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Interesting Court Decision In Germany - Passenger does not need to fly last leg

Interesting Court Decision In Germany - Passenger does not need to fly last leg

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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:05 am
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Takiteasy View Post
I am however of the opinion the initial connection is more painful than the final one.
That's only a personal opinion of yours, rather than being a principle of ex-EUs, though. Some people will find the initial connection less painful than the one at the end. So the way it happens to work for you personally can't govern the way in which the situation is analysed for everyone.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:13 am
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Takiteasy View Post

Which means BA would be light-years away from being able to implement given the state of their IT.

How do UK rail companies do it in a transparent manner? When booking a ticket to Manchester, I have never seen Ďbut if you stop one station short it will cost you X moreí.

Finally, having done a few exEU and often skipped the last leg (and in some cases getting a refund from BA for the skipped last leg, no less!), I find that the initial positioning is the biggest hassle when all you want to do is arrive at your work or holiday destination ASAP. Given you cannot skip the first leg but only the last one, itís not as if you have enjoyed the lower fare without having put yourself through a fair amount of connections. In fact what you have done is taking the last leg first (by having to do a positioning flight).

The train operators donít publicise it and arenít obliged to tell you. They are able to enforce Ďabuse/manipulationí of this practise due to their terms and conditions and byelaws that support travel.

A ticket from London to Rugby and Rugby to Manchester can be cheaper than a ticket bought from London to Manchester travelling on the same train. Again this will be due to the different pricing and markets they serve.
The rule here is your train has to stop at Rugby to give you the opportunity to join and alight said train. If that train stops at Milton Keynes and you split your tickets at Rugby your ticket would be invalid and if you didnít have a valid ticket for your journey you would need to either buy a full price ticket or their byelaws allow for a strict liability prosecution which could result in a criminal record, fine or imprisonment,

Similarly the terms and conditions for advanced tickets is valid for the booked train only between point a and point b. You canít get off at the station before point b, if you do again you are deemed not to have a valid ticket for your journey and again need to buy a full price ticket or risk prosecution.

In practise train operating companies will negotiate a figure with you typically 3 figures to settle out of court and cover their admin costs. This is preferable to them as in the event of prosecution they only actually get the victim surcharge and not the fine,
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:15 am
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Originally Posted by Xonus View Post
Isn't this also because the bigger savings are in J/F - and most people fly Y, so the incentive to go around somewhere else isn't that great. Personally if I'm on a biz trip I generally want to go from A to B and back as quickly as I can.

I'm pretty sure the leg-dropping issue has come up internally, and BA (and others) have run the analysis showing how small a problem it really is for them. It have got to be in the low single digits, and not worth doing anything about (as it's still revenue).
This is true. As a leisure Y traveller, i do look exEU every time but it makes a difference of around £10, which is not worth it. At all.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:25 am
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Originally Posted by adrianlondon View Post
If Lufthansa win the case, which I'm pretty sure they won't, wouldn't it set a huge precedent?

As an example: A 2 litre carton of milk costs £1. A 1 litre carton costs 70p and a 500ml carton costs 50p. I want 1.5 litres so buy the 2 litre bottle and throw the rest away. The precedent would imply I'm breaking the law in doing so. Sure, Tesco isn't going to take me to court for 20p but then unlike the airlines they can't grab the 500ml I didn't use and resell it, either.

I'm (obviously) no lawyer, but what makes airlines such a special case here? Is it the amount of savings?
Originally Posted by KARFA View Post


I don’t quite see the relevance of the example here. Do your milk cartons say you are obliged to drink all the milk as a condition of buying it?

I think this a decent example though. If the manufacturer did state that you have to drink all of the milk as a condition of buying it otherwise you have to pay the difference of the more expensive combinations of cartons, would they be able to enforce/get away with it?

Because that is effectively what the airlines are saying.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:28 am
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Originally Posted by benjai View Post
I think this a decent example though.
All analogies are dangerous, especially when they get further away from the subject matter that's actually in issue. And people tend to think highly of analogies that suit their own point of view.

Rail transport does provide a much closer analogy, because it shares many of the same features as the airline conundrum. As has been mentioned, not only do railways have the same problem and do similar things contractually, but in addition that is enforced by legislation.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:32 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
But I don't see why lots of media attention on this would be good news for anyone. If you really think that the long-term effect of Lufthansa losing this case would be cheap business class air fares for all, regardless of market, I have a bridge to sell. And if you really think that long-term effect of cheap business class air fares for all is that everyone can enjoy the current levels of business class service at lower fares, I have more of those bridges.
The consequences of increasing consumer knowledge, and long haul LCCs, and proper enforcement of contract fairness could be far reaching. The hub/spoke network and opaque pricing has served legacy carriers well. More transparent Ďflatí per sector pricing might mean:

- fewer error fares
- reduced attractiveness of JVs/partnerships/alliances
- less generous FFPs
- direct flights by legacy carriers not to/from hubs
- pressure on APD and itís overseas equivalents
​​​​​​ - improved competitiveness in the market as a whole

Overall probably not attractive to the average reader here ó many of us pride ourselves in exploiting much of whatís under threat. Still, Iím with the consumer law in this issue. Prices going up when you consume less is unjustifiable and unfair from the consumersí perspective. I packed three of my family members on a back-to-back exEU a while back and ó whilst they all cheerfully did it ó itís not economically or environmentally justifiable. Itís the symptom of a broken market (not just in fares, hub slot hogging and taxation play a huge part as well).

Iíd speculate a relatively high overall fare for a collection of connecting flights with a discount if you fly the whole collection is probably perfectly fair and legal, but isnít going to score well on the price comparison/OTA websites so probably wonít be the direction the market moves in.

Again IANAL (not travel agent or airline insider!)
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:36 am
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Quid pro quo?

If carriers could get away with this, one would expect the reverse to be true. Overbooking should then be far more expensive, with greater compensation to PAX.
This is just another dubious revenue tactic. If you for some reason don't make your final leg, they will put a standby in that seat and in effect get paid twice for that seat. If flight is less busy, they still get dollars for an empty seat.

I cannot see any judge with common sense and a moral compass giving carriers a pass with this re-pricing tactic. It's immoral.
Money making corporations will more or less engage in dubious or criminal tactics to make profit if not regulated and reprimanded. That's a given and proven over and over again historically.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:49 am
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This is getting a lot of traction compared to these normal articles! Even my office is discussing this today which never happens. They are pretty much asking, which I imagine is how all none regular flyers think, "how can they bill you more for taking less flights?" !
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:06 am
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I have always marvelled at how it can be half the price to take a route that is twice as far! Not good for climate change but good for us and, potentially good for the airlines if it takes pressure off busy routes, utilises the less busy route more and makes them more competitive in that market.

But how to make it fair with respect not flying the last (or any) sector? I don't see why it would not be possible for the airline to price each route accordingly so that not only the final destination is priced but also a price for the route if a sector is dropped.

For example:

I want to fly OTP-LHR-LAX-LHR-OTP (OTP-LAX return). It is ex-EU so the fair is very nice thank you. However, I live in London and decide not to fly the last leg. Apart from the IT effort to implement it, I can't think of a reason why they couldn't price the trip as booked and also price a surcharge at the time of booking for the extra that might be chargable should I drop the LHR-OTP. In fact, I'd like to see a price grid rather than a single price as to what I would expect to pay should I drop any of the legs in the original itinerary. This would then give us the option... fly the itinerary as booked or incur the notified surcharge to drop a leg.

This way we would have the option without the uncertainty of what it might cost us and the airlines can then charge a more appropriate price for the route actually flown.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:19 am
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Perhaps airlines could be forced to be completely transparent with their pricing. Now that's an idea!
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:20 am
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Originally Posted by memesweeper View Post
... The hub/spoke network and opaque pricing has served legacy carriers well. ...

Prices going up when you consume less is unjustifiable and unfair from the consumersí perspective. I packed three of my family members on a back-to-back exEU a while back and ó whilst they all cheerfully did it ó itís not economically or environmentally justifiable. Itís the symptom of a broken market (not just in fares, hub slot hogging and taxation play a huge part as well).
The hub-and-spoke model has served consumers well too. It's a large part of what has made air travel affordable. The most recent big demonstration of this is perhaps Emirates (and to a lesser extent the other two big Middle Eastern airlines). EK's hubbing has made travel possible between any number of city pairs that would in the past have been a pain to travel between, and the model has driven down fares and revenue for everyone who's flying in the affected areas. The low-fare point-to-point model has not been spectacularly successful on long-haul, and even for short-haul travel in Europe there is still a lot that is not covered by low-fare point-to-point.

There's certainly an environmental argument to be made that people should be encourage to fly non-stop or direct where possible, and that deliberately taking more flights or travelling longer distances to reach one's destination should be penalised. But you wouldn't be able to do this without re-regulating air fares. Remember what it was like when they were regulated? Nope, I'll bet that most people here don't remember that, just as many people clamouring for UK railway nationalisation don't remember what it was like before privatisation and therefore have not thought about what should be done to avoid the problems of the past.

So, as I have said, we should be very careful what we wish for. If, collectively, we make it uneconomic for the airlines to offer cheaper fares to those who are prepared to jump through some hoops in return, we could come to regret the consequences.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:21 am
  #102  
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Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Perhaps airlines could be forced to be completely transparent with their pricing. Now that's an idea!
What's not transparent about it now? I can see that it may look counter-intuitive, but I can't see how it's not transparent.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:21 am
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Hmmm. Made up prices in this example but presuming it's the same as ex EU on BA.
If I fly from FRA I pay £2k rtn on LH.
If I fly from AMS I pay £1.2k rtn on LH.
By not taking the last sector, LH could have the right to charge me the difference. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that this could be classed as discriminatory pricing.

Just because LH have T&C doesn't make it enforceable by law.

I cant see what LH are losing here since they dont refund for a sector that is unused, and were willing to provide a seat to the pax for the last segment. By not flying the last segment the pax has freed up a seat. Yes LH would have earned more on a straight ex FRA fare but probably lost a passenger. I think they are on very thin ice here.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by Sealink View Post
It's not beyond the realms of possibility that this could be classed as discriminatory pricing.
Why would it be discriminatory?

FRA-JFK (to take a hypothetical destination) is distinctly different from AMS-JFK - and both of those are distinctly different from AMS-FRA-JFK, which is clearly a less desirable and less valuable (= lower market value) route than either of the first two.

So I can't see what's discriminatory about this.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:36 am
  #105  
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Originally Posted by srbrenna View Post
Wouldnít courts frown on the premise that a company could charge more for not providing a service than providing it?
I don't think so. There is no reason to think that providing more of a certain service is to the benefit of the consumer, or that it should necessarily cost more. I only want, for example, a bit of my hair cut so that it looks neat and tidy. There is no reason to believe that having my barber to continue to cut my hair to the point where I look like an infantryman should deserve more payment or be in my interests.
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