I can’t believe this! This is like me, where I start-up a website and the larger media organizations in Anniston / Oxford wants me gone, except they are not suing me to kick me out of here! Aktarer Zaman runs the site Skiplagged.com, and the concept is pretty simple. The site uses Hidden City ticketing practicing, which is booking a one-way plane ticket from one city to another, and then getting off the plane on a layover before the final destination. It seems weird right, an airplane ticket is cheaper by flying to three cities, instead of two.
The practice is not illegal, but airlines don’t like it when people do this. When they find out someone is doing this, they can void the ticket, or strip people of reward miles. United and Orbitz are teaming up and suing Zaman in Chicago federal court for unfair competition. What! Unfair competition? You mean the website Orbitz, where they charge an arm and a leg for that destination, or United Airlines, who pays less for jet fuel, but have not lowered the costs of airline tickets. What are these two greedy companies doing teaming up to take a competitor out of business?
United Airlines said the practice of Hidden City ticketing takes away the ability to estimate head counts, which can not only cause disruptions at the airport gate, but can also require mechanical tweaks, such as variations in the amount of jet fuel needed for each flight. You won’t believe what Orbitz said, they sued because Skiplagged.com finds the fares and then directs travelers to book them on Orbitz, which has agreed not to book Hidden City fares. Hey Orbitz, this website is doing a favor for you, by giving you more business! Sue someone who is giving you more business, only an idiot would think of that!
Skiplagged’s sole purpose has always been to help people become savvy travelers. They do that by exposing pricing inefficiencies for air travel, among other things. Unfortunately, the website has been doing too good of a job so United Airlines and Orbitz recently teamed up with a lawsuit to get in the way. Everything Skiplagged has done and continues to do is legal, but the only way to effectively prove this is with lawyers. This is like my website getting sued by a bigger media competitor in the same town, only because my site is taking away readership, or ad revenue. Come on, we should be better than being greedy!
The site is being sued for $75,000 in damages, and to have the site shut down. If the airlines were doing a better job not scamming others, a site like Skiplagged would not exist today. People are growing tired of the airline industry, from the extra fees from everything like a checked bag to more seat room, to the fees just to have a snack or drink onboard, to losing people’s luggage, to forcing people to sit in a plane for hours on the tarmac, and a lot more dirty things. Hey airlines, your cost of business has gone down thanks to lower oil prices, how about either providing better service, or lowering ticket prices! I am glad to see Congress wanting to investigate the high cost of airline tickets. It needs to be done!
This lawsuit by United and Orbitz is corporate greed and bullying at its finest. I hope this lawsuit gives a bad PR nightmare for United and Orbitz. People are growing tired of corporations, who are by the people, growing to be more greedy and wrong. I hope this lawsuit is thrown out in court, nothing illegal is being done here! And I hope you United and Orbitz suffer! Congratulations, United and Orbitz! You just gave this guy’s website a boatload of free advertising! And you gave many more people a way to save money buying airline tickets!
Learn more about Skiplagged at: https://skiplagged.com/
Donate to the Skiplagged Legal Fund at: http://www.gofundme.com/skiplagged
Categories: Geeks and Nerds Stuff