Lufthansa is suing a passenger who missed a flight and seeking a little less than $2,400 in damages.
This may seem like an outrageous move on part of the airline, however, they’re claiming that a passenger deliberately bought a ticket with no intention of flying on the second leg of their journey.
Called a “hidden city hack,” it’s been an amazing way for travelers to avoid the higher cost of non-stop flights, by essentially playing the air travel system. In the Lufthansa case, the unnamed passenger was meant to fly from Seattle to Olso in April of 2016 with a layover in Frankfurt. However, they skipped their connecting flight from Frankfurt to Olso and stayed in the city, returning to Seattle from Frankfurt through Berlin on a separately bought ticket.
On a round-trip ticket, the passenger would have paid Lufthansa $3,133, but through this alleged hack, they only paid $743, saving quite a lot of money.
Lufthansa and other airlines do not like this travel hack, for obvious reasons – delays in waiting for a passenger who never arrives or the inability to sell that seat to someone who needs it.
The airline took the passenger to court once but the judge ruled in favor of the traveler, however, Lufthansa is appealing.
Some airlines include wording in their terms and conditions that warn travelers from participating in the hidden city hack.
Qatar Airways tells customers: “Should you change your transportation without our agreement or fail to fly the complete itinerary booked, we will assess the correct price for your actual travel.”
“You will have to pay any difference between the price paid and the total price applicable, together with any applicable administration charge, for your revised transportation.”
A case such as this isn’t common, but it seems Lufthansa wants to make an example and dissuade others from participating in this hack.
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