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Passenger Sued for 'Skiplagging' Flight

Lufthansa cracks down on cheap-ticket trick
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2019 7:49 AM CST
A Lufthansa aircraft is de-iced at the Geneva Airport, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.   (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
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(Newser) – Lufthansa is cracking down on a way for airline passengers to get cheaper fares—with a lawsuit that brings fresh attention to the practice. Airlines put a premium on nonstop flights, and "skiplagging" passengers exploit that practice by booking flights with a layover, and then skipping the last leg of the flight. The German airline is suing a passenger who booked a Seattle-Frankfurt-Oslo flight, then saved money by skipping the last leg of the flight and taking another flight to his real destination, Berlin, CNN reports. Lufthansa, which is seeking $2,385 compensation, says the passenger violated terms and conditions.

The terms and conditions of some airlines state that passengers who buy a ticket have agreed to complete their journeys. The Telegraph reports that there are some ways the strategy, also known as "hidden city" flying, can backfire. If passengers miss the first leg of a flight, the entire journey is canceled—and unless they restrict themselves to carry-on baggage only, their luggage will go to the wrong city. The Lufthansa passenger's case was dismissed by a court in Berlin last year, but an airline spokesperson tells CNN that the company has decided to appeal. (United Airlines sued a website that took advantage of the trick in 2014, but the case was thrown out of court the following year.)

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