Airlines Are Trying To Ban Throwaway Ticketing

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Several airlines around the globe are trying to ban throwaway ticketing. Throwaway ticketing is one of the simplest travel hacks. Nonetheless, it violates airline rules and some airlines indeed punish passengers who use this practice repeatedly.

What exactly is throwaway ticketing?

According to United Airlines, throwaway ticketing is “[t]he booking and/or issuance and/or use of connecting and/or roundtrip tickets for the purpose of one–way or partial travel only.” Let’s look at a couple of examples.

First of all, some passengers buy a cheaper round-trip ticket with the intent to use it for one-way travel. Accordingly, they will only travel one-way and “throw away” the return trip.

Then there is “hidden-city ticketing.” Also known as skiplagging, hidden-city ticketing is basically another version of throwaway ticketing. Passengers wanting to travel from A to B will buy a cheaper ticket from A to C with a connecting flight at B. They will simply stay at B and throw away, or”skiplag”, the trip from B to C.

United Airlines Boeing 737
United Airlines has tried to fine passengers who skiplagged. Photo: United Airlines.

Passengers use throwaway ticketing to save money. Nonetheless, airlines contend that it is illegal as it violates their contracts of carriage. As a matter of fact, United Airlines‘ Booking and Ticketing Policy clearly states that throwaway ticketing is a prohibited practice.

Lufthansa recently sued a passenger for damages due to unpaid fares. However, the airline did not succeed. The court stated that Lufthansa was correct in taking the passenger to court. Nonetheless, the airline was not able to recover any damages because it was not clear how Lufthansa determined the amount it was owed.

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Lufthansa Airbus A350
Lufthansa is trying to crack down on passengers buying “throwaway tickets.” Photo: Wikimedia.

Overall

Airlines lose money when passengers buy “throwaway tickets.” Accordingly, it makes sense why they are trying to ban this practice. Even though they will not come after every passenger who travels with a “throwaway ticket,” repeat offenders might have to worry. Airlines might charge passengers for the difference in ticket prices. Additionally, they might refuse to let passengers board the aircraft.

How do you feel about airlines trying to ban throwaway ticketing?

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