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Ticketing - Back-to-Back Ticketing - Sample Letter


Let me take the opportunity to clarify American Airlines position on back-to-back ticketing. Since passengers utilizing back-to-back tickets are not remaining at their original destination over the required Saturday night, but returning on a second ticket, the intent to circumvent our tariffs is clear, and may be construed as common law fraud. As such, passengers who attempt to use back-to-back tickets may be denied boarding, have the remainder of their ticket confiscated, and may be assessed the difference between the fare paid and the lowest applicable fare.

Restrictions on back-to-back ticketing help American offer frequent flights to business travelers, and inexpensive travel to leisure travelers. Leisure travelers are willing to accept various kinds of restrictions, including non-refundable, advance purchase and minimum-stay requirements, in exchange for low prices. They then help fill the excess capacity that is a natural consequence of providing frequent service to fit the business travelers' needs. Without the ability to charge different fares to leisure and business travelers, American would not be able to offer as many flights.

In most cases the minimum stay requirement on discount fares is a Saturday-night stay. This is intended to discourage use of the restricted fares by business-travelers since, in most cases, business travelers prefer to get home quickly. Indeed, part of the reason business travelers like frequent flights is that frequent service increases a business travelers ability to minimize overall travel time, and maximize time either at the office or at home. Leisure travelers, however, are choosing to spend their leisure time traveling, and frequently stay over a Saturday night.

Although the issuance and usage of back-to-back tickets is not illegal in the sense that one could be fined or sent to jail by the government, it is a breach of a passengers contract with American Airlines. Both Tariff Rule 100AA and American's Condition of Carriage, which are incorporated into every ticket sold by American as part of our agreement to carry the passenger named on the ticket, bar back-to-back ticketing. In addition, it violates the agencies' contract to act as an agent for American Airlines.

Achieving the correct proportion of passengers who purchase the higher unrestricted fares and those who purchase the lower discounted fares allows us to continue offering timely and frequent schedules with the type of service our frequent flyers desire and at a reasonable price. It also enables us to make air fares even more affordable for those who wish to travel for pleasure. Back-to-back ticketing upsets this balance and, if it is allowed to proliferate, will lead to higher air fares and less service for all.



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