Airline sues passenger who missed his flight

FEB 11 An Airbus A320 of the airline Lufthansa is taxiing on the tarmac at Frankfurt Airport

FEB 11 An Airbus A320 of the airline Lufthansa is taxiing on the tarmac at Frankfurt Airport

"Hidden city" ticketing ploys are a well documented and fairly common airline hack, recommended by travel experts as a savvy way to game the system.

German airline Lufthansa is seeking to sue a passenger it says purposefully booked a cheaper ticket with no intention of turning up for the final leg of their journey, it is claimed. Why is that possibly a big deal?

Its website states: "Our flights are so cheap, United (Airlines) sued us... but we won".

The airline hack is known as the "hidden city" scheme, in which a person books a flight with a layover, and then intentionally stays at the layover city instead of continuing to the planned final destination.

Skiplagging can cause delays for airlines as they wait for unaccounted-for passengers, with carriers that have flights routed through hub airports - such as Lufthansa in Frankfurt and Munich - particularly affected.

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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. As George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog told USA Today, hidden city ticketing could deprive other would-be travelers of seats they could use because you booked it instead.

Lufthansa has taken a passenger, who didn't show up for the last leg of his ticketed journey, to court in an apparent bid to clamp down on "hidden city" ticketing.

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. 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.

According to Forbes, Lufthansa is the third largest airline company in the world and made almost $3bn (£2.33bn) in profit in 2017.

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