Lufthansa Withdraws Appeal Against Skiplagging Ruling

Lufthansa has withdrawn its appeal against an earlier ruling regarding a skiplagging case.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.

Lufthansa A320neo
Lufthansa has reportedly dropped a skiplagging case. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

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.

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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.

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Lufthansa, Aerocircular, Aircraft Scrapped
Skiplagging is also known as hidden city ticketing. Photo: Lufthansa

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.

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Lufthansa A320neo
Lufthansa reportedly allows skiplagging in Italy. Photo: Lufthansa

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.

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Lowflying

Uh, if I buy a six pack of beer and only drink 5, nobody’s gonna sue me…although I’ve never managed to try it!

Transtrackman

So Lufthansa, as well as other airlines, uses a questionable marketing technique and complains when the customers take advantage of that. That is hypocrisy.
Of courses the customer should not have the right to reclaim the unused part of the ticket as he/she is taking advantage of a special offer. However, the airline does not lose money on a no-show so should not complain. In fact the airline can resell the seat as a last minute walk-on and thus make more money.
Let there be less litigation and more common sense applied.

Peter Sabev

And let me just add to the others’ opinion… WizzAir, RyanAir and EasyJet never have their two-way ticket cheaper than
an one-way ticket. They never make the two-leg flight cheaper than one of the legs. And there is a reason behind that – it is called common sense. If a company has strange pricing politics to its passengers, they cannot be angry they can advantage of that…

Joanna Bailey

You’re right, in fact quite often the outward flight is the cheap (£10 ish) flight, but to get home again it’s 4x that much! In my experience its cheaper on the LCC to buy one way and then buy another from that country when you get there… but of course that’s a big risk. I find full service carrier’s policies of making roundtrips cheaper than one way mind boggling.