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United Airlines sues tech wizard who set up website showing customers how to get cheaper flight tickets

The website uses a technique described as 'hidden city' ticketing directing customers to book their final destination as a stop-over instead. ( More...

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I don't understand how they can even have a lawsuit. Not only has he not done anything illegal, he hasn't profited from it either. Hell, both United and Orbitz are just giving more exposure to this technique so that others can do it from now on.
joel wiley 3
It takes $200 filing fee and a typewriter to start a lawsuit. Remember SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation)? Maybe the same thing here, nip it in the bud.
Victor Engel 1
Nip it in the bud? This strategy is not new.
joel wiley 1
Goes back as far as Noah, at least.
Mitch Ford 1
"Streisand Effect"
Ric Wernicke 8
Perhaps the airlines should stop charging too much for short flights and using anti-trust and monopolistic practices to bend you over in the woodshed.

Before the computers at the gate, a buck to a curbside skycap could get your bag short tagged to the hidden city. Now you need to go without checked luggage. The savings can be much more than FedEx-ing your bag ahead of your flight.
David Cree 6
I was a ticket agent and a ticket agent supervisor for Eastern Airlines in the 60's and 70's.
I am also a graduate of their International Ticketing school.

Point beyond fares or (hidden city fares) were well known 50 years ago even when all airfares were basically identical since airfares were regulated by the Federal Government.

Back then, you could by a round trip ticket and check your bag to an intermediate destination
because there was not the computer tracking on your bag or ticket like there is now.

So, like the article says---- BUY TWO ONE WAY tickets to the furtherest point.

In today's world:

If you get off at your intermediate stop (the place you really want to go) and do not continue on your itinerary---- your return reservations will be cancelled automatically as the computer will pick up the fact that you did not fly the last leg of your trip.

So, that is why you can only book ONE WAY tickets.

Also, Federal law will NOT allow you to check your bag now to the intermediate destination,
so, yes, you have to carry your bag on board since you will be getting off at your
intermediate stop---- either same flight number that has stops---- or a different flight number with a plane change.

I did this coming back from Manila last year. Just got off the plane in Los Angeles
with my bag, even though the plane was continuing on east bound. I had my bags with me--
This saved me at least $1500.

This is totally not illegal---just smart if you know the ropes.
Mark Lansdell 4
With baggage fees, over dimensional and over weight charges what they are, I'm hearing that more and more serious travelers are shipping them by common carrier and catching up with them on arrival. I don't see this as a winnable suit by UAL.
Derek Thomas 2
As a corporate traveler back in the pre 9/11 days - did this all the time...
Frank Parth 5
This is nothing new. I and others were doing this twenty five years ago and it probably went on long before that. A flight from Los Angeles to Milwaukee through Chicago on United was much cheaper than a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago. So I would book a flight to Milwaukee even though I wanted to go to Chicago. Got off at Chicago and saved money. Enough people were doing this that United threated to back charge us full fare and to cancel our club memberships if we persisted Others have pointed out the same thing.s
vanbess 4
I heard an interview with him Wed. and the airlines think he is making money off this, they are after income. He clearly stated he does not book the ticket and he is just simply providing the information through a search engine he wrote. His funding to defend the lawsuit is through a link.
paul trubits 4
Back in the paper ticket days, this was done all the time.Now in the fine print on your contract of carriage, it states that you must fly to your final destination.The skiers that were diverted from Vail to Denver last week would have had their reservations cancelled if they hopped on Alpine Taxi to Vail instead of waiting for another aircraft. They make you rebook your flights(been there-done that).
And that is why you book two one ways ;)
joel wiley 2
If anyone is interested in the details of the suit, the filing can be found at:
Mark Lansdell 1
Unless there is stuff in the game I don't see how the suite will be successful. I have known many who have taken advantage of this technique. It's never been an option for me but I'm not adverse to saving a buck. It seems to me that he is only pointing out and making obvious things that the airlines publish.
joel wiley 2
I think one of the reasons for the suit is "pour décourager les autres" for others who might do something similar. Besides, the cost of in-house lawyers is a sunk cost and they may as well have them do something.
Mark Lansdell 1
I used to use that same argument with financial management. I got shot down a lot. They never bought the skunk cost idea.
I booked tickets for attorneys I worked for over a long period of time. They knew about this "trick" and did it often. What's the big deal?
Mark Lansdell 1
The airline and Orbitz thinks that the guy is making money from the idea and they want it all.
Gene Nowak 1
As I recall in "hidden cities fares", your city was the intermediate stop, not final as the website is set up. The website does nothing more than program in intermediate stops, which in many instances are cheaper. The "boys" have to keep them seats filled!
sc c 1
not a big idea. It has been going on for years. Only issue is checked baggage. since 911 that is a hassle. otherwise anyone can do it.
Last minute from California to Houston 500 -
last minute to Chicago , via Houston 320
Mark Lansdell 2
Oh now you want to confuse the issue with facts? :-)
Ha ! Yea unfortunately I can't take advantage of
this on business because I almost always travel with
equipment that has to be checked!
Serious travelers ... Are getting their bags checked for free - not shipping them BTW
Mark Lansdell 1
What makes a serious traveler and how do I get to be one. Or do you mean privileged travelers?
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

nited Airlines suing 22-year-old NYC man who figured out how to get cheaper plane tickets

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – A young computer whiz from New York City has launched a site to help people buy cheap plane tickets. But an airline company and its travel partner want to shut him down.
PilotGuy251 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Is It OK to Cheat Airlines if It Saves You Money?

Would you “scam” an airline’s ticketing policy if it saved $25? $70? $400?


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