The Halterner Zeitung, a local paper from the town which lost 16 school pupils in the March 24th Germanwings crash, reported that the woman claimed to be the cousin of one of the two teachers on the plane. The teachers and students were on their way back from an exchange programme in Barcelona.
The woman brought three people with her on two trips to the south of France at Lufthansa's expense, as well as visiting the crash site and memorial and accepting psychological counselling.
Lufthansa has now filed charges against the woman, who is from Beverungen in eastern North Rhine-Westphalia, after the father of the teacher informed the newspaper of the con.
A spokesman for the airline called the situation a “regrettable one-off”.
“We regret very much that the relatives were disturbed in their mourning by this event,” he told the Westfalen-Blatt.
The woman slipped through the net precisely because of the streamlined process for relatives to register themselves set up by the airline in the days after the crash.
Only “a certain plausibility” was required to gain access to flights to the crash zone and care on the scene, the spokesman said, as no-one wanted to burden those affected with bureaucratic procedures.
Local police in Höxter plan to interview the woman about the fraud in the coming days.