A United Airlines jet takes off at LAX / Getty

Aktarer Zaman, a New Yorker, founded Skiplagged to search for cheaper 'hidden city ticketing' fares but is now being sued

United Airlines and booking company Orbitz are suing a young American entrepreneur for establishing a website that searches for cheap flight tickets by using a loophole known as “hidden city ticketing”.

Aktarer Zaman, 22, founded Skiplagged.com last year to publicise the cheap deals that could be secured by booking one-way flight tickets. The flight must have a layover in the desired destination, and the traveller then does not take the onward flight.

While the method is not always the cheapest, it can often reduce the ticket price considerably; in a similar way to how split-booking train journeys can cut the fare cost.

“[Hidden city ticketing] has been around for a while, it just hasn’t been very accessible to consumers,” Mr Zaman told CNN.

The New Yorker is being sued by the airline and booking company for $75,000 in compensation for lost revenue. They claim the practice of hidden city ticketing is “unfair” and “strictly prohibited”.


Fliers wanting to get to California may be able to book a discounted ticket from New York to Hawaii, for example, with a stopover in Los Angeles.

The loophole only works if you are travelling on a one-way ticket and are taking carry-on luggage – stowed bags would continue without their owners to the final destination.

Prices are often lower for certain hub airports as airline companies want to attract travellers to regional airports.

Mr Zaman insists he has done nothing illegal and is merely exposing an “inefficiency” in airline ticket prices.

Skiplagged has launched a campaign to fund its legal costs and has already received more than $10,000 in donations.