I want to go from Panamá to Turkey. There're direct flights of Turkish Airlines that are expensive. And there're flights Panamá -> Istambul -> Baku there're cheaper 2 times of the same airline. The transfer in Istambul takes 6 hours.

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Will it be a violation if I buy a ticket Panamá -> Istambul -> Baku and leave in Istambul?

  • 6
    skiplagged.com is a great website for finding these kinds of tickets. I use it all the time.
    – jonstieg
    Feb 1 '19 at 17:11
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    @jonstieg because you've created it
    – leweta
    Feb 1 '19 at 18:51
  • 5
    nope - because it saves me money. also, i didn't create it.
    – jonstieg
    Feb 1 '19 at 19:17
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    Ieweta, please take note of the Stack Exchange rule 'be nice'. Keep the tone of your comments friendly, or if not possible at least neutral.
    – Willeke
    Feb 2 '19 at 13:02
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    @leweta it sounds like the concept of "hidden city ticketing" is new to you. That is fine, but it does have the side effect that you wouldn't be acquainted with which sites are dominant in that field. If you were a complete novice to auctioning, and someone suggested a site called "ebay", you wouldn't have a way to know that ebay is the big kahuna. ObDisclaimer: I own ebay ;) Feb 2 '19 at 17:46

If you buy the ticket single-trip, then sure, you may get off at the intermediate stop. No one can stop you from doing that.

If your ticket is return, however, typically if you miss one section then all of your subsequent journey sections on that ticket will be cancelled. So, you still can do that, but you won't be able to get back from Istanbul.

  • Ask them to not check it all the way through and they would likely oblige, I think. At least they always did when I asked...
    – xuq01
    Feb 1 '19 at 5:59
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    It depends a lot on the airline. I have heard that it is not rare for such requests to be turned down. Feb 1 '19 at 9:31
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    In THEORY, you could try to check your luggage to Baku, board your first flight, and then miss the second one. Then PPBM rules ( travel.stackexchange.com/questions/87521/… ) will at least ensure that your bag stays in Istanbul. But then there is no guarantee at all that the airline will give it back to you without making you pay, possibly a lot... Feb 1 '19 at 9:31

What you're describing is called "Hidden City Ticketing", where Istanbul is the "hidden" city between the others, but is the one that you're actually planning to travel to.

Hidden City Ticketing is generally not allowed under the rules of the airline, and there can be a number of traps to planning a hidden city trip (the most common two being checked luggage and return tickets), but many people do make use of it as a way of obtaining cheaper tickets.

Rather than repeating myself, I'd suggest reading through this blog post I wrote on this very subject that covers most of the details.

  • 3
    @leweta No, and I also do not see you state that you do not have a return ticket.
    – Fiksdal
    Feb 1 '19 at 9:13
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    I'd like to especially draw your attention to visa issues: see "Visas" paragraph in Doc's blog post. While Turkey is visa-free for citizens of a lot of countries (including citizens of Panama), Azerbaijan does require a visa for citizens of most countries (including citizens of Panama). So in order to pull this off, you would need to obtain a visa for Azerbaijan. Feb 1 '19 at 9:15
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    @leweta That is a cut out screenshot, there was no way for us to to know whether there was also a return ticket that you did not tell us about.
    – Fiksdal
    Feb 1 '19 at 14:53
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    It'd be nice to have the main points from your blog posted here instead of just having a link.
    – Kat
    Feb 1 '19 at 17:55
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    @leweta your responses here are bordering on hostile. Please, take some time and then come back with a cool head after reading the Be Nice policy and the Code of Conduct. You’re here requesting help: make it as easy as we can to help you, rather than being unpleasant towards us. Thanks.
    – Tim
    Feb 2 '19 at 14:10

Nobody will stop you from getting off in Istanbul. However,

  1. If you check any luggage, it will probably be checked direct to Baku and you won't be able to retrieve it in Istanbul.
  2. Turkish Airlines is free to rebook you on a different trip to Baku that may not go through Istanbul if weather, maintenance, or scheduling issues require them to cancel or redirect your flight.
  3. If you bought multiple flights on the same ticket (i.e. a round trip), Turkish Airlines will probably cancel the rest of the ticket after you get off in Istanbul.
  4. This is almost certainly against the airline's rules, and they might ban you from flying with them if you do it too often.
  5. Since Baku is in a different country than Istanbul, you will need either a visa or a visa-free passport for Azerbaijan or you will not be allowed to board your initial flight to Istanbul.

Thus, while doable, it is risky, and if something goes wrong the airline is not required to get you to Istanbul (only to Baku).

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