Lufthansa sues its own customer for $2k for gaming its layover loophole

Shrewd travelers who exploit layover loopholes are giving airlines such big headaches that Lufthansa actually sued one of its passengers for skipping his flight.


February 14, 2019

After a passenger failed to show for the final leg of his journey, German airline Lufthansa sued the two-timing traveler $2k for “skiplagging.”

Skiplagging (buying a multi-flight itinerary while intending to end up at a layover city to save money) has become a popular hack. But it’s costing airlines so much that they’re cracking down on Frequent Liar Miles.

The layover loophole

Skiplagging (AKA “hidden city ticketing”) is possible because airlines often make 2 flights less expensive than 1. 

Why do they do this? Airlines offer direct flights between small cities for big spenders willing to pay premiums for nonstop flights. But since there aren’t enough first-class butts to fill those seats, airlines artificially deflate the prices of those same flights to attract connecting fliers.

Skiplaggers are calling the airline’s bluff — but they’re also ruining airlines’ business model. 

Revenge of the airlines

Skiplagging is a really bad deal for airlines because it reduces revenue for last leg flights, makes it harder to forecast crowds, and delays takeoff.

United Airlines and Orbitz tried to sue the 22-year-old creator of a skiplagging site to cut down on skiplagging several years ago, but a judge threw out the case. 

Now, Lufthansa is taking a new approach by suing its customer for violating the company’s terms and conditions — even though he didn’t break the law.

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