February 13, 2019 3:59 pm
Updated: February 13, 2019 4:26 pm

Lufthansa sues passenger, says he skipped a connecting flight on purpose

WATCH: Global News explains — How airlines set ticket prices


Lufthansa Airlines is suing a passenger, alleging he missed his flight on purpose.

According to court documents filed late last year, the German airline believes the passenger purposely missed the last leg of his connecting flight from Seattle to Oslo.

Instead, the unnamed passenger got off during a layover in Frankfurt and flew on a separate ticket, also with Lufthansa, to Berlin.

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Flights with multiple layovers are typically cheaper than direct ones, which is why the practice is one travellers often use to save ticket money. It’s often dubbed “skiplagging.”

For example, a Toronto traveller who wants to go to Calgary may rather book a cheaper flight to Vancouver that has a layover in Calgary, and simply not get on the last leg to Vancouver.

But Lufthansa is arguing that the travel trick is a violation of their terms and conditions. The airline — which makes billions in profit every year — is seeking about C$3,150 in compensation from the passenger.

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While the Berlin district court dismissed the lawsuit initially in December, CNN reported this week that the company has already filed an appeal and plans to pursue it further.

Lufthansa declined to offer any further comment to Global News, saying the case is currently in court.

This isn’t the only airline that has targetted those who use the travel trick. In 2015, United Airlines sued 22-year-old Aktarer Zaman who founded a site called Skiplagged.com.

The website helps travellers find cheap flight routes based on the strategy.

The lawsuit read that Zaman was “intentionally and maliciously” interfering airline business, and sought at least US$75,000 in damages and lawyer fees.

“This practice violates our fare rules, and we are taking action to stop it to help protect the vast majority of customers who buy legitimate tickets,” Christen David, a spokeswoman for United told Bloomberg News at the time.

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However, that suit was thrown out by an Illinois judge, who said the district didn’t have jurisdiction over the issue.

Skiplagged still operates, and its website reads: “Find flights the airlines don’t want you to see. We’re exposing loopholes in airfare pricing to save you money.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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