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Judge Includes Millions Of Passengers In Anti-Airl  
User currently offlineUnited4everDEN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2375 times:

I am confused, is it the passengers being sued, or the airlines?

POSTED: 8:44 a.m. EDT May 5, 2004

DETROIT -- A judge is including millions of airline passengers in a ticketing lawsuit.

Northwest Airlines, U.S. Airways and Delta are part of the case which involves a disputed cost-saving practice known as "hidden-city ticketing." That's when travelers seek to save money by using only part of a multi-stop ticket that works out cheaper than the one-stop ticket to the same destination.

Airlines said it constitutes fraud and they penalize travelers who do so.

In 1996, a suit was filed that accused the airlines of unlawfully conspiring to violate federal antitrust laws by prohibiting certain ticket purchases that resulted in lower costs for travelers. The suit seeks about $1 billion in damages.

No trial date has been set.

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 8220 posts, RR: 42
Reply 1, posted (12 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2344 times:

The airlines penalized travelers who bought cheaper round-trip tickets instead of more expensive one-way tickets. Someone (it is unclear if it was a passenger or group of passengers, or the DOJ who can also bring antitrust suits) sued NW, US and DL and accused them of consipiring to prohibit these ticket purchases.

The airlines are the ones who are being sued. The passengers will be able to collect the damages that the judge awards if the airlines lose the suit.

Next flights: MEX-MZT AM E90; TIJ-MEX AM 788
User currently offlineUnited4everDEN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2322 times:

People are morons, anything to save a buck. *shakes head*

User currently offlineOkie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3807 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (12 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2290 times:

Well, I can tell you that hidden cities was common practice until the early to mid 90's when the airline computers were able to track things better and force passengers to pay exorbant fees or upcharges when detected.
I had a friend get denied boarding and up charged about $600 an given a later flight out of LAS. He said they were originally pretty nasty and made lots of suggestions as to what they could do legally and were going to charge him about $1,300 but he talked them down and promised not to do it again.


User currently offlineQIguy24 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (12 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2280 times:

I think it's fair that the passengers gets penalized. There is actually a reason why the airlines have oneway fares. And if they don't like the price then find a nother way to travel...

User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (12 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2269 times:

Oh my heart just bleeeeds for these poor airlines.....

User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4349 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (12 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2229 times:

Hidden city ticketing has nothing to do w/ one way vs. round trip. A hidden city ticket is when a pax buys a ticket to one destination, but gets off at an intermediate stop on the route of flight. In the convoluted world of airline fares and hub operations, it's not uncommon to find that the fare from point A to point C is cheaper than the fare from A to B, even though the plane is going to stop in B on it's way to C.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. I honestly don't see where
here they have a leg to stand on. None of the markets overlap, so the claim of conspiring goes out the window, no one was prevented from buying a ticket to their desired destination, and the rules were clearly stated, no one was tricked.


"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2175 times:

IMHO this problem is entirely the fault of the airlines. If their pricing policies are so convoluted that it becomes cheaper for a customer to purchase 2 flights rather than one, the customer is not to blame for purchasing the cheaper solution, even if he doesn't require the entire solution. Its as if Dunkin Donuts were selling coffee for $1.50, and a coffee/donut combo for $1.40. Even if the customer doesn't want the donut, he can still save himself 10 cents on the coffee, and throw the donut away. Legally the airlines haven't a leg to stand on.

User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13856 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (12 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2108 times:

There are other serious problems - espeicially after 9/11 - with 'hidden city' ticket use. A flight is EWR-CLT-DWT and a person purchases a ticket gets off at CLT. You have a seat that could have been sold between CLT-DTW, and gain that income. You have serious security issues too. What happened to the pax, did they leave the plane and just not return in time? What about their possible luggage on the a/c? Could the departed pax left a bomb behind or placed gun on the plane for use by a hijacker/group of hijackers?

User currently offlineFrontiers4ever From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 173 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2072 times:

I have no problem with the passenger doing this they bought the ticket. I feel that they should decide whether or not to fly a segment or not.


Until you prove, your right, your wrong
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 67
Reply 10, posted (12 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2058 times:

LTBEWR, the first part of your post is essentially one of the explanations why airlines overbook planes... if the plane is full and they've got standbys, the first one of them will be put on board - so in quite a large number of these cases, the airline will not lose the revenue.

The second part, security, is an issue - that's true... was/is the practice that people buy a ticket where they simply, according to their ticket, transfer between planes at their intended (and hidden) destination, so that they simply don't board the connection - or is it more common to see people using, for example, a one-stop-service that stops at the airport they want to got to?

In the first example, the "only" security problem would be checked luggage, but in the second case, there is - in fact - somewhat of a problem...


Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineLJ From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4808 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (12 years 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1991 times:

LTBEWR, the first part of your post is essentially one of the explanations why airlines overbook planes... if the plane is full and they've got standbys, the first one of them will be put on board - so in quite a large number of these cases, the airline will not lose the revenue.

Leskova, I don't entirely agree with your point of view. If hidden city ticketing is allowed then airlines will be encouraged to overbook more than they already do. One can argue why overbook because the fare has already been paid and theus the pax paid for the empty seat. However, I think we can be certain that once aircraft become empty the airline will just overbook more than they previously did and thus increase the problem of overbooking.

Another result of massive hidden city ticketing will probably be that flying become more expensive for non hub citypairs whereas those living in a hub enjoy cost savings.

Fianlly, it will create a lot of problems for the connecting flight as the flight keeps waiting for a missing passenger who never intended to make the connection (result: angry passengers on the connecting flight).

User currently offlineBd1959 From Australia, joined Oct 2002, 450 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (12 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1944 times:

If airlines can point to a clause in the contract of carriage and say that they can deny boarding in the case of overbooking because a ticket does not guarantee you a seat on a flight (or sector - as we have seen in other posts talking of overbooking) then surely it works both ways: the passenger is not compelled to complete the journey because there is no contract stipulating that completion of journey is agreed to by both parties by a certain point in time.

However, nor would I "expect" to be included in a lawsuit against the airlines on this issue. Sure, if I felt that airlines had mistreated me because I'd acted (as I understood it) within the law and conditions of carriage, then I would seek reparations - but be included in this way?

Ah, Australia, the Lucky Country.

BD1959 the bar-room lawyer

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