A 22 year old entrepreneur is being targeted by United Airlines and Orbitz for what the companies call “unfair competition”. Aktarer Zaman founded the website Skiplagged.com last year. The site helps travelers find cheap flights by using a strategy called “hidden city” ticketing.
For example, if you want to travel from Boston to San Francisco, you actually book a flight from Boston to Lake Tahoe—with a layover in San Francisco—then skip the second leg of the trip while paying for a cheaper ticket in the end. It only works if you book a one-way flight with no checked bags.
While the practice has been around for a while and is obviously frowned upon among the major airlines, it is not considered illegal. United said in a statement, “This practice violates our fare rules and we are taking action to stop it to help protect the vast majority of customers who buy legitimate tickets.” Orbitz says it is obligated to uphold airline fare rules.
What do you think? Do you side with the creator of the website or do the airlines have a point?