At issue, says Harteveldt, is the logic underpinning airline pricing, which can appear incomprehensible to customers. It all depends on the competition, and that is why airlines strategically lower fares in some markets and not others. Peter Belobaba, principal research scientist at the MIT International Center for Air Transportation, says this kind of pricing is found all over the world. Boston-Houston is a business market, which means higher fares. They are very different markets when it comes to both competition and sensitivity to pricing. View image of Credit: Getty Images.
Tony Webber, CEO of aviation research company Air Intelligence and former Qantas chief economist, says lawsuits like the one filed by Lufthansa are a scare tactic.
Webber explained the impact on revenues saying skiplagging means airlines cannot maximise revenues because, had they sold the seat directly, they would have probably received a higher fare. So, hidden-city ticketing lowers the yield they receive from each seat and complicates what is already a small-margin business. Indeed, about the only way to find out how many people are skiplagging is to ask Skiplagged, the website invented to help fliers exploit hidden-city tickets.
So, are passengers gaming a system stacked against them? After all, the airline offered the seat at a given price and received that price. Commenters agreed, with one concluding making a purchase does not oblige you to use it. Indeed, writing for the Times, Nate Silver cited airline monopoly power as part of the problem. He notes that while the airline was paid by the passenger, the payment was less than the airline would have received if the passenger had not been skiplagging.
It is understandable passengers dislike contracts of carriage since airlines use them as an excuse not to provide services when things go wrong. As the recent lawsuit shows, the practice can be risky for the passenger. Of course, it could cut the other way…. LH is certainly looking for that and probably chose the right passenger based upon the venue. Still, I think LH is on shaky legal grounds. We should give briefs as a friend of the court.
Actually you should since you are a big shot lawyer. I fly a lot with fuel dumps. I have never been denied boarding, nor closed miles account or banned from airlines. Technically back in the old days, the whole fuel surcharge stuff was created to avoid taxes.
About hidden cities, its the same. They are maximizing revenue with insanely high prices on selected routes. I just read the court document not a legal professional : The court holds that in principle Lufthansa can recalculate the price of a ticket to protect its fare structure as long as it does so in the most transparent way possible for the client. This has been already determined by the Bundesgerichtshof in BGH NJW 16, , the highest court for civil law in Germany, therefore it is not on shaky legal ground.
Thus at issue for the lower court is not that LH recalculates, but that it did not do so in a transparent way. In Germany, airlines can recalculate the ticket price as long as they inform you at the point of your decision to change your itinerary of how much the change will cost you. Then it is permissible. So when someone skips a segment, is the burden on Lufthansa to notify the client of the change in cost in a timely fashion?
No — the information must be accessible to the client but LH must not do its utmost to inform the client.
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And the court requires a limit on how much a client is asked to pay after the change e. But the fact that LH can recalculate and increases the price in case of itinerary changes is not disputed by this ruling and has been upheld. Our modern economy runs on contracts of adhesion. However it may be a factor in determining that the contract is unenforceable I.
I would still like if you could do a post about an average contract of carriage so you can inform us about what we are actually agreeing to when we buy an airline ticket. The adhesion contract itself does not make it unenforceable, but I do not think it will be held enforceable.
Me: so much? The same happens with trains here in the UK with a return ticket or hidden city tickets being much cheaper. I agree with you, I think LH will loose one way or the other. Between the Iberia case and this, EU courts will eventually protect consumer interests in the case of throw away tickets. Matthew, how do you think the recent ruling in Spain that specifically allows skipping any portion of a multi segment trip will affect this case?
Always a one-way from the U. If ever questioned or confronted afterwards which I never have been my argument is to simply say I got sick during the connection and had to find a room to sleep.
Skiplagging: The travel trick that airlines hate
I mean, are they really going to argue with me on that? Never check a bag. It tends to be one of the best to look at. I mean, for all the posturing by Lufthansa and what may be others soon they game the system to their benefit in countless ways as well. One good example is luring passengers into 45 minute connections in places like DFW that are virtually impossible to make unless your gates are miraculously next door to each other.
Doing this knowing full well that the odds are stacked against the passengers given the minute prior door closing rule.
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Book one-way. Travel with carry-on bag only,…. Do not enter your mileage number to avoid loss of membership or can an airline search for you anyway?
My Prediction: Lufthansa Hidden City Lawsuit Will Backfire
Be prepared for any cancelation or diversion — the airline can rebook you to the destination ticketed and bypass your original intention to get off in-between ie. If you can live with all that, how can they really stop anybody from doing this? This is just stupid. If a customer buys a product and chooses not to use it, the merchant has no right to interfere. To me this seems like getting sued by a restaurant for leaving leftover food on your plate, ridicilous.
So their argument is essentially that the man should have valued the nonstop flight more, and therefore paid much more money for it, instead of examining all of their offers and finding something that suited him better, for less money? Now that fares are listed on publicly available websites, however, it's easier to scrape the info.
Even if United and Orbitz win this lawsuit, as long as these loopholes exist, there will be another site doing something similar. We're using cookies to improve your experience. Click Here to find out more. Business Like Follow. It's not illegal — but that doesn't mean airlines and booking sites want people to do it.