This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A German court recently ruled in favor of Lufthansa after the airline pursued a lawsuit against Germany-based travel blog HolidayPirates for advertising business-class “Error Fares” between Germany and California for just 687 euros ($819).

The error fares, published on HolidayPirates on September 1, 2017, knocked more than €3,000 ($3,577) off the going rate on the fare, and could be booked from the travel site via a Kayak plug-in. The court called the published fare and search functionality an “unfair trade practice,” particularly in an antitrust context, since the HolidayPirates website could be considered a competitor selling travel services, according to Loyalty Lobby.

The ruling, by a local court in the state of Bavaria, poses some puzzling questions for travel sites hoping to share future good deals with their readers. While this particular German court sanctioned the promotion of “fares with wrong prices” (i.e. error fares), it isn’t clear if that is meant literally as only error fares, or if it applies to any mention of “great deals” or even the equivalent of the Deal Alerts we publish here at TPG. The court also didn’t specify whether or not the ruling is limited to HolidayPirates alone, or if it extends to other websites and airlines. Regardless, the threat of jail time and/or a €250,000 fine makes the idea of testing those boundaries very unappealing.

The court document can be found here (in German only). The case, which was filed soon after the error fares were published in September 2017, states that Lufthansa immediately took action on the error, yet the HolidayPirates publication caused the airline to incur a total loss of €450,000 ($536,638) on the published business-class fares. Beyond the financial loss, however, Lufthansa claimed that its primary concern was the damage done to public perception and value of the airline brand. (The carrier blamed an “incomplete Excel spreadsheet” for the pricing error on its booking site.)

The ruling imposes a fine of €250,000 or six months’ jail time for the CEO. It can be appealed in a higher court in Bavaria.

H/T: Loyalty Lobby

Featured image by Lufthansa.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.