Hidden City Ticketing – The (legal) loophole to slash the cost of your flight

Hidden City Ticketing is a flight trick that is prominent in America, but is unknown here. It’s not the easiest way to fly, but it will slash the price of your ticket by around 50%.

Before you go further, you need to know this:

a) Hidden City Ticketing IS completely legal

b) Airlines HATE it

hidden city ticketing

What is Hidden City Ticketing?

I know, a bit dramatic right? But if you’re happy to do it, you’ll always be able to find super cheap flights. I discovered it a good few years from an American friend which meant I got return direct flights to New York, with British Airways for £257 – while was quoted £630 initially.

How I did it? Well, the end destination wasn’t New York City at all – it was Olso.

It’s all about hub airports. Frankly, some airports are better than others. If you fly to a ‘hub’ one such as JFK, because it is super popular, its quite expensive. So to attract you to airports/places which aren’t that popular, they’ll cut the price to fly there. Oslo for example is one of those places who wants to attract people with cheap flights.

Now – here’s the trick – Hidden City Ticketing is where you book a flight to the ‘cheap airport’, but with a layover at the more expensive one – (So from London – Oslo, with a layover at JFK). Then what you do, get off the plane at NYC and don’t go to your final destination, Oslo.

hidden city ticketing

How to find a Hidden City Ticketing flight

This all sounds amazing right? Here’s where I rain on your parade – getting a flight isn’t a quick process. To bag a ticket at 50% the price of everyone else, you’ll need to be flexible and you’ll have to play around with airline comparison sites such as Skyscanner.

  • Pick an airport you want to fly from and put it in Skyscanner
  • Pick a random cheap hub destination (just google it, there are loads)
  • Put in your dates
  • Un-tick the ‘direct’ option, and find a flight with a layover in the place you’d like to go.

hidden city ticketing

Things you need to be aware of

  1. Make sure you only buy single tickets Remember, you’re not actually going to the final destination on your ticket.
  2. You can’t take a suitcase – only hand luggage Again, if you put a bag in the hold, it will end up at the final destination you’re not going to. So if you need a lot of luggage, this trick may not be right for you.
  3. Don’t assume you’re getting a bargain Once you’ve found your Hidden City Ticketing flight, compare it with a ‘normal’ flight.
  4. While this isn’t illegal, airlines don’t like it for obvious reasons For some, such as American Airlines, you maybe breaking their T&C’s and describe it as ‘unethical’.
  5. Don’t associate a frequent flyer account with these flights If airlines realise what you’re doing, they may take away your accrued points.

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