Airline sues passenger for not taking booked flight

14 February, 2019, 08:25 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • FEB 11 An Airbus A320 of the airline Lufthansa is taxiing on the tarmac at Frankfurt Airport

It is known as skiplagging, whereby a passenger books a flight from A-B-C but only intends to fly A-B.

German airline Lufthansa is trying to sue a passenger it says wilfully booked a cheaper ticket with no intention of making the final leg of their journey, it is claimed.

Lufthansa has taken a passenger, who didn't show up for the last leg of his ticketed journey, to court in an apparent bid to clamp down on "hidden city" ticketing.

The case in question isn't even the most egregious example of the practice: The unnamed passenger bought a return flight from Oslo to Seattle.

Germany's Lufthansa Group Airlines is suing a passenger who found a cheap way to travel between several cities in Europe and the USA, saying the customer broke its rules when he skipped part of his return flight on a round-trip ticket from Oslo to Seattle.

According to court documents filed late previous year, the German airline believes the passenger purposely missed the last leg of his connecting flight from Seattle to Oslo.

Lufthansa didn't like that.


But Lufthansa is arguing that the travel trick is a violation of their terms and conditions.

While the Berlin district court dismissed the lawsuit initially in December, CNN reported this week that the company has already filed an appeal and plans to pursue it further.

Unethical or just playing the game?

How does the "hidden city" hack work? "Then on the return home, I'd just fly back to Cincinnati and never go to Dayton", Rieke said. The airline wants the passenger to recompense them for the "tariff abuse".

"'Hidden city" ticketing is neither illegal nor immoral", Scott Keyes of Scott's Cheap Flights told ConsumerAffairs.

Websites such as Skiplagged delve into airline databases to suggest how to cut costs on journeys by throwing away unwanted segments.

The root of the case is that some airlines, including Lufthansa and British Airways, have pricing strategies that put a premium price tag on non-stop flights. In this case, a customer must buy a new ticket.

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