I recently bought some airline tickets. But somehow, I always feel like I am being cheated. I generally use kayak.com or itasoftware.com, then go to the airlines website to book. This time I was looking for the cheapest was to fly from Newark to my destination, Miami.
I started up Kayak.com and typed in Newark to Miami. I got a price of $400. Which I thought was a lot. So I typed in Washington, DC to Miami and got $275 but you had to change planes in, where else, Newark. What is going on ??
Well, it turns out airlines charge prices based, not on distance, but on demand for a particular route. So, if a certain route is highly competitive, like the route from DC to NYC, with no dominant carrier, then the price will be lower. And once you are on a particular carrier they want to keep you on that carrier, so the total price can be cheaper.
Airlines call this "Hidden City Ticketing". Hidden city pricing can save you some money if you are willing travel to another airport.
There are plenty of internet warnings if you take advantage of hidden city pricing.
1) Don't miss the first leg of the trip or the entire trip is automatically cancelled. So I cannot board in Newark but instead must get to DC first.
2) Don't check baggage. It will end up at your final destination with out you.