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Getting off plane at midpoint

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Getting off plane at midpoint

Old 28th Jul 2021, 14:56
  #1 (permalink)  
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Getting off plane at midpoint

I know most commercial pax flights are point-to-point, but occasionally there are regular scheduled flights which begin at airport A, fly to airport B, stop for 30 mins to pick up more pax, and then fly to airport C
Assume A, B and C are all in the same country, and no flying over other countries. Assume tickets from A to B (or anything similiar) are not sold by any airline. Assume the aircraft has more than 20 pax - so no exceptions for puddle-jumpers. Single set of crew and aircraft throughout.

For a normal commercial airline, what are the barriers to prevent a passenger travelling with just hand luggage from buying a ticket A -> C but leaving the aircraft at B and not returning to the aircraft ?

Is there a formal requirement to do a full security sweep at B, if one or more pax get off at B ?

Note - I'm hoping for an answer that doesn't involve the police and is relevant to 2021... not what you were able to do in the 1980s ! :-)

Last edited by davidjohnson6; 28th Jul 2021 at 15:44.
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 16:08
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The a/c wouldn't be able to operate from B to C because the head count would be wrong. What could the pax who bought a ticket to C but got off at B have left on the a/c??

Last edited by SWBKCB; 28th Jul 2021 at 16:27.
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 16:26
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You would normally be in breach of the airlines terms and conditions.

If you look here

https://www.aa.com/i18n/customer-ser...f-carriage.jsp

It states under Ticket Validity

"Prohibited booking practices

Reservations made to exploit or circumvent fare and ticket rules are prohibited.

Examples include (but are not limited to):
  • Purchasing a ticket without intending to fly all flights to gain lower fares (hidden city ticketing)
  • Buying a ticket without intending to travel, including to gain access to our airport lounges or other facilities
  • Combining 2 or more roundtrip excursion fares end-to-end to circumvent minimum stay requirements (back-to-back ticketing)
  • Booking a ticket in someone's name without the person's consent (which is illegal)
  • Holding reservations for reasons like securing upgrades, blocking seats or obtaining lower fares
  • Booking duplicate or impossible trips, for example multiple trips for the same passenger around the same time (trips a passenger physically could not complete)
If we find evidence that you or your agent are using a prohibited practice, we reserve the right to:
  • Cancel any unused part of the ticket
  • Refuse to let the passenger fly and check bags
  • Not refund an otherwise refundable ticket
  • Charge you for what the ticket would have cost if you hadn't booked it fraudulently
  • Require you refund to us any compensation we provided like bag delivery costs, and reimbursement for clothes or toiletries because of late or lost bags"
Also search this forum for "Hidden City Ticketing" for likely penalties
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 19:16
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Apart from the issues of breaking contracts or the head count now being wrong it seems to me there is a practical issue.
If the airline doesn't sell A-B tickets, only A-C, will anybody be allowed off at B? Unless they need to offload everyone for some reason (fuelling?). If they don't let anyone off you'll stand out like a sore thumb.

[History story]
I read an article many, many years ago about a Delta flight from Washington to Atlanta. It stopped in Charlotte and Delta couldn't work out why people were getting off in Charlotte when they had tickets to Atlanta. Then they twigged - the fare was cheaper to Atlanta than Charlotte.

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Old 28th Jul 2021, 20:29
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For a normal commercial airline, what are the barriers to prevent a passenger travelling with just hand luggage from buying a ticket A -> C but leaving the aircraft at B and not returning to the aircraft ?
That can happen to you in Belarus, even if you donít want to step out.
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 21:41
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A few historical musings....

In the 70s this was often done . LHR-LAX-PHX on TWA was cheaper than LHR-LAX, so many pax bought the longer journey and then just hopped of at LAX.
Then there was even something known as a ‘fictitious one-way back haul’ when for IATA fare calculation purposes the ticket was written more cheaply, as if to travel via a point that was overflown (or even avoided) but never touched down. But that was also in the days when the name of a physical passenger did not need to be checked against individual documentation. As an example, on the Pan Am Lockerbie flight there were a dozen or so students from the American school in London who had swapped tickets with others, causing havoc for those trying to work the manifest for next of kin.
On international sectors where the airline holds traffic rights for A to B, and A to C, but not B to C this can be a boon for non rev employee travellers who want to fly B to C.
Can you imagine if the same thing was done in the retail trade such that if you bought 3 bananas you were required to eat them all, because only eating two and throwing one away was against the terms of shopping at the supermarket?
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 22:49
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I should perhaps have made clear - I'm thinking of buying a one way ticket from A -> C but after the airplane has flown from A to B, then I plan to ask the cabin crew *nicely* if they wouldn't mind if I could please get off and waive my rights to transport from B - > C. As it's a one way ticket on the same aircraft, and tickets for A - > B are not sold because locals would either drive or take a 5 hour train ride, it's much harder to engage in tariff abuse (eg. no connecting flight). The airline in question doesn't offer any kind of lounge facility, and one has to enter passport details at the time of buying a ticket (which will be checked at the gate) so no possibility of ID fraud. Tickets are also non-refundable. The flight has only one class of seating - ie all economy, and there is no frequent flyer scheme. Furthermore, hand luggage gets X-rayed so difficult to take any naughty items, and I'm not planning to put luggage in the hold. Again, airports A, B and C are all in the same country, so no passport/customs/Covid-on-arrival issues, and the airline is based in the same country, so no issue with international traffic rights.

On that basis.... what might cause an airline to decline to let me get off the aircraft after flying A -> B, instead of flying A -> B -> C ? Is there anything around security regulations that might make this awkward ?
Yes, I'm aware that "for security purposes" can sometimes mean "I don't want to allow this, but I cannot think of a good reason why so I will use this excuse"
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 00:11
  #8 (permalink)  
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Airlines do not need 'a good reason' to enforce their rules that you have signed up to. If the CC let you off, then the FC have the problem of sorting the security.

I agree with you and have seen this problem detailed before. It is crackers but the carrier has chosen to be crackers!
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 00:12
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If the CC allow you to disembark, potentially, they will be in trouble for not implementing the rules.
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 05:07
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They canít stop you disembarking, they wouldnít try and certainly donít care


However airlines monitor this kind of thing carefully and may well penalize you later with points / no upgrades or even fees


Donít think it wonít be noticed and it will probably cost you in the long run
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 06:29
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6 View Post
I should perhaps have made clear - I'm thinking of buying a one way ticket from A -> C but after the airplane has flown from A to B, then I plan to ask the cabin crew *nicely* if they wouldn't mind if I could please get off and waive my rights to transport from B - > C. As it's a one way ticket on the same aircraft, and tickets for A - > B are not sold because locals would either drive or take a 5 hour train ride, it's much harder to engage in tariff abuse (eg. no connecting flight). The airline in question doesn't offer any kind of lounge facility, and one has to enter passport details at the time of buying a ticket (which will be checked at the gate) so no possibility of ID fraud. Tickets are also non-refundable. The flight has only one class of seating - ie all economy, and there is no frequent flyer scheme. Furthermore, hand luggage gets X-rayed so difficult to take any naughty items, and I'm not planning to put luggage in the hold. Again, airports A, B and C are all in the same country, so no passport/customs/Covid-on-arrival issues, and the airline is based in the same country, so no issue with international traffic rights.

On that basis.... what might cause an airline to decline to let me get off the aircraft after flying A -> B, instead of flying A -> B -> C ? Is there anything around security regulations that might make this awkward ?
Yes, I'm aware that "for security purposes" can sometimes mean "I don't want to allow this, but I cannot think of a good reason why so I will use this excuse"
Do you plan to use the same airline in future ?

If not, I very much doubt there would/will be any consequences to your proposed action.
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 07:06
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Crew would still have a different headcount than what's on all the documentation. Loadsheet issues?

As it's a one way ticket on the same aircraft, and tickets for A - > B are not sold because locals would either drive or take a 5 hour train ride,
Are you sure this is the reason for tickets not being sold?
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 10:07
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Thanks to all... finally got the real answer.... you cannot get off at a midpoint due to (unspecified) aviation security regulations... or you can pay an additional ticket amendment fee to change your ticket to allow you to get off at the midpoint
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 10:11
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It's difficult to answer the question without knowledge of the specific points. In much of Africa I suspect nobody would care. Try it in Russia or China and I can see police becoming involved to your detriment.

What will you do if your are denied permission to get off? How easy/expensive will it be to get back from C to B and what effect will that have on your overall itinerary?
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 12:00
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If you did manage to disembark at B, as pointed out the head count would not match.
Even if you had told the CC that you were getting off and had no luggage, they would most likely still get all the pax off the a/c for them to identify their luggage within the hold.
This should happen, unless they can identify you and can confirm that you did not check in luggage.

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Old 29th Jul 2021, 12:41
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6 View Post
Thanks to all... finally got the real answer.... you cannot get off at a midpoint due to (unspecified) aviation security regulations... or you can pay an additional ticket amendment fee to change your ticket to allow you to get off at the midpoint
I wonder how that resolves the security concerns.
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 17:29
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6 View Post
Thanks to all... finally got the real answer.... you cannot get off at a midpoint due to (unspecified) aviation security regulations... or you can pay an additional ticket amendment fee to change your ticket to allow you to get off at the midpoint
How would the airline know how much to charge you, given that (as you said in your first post) no airline sells tickets from A to B ?

And how would you paying an additional fee make any difference to the security considerations ?

Sounds a bit dodgy to me ...
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 20:31
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You would be able to get away with it in the US domestically, although you might end up on a black list. If a flight is delayed for over three hours (four hours internationally) an airline must let passengers off or face a fine.

I always thought that if a passenger was "missing" cabin crew ask the missing pasenger to identify themselves and having ascertained who is missing see if they have any hold baggage. Hopefully for others on board they won't have. However, I'm not sure how that works for multi-sector flights. In my experience usually everyone is deplaned and reboarded. Perhaps someone can give some real life examples where this is not the case.

What is to stop someone feigning an illness or a panic attack? Again there may be long term repercussions but it would possibly work at the time.

Thread (& fourm) drift:

Historically there were a large number of multi-stage flights - I've done a number in my time but not in this century. Have a look at historical timetables - I've seen nine sector US domestic flights and there are the famous RTW flights such as Pan Am 1/2. You may have had the choice of whether to stay on the plane or get off for some fresh air at stops. Pre 9/11 I've seen parts of terminals at places such as Seattle cordoned off to allow unclearted international pax off the plane (in that case I think it was Eva Air NYC - SEA - TPE).

Also historically you could fly a certain percentage above the great circle route on a standard IATA ticket (I forget the amount, 15 or 30%?) to facilitate stopovers - indeed you could buy a ticket from London to Athens and stop off at three of four European cities en route. This led something called 'hypothetical pointing' where you added the extra mileage after the destination (so bought a ticket tfrom London to Seattle & flew to LAX,etc) and not the last sector. I'm not sure how common this was in the era of 'reputable consolidators' better known as bucket shops. Do standard IATA tickets offering full refunds, transfer between airlines, x% extra mileage & so on still exist these days?
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 05:26
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My impression is that the modern 'Revenue Mgmt' systems of people and computers is aimed at tying down every loose corner. They want to offer certain prices for certain routes and aim to prevent work arounds - particularly if there is no other carrier serving that route or the multi-sector route in question.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 00:57
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This sort of thing is best done with connecting flights where an aircraft change is involved, you simply don't board the next one.

Getting off an aircraft which is continuing is a different matter as a cabin search could be called for incase anything had been planted.
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