Lufthansa is suing a man who intentionally failed to board a connecting flight from Frankfurt to Oslo, but the lawsuit has nothing to do with the passenger's tardiness. The airline saw the flyer's tactic as a violation of its terms and conditions and is asking for more than $2,000 in compensation.
Before travelers were pulled into the digital world of algorithms that airlines use to maximize their revenue stream, they would often try ploys like "hidden city ticketing", where the passenger books a ticket to a fictitious destination (the "hidden" city) with a connection at the intended destination, then walks away at the connection node and discards the remaining segment.
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.
An initial court case found in the passenger's favour, but Lufthansa has been granted permission to appeal the ruling, according to The Independent.
"Hidden city" ticketing was popularized by the airfare site Skiplagged - which promises to help people find tickets that are up to 80 percent less expensive than the prices elsewhere.
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In addition, the practice could bring legal trouble, Skyscanner says, adding, "Even more likely, if you do this regularly, some airlines will kick you out of their rewards program".
Lufthansa declined to offer any further comment to Global News, saying the case is now in court. "You will have to pay any difference between the price you have paid and the total fare we calculate for your revised carriage". The passenger used all legs of the outbound flight, but did not catch the Frankfurt to Oslo return flight.
The practice does carry several risks for passengers, too.
Flights with multiple layovers are typically cheaper than direct ones, which is why the practice is one travellers often use to save ticket money.