Lufthansa has withdrawn its appeal against an earlier ruling regarding a skiplagging case. The German flag carrier had taken a passenger to the court regarding fares obtained through skiplagging.
Skiplagging is a hot topic within the Simple Flying office. While it’s not something I personally practise, I can’t vouch for others. While airlines claim the practice goes against their terms of carriage, some passengers believe they are entitled to get the lower fares on offer. However, it appears as though Lufthansa has given up the fight with one particular case in Germany according to God Save The Points.
So what is skiplagging?
A quick recap for those who may be new readers of Simple Flying; Skiplagging is the process of purchasing a ticket beyond your destination in order to avail of lower fares. Logic would dictate that those traveling the shorter distance would get the cheaper fare. However, this is not always the case.
Sometimes, in a bid to attract other customers, a long-haul leg may be attractively priced with an intermediate stop. Take the example of Frankfurt to New York. Typically somebody in London wouldn’t think to fly via Frankfurt to get to the Big Apple. In a bid to attract those in London, Lufthansa could, for example, price the London-Frankfurt-New York flight for less than the exact same Frankfurt-New York flight.
Now, typically if you miss a leg of a trip the rest gets canceled, although Italy seems to be a loophole. As such, skiplagged trips need to miss the final flight of an itinerary to benefit. This can see some passengers flying away from their home airport just to fly back and onwards to their destination.
So what’s the problem?
Airlines aren’t happy with this practice. They see it as being cheated out of the fare. They argue that the fare has been specifically tailored to connecting passengers, and others should have paid the full fare. However, passengers largely disagree with this principle.
Lufthansa had taken a passenger to court for Skiplagging. The defendant had booked a business class ticket from Oslo to Seattle via Frankfurt for 6224NOK (€657). On the return flight, the passenger flew from Frankfurt to Berlin on a separate ticket. Lufthansa said that he should have paid €2,769, and demands €2,112 plus interest.
At the time Lufthansa declined to comment as the court case was ongoing.
Do you think Skiplagging should be allowed? Let us know in the comments section.