Economy

Lufthansa sues passenger over using the 'hidden city' fare ploy

Lufthansa sues passenger over using the 'hidden city' fare ploy

Lufthansa is suing a man who intentionally failed to board a connecting flight from Frankfurt to Oslo, but the lawsuit has nothing to do with the passenger's tardiness.

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

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.

One of the world's largest airline companies, Lufthansa has been given permission to appeal after an original ruling found in the passenger's favour, it has been reported.

For instance, someone flying from NY to San Francisco could book a cheaper trip from NY to Lake Tahoe with a layover in San Francisco and get off there, without bothering to take the last leg of the flight.

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In November a Spanish court ruled that Iberia passengers could not be punished for hidden city ticketing. On the return flight, the passenger did not catch the Frankfurt to Oslo leg of the journey and instead flew from Frankfurt to Berlin on a separate Lufthansa reservation.

A Lufthansa spokesperson tells Yahoo Lifestyle, "We presently can not comment on this issue, as it is an ongoing court case". "You will have to pay any difference between the price you have paid and the total fare we calculate for your revised carriage".

But Lufthansa, which is vulnerable because Frankfurt and Munich are both used as stopovers for multi-stop flights, is looking to make an example to deter customers from using this hack.

The practice does carry several risks for passengers, too.

Flyers who skiplag have to generally travel with carry-on only, as luggage is normally sent directly to the final booked destination. No-show travellers will also typically find the remaining portion of their booking cancelled, which affects those planning to miss the first segment of their journey.