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Lufthansa 'looks to SUE passenger who did not turn up for last leg of journey'



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'
  • The 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

By Ross Ibbetson For Mailonline

Published: 11:52 EST, 11 February 2019 | Updated: 16:17 EST, 11 February 2019

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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 say 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 - one of the world's largest airline companies - 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'
Lufthansa jets are seen at Germany's largest airport in Frankfurt - a major hub which is hit hard by 'tariff abusers'

Lufthansa jets are seen at Germany's largest airport in Frankfurt - a major hub which is hit hard by 'tariff abusers'

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. 

There is an increasing market among passengers, with company's 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
A Lufthansa Airbus A380 coming into land over Frankfurt

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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