Lufthansa ‘looks to SUE passenger who did not turn up for the last leg of their journey in crackdown on trick used to get cheap flights’
- Lufthansa ‘want the passenger to recompense them for the “tariff abuse”‘
- Passenger ‘exploited the value of non-direct flights as compared with direct’
- It means customers can find cheaper tickets if they ditch legs of journeys
- Lufthansa are hit hard because many of their planes go through stop-off hubs
- Do you know the person involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
German airline Lufthansa is trying to sue a passenger it says wilfully booked a cheaper ticket with no intention of making the final leg of their journey, it is claimed.
The airline is said to have claimed that the passenger exploited the airline ticketing system which places a premium on non-stop flights and got a bargain by buying a multiple-stop ticket.
The man was said to have not used all the legs of a journey from Seattle to Oslo and taken a separate flight from Frankfurt, where he was due to catch a connecting flight, to Berlin back in April 2016.
Lufthansa has been granted permission to appeal after an original ruling found in the passenger’s favour, it has been reported.
Lufthansa jets are seen at Germany’s largest airport in Frankfurt – a major hub which is hit hard by ‘tariff abusers’
The man reportedly booked a return ticket from Oslo to Seattle via Frankfurt, but instead of completing his journey – took a separate flight to Berlin during the changeover in Frankfurt on the return leg
The defendant reportedly booked a business class ticket from Oslo to Seattle via Frankfurt for 6224NOK (€657).
On the return flight, however, the passenger flew from Frankfurt to Berlin on a separate ticket. Lufthansa says that he should have paid €2769, and demanded €2112 plus interest.
According to German court documents, the case was thrown out because the airline failed to fully explain how it had arrived at the compensation figure of €2112.
The court documents said the pricing was ‘lacking in transparency’ in a summary of their verdict.
There is an increasing market among passengers, with companies like Skiplagged helping customers to find deals, the Independent reported.
Skiplagged’s website even boasts: ‘Our flights are so cheap, United (Airlines) sued us… but we won.’
Lufthansa are hit harder by the practice than other airlines because many of their flights are routed through the hubs of Frankfurt and Munich.
Although terms and conditions when buying tickets through Lufthansa make it clear the practice is not allowed.
There is a risk to such travel however, with seasoned ‘tariff abusers’ travelling with only cabin baggage, because hold luggage is often checked through to its final destination.
A Lufthansa Airbus A380 coming into land over Frankfurt
Another risk is that if you miss the first leg of a flight you will be considered a no-show for the others.
For example, if you booked a New York – London – Bangkok flight but tried to join the journey out of London, you would have already nullified the ticket by not boarding in New York.
However, it is uncommon for passengers to be challenged and Lufthansa will be hoping to set a precedent, as well as deter other customers from trying the same technique.
According to Forbes, Lufthansa is the third largest airline company in the world and made nearly $ 3bn (£2.33bn) in profit in 2017.
They are the largest European operator, surpassed globally only by American Airlines and Delta Airlines.
A Lufthansa spokesperson told Simple Flying: ‘As this is a running court case, we do not comment this case at this stage.’
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