United Sues Website That Exploits Cheap-Ticket Trick

Airline, Orbitz go after Skiplagged and 'hidden city' loophole
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Suggested by butterbutterbutter
Posted Dec 30, 2014 12:13 PM CST
United Sues Website That Exploits Cheap-Ticket Trick
A United Airlines jet approaches Los Angeles International Airport.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

A 22-year-old who's made it easier for air travelers to buy cheaper plane tickets is now being sued by two heavyweights in the airline industry, reports the Daily Dot. United Airlines and partner Orbitz are going after Aktarer Zaman and his website Skiplagged.com. The site takes advantage of a trick called "hidden city" ticketing that generally results in cheaper fares: You buy a one-way ticket to a city that is supposed to be only a layover but is, in fact, your final destination.

CNNMoney provides an example: "Say you want to fly from New York to San Francisco—you actually book a flight from New York to Lake Tahoe with a layover in San Francisco and get off there, without bothering to take the last leg of the flight." As both stories explain, the trick is well-known to those who fly a lot, but not so much among infrequent flyers. Of course, that could change soon, either because of Skiplagged or the resulting lawsuit. United and Orbitz have sued Zaman for $75,000 in lost revenue, and Zaman, who says he has never made money on his site, has launched a crowdfunding page for his legal defense. (More Orbitz stories.)

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