World Business Report, Why Lufthansa sued a passenger for missing a flight

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A method commonly used by airline passengers to get cheaper fares is at the center of a court row between a German airline and one of its customers.

The airline - which makes billions in profit every year - is seeking about C$3,150 in compensation from the passenger.

Before travelers were pulled into the digital world of algorithms that airlines use to maximize their revenue stream, they would often try ploys like "hidden city ticketing", where the passenger books a ticket to a fictitious destination (the "hidden" city) with a connection at the intended destination, then walks away at the connection node and discards the remaining segment.

For example, someone hoping to travel from NY to Dallas might look for cheaper flights to Los Angeles that also stop in that city - and simply disembark there, rather than fly the full route to LAX.

Lufthansa is set to take legal action against a passenger who did not complete the final leg of a flight in a crackdown on "tariff abuse". But one passenger has been taken to court by the German airline Lufthansa for doing exactly that. Thrifty flyers can save hundreds of dollars by booking multi-stop tickets instead of flying direct. It is now seeking $2,385 in compensation.

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In November a Spanish court ruled that Iberia passengers could not be punished for hidden city ticketing.

An initial court case came down in the passenger's favour in December 2016, but Lufthansa has now been granted permission to appeal against the decision and pursue payment from the unnamed traveller.

"Hidden city" ticketing was popularized by the airfare site Skiplagged - which promises to help people find tickets that are up to 80 percent less expensive than the prices elsewhere.

However, that suit was thrown out by an IL judge, who said the district didn't have jurisdiction over the issue.

It's not even remotely illegal, though airlines have written warnings against it into their terms and conditions.

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