A judge just threw out a United Airlines lawsuit against 22-year old tech genius
At the age of 22, many of us are graduating college and figuring out what the heck we’re going to do with our lives. At 22, tech wunderkind Aktarer Zaman created a website that revolutionized how we find cheap airfare, and faced a major lawsuit as a result.
Here’s how Zaman’s website “Skiplagged” works: it uses this trick called “hidden city” fares, which means sometimes it’s cheaper to book a flight with a connection, and have your connection be your actual final destination. For example, say I want to go from Los Angeles to Austin, it might actually be cheaper for me to book a flight from LA to New Orleans with a connection in Austin, than booking LA to Austin. The world of airfare is a crazy place.
Of course, if you do “Skiplag.” you can’t check baggage (otherwise your luggage will go to the official final destination, not your intended destination AKA your connection) and you can only book flights one way. Still, sounds awesome, right?
Well, United Airlines didn’t think so. As CNN Money reports, United Airlines, along with Orbitz, recently filed a lawsuit for “unfair competition” and “deceptive behavior” against Zaman in Chicago, and on Friday, the Chicago judge threw the lawsuit out of his court because Zaman, a New Yorker, doesn’t live or do business in Chicago.
Zaman is currently making no money off his site, so he had to crowdfund $79,000 for his legal defense. So, of course, he’s very relieved that he essentially won his case.
“It is pretty amazing,” Zaman told CNN Money. “The court just shut them off.”
Zaman does not feel like he’s out of the woods yet.
“The cynic in me says this is an uphill battle,” said Zaman. “I’m not going to let my guard down.”