American Airlines sues a travel site to crack down on consumers who use this trick to save money

by Michael Nguyen
fokus keyword Skiplagged

American Airlines has initiated legal action against Skiplagged Inc., a travel website that offers tickets enabling customers to save money by taking advantage of a specific pricing anomaly within the airline industry.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, with American Airlines accusing Skiplagged of deceptive practices. The airline further warned that it might invalidate all tickets sold by Skiplagged.

This controversy revolves around a technique known as skiplagging or hidden-city ticketing, where passengers book flights with at least one stopover but disembark during the layover, bypassing the final destination. Even though this practice is not generally unlawful, airlines argue that it breaches their terms of service.

In a recent incident, American Airlines removed a 17-year-old from a flight and imposed a three-year ban after he used this method to travel from Gainesville, Florida, to Charlotte, North Carolina, rather than his ticketed destination of New York City. This option was less expensive than a direct flight to Charlotte.

In the legal documents, American Airlines contends that Skiplagged misleads customers by suggesting that they can exploit a hidden “loophole.” The airline also asserts that the website, acting as a regular consumer, buys tickets and instructs clients to keep the airlines uninformed of the scheme. American Airlines emphasizes that Skiplagged is not authorized to resell its tickets, labeling the website’s behavior as “deceptive and abusive.”

Skiplagged’s system can operate because of the competitive dynamics of the airline industry, where longer flights might sometimes cost less if several airlines compete for the longer route and fewer for the shorter one. Those who opt to use this method must avoid checking bags, as they will be sent to the final destination, and often purchase one-way tickets or use the tactic only on the return journey to mitigate the risk of the airline canceling the rest of their trip.

Skiplagged, headquartered in New York, is no stranger to legal battles. In the past, both United Airlines and the online travel agency Orbitz took legal action against the company’s founder, Aktarer Zaman, accusing him of promoting “prohibited forms of travel.” Zaman, who started Skiplagged around 2014 when he was in his early 20s, resorted to crowdfunding to cover his legal expenses. He eventually settled with Orbitz, while the lawsuit with United Airlines was dismissed.

As of the date mentioned, there has been no public comment from Skiplagged in response to the lawsuit filed by American Airlines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Skiplagged

What is skiplagging and why is American Airlines suing Skiplagged Inc. over it?

Skiplagging, or hidden-city ticketing, is a practice where travelers book a flight with a stopover and leave the plane during the layover, essentially paying less for their intended destination. American Airlines is suing Skiplagged Inc., a travel website that promotes and sells tickets using this method, accusing the company of deceptive practices and violations of airline policies.

Who is Aktarer Zaman, and what is his connection to Skiplagged?

Aktarer Zaman is the founder of Skiplagged, and he started the company around 2014 when he was in his early 20s. Skiplagged has faced legal challenges before, and Zaman has previously dealt with lawsuits from other airlines, such as United Airlines and Orbitz.

How do travelers benefit from skiplagging, and what are the risks?

Travelers can benefit from skiplagging by saving money on their flights, as the tickets for flights with layovers can sometimes be cheaper than direct flights to the intended destination. However, the practice is not without risks. Airlines may view it as a violation of their terms of service, which can result in the cancellation of tickets or banning from future flights.

Has Skiplagged faced legal action before?

Yes, Skiplagged has faced legal action in the past. United Airlines and online travel agency Orbitz have previously accused the company of promoting “prohibited forms of travel.” Skiplagged’s founder, Aktarer Zaman, settled with Orbitz, and the United lawsuit was eventually dismissed.

What has been Skiplagged’s response to the lawsuit from American Airlines?

As of the information provided in the text, there has been no immediate public response from Skiplagged regarding the lawsuit filed by American Airlines.

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TravelGuru101 August 20, 2023 - 3:48 pm

Have tried skiplagging b4, and it really works. But now, with all these lawsuits, I’m having second thoughts. Better to play it safe, I guess?

Mandy_L August 20, 2023 - 11:13 pm

It’s interesting how companies find ways to exploit loopholes, then get sued for it. Same old story but it keeps happening.

FrequentFlyer56 August 20, 2023 - 11:30 pm

american airlines should focus on improving services not suing small businesses. This just seems petty.

JohnDoe42 August 21, 2023 - 12:30 am

Cant believe skiplagging’s still a thing. Didn’t even know sites like Skiplagged exist. Airlines must be real mad about this one!

LegalEagle August 21, 2023 - 4:54 am

Wonder what the court’s gonna say about this. Skiplagged’s been sued before but they’re still around. Guess it’s not so clear cut legally.


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