, I couldn't find it at a first glance right now).
    – Sabine
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 17:26

As of 2022 the answer is no, no one has actually been banned for hidden city or throwaway ticketing. At worst, people were warned of being sued for monetary loss by the airline, but I can't find any examples of someone actually getting to court over the issue.

There is a small chance that such examples exist but aren't available on the Internet (or I couldn't find them) but such a story would be pretty big and I assume it would be easy to find if it did happen.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 23:05

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