You can fly from Vienna (VIE) to Addis Ababa (ADD) for 526€.

However, flying from Vienna (VIE) to Cape Town (CPT) connecting through Addis Ababa (ADD) is only 419€.

So when flying to ADD, it is cheaper to book a flight to Cape Town and not take the connection than to book a flight directly to ADD.

As you can see in the pictures, the 419€ VIE-CPT flights even include the exact 526€ VIE-ADD flight. flight from VIE to ADD flight from VIE to CPT over ADD

How is this possible?

  • 2
    Welcome to TSE. This is quite normal for airfares, and the reason why so-called "hidden city ticketing" exists. It's possible because airfares are based on supply and demand, not distance, and there is less competition for a non-stop VIE-ADD flight (only possible on one airline) than for a one-stop VIE-CPT flight (possible on a dozen or more airlines). See Calchas' magisterial answer in How do airlines determine ticket prices?
    – choster
    Aug 3, 2019 at 13:55
  • I have also seen that one airline was given rights on one airport based on the number of transfer passengers, besides the number of destination passengers. (I hate it, makes travel harder or more expensive and is even worse for the environment.)
    – Willeke
    Aug 3, 2019 at 14:15
  • Self-plug - you can read about why this exists at blog.docbert.org/hidden-city-ticketing
    – Doc
    Aug 3, 2019 at 16:18


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