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Interesting Court Decision In Germany - Passenger does not need to fly last leg

Interesting Court Decision In Germany - Passenger does not need to fly last leg

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Old Dec 13, 18, 3:49 am
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Reading all of this, I think the one thing being ignored here is that we are in the FT 'bubble'. There are many members here (myself included) who won't think twice about going ex-EU to the US or to Asia. Heck, I have it booked for later this month. But the number of pax actually carrying out this practice, including dropping the final leg, must be tiny compared with the overall pax numbers flying in and out of the UK each year to long haul destinations.

You have to ask whether it has much of a bearing on the airline's bottom line. It could even be that were the law/airlines to effectively make the whole 'ex-EU / drop the last leg' too risky, how many J or F tickets would go unsold? Which we all know is where a large proportion of airline income is derived.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 4:02 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
I suspect you're right. Anyway all the airlines need to do is implement a rule saying that they can withhold reward programme earnings if the member decides not to complete the itinerary. Although I suppose that'll only lead to yet another court case.
And?? I can assure you that if I could save hundreds (or even thousands) a pop by starting in EU and dropping the last leg, loss of a shiny card and access to some crowded airline waiting room would be the least thing to trouble me.

Or just credit mileage to a different OW programme to keep out of BA's reach.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 4:29 am
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I suspect that the claimant in the LH case made a silly mistake which allowed, and probably encouraged, LH to pursue him. Rather than flying the LH leg from FRA to OSL as ticketed, he instead bought a separate ticket on LH from FRA to BER. The normal "excuse" for dropping the last leg is that "something came up" and, if it's a rare occurrence, the airline won't pushback. But this claimant didn't go that route and rubbed it in LH's face.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 4:52 am
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
I suspect that the claimant in the LH case made a silly mistake which allowed, and probably encouraged, LH to pursue him. Rather than flying the LH leg from FRA to OSL as ticketed, he instead bought a separate ticket on LH from FRA to BER.
Out of interest does anyone know if OSL-FRA-XXX-FRA-TXL would typically cost much more than OSL-FRA-XXX-FRA-OSL?

On BA, having the last leg to MAN or even just ending in LHR is often only £100-£200 more than returning to AMS / DUB / OTP etc. Of course if you actually want to return to MAN, buying an extra RFS might be cheaper
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Old Dec 13, 18, 5:03 am
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
I suspect that the claimant in the LH case made a silly mistake which allowed, and probably encouraged, LH to pursue him. Rather than flying the LH leg from FRA to OSL as ticketed, he instead bought a separate ticket on LH from FRA to BER. The normal "excuse" for dropping the last leg is that "something came up" and, if it's a rare occurrence, the airline won't pushback. But this claimant didn't go that route and rubbed it in LH's face.
Wouldn't that inference depend on the precise facts?

On one of the occasions when one of us has had to drop a last sector, it was precisely because work had intervened and required an immediate flight from LHR to a different BA destination. The ticket history showed that it was a genuine and quite late change of plan, and there was no element of rubbing BA's nose in it.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 9:57 am
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Originally Posted by mario View Post
I sometimes wonder where do flyertalkers get these hallucinated fantasies of the airline coming after you trying to collect your money...
​​​​​​
From stories like this https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/25862101-post1.html
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Old Dec 13, 18, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by deeruck View Post
Every time this comes up the same one example from 3 years ago gets used. A travel agency where if happened on a regular basis and it is easy for BA to recover the money as the agency know they will otherwise lose their agency.

There are no examples I'm aware of where an individual booking direct has been charged.

Really one way or the other this needs a test case for us to be more certain but somehow I would be surprised if the airline forces one, particularly as this must account for a fraction of journeys. Let sleeping dogs lie is their internal legal advice I imagine.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
Every time this comes up the same one example from 3 years ago gets used. A travel agency where if happened on a regular basis and it is easy for BA to recover the money as the agency know they will otherwise lose their agency.

There are no examples I'm aware of where an individual booking direct has been charged.

Really one way or the other this needs a test case for us to be more certain but somehow I would be surprised if the airline forces one, particularly as this must account for a fraction of journeys. Let sleeping dogs lie is their internal legal advice I imagine.
Agreed. I can't count the number of people, some of whom are well travelled themselves who are surprised to hear that I sometimes do an ex-EU flight and how much can be saved. They are totaly unaware of what it is, what it entails and some of them also don't feel it's worth the extra flights for the savings. As I said before, we are in the FT bubble and it's commonplace talk. Out in the real world I would assume the total percentage of ex-EU travellers would be in single digits and the number who drop the last leg would be even lower.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by PAL62V View Post
Agreed. I can't count the number of people, some of whom are well travelled themselves who are surprised to hear that I sometimes do an ex-EU flight and how much can be saved. They are totaly unaware of what it is, what it entails and some of them also don't feel it's worth the extra flights for the savings. As I said before, we are in the FT bubble and it's commonplace talk. Out in the real world I would assume the total percentage of ex-EU travellers would be in single digits and the number who drop the last leg would be even lower.
Isn't this also because the bigger savings are in J/F - and most people fly Y, so the incentive to go around somewhere else isn't that great. Personally if I'm on a biz trip I generally want to go from A to B and back as quickly as I can.

I'm pretty sure the leg-dropping issue has come up internally, and BA (and others) have run the analysis showing how small a problem it really is for them. It have got to be in the low single digits, and not worth doing anything about (as it's still revenue).
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Old Dec 13, 18, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
There are no examples I'm aware of where an individual booking direct has been charged.
Me either. So I wouldn't hesitate to do it if necessary.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by deeruck View Post
They went after the TA, not the passenger...
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Old Dec 13, 18, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by mario View Post
They went after the TA, not the passenger...
Yes. I imagine they have much more leverage over a TA who wants to maintain their ability to sell BA tickets.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
I suspect you're right. Anyway all the airlines need to do is implement a rule saying that they can withhold reward programme earnings if the member decides not to complete the itinerary. Although I suppose that'll only lead to yet another court case.
I actually think this would be fair. I think FlyBe already does this. I wouldn't mind at all if BA decided to do the same. Their programme, their rules.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by simons1 View Post


And?? I can assure you that if I could save hundreds (or even thousands) a pop by starting in EU and dropping the last leg, loss of a shiny card and access to some crowded airline waiting room would be the least thing to trouble me.
Some airlines ( eg Air Canada) already sell fares that earn zero points in their frequent flier program. So the loss of points isn't a factor if I could save thousands of $/ £
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Old Dec 14, 18, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post


Iím not so sure that it would be so simple as that - whether for Lufthansa or any other carrier. Some sort of update/revision could indeed prove to be a solution - but perhaps only a temporary one, until such time as it is challenged again.

My knowledge of German law is marginally less than zero. But certainly in the UK, where we have an Unfair Terms Contract Act, it has been shown that, whilst an organisation can incorporate (pretty much) whatever it chooses into its consumer T&Cís, it cannot necessarily rely on all aspects of those being upheld in a Court. On numerous occasions, judges have ruled that certain dubious T&Cís are not binding upon a customer who feels adversely affected. I seem to remember a case (amongst many) of a large tour operator being satisfied with itself for including small print to the effect that if it changed pre-booked, confirmed, hotel accommodation, at the last minute to another, inferior, property then then the customer just had to suck it up. But damages were awarded, if I have my facts right. Happy to be corrected.

It will be interesting to see how this scenario pans out in the coming months / years. Yes, the decisions do seemingly apply only to Spain and Germany respectively. But nor would I say itís impossible to imagine other countries going down a similar path.





Just for the record. The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 now in effect only applies to B2B contracts. Unfair terms in consumer contracts are governed by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which is implementing EU legislation so the rights should in theory (like the GDPR ) be the same across the EU (including us in the transition period if there is one). That doesn't make a German lower court judgement on a different set of terms a precedent for how BA's terms would be interpreted though.
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