Lufthansa Suing Passenger Over Hidden City Ticketing
Lufthansa has taken an extreme step towards fighting passengers who use the the “hidden city” ticketing trick. The practice involves passengers leaving their journey at a layover point, instead of making a final connection. The reason for this is that you can get much cheaper flights on some occasions this way, compared to booking a direct flight to your real destination.
But this trick and some others are generally a breach of the contract of carriage between the passenger and the airline. And Lufthansa has taken a passenger, who didn’t show up for the last leg of his ticketed journey, to court.
Court documents say that an unnamed male passenger booked a return flight from Oslo to Seattle, which had a layover in Frankfurt. The passenger used all legs of the outbound flight, but did not catch the Frankfurt to Oslo return flight. He instead flew on a separate Lufthansa reservation from Frankfurt to Berlin. Lufthansa saw this as a violation of their terms and conditions and is seeking around $2,385 in compensation. A district court dismissed the lawsuit in December, but Lufthansa has filed the appeal against the decision.
Lufthansa is clearly seeking to make an example and dissuade people from the practice. Getting sued will surely scare people from testing out airlines with the “hidden city” ticketing trick or other similar ways that save passengers money on air travel. These tricks come with risks, such as having your whole itinerary canceled, lost luggage, being banned from a loyalty program etc. And now there’s a risk of being sued as well. Let’s see how this court case plays out in Germany.
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Hat Tip: Independent