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Airline Sues Passenger for Skipping Part of Return Flight to Save Money

You'd think by now everyone knows what's going on between passengers and airlines: They try to charge you as much as they can for increasingly expensive add-ons, and you pay as little as you can by not using them.

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You'd think by now everyone knows what's going on between passengers and airlines: They try to charge you as much as they can for increasingly expensive add-ons, and you pay as little as you can by not using them, and we all move on with our weekend trips to Miami. 

And yet, Lufthansa Airlines of Germany is actually suing a passenger for trying to game the system. We'll get into exactly how in a second, but Lufthansa wants him to pay more than $2,000 after he took advantage of a cheap way to travel between cities, according to NPR.

The passenger was technically traveling on a round-trip ticket from Oslo to Seattle, but to get a better deal, he didn't travel to his final destination. He was trying to use what travel folks in the know call "hidden city" ticketing. Basically, you get a cheaper flight by traveling to a city as a layover, rather than traveling to it as a final destination -- all you have to do is get off at the layover stop instead of flying to the final destination on the ticket.

NPR reports that the passenger paid 657 euros (about $741) to fly in business class from Oslo to Seattle and back, with layovers in Frankfurt, but just got off in Frankfurt and flew to Berlin on another ticket. The airline is claiming that the trip actually should've cost 2,769 euros, and is attempting to get a court order to make him pay the difference, with interest.

Obviously, he's pushing back on this. And a district court in Berlin sided with him, saying that its method for calculating prices is "completely intransparent." But according to CNN, the airline is moving forward and will file an appeal. 

You can read more here about the pros and cons of so-called "hidden city" flights, but clearly, getting sued is a con.

h/tCNN, NPR


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James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.