Because any such law would be unconstitutional. At the end of the day we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The right to a pursuit of happiness includes paying a lower price for airfare?
Congress has done a bunch of things that get in the way of an individual's pursuit of happiness, such as perimeter laws, the Wright Amendment, etc.
And now that the USSC has said corporations are people too, aren't they entitled to happiness as well?
Seems someone could come up with a law saying the overall aviation system is healthier when hidden city travel is banned.
Nothing makes me happier than "Sticking it to the man".
I have never used the hidden city trick, but the way the deck is stacked against the traveler by the airlines (US3) and their "policies" like $200 change fees, etc. screw 'em. For example, my wife, daughter and I were going to fly EWR to SFO to see family. Daughter (teen at the time) decided she didn't want to go, preferring to stay home with her friends and go to a concert. I had bought non-refundable tickets (eyes wide open on that) but I figured we'd have a sweet empty seat between us. Well TS for us. They sold her seat at a high last minute price and pocketed it all at a huge profit. So yeah, no pity for the airlines.
Are you sure the airline sold the ticket? It’s possible it was a non-rev stand by. In which case, the argument could be made that the airline could have made more money had you told them your daughter wasn’t going to be traveling.
I get the frustration but I think it’s misguided. After all, you voluntarily agreed to purchase a non-refundable ticket for price A at time X. Life happens and it turns out you ended up buying a ticket you didn’t need.
Behind the scenes, the 3 seats you purchased at price A influenced the pricing for all remaining seats. Consider for a moment the possibility there was another traveler that was looking to fly to SFO that weekend and could only afford price A. Well, you buying 3 seats at price A caused the remaining seats to jump to price B. That traveler forgoes their travel plans or books on another carrier, maybe at an inconvenience to them. At the same time your daughter’s seat, reserved at price A would have jumped up to price B/C/D and so on closer to departure if not already reserved. The airline could have sold that seat to a traveler willing to pay at those price points had they known it was not going to be used.
Instead of calling the airline to advise them it wasn’t going to be used, you figured that if you paid for it, it would give you a open middle seat, small consolation. Since your plan was to maintain an open middle seat, it’s safe to assume that you went through the motions to check your daughter in online and obtained a boarding pass giving the impression she was traveling. By doing this, the seat would have appeared to be reserved up until moments before the flight closed. Since her boarding pass wasn’t scanned at the gate the seat map would show her seat as reserved but unoccupied. At that time, any standby passengers would be assigned the remaining open seats. Provided you checked her in, it’s highly unlikely the airline made money on it. Your row mate was likely a standby. If you didn’t check her in, there is a possibility someone bought the seat at walk up fares.
While I completely understand your rational and sentiment in the stated example, I think it’s correct to say that you purposefully withheld the fact that your daughter was no longer traveling, from the airline in an effort to remediate your financial loss on the purchased but unneeded ticket, where-in the prospect of an open middle seat was viewed as compensation, or rather consolation. However, the ticket you agreed to purchase was non-refundable. So the argument that “you paid for it so you’re entitled to it” can actually be used in reverse. You bought a non-refundable ticket, that unused, prompted you to take deliberate steps to exact some sort of compensation, despite the non-refundable ticket entitling you to no compensation, or consolation, depending on how one views the open middle seat. You asserting that it was wrong to fill the seat you paid for with another person when your intent, absent your daughter’s transport was to have an open seat between you and your wife, opens the door for assertion that you attempted to exact compensation/consolation despite being entitled to neither.
Furthermore, the ticket you purchased was for the transportation of your daughter between EWR and SFO, full stop. Her ticket allowed her to pick accommodation in a specific part of the aircraft for the duration of transport. Despite you purchasing it, it was not your ticket and therefore, not your seat, but rather your daughter’s, who declined to use the service provided for by the ticket. Once evident to the airline that your daughter did intend to use the service, her ticket and the accommodation provided by it were then forfeited back to the service provider, with no compensation provided to the purchaser.
Consider that if you bought your daughter a car and put the title and registration in her name, you no longer hold any claim over the car, despite paying for it. Same principle applies with the ticket.
P.S. I am not an airline apologist, I’m just looking at the situation from a neutral perspective. I empathize with your rational and sentiments, but I’m also considering the other side. You will see up thread, my first post was actually in opposition to airlines, in this case UA, targeting customers engaging in hidden city ticketing schemes. I think it’s a guaranteed future PR fiasco. That said, I can understand the reasoning behind their consideration without agreeing with their methods.