Lufthansa sues no-show passengers [Hidden City Ticketed] | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Lufthansa sues no-show passengers [Hidden City Ticketed]

Mattg

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I saw this article on a German news website and found it really interesting.

Lufthansa verklagt No-Show-Passagiere

Basically, German airline Lufthansa is taking a stand against passengers that use hidden-city and other ticketing tricks to get cheaper airfares and then not fly part of their booked journey.

For example, it might be cheaper to book CPH-FRA-JFK than it is to book FRA-JFK, so some German passengers will book ex Copenhagen. Obviously, you need to then get to Copenhagen at the start of the trip or the remaining flights will automatically cancelled. But on the way home, some passengers are simply leaving the airport in Frankfurt and not taking the last flight. Lufthansa now wants to charge these passengers a fare difference penalty retrospectively.

I personally don't intentionally skip booked flights, but if this catches on it's nonetheless a quite concerning trend!

I couldn't find any English versions of this article so I've translated the first few paragraphs, to give you an idea:

Lufthansa sues no-show passengers

Those who don’t fly as booked need to pay extra with Lufthansa. The airline wants to expand its fight against ticketing tricks and is tackling a new judgement.

Lufthansa is tightening the fight against so-called "no-show passengers". Passengers who don't fly a part of their booked flight connection must now repay a higher ticket price. This is aimed to make it harder to bypass the airline's pricing systems by using cheaper sale prices offered in overseas markets.

Lufthansa now also wants to enforce back payments on passengers that only skip the last leg of their booked flights. In this case, the airline cannot just deny boarding for the rest of the booked flights on the ticket [as there are no more]. But last year, the airline filed a lawsuit against a passenger after the fact. "To my knowledge, this is the only case where Lufthansa has sued a passenger for backpayment", lawyer Matthias Böse told airlinesrs.de. He represented the defendant in that trial.

Things didn't quite go as planned for Lufthansa, as the lawsuit was dismissed by the district court in Berlin-Mitte. But the airline is standing its ground and has appealed against the court's decision.
 

Pushka

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I saw this article on a German news website and found it really interesting.

Lufthansa verklagt No-Show-Passagiere

Basically, German airline Lufthansa is taking a stand against passengers that use hidden-city and other ticketing tricks to get cheaper airfares and then not fly part of their booked journey.

For example, it might be cheaper to book CPH-FRA-JFK than it is to book FRA-JFK, so some German passengers will book ex Copenhagen. Obviously, you need to then get to Copenhagen at the start of the trip or the remaining flights will automatically cancelled. But on the way home, some passengers are simply leaving the airport in Frankfurt and not taking the last flight. Lufthansa now wants to charge these passengers a fare difference penalty retrospectively.

I personally don't intentionally skip booked flights, but if this catches on it's nonetheless a quite concerning trend!

I couldn't find any English versions of this article so I've translated the first few paragraphs, to give you an idea:
People can become very unwell after disembarkation. That’s my thought. Obviously luggage needs to be considered.
 

JohnK

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When it starts to become a trend then it's not a good thing. I see nothing wrong penalising serial offenders but as @Pushka mentions people can get sick after disembarking and travel at a later time.
 

Mattg

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People can become very unwell after disembarkation. That’s my thought. Obviously luggage needs to be considered.
That is of course true. I don't think these are the kinds of people that airlines are trying to go after.
 

ozfflyer

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all huff & puff by Lufthansa. Doubt if any passenger will have to pay anything.

NOTE: you can only hvae hand luggage if doing this & don't take a lot of hand luggage, just in case the flight attendants insist it goes into the hold.
 

ozfflyer

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I think that they may be after those that get "unwell" on a regular basis.
they won't have much chance of getting any funds. They have to be careful they don't piss off regular flyers. Plenty of airlines out there.

They might "win the battle & lose the war"
 

Cruiser Elite

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they won't have much chance of getting any funds. They have to be careful they don't piss off regular flyers. Plenty of airlines out there.

They might "win the battle & lose the war"
PR disaster in the air - tabloids - “LH sues pax for not flying but keeps their money” - Joe / Josey Public will be scratcing his / her head
 

JohnK

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PR disaster in the air - tabloids - “LH sues pax for not flying but keeps their money” - Joe / Josey Public will be scratcing his / her head
Or "LH sues selfish passengers breaking the rules"?

Just because and airfare out of CPH is cheaper than out of FRA doesn't mean that you can book it and choose to end journey at FRA. Then book again and choose to end journey in FRA. And again. And again. And again.
 

MEL_Traveller

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There is precedent. BA is already doing this for pax on cheaper ex-Euro fares. The airline can also close FF accounts with points being forfeited. (The latter being a much easier option.)

There's no PR issue here as these are 'sophisticated' flyers. The general public doesn't have any affinity.

Whether LH has the legal basis to do this is something that may no dount get tested.
 

henleybeach

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I’m guilty of doing this once .
Last year CPH to IST direct with Turkish airlines was around $460 , CPH - BUH via IST was $175. I choose the connecting flight with a long overnight layover. We checked in and ask our bags to be check to IST as we were staying in a hotel for our transit and it was no problem . We did fly out the next day , just not with Turkish airlines.
 

glasszon

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There is precedent. BA is already doing this for pax on cheaper ex-Euro fares. The airline can also close FF accounts with points being forfeited. (The latter being a much easier option.)

There's no PR issue here as these are 'sophisticated' flyers. The general public doesn't have any affinity.

Whether LH has the legal basis to do this is something that may no dount get tested.
While suing those customers might not 100% cause a PR disaster, but there's always that risk because the general public believe when they buy a ticket from A-B-C, it's the same as buying a ticket from A-B and B-C, most wouldn't know contractually, you are buying a ticket from A-C and it just so happens you transit at B, so public opinions will be against the Airline should the media pick up the story in a big way.
 

MEL_Traveller

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While suing those customers might not 100% cause a PR disaster, but there's always that risk because the general public believe when they buy a ticket from A-B-C, it's the same as buying a ticket from A-B and B-C, most wouldn't know contractually, you are buying a ticket from A-C and it just so happens you transit at B, so public opinions will be against the Airline should the media pick up the story in a big way.
I disagree on this. If a 'regular passenger' buys a ticket CPH-JFK they are not expecting they have two separate tickets CPH-FRA and FRA-JFK. They search as a single ticket and that's what they are given. Same with a QF flight MEL-LAX... I don't think any member of the public thinks they have two completely separate tickets?
 

glasszon

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I disagree on this. If a 'regular passenger' buys a ticket CPH-JFK they are not expecting they have two separate tickets CPH-FRA and FRA-JFK. They search as a single ticket and that's what they are given. Same with a QF flight MEL-LAX... I don't think any member of the public thinks they have two completely separate tickets?
You will be surprised, you should have a read on people's Airline reviews, most of the 1 star rating are things that are taken for granted on this forum, but not necessarily true for the general public.

Regarding the "regular passenger" part, I totally agree they know what they are getting themselves into, but the question is can you convey that message to the general public. It's like the big media company suing people using bittorrent for copyright violations and bankrupting those people in the process, sure they have won the legal battle, but have they won the heart of the general public?
 

MEL_Traveller

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You will be surprised, you should have a read on people's Airline reviews, most of the 1 star rating are things that are taken for granted on this forum, but not necessarily true for the general public.

Regarding the "regular passenger" part, I totally agree they know what they are getting themselves into, but the question is can you convey that message to the general public. It's like the big media company suing people using bittorrent for copyright violations and bankrupting those people in the process, sure they have won the legal battle, but have they won the heart of the general public?
I think it's a fairly easy sell. BA doesn't seem to have any issues on the PR front. Particularly because the general public aren't caught out by these things (so it makes no difference to them.)

And bear in mind the closest most of the general public get to flying business class, regardless of the deal, is reading about it on news . com . au So once you throw into the mix that this is only affecting first and business class passengers the sympathy goes out the window to a large extent (same as mistake fares, the argument is that this will be a PR disaster if the airline doesn't honour it, but in reality most passengers wouldn't even be able to relate to it).
 

glasszon

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I think it's a fairly easy sell. BA doesn't seem to have any issues on the PR front. Particularly because the general public aren't caught out by these things (so it makes no difference to them.)

And bear in mind the closest most of the general public get to flying business class, regardless of the deal, is reading about it on news . com . au So once you throw into the mix that this is only affecting first and business class passengers the sympathy goes out the window to a large extent (same as mistake fares, the argument is that this will be a PR disaster if the airline doesn't honour it, but in reality most passengers wouldn't even be able to relate to it).
Before I start, I am currently preparing for a test that involves critical reasoning, so I am trying to do as much logical arguments as possible, apologies in advance if I went too far....

I agree the chance of this becoming a big PR incident is small, but it's always a risk when you sue a paying customer. Unlike mistake fares where you don't lose out if the Airline cancel the fare beside not being able to fly, contrast that with taking a customer to court where the customer will incur legal fees to defend the charge.

I am not familiar with the German legal system but from what I can read using google translate, the Airline has appealed the verdict from the district court and it is not cheap to defend an action that has been appealed further up and can literally bankrupt people.
 

JohnK

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You will be surprised, you should have a read on people's Airline reviews, most of the 1 star rating are things that are taken for granted on this forum, but not necessarily true for the general public.
The general public don't look for ways to exploit the rules. This is mainly done by people who play the status game.

e.g. a SYD family wanting to holiday in Thailand looks for airfares ex-SYD. They don't go searching for airfares ex-CBR or ex-MEL and then trying to get to/from that destination.
 

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