Spawn of Cthulhu
Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
You can throw away the return portion of the ticket with no problem.
However, if you fail to use the outbound portion of the ticket then the return ticket will be canceled automatically. (The system assumes you never got there so have no need of getting back.)
As for why a one-way costs almost as much as a round-trip, it has to do with balancing travel flows. Consider this (much simplified) example.
Suppose you have one plane (which carries 100 passengers) and two cities, A and B. On any given day, 50 people travel from A to B and 50 from B to A. At the same time, you have 50 people in each city returning home. So, you have 100 people flying each way. Plane is full, no problem.
Now, suppose you buy a one-way ticket from A to B. Now, 50 people flew from A to B. But you aren't coming back; only the other 49 are. So, on some future day, there will be an empty seat that would normally be filled by a resident of A returning home. A 51st B resident can't take the seat because there would be no 51st space for them to return home on.
Now, if there was a person flying one-way from B to A in the appropriate time span then this wouldn't be a problem. But the vast majority of all travel is round-trip and the one-way flyer is uncommon enough that you cannot be confident enough that one will show up at just the right time to fill that seat.
This is a very simplified example but that's pretty much the basic reasoning behind it. Yeah, its a bit of a Catch-22 (one-way travel is uncommon because it is expensive and it is expensive because it is uncommon) but that's the thinking anyway.
If I get really bored later I'll explain the reasoning behind the paint joke....
Things I Will Do if I am Ever the Hero
#86 When the Evil Overlord tries to guilt-trip me by claiming that I'll be responsible for something he plans to do if I don't cooperate with him, I'll mercilessly quote Ayn Rand to him.
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