How does the ski tagging of flights with airlines work?

Trickery with tickets: Lufthansa is suing passengers for failing to take the connecting flight

The largest airline in Germany - and one of the largest in Europe - wants to regain lost profits by suing a customer at the court in Berlin-Mitte. According to Airliners.de, Lufthansa complains that the person had no intention of making the last part of the trip.

Instead of a direct flight, the customer reportedly bought a cheaper ticket that would have required them to change trains to reach the destination. Since the intermediate destination was enough for him, he simply did not show up for the flight of the last leg.

The defendant, whose name was not disclosed, was scheduled to fly from Seattle via Frankfurt am Main to Oslo as early as April 2016. However, the passenger "missed" the connecting flight and later traveled with another flight ticket from Frankfurt a.M. to Berlin.

Lufthansa complains that the customer only paid € 657 for his ticket to Oslo, while he should have paid € 2,769 for the flown leg of the route, i.e. without the trick, and is demanding back the difference of € 2,112 plus interest. This emerges from court files cited by the media.

The court first ruled in December 2018 in favor of the customer. However, Lufthansa had the opportunity to appeal, because the court is said to have determined at the same time that the company's request was basically justified. Because the court declared that the Lufthansa price calculation was intransparent, but the passenger knew that the ticket he had chosen was cheaper.

RT approached the company on this matter, but Lufthansa refused to comment at the moment.

It is also called ski flagging when a person adds flight tickets to the booking not only from one destination to another, but also a destination beyond that without starting the last leg. Travelers use the option of a ticket with transfers, as it is often cheaper than the ticket that is "only" booked to the destination. For example, if you book a direct flight from Los Angeles to Munich on March 1st, you have to spend around 1,000 euros. However, if you book a flight from the same place for the same day but via Munich to Moscow, you will get almost 300 euros cheaper.

While there is much debate about whether the practice is legal, and companies are warning passengers that they could be charged additional fees for doing so, it is almost impossible for airlines to contain this trick, which even booking platforms of the same name specialize in to have.

According to reports, last year the Spanish Supreme Court ruled that ski tagging is legal, which means that Spanish airline Iberia cannot charge its customers for "missed" flights on multi-stop routes, allowing passengers to do so as normal is to use all parts or just a part of a ticket.