NY Man's Website Exploits Loophole To Display Cheap Airfare, United Responds With Lawsuit

United Airlines isn't too happy with a savvy 22-year-old who built a website that helps people find cheaper airfare. Neither is Orbitz for that matter. What is it about the website that would prompt United Airlines and Orbitz to file a civil lawsuit against its owner, Aktarer Zaman? It's the fact that it finds cheaper airfare using a strategy called "hidden city" ticketing.

Here's how it works -- let's say you want to travel to Chicago. Using the "hidden city" ticketing method, you would buy a one-way ticket that has a layover in Chicago, and once you arrive, you simply stay there rather than board whatever connecting flight you paid for.

While it's not always cheaper to use this method, a lot of times it is, compared to buying a ticket to your desired destination. Just be advised that this works best with one-way flights with no checked baggage, otherwise your luggage will arrive at the final destination, not at your layover.


United and Orbitz accuse Zaman's site, Skiplagged.com, of "unfair competition" and claim it promotes "strictly prohibited" travel. The lawsuit seeks $75,000 in lost revenue.

Zaman contends he makes no profit from the website and that all he's doing is helping travelers get better priced airfare by taking advantage of an "inefficiency" that frequent fliers and other insiders have known about for several decades. Some ticketing agents have even been trained to help customers find hidden city airfares.

While Zaman's website may prove to be legal, he faces legal costs, especially since two major firms are ganging up on him. On his website, Zaman is asking for donations to support his legal fund.