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Airline sues passenger over skipped segment

13 February 2019

Lufthansa, a major German airline, is now locked in a testy legal battle against a single, solitary passenger over a deliberately missed flight.

The hack works thusly: A direct flight to a specific destination city might hypothetically cost $169, but a flight to a different city that happens to connect in the destination city might be cheaper at $109.

If a passenger does not show up for the first leg of a flight (say, on a trip from Amsterdam-London-Dubai, which is listed at a cheaper price than London-Dubai) the airline may automatically cancel the booking, which can not later be reinstated.

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However, passengers risk complications, unexpected rerouting and threats of legal action from airlines.

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. Passengers risk having their itinerary cancelled if they are a no-show for the first flight. He successfully completed all legs of the departing flight, but on the return leg left the plane in Frankfurt.

But on the way home he missed his flight from Frankfurt to Oslo, according to a report from CNN, opting instead to book another ticket from Frankfurt to Berlin.

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Hidden city ticketing frustrates airlines, and Lufthansa reportedly sought around $2,385 in damages from the passenger, claiming he violated the airline's terms of service.

In December, a court in Berlin threw the case out. So far a court has found in favour of the passenger - but now Lufthansa is appealing.

Lufthansa is cracking down on a way for airline passengers to get cheaper fares-with a lawsuit that brings fresh attention to the practice.

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The more you bloody know.

Airline sues passenger over skipped segment