Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Airline sues passenger who missed his flight

Airline sues passenger who missed his flight

Many airlines make big calculating their tariffs exactly like this.

For example, someone flying from New York City to San Francisco could book a cheaper flight from New York City to Lake Tahoe with a layover in San Francisco - then simply get off there.

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

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Lufthansa launched the legal action against the single, solitary passenger as a means of blocking the reasonably common "hidden city" travel hack, which involves deliberately missing a connecting flight in order to save money. He booked his flight on April 8, 2016, and traveled early the next month. "No law is broken when a passenger decides not to take a flight he or she bought, and twice now when airlines have sued to cut back on the practice, their lawsuits have been dismissed".

Lufthansa, the German national airline, announced it is suing a passenger for allegedly missing a leg of his journey on objective. It is now seeking $2,385 in compensation. The airline saw the flyer's tactic as a violation of its terms and conditions and is asking for more than $2,000 in compensation. By contrast, the court said, the airline's method of calculating its initial price is "completely intransparent".

A German district court gave a thumbs-down to the airline's lawsuit in December, 2018, but a Lufthansa representative confirmed to CNN that the airline has "already filed the appeal against the decision". The hack is named after the website Skiplagged, an airfare search engine that claims to "expose loopholes to save your money".

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The site, which was founded by Aktarer Zaman, was sued by both United Airlines and Orbitz.

However, that suit was thrown out by an IL judge, who said the district didn't have jurisdiction over the issue.

In addition, the practice could bring legal trouble, Skyscanner says, adding, "Even more likely, if you do this regularly, some airlines will kick you out of their rewards program".

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