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Airline sues passenger who missed his flight
14 February 2019, 08:27 | Joann Bryant
This Airline Is Suing a Passenger for Buying a Cheap Flight
While that might seem like an innocent enough act, the German airline claims that the passenger was trying to leverage the "hidden city" ticket trick, a method experienced airline passengers employ to get cheaper fares.
Germany'sLufthansa 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.
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.
For example, someone who wants to travel to Chicago may book a flight from NY to Los Angeles with a layover in Chicago, if that flight is less expensive than direct flights to Chicago.
Lufthansa are believed to be hit harder by the practice than other airlines because numerous company's flights are routed through the hubs of Frankfurt and Munich. Lufthansa German Airline is no exception. 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. It's seeking 2,112 euros ($2,381) - plus interest.
In November a Spanish court ruled that Iberia passengers could not be punished for hidden city ticketing.
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. But Orbitz later settled its case with the site, and a judge dismissed United's portion of the suit in 2015 - mostly because the case was filed in IL and Skiplagged is based in NY.
A website which promotes this ticketing hack, skiplagged.com, advertises itself as "exposing loopholes in airfare pricing to save you money".
It's not even remotely illegal, though airlines have written warnings against it into their terms and conditions.
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