Hidden City Flights: A way to SAVE HUNDREDS on flights

hidden-city-flights

Would you rather pay £600 for a ticket to Dubai while you could have bought the same ticket for £400? I suppose the answer is pretty obvious. Welcome to the world of the ”Hidden City Flights”. I hope you enjoy the article as well as save some money on your next flights.

What is a hidden city flight

Let me first say that this method has been around for years in the travel industry and it only became known to the broad mass of travelers about four years ago. A hidden city flight is a flight where you get off at the layover rather than the final destination. A quick example just to make things simple, let’s say you wish to fly to Bali from London. This particular ticket would cost you say £2000 while a similar ticket to Sydney with a layover in Bali would cost £1600. All you have to do is to book the cheaper ticket and get off the plane at Bali. This way you could save £400! Don’t worry I will explain how this works further down the post.

The history of the hidden city flights

Travel agencies around the globe have been using this method for years in order to save some money to their loyal customer while also making some profits for themselves. This ‘secret’ became known to the public in 2014 when a 22-year-old guy from New York city developed a website to reveal this concept and only later got sued by United airlines and Orbiz for alleged ‘unfair competition’ by promoting ‘strictly prohibited’ travel. Eventually, a Chicago judge dismissed the lawsuit and of course the news went viral making his website swamped by visitors. Have a read through on this interesting story here. It really caught my attention.

Pros & Cons of that method

Using the hidden city ticketing method could really save you a lot of money in occasions and make traveling a more affordable way. However, there are some things you need to be aware of : 1)You can’t check your bags when you fly with the hidden city method as if you do, your bags will end up to the final destination (you wouldn’t probably want that 🙂 ) . So, just go light if you can! 2) You may need a visa depending on the final destination. Albeit you never step a foot to the final destination due to the booking requirements you may need you to have a visa to issue the ticket. So just check before you travel, better safe than sorry 3) The hidden city method is applicable mainly on one way tickets 4) Some airlines may require a proof of a return ticket (if they do you could always buy a fully refundable ticket and cancel it afterwards)

hiidden-city-ticketing

How can I find those tickets?

You can always try to search for those routes here. Just try it out a couple of times, make some searches to a destination of your preference. If you wish to travel to Istanbul from London for instance, you will surprisingly find that the price with a stopover to Athens is similar to the one of a direct flight to Istanbul!, You may wonder how this could be possible since we are talking about two aircraft (extra fuel costs etc) instead of one, right? Well it’s the hidden city flight method right there. Click the ”book” button to go through to the travel agent you found the price of your preference as it’s essential to check that there is no price change after the redirection to the travel agent’s website. You can then try to book this over the phone with the travel agency you spot that flight on. The reason is that it would be highly unlikely to be able to book that flight online yourself thus all you have to do is just to call them and ask if possible to book this for you. There is a reason traditional travel agencies are still around despite the growth of the online bookings over the last 10 years. Give it a try as you have nothing to lose. Quote the prices and routes you found online to the travel agent of your choice and ask if there is any way they could book that hidden city flight for you and you could both save/make some money! I bet that while you are on the phone with them if you show that you have knowledge of how this works, that would increase your chances. Just a tip: the smaller the travel business you are going the call the larger the chance of getting it done. Large businesses are usually not so flexible as a request as such would have to go through several layers of authorizations for an approval before eventually been declined.

Conclusion

This is definitely not a method you could follow repeatedly as eventually it would upset the airlines and the travel agents would not want to do that but it’s one worth to explore in my opinion. You should also be aware that searching for a flight in the website of an airline might bring you great discrepancies on pricing from searching with a travel agency as it’s not a secret that the airlines expose fares to the travel agencies that they don’t always display on their own website. This is a volume game so any travel agency that can commit to a high volume of sales is getting discounted rates from the airlines. Search all those online travel agencies here and see for yourself. It goes without saying that only a travel agency would do that for you and not an airline as essentially they would lose money by doing that. I hope you found my article interesting and most importantly I hope it will help you to save some money. I would be pleased to know if you saved any money by following the hidden city ticketing method so please let me know on comments below. Happy Travels 🙂


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18 Replies to “Hidden City Flights: A way to SAVE HUNDREDS on flights”

  • michel duhamel says:

    Awesome article. I never heard of this method before!

    I’m actually not much of a traveler, but my wife enjoys travelling as much as she can (usually a few times per year. I will certainly book mark this article and show it to her (I really don’t think she knows about this practice)

    Thanks for a great article, and it’s great that you mentioned the downside of using this method as well, as I wouldn’t want my luggage ending up at the final destination!

    -Mike

    • Thank you Michel:)
      I hope it would help you to save some money.

      Happy travels

  • Hi

    Great information on how to save money on flights for all us travellers out there.

    I don’t know too much about this method, but the chance to visit a place in which we stopover in does seem rather enticing.

    The amount of times I have a layover in a place and would really like to check it out would make this method appealing.

    Cheers

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your comment. I hope it works for you.

      I would love to hear if you managed to save some money from that method.

      Thanks 

  • Hi Maria, this is amazing. My wife and I are world travelers and we are always looking for ways to innovate our journey. We are always on the lookout for airline promos. One time we flew less than $ 1 for a one-way flight. I can’t believe it. I actually thought it was a glitch in the system. It was not. Turns out, we were just lucky to have booked the one-way flight at the right moment. Now, your article is such a concept to explore. We will definitely try this one. It’s the traveler in us that makes us giddy and excited everytime we read something like this. Thanks again Maria =)

    • Thank you JR ,

      Oh $1 ?? I hope you find more $1 fares soon . If you do please let me know and I will share the news here 🙂

      Happy Travels

  • Thanks a lot friend,

    This is indeed a good way to save a lot of money on flight. I love to travel a lot because of my business.

    I I’m even planning to go to some few places including UK to check on a particular project and I think this will be a very good advantage to cut cut some of my travel expenses.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this information with with. I will surely give this hidden flight a try and see how it works.

    • Thank you Stephen,

      I hope this method help you save some money on your next travel. Please keep any on this section of my blog as it includes the engine to perform the searches for a great flight deal.

      Happy travels 🙂

  • Hi Maria,

    Thank you for explaining what a hidden city flight is.

    This is mind blowing information. I guess the airlines are busy trying to get each flight as full as possible.

    I found it interesting that you can’t check your bags in because they would go to the final destination. I would think that this is also security related. Let me explain:

    I would have thought that for security reasons, that airlines would not allow you to get off the plane at the layover because your bags are still on the plane. I thought that the bags and you would have to remain “together”, either on the plane or off the plane.

    As you say, you probably would not want your bags to go to the final destination anyway.

    Kind Regards,
    David

    • Hi David ,

      Many thanks for your comment. 

      That’s so true ! I remember one time an airline  lost my luggage’s and it was a true disaster as it took the airline 2 days to find it .I hope this method works for you and save some money off your next flight 🙂

  • Hi, Maria!

    It is always a pleasure finding a Greek blogger online 🙂
    I’ve never heard of this method before. So, you’re saying that I can book a flight where my final destination is the flight’s stopover, and that this might be cheaper than a direct flight to that destination… Nice!
    Would you suggest this for longer(e.g. intercontinental) or shorter flights?

    • Hello Marios,

      Nice to meet you too and many thanks for your comment 🙂
      This is most commonly used for longer flights but you may find similar deals for shorter flight options I.e Europe to Europe or domestic routes in America.

      Happy travels 🙂

  • Wow. I had never heard of a hidden city flight. It is an interesting concept and is definitely worth checking out. Does this work better with international flights or would it work with North American domestic flights as well? I imagine it also works best on the more expensive and longer flights as the extra work and visa costs etc might not result in a large enough savings on shorter or cheaper flights.

    • Hi Laverne,

      Thank you for your comment.
      You are absolutely right, this works better on longer flights rather on domestic routes.
      However, you may spot some deals in the USA or Europe.

      Happy travels 🙂

  • Wow. I had never heard of hidden city flights. It is a very interesting concept and well worth considering. Does it work only for international flights or would it work within the North American Domestic market? Is this practiced all over the world or are there specific parts of the world where we would more likely find good flight options?

    • Hi Kelly,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      Good news !This method is applicable all around the globe!

      However,especially in long haul (international) destinations you have better chances to spot a hidden city  flight deal.

      I hope this method would help you save some money on your next flight.

  • Thank you this is very informative about a flight strategy that seems quite involved, if not risky.
    What if for some reason the flight does not stop in the hidden city then you are really screwed. Also i wasn’t quite clear from what you wrote how to purchase such a ticket online, I would have to do a massive research.
    Still, interesting concept whic I may try once just to see.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Orion,

      Thank you for your comment. Not stopping to the hidden city is not the case here as the passenger would get off the plane at the layover city anyway. Hidden city is the city you add to the itinerary in order to get a discount on the first leg of the journey. The first leg is the layover (your destination). The risk is in case there is a re-route and the airline decide to go to the hidden city via a different layover city. 

      It does require some manual research indeed but the savings could be of a great amount of money. There are also very few internet booking engines which show the hidden city flights online . Try skiplagged.com

      I hope it helps you to save some money on your next flight  🙂



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