'Skiplagging' passenger sued after ditching connecting flight

'Skiplagging' passenger sued after ditching connecting flight

The move could threaten a widely used travel trick that sees airline passengers leave their journey at a layover instead of the final destination to take advantage of cheaper flights.

Lufthansa lost the first court case against the flyer but is seeking an appeal.

Lufthansa, the German national airline, announced it is suing a passenger for allegedly missing a leg of his journey on goal.

Lufthansa said it believes the passenger bought a multi-stop ticket but never meant to complete the full trip.

For example, if you fly to Cologne in Germany from London Heathrow today, a cheap option is to book a £70 flight to Munich, which stops in Cologne. The hack is named after the website Skiplagged, an airfare search engine that claims to "expose loopholes to save your money".

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The unnamed passenger had booked a return trip from Oslo to Seattle with Lufthansa, with the journey including a stopover in the German city of Frankfurt. Rather than take the completing Frankfurt to Oslo leg, he instead took a different Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Berlin.

The case was dismissed by a court in Berlin late a year ago, but a spokesperson told CNN an appeal had been filed. "You will have to pay any difference between the price you have paid and the total fare we calculate for your revised carriage".

The pricing strategies for "network carriers" such as Lufthansa, Air France and British Airways is underpinned by charging less for the more flights passengers take in one booking.

The practice does carry several risks for passengers, too.

There is a risk to such travel however, with seasoned "tariff abusers" travelling with only cabin baggage, because hold luggage is often checked through to its final destination. No-show travellers will also typically find the remaining portion of their booking cancelled, which affects those planning to miss the first segment of their journey.

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