Supreme Court Justice Endorses Throwaway Ticketing

Scalia’s opinion explaining his decision not to recuse himself (as requested by the Sierra Club) in the case of Richard B. Cheney vs. US District Court for the District of Columbia makes for really interesting reading.

The facts of the case as relayed by Scalia are very different from media accounts.


But that’s not what I’m concerned with here.


I’m concerned with the travel implications.


Scalia flew on a government plane with Dick Cheney to Lousiana and flew back commercially. Scalia writes

    Our flight down cost the Government nothing, since space-available was the condition of our invitation. And, though our flight down on the Vice President’s plane was indeed free, since we were not returning with him we purchased (because they were least expensive) roundtrip tickets that cost precisely what we would have paid if we had gone both down and back on commercial flights.

So Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia seems to admit to violating the tariff rules of the carrier he flew (unless it was Southwest, but then I’m quite confident he didn’t return to BWI).

(Thanks to Eugene Volokh for the pointer to the opinion.)

Update: I don’t know which carrier Scalia was traveling on, and it does make quite a difference. I’d guess he flew USAirways, as they offer the only non-stops from New Orleans to Washington-Reagan National Airport. And USAirways definitely prohibits throwaway ticketing. Although he could have flown to Dulles on United — and United does not prohibit throwaway ticketing.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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