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Lufthansa sues passenger for not taking booked flight

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Lufthansa sues passenger for not taking booked flight

Old 11th Feb 2019, 23:30
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Paxing All Over The World
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Lufthansa sues passenger for not taking booked flight

Lufthansa has clearly decided that they have the pockets to pursue this and to withstand if it goes against them.
One of the world’s biggest airlines is seeking to sue a passenger who did not take the last leg of their ticketed journey, threatening a widely used hack for cheaper flights.

The German national airline, Lufthansa, is pursuing payment from an unnamed traveller who, it believes, deliberately bought a ticket with no intention of flying the last leg.

While an initial court case found in the passenger’s favour, Lufthansa has been given permission to appeal.

At the centre of the issue is that passengers will pay a premium for non-stop flights. The principle that airlines charge less for more flights underpins pricing strategies by “network carriers” such as Lufthansa, Air France and British Airways.
from The Independent

Recently I was looking up routings for a friend and found that the indirects were more expensive, just varies for each sector and every separate rotation of the same route.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 06:10
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This is very big in the USA where a ticket from New York to Hick Town via Atlanta is cheaper than New York to Atlanta on its own. Only works if checked in baggage isn't involved and your frequent flyer number can't be used. Certain hacks such as different addresses and name variations can help avoid flagging up in the system, as can using different prepaid credit cards to purchase tickets.

Passports aren't required for domestic flights in the US so a variety of acceptable IDs can be used instead.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 08:14
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They will lose! Perhaps they need to rethink their pricing strategy!
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 08:57
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This could be the last bastion to fall in the LCC onslaught?
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 11:32
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
They will lose!
I wouldn't be sure. It would create a dangerous precedent from the airlines' point of view.

Interesting article on the practice here: Why airlines hate hidden-city ticketing (and maybe you should too)
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 14:48
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I know and understand all that DR but perhaps if American (using the example in the article) opted to charge only $150-200 for an LAX-DFW it would negate the need for savvy DFW bound pax to bend the system by booking to AUS via DFW. Let's be honest, LAX-DFW is a prime route and the airline is cashing in by obviously overcharging. Then they bitch when some savvy pax hit back! The other option is simply not to offer AUS as an option from LAX. It's similar to say KLM quoting a high fare AMS to the USA from Amsterdam and a much lower fare from DUS. People living in between the two cities will book from DUS. On some routes it can save up to $1000 return in Business Class per passenger. I wonder if in the future KLM plan to impose a rule that Dutch residents may only depart from Amsterdam?
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 16:50
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
They will lose!
Why? When purchasing a ticket you enter into a contract with the airline. By not travelling on all legs you would be breaking the contract. This will no doubt be somewhere in the Ts and Cs which everybody tick-boxes but do not read!

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Old 12th Feb 2019, 17:59
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When purchasing a ticket you enter into a contract with the airline. By not travelling on all legs you would be breaking the contract. This will no doubt be somewhere in the Ts and Cs which everybody tick-boxes but do not read!
Actually, this is not the case with all carriers. What is the case is that most Ts and Cs stipulate that if you break the sequence of travel then that will invalidate the ticket. If one skips the last sector it may invalidate the ticket only from that point on, which of course is of no consequence.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 20:31
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Originally Posted by Groundloop View Post
Why? When purchasing a ticket you enter into a contract with the airline. By not travelling on all legs you would be breaking the contract. This will no doubt be somewhere in the Ts and Cs which everybody tick-boxes but do not read!
The law in EUrope is that some conditions from the general T&C are not enforcible. A judge would certainly scratch is head why using less services than one paid for would mean that the customer would have to pay more! (No surprise that Lufthansa lost the first round in court.)
The issue is that airlines have a non-natural fare structure (buy less, pay more) and hate it when customers make creative use of the fare structure for their own benefit. (I recall the times when one-way trips were more expensive than returns... which caused quite a lot of cancellations of the return leg. Making returns more expensive than one-way tickets changed that.)
I am not convinced that a pricing strategy that makes hidden city ticketing profitable is a fair business practice. Why should direct passengers subsidize passengers who have a stop to the extent that the passengers that travel more pay less.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 04:39
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Similar thing has happened with rail passengers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11420790Getting off train early costs Durham professor £155
  • 27 September 2010


Martyn Evans got off the East Coast service at Darlington, which is near his home in Hurworth, rather than stay on to Durham.

The train company said he had breached the terms of his first class ticket to Durham by "breaking his journey".

The firm, which is majority owned by the taxpayer, waived the charge after Prof Evans made a formal complaint.

The married father-of-two, who is professor of humanities in medicine, said he was made to feel like a fare dodger.

He had used three first class tickets booked by the university to cover a trip from Durham to London, London to Birmingham, then Birmingham to Durham.

As he lives in Hurworth he got off at Darlington, but his ticket would not let him pass through the automatic barriers at the platform.

Station staff said he had to pay £155 - the cost of a first class ticket from Birmingham to Darlington.'It's mad'

Prof Evans said: "If someone stays on the train too long, you can see they should pay extra. But this seems absurd.

"I have not consumed more than I am entitled to, I have consumed less than I paid for.

"Anyone I have spoken to about it has said that it's mad."

An East Coast spokesman said: "The terms and conditions of the advance purchase first class ticket, which Professor Evans used, clearly state that breaking a journey en route, or starting from an intermediate station, is not permitted.

"We contacted Prof Evans and, as we accept this was a genuine mistake on his behalf, we have cancelled the excess fare as a gesture of goodwill."
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 07:50
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This is nothing new, it was happening in 1871:

'I should like to buy an egg, please,' she said timidly. 'How do you sell them?'

'Fivepence farthing for one - Twopence for two,' the Sheep replied.

'Then two are cheaper than one?' Alice said in a surprised tone, taking out her purse.

'Only you must eat them both, if you buy two,' said the Sheep.

'Then I'll have one, please,' said Alice, as she put the money down on the counter. For she thought to herself, 'They mightn't be at all nice, you know.'
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 11:24
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What happens if the passenger says that he was feeling unwell? What if you are on at train and feel queasy and get off at an intermediate station for some air?

I booked a flight with easyJet that I later realised I was unlikely to make. I discovered that it was cheaper to book a second ticket on the next flight rather than change the time (and if running early I could make the earlier flight. I think that a lot of people do this. Guess what, I didn't use one of the flights that I had booked. Its not really comparable as I didn't use one of the (separate) contracts at all, but the issue is similar.

In fact I remember that around 30 years ago I asked a reservations agent (for a US carrier) if I could do this. She advised me not to do it if I was carrying luggage.

I know that the railways started offering one way tickets 50p less than a return on off peak trains when people realised that saver returns were often cheaper than a standard single.
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 12:30
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Originally Posted by Peter47 View Post
What happens if the passenger says that he was feeling unwell? What if you are on at train and feel queasy and get off at an intermediate station for some air?
Then you either stay on the platform and wait for the next train to your destination or you pay the 155 GBP and go through the gate. As per the smallprint on your ticket. Will be interesting to see what the court decides.
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 12:57
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Originally Posted by Peter47 View Post
Guess what, I didn't use one of the flights that I had booked. Its not really comparable as I didn't use one of the (separate) contracts at all
Yes, your situation was really the other way round - you got less than you paid for. EasyJet didn't suffer any loss from your action.

The airlines' beef is with passengers who, in effect, get more than they paid for in the sense that a ticket for the journey that they actually made would have cost more than the journey they said they were going to make.

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Old 17th Feb 2019, 23:58
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This has been going on for decades, remember the European one-way fares of hundreds of pounds compared to the Saturday night returns of perhaps 60 pounds, many of us lived on the Saturday night returns, it wasn't our fault if the airlines pricing was up the creek.

The old cross-channel ferries in the days of duty-free, one-way for a car perhaps £60 and then per person on top of that or a day return for a car and 5 passengers for just £5.

Surely, if something is available for purchase online then we are free to purchase it and should we not travel then the airline save money on fuel, in-flight catering and any already paid taxes.
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Old 18th Feb 2019, 02:09
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This should work the other way. Airlines should be fined if they overbook seats and they have to turn people away.

just because they might pay compensation, it does not mean passengers are put out.
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Old 18th Feb 2019, 03:10
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Originally Posted by Saintsman View Post
This should work the other way. Airlines should be fined if they overbook seats and they have to turn people away.

just because they might pay compensation, it does not mean passengers are put out.
I loved the story of the guy in China who had a full fare, fully flexible, first class ticket to somewhere and inclusive in the fare was a slap-up meal before departure, well day after day he turned up at the airport for his slap-up meaL before making his way to the ticket desk to rebook for the next day, after a significant period of time the airline eventually caught on to him and I think he then might have cancelled his ticket in favour of a full refund
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Old 19th Feb 2019, 23:59
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
Actually, this is not the case with all carriers. What is the case is that most Ts and Cs stipulate that if you break the sequence of travel then that will invalidate the ticket. If one skips the last sector it may invalidate the ticket only from that point on, which of course is of no consequence.
Might be if you booked a round trip and this was the outbound leg? Could that invalidate the return (shouldn't but wouldn't surprise me)? But really, who sets the rates in any case? The fare differential today is absurd. Seems like the more airplanes you fly on for a given itinerary, the cheaper it is.
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 10:22
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Might be if you booked a round trip and this was the outbound leg?
Not entirely sure what you mean, but in the case of legacy carriers if you skip any sector outbound it will render all subsequent sectors invalid. So you lose the return portion too. Locos generally don't do connections and even in a straightforward return trip both sectors are sold as separate entities.
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 10:34
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I'd guess they can prove he broke the contract easily enough but in most jurisdictions the judge will then look at the damage caused to the airline by his actions... that will be an interesting discussion.... probably fine him 1 Euro ....
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