Two Yale professors take a look at the ethics of buying a round-trip ticket to fly one-way, in this case by Justice Scalia. They conclude —
Of course, maybe Justice Scalia plans to use the return half of his ticket later. If he does not, however, he in essence has admitted to buying a ticket under false pretenses. He made a promise without any intention of fulfilling it. Justice Scalia is no doubt familiar with the legal term for such an act: it’s called promissory fraud.
The airlines’ policy may be annoying, inconvenient and customer-unfriendly. But they can legally insist that their passengers abide by it. And certainly a strict believer in the rule of law like Justice Scalia would agree. Then again, if a case about the airlines’ pricing practices ever reaches the Supreme Court, maybe Justice Scalia should recuse himself.