Have you ever heard of throwaway ticketing? Booking New York to London might be expensive, but flying New York to Rome via London may be much cheaper. So you could book the ticket to ROME and get off the plane in London, and ignore the connecting flight.
This is generally against airline rules, but there is a loophole that makes skipping segments on a ticket perfectly legitimate. It is one of the few ways to legitimately score a cheaper First or Business Class flight. Other ways include using two magic free upgrade words (apparently?).
Italy’s competition authority found that it wasn’t clear to consumers that skipping a flight on your itinerary would cancel the rest of their journey. British Airways and Etihad were fined and agreed to make it clearer to customers.
Emirates has the most generous policy for tickets issued in Italy: If you do “not shown up for a flight for any reason” you can keep the rest of your ticket.
This applies “to passengers holding tickets issued in Italy, no matter their point of origin.” There’s even an email address and a phone number to use to ensure your itinerary remains intact. You need to let them know within 24 hours of the missed flight segment, and at least two hours prior to the next flight. Complicated, but do-able.
How do you get your tickets issued in Italy? Book travel with Expedia.it.
How can this save you money?
Gary at View From The Wing says “Let’s take Emirates as an example. They will sell travel less expensively from certain cities than if you start off in Dubai. Search any origin city that you can buy a ticket for issued in Italy for an itinerary connecting through Dubai, call Emirates and let them know you didn’t take that first flight, and start your journey in Dubai.”
Many airlines don’t have this rule (such as British Airways and Etihad). And those that do may employ agents who do not fully understand the rule, which could potentially leave you in a pickle. However, it’s a published loophole, based on a court ruling and if you ever book flights with Emirates, this may well be an extremely useful loophole. Combine this with my secret to booking luxury hotels and you might just have yourself a bargain trip away.
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