Airline sues man for founding a cheap flights website #cheap #airfare

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Airline sues man for starting a cheap-flights site

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

A United Airlines plane at Chicago s O Hare airport

United Airlines is suing a 22-year-old man for founding a website that helps travelers book cheap flights, according to CNN Money.

Orbitz has joined the suit against Aktarer Zaman, who last year founded skiplagged.com. a site designed to ferret out bargain plane tickets through a strategy called “hidden city.” It skirts higher prices by allowing a user to buy a ticket with a layover in the flyer’s actual destination, and the user just skips the last leg of the trip.

It only works if flyers travel without checked baggage and buy one-way tickets.

“[Hidden city tickets] have been around for a while, it just hasn’t been very accessible to consumers,” Zaman told CNNMoney.

United Airlines and Orbitz claim “unfair competition” and are seeking $75,000 in lost revenue.

CNN Money reported that travel experts expect that even if the site is shut down, others like it will just pop up in its place.

Zaman did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.





22/11/2017

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United Airlines sues 22-year-old who found method for buying cheaper plane

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United Airlines sues 22-year-old who found method for buying cheaper plane tickets

[FILE] United Airlines jets are parked at the terminal at O Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois on Oct. 25, 2013. Credit: Ricky Shine/CNN

By Patrick Gillespie for CNN

NEW YORK 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.

Zaman said he knew a lawsuit was inevitable but he points out that there s nothing illegal about his web site.

He also said he has made no profit via the website and that all he s done is help travelers get the best prices by exposing an inefficiency, in airline prices that insiders have known about for decades.

[Hidden city ticketing] have been around for a while, it just hasn t been very accessible to consumers, Zaman told CNNMoney.

Indeed, hidden city, ticketing is no secret among frequent fliers, said Michael Boyd, President of Boyd Group International, an aviation consulting firm in Evergreen, Co. Boyd worked as an American Airline ticket agent 30 years ago, and says he was trained at the airline to help customers find hidden city fares.

I don t think it s illegal what he s doing, Boyd said. But lawsuits are expensive and it could end up costing the young entrepreneur who has irked the two billion dollar corporations.

Airlines usually offer cheaper fares for some destinations that are not regional hubs, Boyd said. Many of these flights are routed through more popular destinations. But if a lot of people take advantage of that discrepancy it could hurt the airlines, which is why they want to shut him down.

Born in Bangladesh, Zaman grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduated with a bachelor s degree in computer science at age 20 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He lives in Manhattan and works at a technology start-up that he declined to name.

Zaman said Skiplagged is just a side project.

Zaman and United declined to discuss the lawsuit. Orbitz said in a statement that it is obligated to uphold airline fare rules.

Other travel experts say that the airlines may not achieve much if Zaman s site is shut down, especially in a world where information is becoming more readily available.

If [Skiplagged is] shut down, undoubtedly there will be other people to come along to scrape fares and make them available, Robert Mann said, president of R.W. Mann Company, an airline consulting firm in Port Washington, New York.

Trademark and Copyright 2015 Cable News Network. Inc. a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.





17/08/2017

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United Airlines sues 22-year-old who found method for buying cheaper plane

#find airline tickets
#

United Airlines sues 22-year-old who found method for buying cheaper plane tickets

[FILE] United Airlines jets are parked at the terminal at O Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois on Oct. 25, 2013. Credit: Ricky Shine/CNN

By Patrick Gillespie for CNN

NEW YORK 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.

Zaman said he knew a lawsuit was inevitable but he points out that there s nothing illegal about his web site.

He also said he has made no profit via the website and that all he s done is help travelers get the best prices by exposing an inefficiency, in airline prices that insiders have known about for decades.

[Hidden city ticketing] have been around for a while, it just hasn t been very accessible to consumers, Zaman told CNNMoney.

Indeed, hidden city, ticketing is no secret among frequent fliers, said Michael Boyd, President of Boyd Group International, an aviation consulting firm in Evergreen, Co. Boyd worked as an American Airline ticket agent 30 years ago, and says he was trained at the airline to help customers find hidden city fares.

I don t think it s illegal what he s doing, Boyd said. But lawsuits are expensive and it could end up costing the young entrepreneur who has irked the two billion dollar corporations.

Airlines usually offer cheaper fares for some destinations that are not regional hubs, Boyd said. Many of these flights are routed through more popular destinations. But if a lot of people take advantage of that discrepancy it could hurt the airlines, which is why they want to shut him down.

Born in Bangladesh, Zaman grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduated with a bachelor s degree in computer science at age 20 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He lives in Manhattan and works at a technology start-up that he declined to name.

Zaman said Skiplagged is just a side project.

Zaman and United declined to discuss the lawsuit. Orbitz said in a statement that it is obligated to uphold airline fare rules.

Other travel experts say that the airlines may not achieve much if Zaman s site is shut down, especially in a world where information is becoming more readily available.

If [Skiplagged is] shut down, undoubtedly there will be other people to come along to scrape fares and make them available, Robert Mann said, president of R.W. Mann Company, an airline consulting firm in Port Washington, New York.

Trademark and Copyright 2015 Cable News Network. Inc. a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.





10/04/2017

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Airline sues man for finding cheaper flights #travel #leaders

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22-year-old cashes in using ‘hidden city’ ticketing

A 22-year-old whiz kid who found a way for fliers to buy cheaper plane tickets is now being sued by United Airlines and its travel partner, Orbitz.

Aktarer Zaman of New York City founded the Skiplagged website, which promotes a strategy known as hidden city ticketing to find more inexpensive prices.

Travelers merely buy an airline ticket with a layover before the actual destination.

For example, if you wanted to fly from New York to San Francisco, you could purchase a ticket from New York to Lake Tahoe, California, and then fly to San Francisco where you d get off the plane, never boarding the final leg of the trip to Lake Tahoe.

Aktarer Zaman

The strategy only works when flying one way and checking no luggage, since the bags would be sent to the final destination.

According to the lawsuit. Hidden city ticketing is strictly prohibited by most commercial airlines because of logistical and public safety concerns. When consumers purchase a flight through United, they agree to be bound by United s prohibition against hidden city ticketing. Also, as further protection against this prohibited form of travel, airlines often require online travel agencies, such as Orbitz, to prohibit hidden city ticketing and other abusive practices.

The suit seeks $75,000 in damages as well as the closure of Skiplagged.

Zaman told CNNMoney he knew a lawsuit was inevitable but claims there s nothing illegal about his site.

He said he hasn t earned a profit, and all he has done is help travelers by exposing an inefficiency in airline prices of which insiders have been aware for decades.

[Hidden-city discounts] have been around for a while, it just hasn t been very accessible to consumers, Zaman said.

Zaman now has a message on his discount site, reading: Consumers, Skiplagged needs your help! United Airlines and Orbitz recently filed a lawsuit that can force us to remove results only we find, getting in the way of saving you lots of money on airfare. Please support Skiplagged by donating to our legal fund here. Thank you!

By Tuesday afternoon, more than $23,000 had been raised.

I really don t know how much this lawsuit is going to ultimately cost, other than probably a lot, Zaman noted. However, you have my word that how every cent is spent will be posted here. If there are any remaining funds, those will be completely donated to charity.

Michael Boyd, an aviation consultant with Boyd Group International in Evergreen, Colorado, agrees hidden-city ticketing is no secret among frequent fliers.

Boyd himself was a ticket agent for American Airlines 30 years ago, and says he was trained to help customers locate hidden-city fares.

I don t think it s illegal what he s doing, Boyd told CNNMoney. But an expensive lawsuit could cost the young entrepreneur.

Zaman was reportedly born in Bangladesh and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He earned a computer-science degree at age 20 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He now resides in Manhattan, working for a technology start-up he declined to name.





11/02/2017

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