Airline ticket pricing nowadays depends on so any factors that it would be quite a coincidence if you met someone on the same flight who had paid the same amount for the ticket as you did. But the most surprising thing is when it costs less to go further along the same route.
For instance, someone flying from New York to San Francisco could book a cheaper trip from New York to Lake Tahoe with a layover in San Francisco and get off there, without bothering to take the last leg of the flight.
But airlines are apparently upset that savvy travelers are doing such things and one airline is suing a traveler.
According to a court document, an unnamed male passenger booked a return flight from Oslo to Seattle, which had a layover in Frankfurt. The passenger used all legs of the outbound flight, but did not catch the Frankfurt to Oslo return flight. He instead flew on a separate Lufthansa reservation from Frankfurt to Berlin.
Lufthansa saw this as a violation of their terms and conditions and is seeking €2,112 (around $2,385) in compensation.
A Berlin district court dismissed the lawsuit in December, but Lufthansa’s spokesperson confirmed to CNN that the company has “already filed the appeal against the decision.”
This is utterly absurd. If I buy a ticket, then I should be able choose to use any or all of it. The fault, if there is any, is clearly in the airline’s pricing algorithms.
I recall a time when it was sometimes cheaper to buy a round trip ticket to some place than a one-way ticket, so people would buy round trip tickets and simply not return. That upset airlines too. I don’t know if that is still true.
It is still the case that even between the same two cities, where the round trip ticket originates matters. This is definitely the case for some international flights. I know someone in Sri Lanka whose children live in Perth, Australia and so he splits his time between the Colombo and Perth. He makes sure that his round trip tickets always originate in Colombo and are purchased in Sri Lanka because it is much cheaper than buying it in Perth. In this case, the airlines are probably pricing according to what the market can bear and Sri Lankans may be thought of as having less disposable income than Australians.