German district court rules in favor of pax in hidden city case

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Old Feb 26, 19, 5:28 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
But you’re not buying an item or a good, you’re buying a service, so the comparison is meaningless.
It's really not, though - if a massage parlour runs a promotion on a 60 minute massage that makes it cheaper than the 45 minute massage, and I choose to leave (or am by way of an 3rd party external event compelled to leave) after 45 minutes, do you argue that I should be liable to pay the higher rate?

But the question is one of law and it appears at least, as mentioned above, that attempting to arbitarily enforce COC that didn't form a part of the initial contract isn't going to work for LH
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Old Feb 26, 19, 5:47 am
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Originally Posted by jimthehorsegod View Post
It's really not, though - if a massage parlour runs a promotion on a 60 minute massage that makes it cheaper than the 45 minute massage, and I choose to leave (or am by way of an 3rd party external event compelled to leave) after 45 minutes, do you argue that I should be liable to pay the higher rate?

But the question is one of law and it appears at least, as mentioned above, that attempting to arbitarily enforce COC that didn't form a part of the initial contract isn't going to work for LH
Getting wound up with all these comparisons is not really helpful, but yes, I can see an argument whereby you’d have to pay the higher rate in your case. You opted for something different, which came with a higher price. Why you had to leave is immaterial. Are you aware that car rental companies will charge you a higher price because you returned a car earlier than contracted?
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Old Feb 26, 19, 5:52 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post


Getting wound up with all these comparisons is not really helpful, but yes, I can see an argument whereby you’d have to pay the higher rate in your case. You opted for something different, which came with a higher price. Why you had to leave is immaterial. Are you aware that car rental companies will charge you a higher price because you returned a car earlier than contracted?
We already have an example of someone doing it in HTC - which is what the whole thread is about. The additional car rental example doesn't add anything and I should add neither does it make it right.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post


Getting wound up with all these comparisons is not really helpful, but yes, I can see an argument whereby you’d have to pay the higher rate in your case. You opted for something different, which came with a higher price. Why you had to leave is immaterial. Are you aware that car rental companies will charge you a higher price because you returned a car earlier than contracted?
Or hotels, when one checks out at below a minimum stay?

Comparisons never work and people try this every time there is a ticketing fraud issue raised on FT. It simply doesn't work.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 5:57 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Or hotels, when one checks out at below a minimum stay?

Comparisons never work and people try this every time there is a ticketing fraud issue raised on FT. It simply doesn't work.
Well hotels is a different matter- they'll enforce a minmum stay requirement will they not? And the point of those is that there's a minumum quantity purchase of nights, not that the nights themselves are any cheaper because of the number you've paid for. Certainly they won't stop you leaving the hotel early while settling the bill in full for the number of nights originally booked...

Last edited by jimthehorsegod; Feb 26, 19 at 6:17 am
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Old Feb 26, 19, 9:48 am
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I see a lot of discussion of legality, fair enough.
What I am surprised by is the lack of discussion of security. Or that the German government (or some other) didn't weigh in.
One of the dastardly uses for connecting tickets, particularly where boarding a flight does not require a check of ID, is enabling people to go to places undetected.
Person A buys a ticket in X for destination Z or to X from anywhere else but desires to arrive in destination Y.
Person B buys a ticket to destination Y that connects through X. They meet up in the airport - Person A leaves and Person B takes the Person A boarding pass to Z.
Frequent usage of hidden city destinations makes finding this practice significantly more expensive and difficult.
I am fairly sure the hidden city prohibitions are not explicitly to prevent this practice, but it is a consequence.
On the legality side:
The question I do not see posed or answered is whether Lufthansa has the right to see that its services are used in the way Lufthansa deems acceptable.
That's the real question: would Lufthansa be required to enable a practice which clearly is against its intended business practices?
Certainly I understand that the customer has rights too - but it seems odd to be indignant in favor of a customer asserting their rights while also having intent to abrogate the terms of the sale. While I'm not a lawyer, I do wonder if fraudulent intent invalidates at least some customer rights.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 10:17 am
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Hidden city has nothing to do with security. It has to do with pricing.

Nobody has ever suggested that a carrier may force a passenger to unwillingly fly a segment he does not wish to fly. The sole question is the price of a ticket.

That is all the case is about.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
But surely, those of us and other maximizers who do this sort of thing are such a minority that it's hardly worth all the effort and money of pursuing? I have not even done it myself, having always needed to fly the flights booked, and that alone makes me think that really very few people do this in the end. The way we are writing and discussing here sounds as if millions of people are doing it. I know of one friend who was doing it, leaving from BUD instead of VIE, and I cautioned him to be very careful about doing it. Maybe once or twice, ok, but not every time.
It happens much more often than you might think. Business travelers working with OPM need not resort to such trickery, but there can be big savings for leisure travelers, or small business owners who are spending their own money. I have never used it, but there is even a website, skiplagged, devoted to finding these fares. My travel is mostly domestic, flying out of DEN. For my return flights, I often book a flight to LAS, connecting through DEN. The LAS fare is often cheaper,and I just skip the last leg from DEN-LAS. I have probably done this a dozen times without incident, but I am always fearful that my flight will be cancelled, and they will re-book me on a direct flight to LAS, or connecting through a different hub! Any time I can score a cheap fare, it feels like a small victory over the airlines.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by c1ue View Post
I see a lot of discussion of legality, fair enough.
What I am surprised by is the lack of discussion of security. Or that the German government (or some other) didn't weigh in.
One of the dastardly uses for connecting tickets, particularly where boarding a flight does not require a check of ID, is enabling people to go to places undetected.
Person A buys a ticket in X for destination Z or to X from anywhere else but desires to arrive in destination Y.
Person B buys a ticket to destination Y that connects through X. They meet up in the airport - Person A leaves and Person B takes the Person A boarding pass to Z.
Frequent usage of hidden city destinations makes finding this practice significantly more expensive and difficult.
I am fairly sure the hidden city prohibitions are not explicitly to prevent this practice, but it is a consequence.
On the legality side:
The question I do not see posed or answered is whether Lufthansa has the right to see that its services are used in the way Lufthansa deems acceptable.
That's the real question: would Lufthansa be required to enable a practice which clearly is against its intended business practices?
Certainly I understand that the customer has rights too - but it seems odd to be indignant in favor of a customer asserting their rights while also having intent to abrogate the terms of the sale. While I'm not a lawyer, I do wonder if fraudulent intent invalidates at least some customer rights.
Wouldn’t both ‘dastardly’ people have to pass a security checkpoint before going airside? I don’t think any airline has ever considered the dastardly consequences of this dastardly plotting!
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Old Feb 26, 19, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by c1ue View Post
I see a lot of discussion of legality, fair enough.
What I am surprised by is the lack of discussion of security. Or that the German government (or some other) didn't weigh in.
One of the dastardly uses for connecting tickets, particularly where boarding a flight does not require a check of ID, is enabling people to go to places undetected.
Person A buys a ticket in X for destination Z or to X from anywhere else but desires to arrive in destination Y.
Person B buys a ticket to destination Y that connects through X. They meet up in the airport - Person A leaves and Person B takes the Person A boarding pass to Z.
Frequent usage of hidden city destinations makes finding this practice significantly more expensive and difficult.
I am fairly sure the hidden city prohibitions are not explicitly to prevent this practice, but it is a consequence.
On the legality side:
The question I do not see posed or answered is whether Lufthansa has the right to see that its services are used in the way Lufthansa deems acceptable.
That's the real question: would Lufthansa be required to enable a practice which clearly is against its intended business practices?
Certainly I understand that the customer has rights too - but it seems odd to be indignant in favor of a customer asserting their rights while also having intent to abrogate the terms of the sale. While I'm not a lawyer, I do wonder if fraudulent intent invalidates at least some customer rights.
Proponents of LH's position fail to understand the absurdity of their claim. I will try to demonstrate why to support LH's position follows no logic by taking an example of my flight in 2 weeks.

I have booked a cheap non flexible fare for a business trip. I am not sure whether I will be able to fly. My view is that I can buy a cheap, non flexible ticket and choose not to fly, as I am in no obligation to use the service that I paid for.

Proponents of LH's position will state that I should have bought a flexible ticket. Okay. So LH should claim against me that I must have bought a flexible ticket. I am fine with that: LH claims that I should have bought a flexible ticket, but, at the same time, must reimburse it to me, as I chose not fly.

With other words, if LH claims that customers must pay according to their intended flight itinary, they should not be able to charge customers who purchase non flexible tickets and fail to fly, as, according to LH, those customers should have bought flexible, reimbursable tickets.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 2:06 pm
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Back in 2010 BA called me because I did not fly the return leg of LHR-GOT-LHR.
I explained what happened (last minute change of plan which involved another return ticket with BA) and the operator told me "that is fine, for this time we let it go but please avoid to do no show and always call us or your travel agent to sort it out if your plans change".
They were considering to change the ticket to o/w and charge the difference.

U!
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Old Feb 26, 19, 3:54 pm
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Seriously? That we have reached a point where they are threatening the passengers, the paying clients, with such nonsense is a very bad sign. Oh yes, BA is almost a total monopoly and therefore it feels they can just do what they like. LH too, I suppose. A bit of a naive and simplistic way of thinking perhaps, but that is what it feels like. Something should be done about the behaviour of these corporations. There are many things about the airlines that need to be done to bring them finally into the 21st century. For one thing, all these ticketing rules that date from the 1950s.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 11:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Nic33 View Post
Proponents of LH's position fail to understand the absurdity of their claim. I will try to demonstrate why to support LH's position follows no logic by taking an example of my flight in 2 weeks.

I have booked a cheap non flexible fare for a business trip. I am not sure whether I will be able to fly. My view is that I can buy a cheap, non flexible ticket and choose not to fly, as I am in no obligation to use the service that I paid for.

Proponents of LH's position will state that I should have bought a flexible ticket. Okay. So LH should claim against me that I must have bought a flexible ticket. I am fine with that: LH claims that I should have bought a flexible ticket, but, at the same time, must reimburse it to me, as I chose not fly.

With other words, if LH claims that customers must pay according to their intended flight itinary, they should not be able to charge customers who purchase non flexible tickets and fail to fly, as, according to LH, those customers should have bought flexible, reimbursable tickets.
For one thing, fare rules do not have to follow any logic at all. Secondly, if you choose not to travel at all, LH will have no problem with you. Where LH, and most other airlines, will have a problem is where you buy a discounted fare but circumvent the flight sequence to achieve what otherwise have cost substantially more.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 3:11 am
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I wonder do German lower courts take a more layman approach to dispute resolution i.e. LH suffered economic loss from a customer's avoidance of negative utility?

Might need a superior court for LH to get a fair hearing on such a technical argument.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 3:29 am
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
I wonder do German lower courts take a more layman approach to dispute resolution i.e. LH suffered economic loss from a customer's avoidance of negative utility?

Might need a superior court for LH to get a fair hearing on such a technical argument.
I tend to agree. The practical against the nuanced bigger picture.
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