A 22-year-old man who founded Skiplagged.com is being sued by United Airlines for releasing a trade secret it says has cost it big money.
Aktarer Zaman posted the trade secret on his website this year and called it “hidden city ticketing.” In short, if you book a flight to San Francisco with a stopover in Los Angeles, for example, the price is often much lower and those who do not have check-in luggage can just hop off the plan and enjoy a reduced fare flight by not taking the last leg of the journey.
But United Airlines, and the US-based flight booking website Orbitz, have claimed the entrepreneur’s “unfair” website promotes “strictly prohibited” travel – and is seeking $75,000 in compensation for loss of revenue.
Mr Zaman, a New York resident, insists that he has broken no law and is simply exposing an “inefficiency” in airline prices that has been common knowledge among travellers for years.
“Despite the simpler ticketing arrangements introduced by no-frills airlines, there are plenty of cases where savings can be made by being creative – especially from airlines which structure their tickets in a more traditional way.
“For example, if you are looking for a cheap single fare on some routes, it can can still be more cost effective to buy a return and not use the second leg. Clever routing can also make you savings on some UK rail fares,” said Zaman.
has launched an appeal on its website for donations to fight the lawsuit and has already raised more than $9,000.