Airline routing practices: what’s going on?

I have noted that air travel routing and costs do not always make sense. Let me explain.

To fly to Rome, we went via Amsterdam with a longish stopover.

To fly to Madrid, we went via Rome.

To fly to Egypt, we went via Milan.

To fly to Morocco, we went via Paris.

Iraklion via Athens makes sense, but also via Gatwick and Rome?

It turns out that it is often cheaper to fly with a stopover than it is to fly direct. It is often cheaper to fly to a stopover city and get off (not continue to the next leg) than flying to that stopover city directly.

A website has been created to allow travellers to take advantage of this fact. You must not have checked luggage, as that would continue to your ‘final’ destination. You use the website to find a ‘hidden city’ which is your intended destination, and is the stopover on a flight to elsewhere. Ridiculous at it might sound, it can be 40% cheaper to fly through a city than to fly to that same city.

That website’s owner is being sued by United Airlines and travel firm Orbitz. You can find this on BBC news here.

Apparently a crowdsourcing attempt is ongoing, for legal costs.

I suggest some readers might consider contributing.

Happy New Year.

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