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Why are round trip air tickets cheaper than one within Central Europe?

Why are round trip air tickets cheaper than one within Central Europe?
I am looking at Berlin-Krakow, Krakow-Budapest, Budapest-Prague. I don't mind the stops. Can you buy a round trip and not show up for the return?

Posted by
7169 posts

Where are you exactly wanting to go to and on what dates?
Are you looking at the budget European airlines' websites?

Posted by
3 posts

Berlin-Krakow-Budapest-Prague Roughly May 15 - June 5. Looked at LOT, Austrian Air, Czech Air, Air Berlin and discount carriers. Most seem to have lower round-trip pricing than one-way???

Posted by
6902 posts

The pricing - whether cheaper with round-trip fare or two one-way fares - totally depends on the airline. Many budget airlines have competitive pricing by each leg, so you can cobble a round-trip using two different airlines.

Posted by
16885 posts

There's not much competition on service to/from Krakow. Air Berlin appears to have the only nonstop flight Berlin-Krakow, and they must expect it to be used more by residents who would travel roundtrip than by tourists. Yes, you can buy a roundtrip and not show up for the second leg. You just missed the flight.

Posted by
1106 posts

Mrs EB - what is your source of info for your statements about airlines charging if you don't fly the 2nd leg?? It seems like if they were doing that, it would be well known, and i have not heard of it, or heard of it reported other than your statement..

Posted by
1163 posts

I did a quick internet search on this subject and this is what I found.
1. Throw away ticketing or not taking all of the legs of your flight itinerary is against airline rules.
2. The rest of your itinerary will be cancelled. Your frequent flyer number or your account will be affected.
3. Travel agents generally don't do it anymore because they are easily punished by the airline.
4. British Airways in particular is watching for this and may be contemplating taking a case to court
5. I could not find any example where a case has gone to court.
6. The airline will not be able to get money from you for engaging in this practice without taking you to court because you can get your credit card to refuse the payment.
7. The likelihood is that an airline is more likely to take a business traveler to court rather than a leisure traveler.

Posted by
1163 posts

Carol,

We are in agreement.
Can you tell me what the consequences of "getting caught" were?

Posted by
3493 posts

I would suggest looking at multi city trips for the itinerary. Multi city can string together those cities and be more affordable than individual one way fares. And if it helps with the pricing, you could add the Prague-Berlin segment to make it a complete round trip and then just "miss" that flight.

Although I would not suggest doing the throwaway ticketing on a regular basis, If you happen to "miss" a segment of one ticket you bought is it really worth it to the airline to chase you down for a couple hundred dollars? No, it isn't. How are they going to know if you really missed the flight due to unexpected delays, just didn't want to fly that day (maybe you were sick), or purposely threw away that segment? With the outrageous change fees most airlines charge, why would you even attempt to change a cheep ticket and pay more for the change than a new ticket might cost?

The worst that would happen is they would kick you out of their frequent flyer program and confiscate your accumulated miles if "missing" flights becomes a regular thing for you.

Just thinking about this reminded me of a recent situation where I missed a flight on United. I used their app to change my return segment because I wanted to stay a little longer. Unfortunately I chose a flight leaving a day sooner instead of the later flight I thought I was choosing. United's response when I asked was "Buy another ticket." Far from chasing me down to fine me for throwing a way the return portion.

Posted by
9363 posts

I can see the problem with throwing away a leg of a multi-stop ticket, causing the rest of the itinerary to be canceled. But how would they know whether or not you simply missed your return flight on a RT ticket?

Posted by
2134 posts

I've been doing this for years I've never gotten a surprise charge and I'm not going to worry about this now. And the people who are caught are generally not only charged but a lot of times lose their frequent-flier miles. However as i said it's not someone who's done this once. The person in Vegas probably had not done there's just one time but numerous times. Business travelers are generally the ones caught because they do the same thing over and over. Airline software, like most software, looks for trends when looking for fraud. They are not looking for someone who got sick and couldn't get on the plane for example. And that happens a lot

Posted by
3493 posts

Since both airlines specifically refer to "excursion fares" in their rules as noted, I doubt most of us who simply buy tickets directly from an airline have anything to worry about. Excursion fares are bulk discounted tickets that travel agents sell for an extreme discount that is not available to the general public.

Maybe airlines actually are cracking down on repeat passengers who do the throwaway thing too much. But just because their rules say they can (and always have stated exactly that) doesn't mean they will chase after every one who does it and they have better things to do than harass someone who simply missed a flight.

Posted by
1106 posts

Hi. Just to follow up on the claim in a post above that "American & Delta Airlines fine the passenger at minimum the difference between the roundtrip and the one-way." That statement makes it sound like these airlines do this routinely. And the source given for this statement is a quote of the airlines websites. But the web sites only are a claim by the airlines that they have a 'right' to do this; it doesn't give credence to whether or how often it actually happens.
I agree with most of the other posts that if in fact this ever happens, it is very rare and only in very extreme cases. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
14161 posts

vandrabrud remind me to never enter into a contractual agreement with you.

Posted by
1163 posts

Oh come on James E. You make me smile and chuckle. It might be fun to sit in an ethics class with you to debate these issues.
If you are concerned about the morality of "taking advantage" of huge corporations that only have one goal which is to stay viable and make a lot of money at your expense then maybe that will get you a seat in Heaven.

If we negotiated a contract together I feel confident that we both would comply with the conditions....or pay the consequences. Have a great day.

Posted by
14161 posts

vandrabrud, the ethics of violating the terms of a contract for personal gain or convenience? Especially when you believe that the party that was wronged would have no recourse? Yes, that would be an interesting conversation. Once rationalized more rationalizations follow with larger and larger consequences. We all give in, I give in, but I would never try and rationalize it.

That having been said, vandrabrud, your attitude in your response and your PM were among the rare attempts in this forum to accept and intelligently discuss a differing position. You could be a model for the forum and it was humbling. I leave my comment above, with your name tied to it, only so people will understand the following posts. My apologies for picking you out of the crowd when it wasn't an issue of individuals.

Posted by
801 posts

Hello,
Please note that I made a few edits to keep this thread more on the acceptable side of Guideline #8.