Q. I have a question about something that I feel is quite dishonest of Delta and any other airlines who may do this same thing. Delta is asking almost $600 for a non-stop flight from Portland, Maine to Atlanta.
But if I book the same flight but going from Portland to Nashville connecting via Atlanta (and just getting out right there), then the flight only costs $276. Why is the non-stop to Atlanta so high for only half of the trip? And what's to stop people from paying less and just not taking the connecting flight to Nashville?
For some reason, this pricing seems really dishonest and even illegal!
A. This is called Hidden City Ticketing, and though it may be annoying to the consumer, it's pretty standard. You're paying for the convenience of a nonstop trip. Connecting fares typically cost less because they are more time consuming for the passenger and less convenient.
Technically, there's nothing to really stop you from booking the connecting fare and using what you need, but there's plenty to dissuade you from doing so. First of all, this would only work one-way. The airline is hip to this scheme and would promptly cancel the return leg of your ticket. And you'd only be able to travel with carry-on baggage, otherwise your luggage would travel all the way through to Nashville.
You'll find more on Hidden City Ticketing here.