Airlines often price tickets from one city to another through a hub cheaper than flights that terminate at the hub.
Flying United New York to Milwaukee through Chicago is often much cheaper than just flying New York to Chicago.
But if you get off the plane in Chicago and don’t board your connection to Milwaukee, you’ve potentially saved yourself a lot of money. This is called hidden city ticketing.
In the live example I gave in that post, I helped someone save $1415 on a one-way ticket. That’s a big deal.
If you’re interested in the technique, read the post, it walks you through how to do it – and how not to do it – including simple pitfalls to avoid (you only want to throw away the last segment of an itienrary, and you don’t want to do this and check bags, plus if you do this a lot it may be best to use another airline partner frequent flyer number to credit miles to).
The savings aren’t always as substantial as $1415, of course, largely because most domestic airline tickets aren’t that expensive to begin with.
But since I’ve just completed a throwaway that saved a bit of money, I thought I’d share the example.
I’m always amazed at how well the US Airways and Delta ‘shuttle’ products between New York, DC, and Boston are able to hold price even when the flights are relatively empty. Sure, there are corporate discounts. But flying during business hours, even on a Wednesday morning, isn’t inexpensive.
Here’s New York-LaGuardia priced two weeks out:
It’s not $1000. But it’s more than I want to pay for the 214 mile flight.
There are several cities that you can use to connect through DC (using the same New York LaGuardia – Washington National segment) where the total ticket price is lower. I’ve found good prices to Jacksonville, Orlando, and Providence at various times.
Here’s what the same ticket costs if adding on a segment to Raleigh:
Guess which itinerary I thought was a better deal?
Before using this technique yourself, read the instructions to avoid problems.