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Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Old 02-12-19, 11:33 AM
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Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Well, this is a bizarre one.

Apparently, at times it is cheaper to book a flight to a different city than your actual destination, when that flight has a layover in your actual destination.

Lufthansa sued a passenger (and lost that suit, but are appealing) for not taking the next leg in his flight.

From the article:

According to a court document, an unnamed male passenger booked a return flight from Oslo to Seattle, which had a layover in Frankfurt. The passenger used all legs of the outbound flight, but did not catch the Frankfurt to Oslo return flight. He instead flew on a separate Lufthansa reservation from Frankfurt to Berlin.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/l...ntl/index.html

So airlines are allowed to overbook, in which case people may get bumped from a flight they've paid for, but people are not allowed to decline taking a flight they have paid for?

Seems ridiculous. You would think the airline would either a) be able to sell the seat, or b) be flying a less crowded/lighter plane.

How do they lose?
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Old 02-12-19, 12:32 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

In related news, a cable TV provider is suing a customer who bought the premium package but didn't watch the advertisements on all the channels.
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Old 02-12-19, 01:00 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by andicus View Post
Well, this is a bizarre one.

Apparently, at times it is cheaper to book a flight to a different city than your actual destination, when that flight has a layover in your actual destination.

Lufthansa sued a passenger (and lost that suit, but are appealing) for not taking the next leg in his flight.

From the article:

According to a court document, an unnamed male passenger booked a return flight from Oslo to Seattle, which had a layover in Frankfurt. The passenger used all legs of the outbound flight, but did not catch the Frankfurt to Oslo return flight. He instead flew on a separate Lufthansa reservation from Frankfurt to Berlin.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/l...ntl/index.html

So airlines are allowed to overbook, in which case people may get bumped from a flight they've paid for, but people are not allowed to decline taking a flight they have paid for?

Seems ridiculous. You would think the airline would either a) be able to sell the seat, or b) be flying a less crowded/lighter plane.

How do they lose?
Not siding with the airline because i hate this policy but They lose because they make less money from the customer.


BTW, If it was on the outgoing Trip and he did this then they would cancel the return trip.
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Old 02-12-19, 01:12 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
In related news, a cable TV provider is suing a customer who bought the premium package but didn't watch the advertisements on all the channels.
What about buying a PPV event and then not watching it?
Originally Posted by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) View Post

Not siding with the airline because i hate this policy but They lose because they make less money from the customer.


BTW, If it was on the outgoing Trip and he did this then they would cancel the return trip.
I understand what you're saying. In a total +/- sense, they make less money since he didn't buy the more expensive flight, but maybe someone else did?

He doesn't (or shouldn't) have an obligation to buy a more expensive flight. He bought what they offered for sale, and paid for it. From that point on, they didn't lose any money, and possibly gained by reselling his seat.
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Old 02-12-19, 01:22 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Didn't he just buy the rights to that seat for his flight? He can choose not to use those rights.
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Old 02-12-19, 02:29 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by andicus View Post
He doesn't (or shouldn't) have an obligation to buy a more expensive flight. He bought what they offered for sale, and paid for it. From that point on, they didn't lose any money, and possibly gained by reselling his seat.
They don't know in advance that he won't be using the second leg of the trip, so they cannot sell that seat. If you argue they oversell anyway, then it cuts into their oversell quota.

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
Didn't he just buy the rights to that seat for his flight? He can choose not to use those rights.
I am sure they have it in the fine print somewhere that a condition for him getting that airfare is that he has to use both legs. Legal or not is the question, but I am quite sure they cover themselves well.

There are two practical reasons why airlines hate this, besides their loss of money:

- If a passenger doesn't show up for a connecting flight, the gate agents will actually look for them and hold the plane (within reason), especially if both legs are with the same airline. That might seem hard to believe for some people, but airlines do try. The assumption is that the passenger might still be going from gate to gate, or going through security, or is in a restroom, or getting food, etc.

- After 9/11, there is a requirement that a plane cannot take off if it carries checked-in luggage from a passenger who is not onboard. If such luggage is in the cargo, they must remove it before departure, and luggage retrieval is not easy at all. The luggage might have been checked in during the first leg then transferred to the second plane, but now the passenger is missing. Obviously if a passenger wants to drop out after the first leg, they will not check luggage in, but the airline doesn't know that right away and has to go through their documentation, which is hassle for them and delay for the other passengers.

I think the bigger issue is the airfare pricing algorithm that creates such a situation, but once that system is in place, I can see why airlines do what they do.
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Old 02-12-19, 02:53 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by Psi View Post
They don't know in advance that he won't be using the second leg of the trip, so they cannot sell that seat. If you argue they oversell anyway, then it cuts into their oversell quota.
Would they not be able to sell to a standby passenger?

How does it cut into their oversell quota if he's already paid for the flight?
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Old 02-12-19, 03:17 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by andicus View Post
How does it cut into their oversell quota if he's already paid for the flight?
If the airplane capacity is 100 passengers and their oversell quota is 3%, then they can sell 103 seats. If they know in advance that one of the passengers will not go on the second leg, they can effectively sell 104 seats, with the same 3-seat oversell. By not knowing in advance, they lose the opportunity to sell that one extra seat. It's just a theoretical argument. I don't know how often that happens in reality.
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Old 02-12-19, 04:30 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by Psi View Post
I am sure they have it in the fine print somewhere that a condition for him getting that airfare is that he has to use both legs. Legal or not is the question, but I am quite sure they cover themselves well.
Sounds ableist to me.

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Old 02-12-19, 04:49 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by andicus View Post
What about buying a PPV event and then not watching it?

I understand what you're saying. In a total +/- sense, they make less money since he didn't buy the more expensive flight, but maybe someone else did?

He doesn't (or shouldn't) have an obligation to buy a more expensive flight. He bought what they offered for sale, and paid for it. From that point on, they didn't lose any money, and possibly gained by reselling his seat.
Well airlines hate when you skip a leg(don't ever do it unless it is your last leg as they will automatically cancel the rest of the ticket), and it is probably against their terms and conditions. Whether or not it is enforceable is a different thing though.

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Old 02-12-19, 04:52 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
Sounds ableist to me.
So, I'm wondering what the heck is Mrs. Danger talking about.
Then I read Psi's quote, again.


Originally Posted by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) View Post
Well airlines hate when you skip a leg(don't ever do it unless it is your last leg as they will automatically cancel the rest of the ticket), and it is probably against their terms and conditions. Whether or not it is enforceable is a different thing though.
The German courts don't seem to think so. At least, so far.
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Old 02-12-19, 05:08 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by andicus View Post
So, I'm wondering what the heck is Mrs. Danger talking about.
Then I read Psi's quote, again.

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Old 02-12-19, 05:15 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by andicus View Post

The German courts don't seem to think so. At least, so far.

Yup. I mean if a court agrees then this is bad news to flyers.
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Old 02-13-19, 03:06 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Yes has been happening for a long time. And as mentioned, it is against the agreement you make for purchasing tickets. However this is the first time I’ve seen an airline sue. Which as a rule, suing your own customers generally is not favorable for repeat business even if your technically right.

I had had a weird one. I ended up buying two tickets on the same day from the same airport. I did this as I hadn’t decided which one I would take and I’d just cancel one. The airlines canceled one! When I called they said I could have two tickets on same day from same airport. I asked why. They said cause it doesn’t seem “likely” you could use both. I was like, so?
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Old 02-13-19, 06:42 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
I had had a weird one. I ended up buying two tickets on the same day from the same airport. I did this as I hadn’t decided which one I would take and I’d just cancel one. The airlines canceled one! When I called they said I could have two tickets on same day from same airport. I asked why. They said cause it doesn’t seem “likely” you could use both. I was like, so?

That seemed like a "I quit. You are fired" argument. How did they decide which flight to cancel?
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Old 02-15-19, 06:05 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Lufthansa can finally change their name to Luftwaffe Airlines.
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Old 02-16-19, 10:19 AM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight





"If carriage is not used on all individual legs or not used in the sequence anticipated on the ticket with otherwise unchanged travel data, we will recalculate the fare according to your altered routing," reads the Lufthansa contract.

"The fare will thereby be determined which you would have had to pay for your actual routing in your price group on the day of your reservation. This fare may be higher or lower than the fare you originally paid."

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/h...ing/index.html

Last edited by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB); 02-16-19 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 02-16-19, 08:28 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

I accidentally discovered this a few years ago. My son was going to school in San Diego, I was living in Los Angeles and we were flying to visit his grandparents in Florida. I always book one way tickets and Orlando-Los Angeles-San Diego was cheaper than Orlando-Los Angeles. So I always checked this later when booking. If the airlines set stupid fares like this it's on them.
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Old 02-16-19, 08:59 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by Psi View Post
That seemed like a "I quit. You are fired" argument. How did they decide which flight to cancel?
They canceled the 2nd one I made, which is the one I ended up wanting. I called they hooked me up. Worked out.

Just odd odd to me they just canceled after my purchase (and fully refunded me) with no heads up or anything.
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Old 02-26-19, 07:53 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Here you go:

Why airlines are cracking down on "skiplagging" — the hack that savvy travellers use to fly for less.

BBC - Capital - The travel trick that airlines hate
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Old 02-26-19, 08:35 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

This is an interesting quote from that article:

Indeed, airlines have met passengers at their arriving flight and escorted them on to their next segment.

Although it's not fully explained, it kind of implies that they would force you onto the next leg of your flight, which is absurd.

I can't see there being any way they could do that.
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Old 02-26-19, 11:46 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by andicus View Post
This is an interesting quote from that article:

Indeed, airlines have met passengers at their arriving flight and escorted them on to their next segment.

Although it's not fully explained, it kind of implies that they would force you onto the next leg of your flight, which is absurd.

I can't see there being any way they could do that.
That has happened to me a few times, when my transfer time is short and the first flight arrives late, so I have very little time to get to the second flight. The airline will have an agent waiting at the exit gate of the first flight to guide me to the next flight, sometimes using their special badges to speed through security recheck. Without that I probably would have missed the second flight. Once I made it but my checked-in luggage didn't because time was so short.

I've seen that happen only in Asia and assumed it's the excellent airline service you often get in Asia, and never thought it was to prevent skiplagging. Now you just made me feel a little less special
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Old 02-27-19, 08:49 AM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by andicus View Post
This is an interesting quote from that article:

Indeed, airlines have met passengers at their arriving flight and escorted them on to their next segment.

Although it's not fully explained, it kind of implies that they would force you onto the next leg of your flight, which is absurd.

I can't see there being any way they could do that.
I don't think they can Force you but they can strongly suggest it. They can also ban you as a passenger if they wanted to.
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Old 02-27-19, 08:51 AM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

Originally Posted by Psi View Post
That has happened to me a few times, when my transfer time is short and the first flight arrives late, so I have very little time to get to the second flight. The airline will have an agent waiting at the exit gate of the first flight to guide me to the next flight, sometimes using their special badges to speed through security recheck. Without that I probably would have missed the second flight. Once I made it but my checked-in luggage didn't because time was so short.

I've seen that happen only in Asia and assumed it's the excellent airline service you often get in Asia, and never thought it was to prevent skiplagging. Now you just made me feel a little less special
They do it to help you, imo. Because they don't want to deal with rebooking you which can be more of a hassle especially if the next flight is full.

Of course if you skiplag frequently then they could be disuading that practice but i am sure they know who the usual suspects are.
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Old 02-27-19, 05:13 PM
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Re: Lufthansa sues passenger who missed his flight

This whole mess will probably give airlines another excuse to raise fares across the board, so that this "loophole" wil be effectively closed. The whole business of suing a customer for being smart is absolutely bonkers. It seems like the airlines, in so doing, are crying over spilled milk, and placing blame on the customers instead of themselves.
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