Lufthansa Airlines Sues Customer Who Skipped Part Of His Return Flight

Gladys Abbott
February 14, 2019

The legal hounds at an airline's headquarters might argue that hidden city ticketing violates their "contract of carriage", but some travel industry observers disagree.

Instead, the unnamed passenger got off during a layover in Frankfurt and flew on a separate ticket, also with Lufthansa, to Berlin.

The Lufthansa passenger paid 657 euros ($741, at today's rate) to fly business class from Oslo to Seattle and back, with layovers in Frankfurt.

As Travel + Leisure previously explained, Hidden city ticketing - otherwise known as point beyond ticketing - is when a traveler books a flight from point A to point B to point C, with point B representing a layover.

CNN outlines the scheme using the following example: If a person's intended destination is San Francisco, instead of booking an expensive direct flight from NY, they would choose to book a cheaper flight from NY to Lake Tahoe, with a planned layover in San Francisco. The passenger used all legs of the outbound flight, but did not catch the Frankfurt to Oslo return flight. Thrifty flyers can save hundreds of dollars by booking multi-stop tickets instead of flying direct.

Lufthansa claims it has been unfairly gamed and is seeking compensation from the man to the tune of $2,385.

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An initial court case found in the passenger's favour, but Lufthansa has been granted permission to appeal the ruling, according to The Independent.

A Berlin district court dismissed Lufthansa's case in December.

A website which promotes this ticketing hack, skiplagged.com, advertises itself as "exposing loopholes in airfare pricing to save you money".

The case was thrown out in 2015 after the judge in the Northern District Court of IL said the court didn't have jurisdiction over the case because Zaman didn't live or do business in that city.

It's not even remotely illegal, though airlines have written warnings against it into their terms and conditions.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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