Throwaway Ticketing: Case Avianca Brazil Santiago – Sao Paulo One-way

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Throwaway ticketing used to be more common back in the day when most airlines priced their one-way tickets at full price while discounting return flights or had minimum stay requirements such as Saturday night.

Avianca Brazil

Today, many airlines price their return flights as two one-ways due to competition from low cost carriers and you don’t have to revert tricks as throwaway ticketing often. Unfortunately, I did this past Monday.

One-way fares between Santiago de Chile and Sao Paulo are not competitive at all. When I was buying this flight in late November, the price was in excess of $1,000 (the example below is for flight next week). I was not willing to take the Air Canada/Turkish Airlines combo in economy for $500 that would have wasted most of the day.

ITA Matrix SCL-GRU

One-way awards are usually excellent way to get around ridiculous fares such as this but there were none available on the direct flights and, again, I wasn’t willing to spend 12+ hours flying between these two cities (there were some availability on Aerolineas Argentinas with long transit times in Buenos Aires).

Previously, when I had purchased ticket for this exact city pair the OTA (Edreams) had sold me a return ticket even when I really just needed one-way (big nono for OTA to do something like this).

ITA Matrix O6

Pulled some random dates on ITA Matrix and got the price down from more than $1,000 one-way to $299 return.

ITA Matrix O6 Vayama

Was surprised that Vayama was further able to get this down to $282 and made the purchase.

O6 KF

The SCL-GRU booked into K class that credited at 75% level to KrisFlyer.

Conclusion

I am somewhere in Asia when I am supposed to take the return flight in January. I guess that I am going to “miss” it….

Throwaway ticketing is likely against the fare rules and Contract of Carriage that the airline may have published on its website.

As long as you don’t do this every week and won’t credit the flights to the frequent flier program of the airline operating the flight, you should be fine. The airline won’t come after you and try to charge the one-way price after the fact. Your plans may have simply changed and you no longer need the return portion of your ticket.

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