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Lufthansa Airlines Is Suing A Passenger Who Skipped His Flight

By Sharelle Burt

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There are so many different ways to get the cheapest airfare these days. While it might be good for our pockets, it’s not so much for the airlines.

Lufthansa Airlines is suing a passenger for allegedly missing his flight on purpose to get a ticket to a “hidden city.” It is a frowned upon loophole that a lot of travelers exploit. When passengers reach their layover point, they venture off into the city instead of sticking around for their connecting flight.

The lawsuit states that a male passenger booked a return flight from Oslo, Norway to Seattle, which had a layover in Frankfurt, Germany. He was present for the other legs of the flight but went MIA for his flight from Germany to Norway. Instead, he boarded a separate Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Berlin. To the airline, this was a complete violation of their standard terms and conditions and they are looking to get paid for the inconvenience.

RELATED: What The Lufthansa And Air France Strike Means For Travelers 

Lufthansa is seeking over $2,000 in compensation. Unfortunately, the Berlin courts threw the lawsuit out back in December, but Lufthansa is still fighting. A spokesperson for the airline said the company has “already filed the appeal against the decision.”

This isn’t the first time an incident like this has happened. United Airlines found themselves in a similar situation five years ago. The airline and booking platform filed a civil lawsuit against 22-year-old Aktarer Zaman, founder of Skiplagged.com which helps travelers find cheaper flights by using the “hidden city” strategy. A year later, the case was thrown out in the Northern District Court of Illinois. The judge said the court didn’t have jurisdiction over the case because Zaman didn’t live or did business in that city.

Industry insiders say the “hidden city” practice deprives other travelers of seats that could be booked. If passengers keep it up, it could force airlines to raise their prices.

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