The idea of Hidden City ticketing is knowing the cheaper or "low fare" markets around the "high demand / high cost" market and using it to our advantage on saving the cost. Let's see few examples:
San Francisco (SFO) to Los Angeles (LAX) for close in Thursday Evening ticket (08/21)
A quick search on ITA Matrix gives the below results. As you can see the price is pretty much standard across the board to be $210 (whoops!!). I have purposefully shown details of one of the flight and soon you will see why?
- Make sure you have NO CHECK IN bags, this is because you do not plan to take the flight from LAX-SAN and as such ideally the check-in bags are checked to final destination only.
- DO NOT use your primary frequent flyer number (i.e. AA), you could credit this to any of the other partners, as you do not want to get flagged (If you do this regularly and have your Frequent Flyer (FF) number in there you are inviting trouble).
As you can see you saved almost 33% flying the same Airlines you wanted, but with the help of hidden city ticketing. The concept could be applied to other routes and destinations as well. Also if you fly "hub-to-hub" you might want to check the "non-hub" location for savings (as the routing would be always through hub! ).