Back in December, we reported on the lawsuit United Airlines and Orbitz filed against a 22 year old. The whole ordeal started because a young man named Aktarer Zaman launched a website called Skiplagged.com with the intent to assist people in finding cheap airfare. According to CNN Money, Chicago Judge John Robert Blakey decided to dismiss the case as Zaman does not live or do business in the windy city:
The dismissal “is definitely a victory,” Zaman told CNNMoney. “It is pretty amazing…the court just shut them off.”
Zaman’s Skiplagged.com uses a little-known secret among frequent fliers to help people find cheaper plane tickets.
United and Orbitz sued Zaman for “unfair competition” and “deceptive behavior,” alleging that the site promoted “strictly prohibited” travel. They wanted to recoup $75,000 in lost revenue from Zaman.
Back in February, both Orbitz and Zaman settled a portion of their lawsuit but United Airlines kept on track with their own legal actions against Skiplagged. This new ruling may be one small setback for United, but it’s possible they still may go after Zaman and his website for the lost revenue:
On Friday, United spokeswoman Christen David said “the decision was a ruling on procedural grounds and not on the merits of the case.”
The spokesperson did not comment on whether United would continue to pursue legal action.
“We remain troubled that Mr. Zaman continues to openly encourage customers to violate our contract of carriage by purchasing hidden-city tickets,” she said.
The main gist behind Skiplagged.com is that the site takes advantage of what is referred to as “hidden city” ticketing, where a user could buy a cheaper flight a with a connection, and never opt to take the second leg of that trip by staying in the layover city in question. Of course, this would mean traveling on a one-way ticket without checked luggage.
His website has received over 1-million hits in the past month but Mr. Zaman still hasn’t made a profit from Skiplagged.com. The $79,000 he raised through a crowdfunding effort helped to fund his legal fees. And according to the 22 year old, he’s pretty confident United isn’t finished:
“The cynic in me says this is an uphill battle,” says Zaman. “I’m not going to let my guard down.”
Keep fighting the good fight, Zaman.
(Via CNN Money)