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United Airlines Sues 22 Year Old over Website

Or, "When Large Corporations Shoot Themselves in the Foot"

     
5:01 am on Dec 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Why is United Airlines suing a 22-year-old?
United Airlines (UAL) and Orbitz (OWW) 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.

[money.cnn.com...]

The idea is simple. He created a site which lists flights with stop-overs, along with a way to compare what it would cost to take a flight from "CITY A" to "CITY B", and how you can save money by booking a flight from "CITY A" to "CITY C", but getting off at the stop-over in "CITY B", (which is where you actually wanted to fly to).

Nothing like the free publicity of having a huge corporation sue you to get your business off the ground.
5:54 am on Dec 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If this works often enough it demonstrates that the market is not efficient (i.e. it is not a real working free market) and that airlines are somehow rigging it.

Time for an anti-trust investigation perhaps?
12:49 pm on Dec 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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He's just making technology work better than the airlines. They should be giving him a job, not suing him, imho.
12:39 am on Jan 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In the lawsuit, United and Orbitz call Skiplagged "unfair competition" and allege that it is promoting "strictly prohibited" travel


Seems to me that this is a baseless lawsuit and I hope the courts find some way to make it hurt for united and orbitz. This is an obvious play to bully something they don't like out of existence.

I'll be doing my part, never used orbitz and now never will. I have a flight already booked on united, canceling and switching to Spirit.
1:44 am on Jan 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I haven't used most of those overpriced airlines in years. They serve no purpose except to try to rip people off. All the seat assignments, flight change fees, nickle and dime nonsense because their business models are fundamentally flawed from the core and they're just greedy.

No thanks.

I proudly fly Southwest's cattle cars every chance I get with a trip on JetBlue or Virgin every now and then.

But no United.
2:02 am on Jan 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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As a frequent flyer and occasional mile-runner who frequently looks at web sites like skiplagged and "FT" (anybody who knows about the business knows this acronym), I'm surprised only this site is being targeted.

implying hes connected to United and Orbitz by linking customers to their websites


... seems absurd. We should all hope this lawsuit is thrown out immediately.

If I linked to a helpful webmasterworld thread, would that be implying I'm connected to this site? If I linked to or even suggested Google as a search provider, would I be implying a connection of some kind? Is Mozilla implicating itself by providing access to Google search as an endorser of pirated content (ie. G Search -> TPB vs. Orbitz -> United)?

Where does it end? Can hyperlinks become illegal and thus signal the end of the WWW as we know it?

Some food for thought.
2:12 am on Jan 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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On the negative side:
how you can save money by booking a flight from "CITY A" to "CITY C", but getting off at the stop-over in "CITY B", (which is where you actually wanted to fly to)

Well, that explains the people who are pushing the notion of "carry-on" to the absolute limit and to hell with the other passengers. They can't check their luggage, because they're not going to the place it would be checked-in to.
2:36 pm on Jan 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Seems to me that UA would have been better off keeping their ownership of orbitz on the lowdown. They might fall victim to unintended consequences.