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United And Orbitz Sue Startup For Gaming The Airfare System

United Airlines and Orbitz are suing Skiplagged, a small startup founded by Aktarer Zaman that claims to save travelers hundreds of dollars on airfare by finding what is known as “hidden city” ticketing.

The site uses algorithms to find the cheapest fare to any destination that uses your target destination as a layover.

For example, if you want to go from Boise to Phoenix, Skiplagged books you a flight from Boise to Sacramento with a layover in Phoenix.

Because of the airlines’ complicated ticket pricing, the flight to Sacramento with a layover in Phoenix is actually a cheaper fare than just flying directly to Phoenix.

However, there are drawbacks, and airlines like United argue there are major security concerns as well.

For a closer look, Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins checks in with airline reporter Bart Jansen of USA Today.

Guest

  • Bart Jansen, transportation reporter for USA Today. He tweets @ganjansen.
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.