A young computer whiz from New York City has launched a site to help people buy cheap plane tickets. But an airline company and its travel partner want to shut him down.
United Airlines and Orbitz filed a civil lawsuit last month against 22-year-old Aktarer Zaman, who founded the website Skiplagged.com last year.
The site helps travelers find cheap flights by using a strategy called “hidden city” ticketing.
The idea is that you buy an airline ticket that has a layover at your actual destination. 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.
This travel strategy only works if you book a one-way flight with no checked bags (they would have landed in Lake Tahoe).
It’s not like these tickets are the cheapest all the time, but they often are.
In the lawsuit, United and Orbitz call Skiplagged “unfair competition” and allege that it is promoting “strictly prohibited” travel. They want to recoup $75,000 in lost revenue from Zaman.
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