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

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Old Dec 13, 18, 2:50 am
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German district court rules in favor of pax in hidden city case

hi there
I am really surprised this hasn't gotten any attention here...I scanned the threads and couldn't find anything on this. If it has already been posted, sorry!

https://www.franz.de/kanzlei/news/sa..._campaign=agml

I thought it would be something that applies to a lot of us...:-)
Basically, a district court has thrown out LH's case against a pax who did hidden city ticketing on a C promo OSL-FRA-USA. I am surprised LH even went after this pax, guess it was a slow week for the legal department. Then when it became clear they would lose, they wanted to pull out but it was too late and the court ruled against LH.
Different people may have different opinions on this, but I think if the airlines make absurdly complex fare/pricing structures to milk every last cent out of people when they can, they have to be prepared to accept pax who play the game and benefit from it. After all, its the airlines who set up the game in the first place. There is nothing wrong with ordering dessert even if you haven't finished the veggies of your main course, as the lawyer argues...
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Old Dec 13, 18, 3:25 am
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How nuts - They really dragged someone to court for having thrown the last leg away and paid at the same time for new ticket because he needed to go somehwere else?

So let me guess this right: When bookding Lufthansa I need to calculate in an additional fee in order to buy legal insurance against the risk
- that the airline sues me, because I might change my plan (or turn sick) after they sold me and and I am only able to use in part....
- that the airline does not fly and refuses compensation due and the only way is to go to court.
- that they do fly, but are not able to provide the miles (which In consider part of the contract) and the only way to get them is to go to court.

I am waiting for the market to offer such an "airline mess" insurance....
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Old Dec 13, 18, 4:41 am
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Originally Posted by Key8 View Post
How nuts - They really dragged someone to court for having thrown the last leg away and paid at the same time for new ticket because he needed to go somehwere else?

So let me guess this right: When bookding Lufthansa I need to calculate in an additional fee in order to buy legal insurance against the risk
- that the airline sues me, because I might change my plan (or turn sick) after they sold me and and I am only able to use in part....
- that the airline does not fly and refuses compensation due and the only way is to go to court.
- that they do fly, but are not able to provide the miles (which In consider part of the contract) and the only way to get them is to go to court.

I am waiting for the market to offer such an "airline mess" insurance....
you got it right...basically, the airlines make rules, but when they screw up, they put up as many obstacles as possible to prevent being held accountable for their mistakes. We see it on a daily basis, like in compensation situations etc.
In the case of pricing/fares, they make these very complex structures, which they are perfectly entitled to do so. The whole point is to maximize profits and shareholder value, which again, they are perfectly entitled to do so. But they also have to accept the flip side of the coin, that there will be situations where pax benefit from these schemes that they (the airlines) set up. And in the big picture, the airlines are still coming out ahead. The proportion of business people who pay disproportionately high fares is much larger than the bargain hunters/FTers who do ex-Scandinavia/DUB/Spain/BUD fares.

Bottom line, probably its in the interest of all parties to keep a low profile on this. For pax, if it becomes a more common practice and everybody does it then the airlines will create a new way to penalize us, and for the airline, its bad PR everytime they lose in court. (Like IB recently in Spain and UA who lost in court going after the founder of the site skiplagged). We should publicize more these court defeats so that airlines are more careful next time they decide to (pur)sue pax.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 5:05 am
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Excellent !
Another mistake by LH legal team
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Old Dec 13, 18, 6:57 am
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Originally Posted by rosenkavalier View Post
I am surprised LH even went after this pax, guess it was a slow week for the legal department.
No, they hired an expensive law firm that turned out to be less successful than expensive: https://www.avocad.de/en/home/

LH overestimated their power, pure and simple.

Letís see what LH will do now: positively no short-checking of luggage? No more offers from very competitive markets? People are discussing all kinds of potential repercussions right now.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 9:00 am
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You have to be aware that a ruling from a district court has no relevance at all in Germany.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by MultiFlyer View Post
You have to be aware that a ruling from a district court has no relevance at all in Germany.
If Germany is anything like the U.S., other courts can use that ruling as a reference.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by MultiFlyer View Post
You have to be aware that a ruling from a district court has no relevance at all in Germany.
So what would that mean if the ruling was the other way round? If this district court ruled in favor of LH, but it has no relevance in Germany, does that mean the pax is still not liable to pay LH the fare difference?
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Old Dec 13, 18, 2:58 pm
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Why is this worth a second thread?

Why not post in the original thread which makes it quite clear:
1. That this has no precedential effect
2. That LH will simply need to amend its COC to make the liability clear.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by useyourname View Post
If Germany is anything like the U.S., other courts can use that ruling as a reference.
it is not ...
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Old Dec 14, 18, 12:59 am
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Always amazes me that people expect the judicial system to work the same in all countries of the world... While I hate using Wikipedia as reference for anything serious, in this case this might be first point to have a look https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._legal_systems And while there are 5 major types of legal systems, it is imperative to realise that there are often significant differences between countries that use same of the five major systems too...
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Old Dec 14, 18, 5:42 am
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Originally Posted by useyourname View Post
If Germany is anything like the U.S., other courts can use that ruling as a reference.
Fortunately Germany is nothing like the current U.S. Of course, other courts can use such ruling as reference. Fortunately again, we have statutes in Germany. And under German law, LH simple had no whatsoever valid claim.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Why is this worth a second thread?

Why not post in the original thread which makes it quite clear:
1. That this has no precedential effect
2. That LH will simply need to amend its COC to make the liability clear.

There is no liability since no obligation exists under German law to make use of a ticket. There is no "slave labour" in the sense that you have to fly. And amending its COC will not work as in probably 90% of all bookings LH does not manage to make such COC a part of the contract. Just shouting "hey, there are COCs" works well when dealing with our US brothers and sisters. In my German environment you must manage to make your COCs part of the contract with a consumer. Not as easy as you might believe.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 10:01 am
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I think I'd much rather be under German law than under US law. There may be a lot wrong with Germany just now, but legal things seem to work quite well here.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Key8 View Post
How nuts - They really dragged someone to court for having thrown the last leg away and paid at the same time for new ticket because he needed to go somehwere else?

So let me guess this right: When bookding Lufthansa I need to calculate in an additional fee in order to buy legal insurance against the risk
- that the airline sues me, because I might change my plan (or turn sick) after they sold me and and I am only able to use in part....
- that the airline does not fly and refuses compensation due and the only way is to go to court.
- that they do fly, but are not able to provide the miles (which In consider part of the contract) and the only way to get them is to go to court.

I am waiting for the market to offer such an "airline mess" insurance....
When it's finally offered, it will probably be provided by a Lufthansa company. That way, it's a true win-win scenario for them.
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