I live in Detroit and I’m flying into Toronto from an international destination. My last leg of the journey is from Toronto to Chicago. Instead of taking the last leg of the journey, can I exit the Toronto airport after completing Canadian immigration/customs and drive to Detroit? I save a ton of time. Thanks


3 Answers 3


can I exit the Toronto airport?

Two things to consider. This will violate the terms and conditions of your ticket. Since it's your last leg, the airline cannot easily retaliate by cancelling your other leg, but they may ding your status, revoke miles etc. In rare cases the airline has actually sued a passenger but so far without success.

Read up on "hidden city ticketing" for more information.

The second thing to watch out for is that Toronto has US pre-clearance. That implies that your bags will be checked through to the US and not unloaded in YYZ. I'm not entirely sure whether you officially enter Canada for International->US connection in a pre-clearance airport. The airlines typically provide passenger lists to immigration. You getting off in Toronto may create discrepancies between what these lists and what actually happened. I have no idea whether this is a potential problem or not.

  • 2
    "I'm not entirely sure whether you officially enter Canada for International->US connection in a pre-clearance airport." When you arrive at a Canadian airport, you must either go through US preclearance or go through Canadian immigration, so if the OP doesn't go through US preclearance (or goes through US preclearance but wishes to leave the airport), he will have to go through Canadian immigration and officially enter Canada.
    – user102008
    Sep 6, 2022 at 18:06
  • I understand that. The question is whether a US bound passenger will be reported to the Canadian immigration as "entering Canada" as well or not. I don't know how this is recorded on the passenger manifest and what happens if the manifest and the actual behavior at the point of immigration are in conflict
    – Hilmar
    Sep 7, 2022 at 14:16

The airline doesn't like when you do this because of Hidden City Ticketing. They will cancel the rest of the trip (if you have a return ticket, that will also be cancelled). You may suffer more consequences if you do this regularly, like cancellation of frequent flyer program, etc and even a ban.

  • 3
    While what you say is correct, the OP wants to skip the last leg, so there is nothing left to cancel.
    – Peter M
    Sep 6, 2022 at 12:34
  • 1
    @PeterM True as this journey, but not completely correct: we have read here of travelers who have had their frequent flyer accounts cancelled or received a ban from that airline. Sep 6, 2022 at 14:05
  • 4
    If you have evidence of a ban actually happening to someone, please add an example here: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/107019/…. As far as I know this is an old wives tale.
    – JonathanReez
    Sep 6, 2022 at 20:34

One thing you might want to consider is calling the airline and asking if you can change the flight to stop in Toronto. In particular, if you are flying Air Canada for example (if that's why you flew through Toronto), the odds are the Toronto flight is much cheaper than the Chicago flight - for example, LHR-YYZ is much cheaper than LHR-YYZ-ORD, less than half the price. Obviously last minute it's more expensive, but it's possible they'd prefer to sell the YYZ-ORD flight to someone else.

  • The whole idea of hidden city ticketing is that the pricing is often the other way around. Flying A->B->C is often a lot cheaper than just flying from A->B. Example: DUS->AMS->BOS used to be half the price of just AMS->BOS. This is clearly NOT intuitive but just the bizarre way airline dynamic pricing works . Airlines hate it when passenger actually take advantage of their non-sensical pricing.
    – Hilmar
    Sep 7, 2022 at 14:22
  • @Hilmar Yes, I understand that, but it doesn't sound like that was necessarily the intent here - it is not clear from the OP but it may be they just changed their mind. Obviously if this isn't the case then this isn't the answer for them :) Air Canada often is cheaper directly from Toronto though, which is the biggest major airline that makes much sense to fly through Toronto as a hub.
    – Joe
    Sep 7, 2022 at 15:07
  • Your mileage may vary but in my experience flight changes tend to be expensive. United once charged me $250 for NOT taking a flight that I already had paid for. No refund, no credit, no voucher but in essence a $250 penalty. I had to cough it up since I had another international segment on that ticket.
    – Hilmar
    Sep 8, 2022 at 16:41

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