Airline sues passenger for not taking booked flight

Lufthansa lost the first court case against the flyer but is seeking an appeal

If you've ever thought about pulling a fast one on an airline by attempting to book a ticket using "hidden city ticketing" you may want to think again.

Lufthansa is cracking down on a way for airline passengers to get cheaper fares-with a lawsuit that brings fresh attention to the practice. Why is that possibly a big deal?

If a passenger does not show up for the first leg of a flight (say, on a trip from Amsterdam-London-Dubai, which is listed at a cheaper price than London-Dubai) the airline may automatically cancel the booking, which can not later be reinstated. Because missing a flight on objective could end up costing airlines dearly.

Typically, although not in this case, the layover city is the final destination for skiplaggers. Then they intentionally skip the last connection to the trip's final destination.


The practice is discouraged by airlines, with many warning passengers not to abuse tariffs - though this is believed to be the first time a carrier has tried to take a flier to court over the skiplagging hack. This could, in turn, cause airlines to increase pricing on the same routes in the future.

Lufthansa, The Independent reported, is now pursuing payment from the passenger who it believes deliberately missed the last leg of the purchasing journey.

In the German case, an unnamed male passenger booked a round-trip Lufthansa Airlines flight from Oslo to Seattle with a layover in Frankfurt in April 2016, CNN reported, citing court documents. However, the airline alleges the passenger instead took a separately booked flight from Frankfurt to Berlin.

Lufthansa has been granted permission to appeal after an initial ruling found in the passenger's favour, The Independent reports. It is now seeking $2,385 in compensation.

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