This 22-Year-Old Kid Fucked With the Airline Industry… and Won

Layovers suck. But what if a layover was your ticket to paradise?

June 30, 2015
This 22-Year-Old Kid Fucked With the Airline Industry… and Won

There are some things you just don’t do. Like feed chocolate to a dog. Or prank call your grandma. Or fuck with multi-billion dollar airline corporations.

Or do you?

Aktarer Zaman did…fuck with multi-billion dollar airline corporations, that is.

Zaman founded Skiplagged — a site that helps people travel on the cheap by identifying flights with a layover in the city where they actually want to go to. Instead of booking a pricey direct flight somewhere, Skiplagged finds a flight that has a layover at your desired destination. So, you just get off. The site — which had 200,000 users as of late 2014 — can help you save up to $200 on a one-way flight.

The question on my mind is: What was Zaman thinking? Sure, it’s not illegal per se, but messing with United and Orbitz’s complex, convoluted, constipated booking policies is practically begging for a lawsuit. Which is exactly what happened. Good thing Zaman’s rolling in dough.

Oh wait, NO HE ISN’T. And getting your friends to shell out $30,000 on to help pay your legal fees is another thing people “just don’t do”.

Except Zaman did…

and he won.

Here’s what happened

Orbitz and United were pissed. When travelers use Skiplagged to book flights, airlines are stuck with a bunch of empty seats on flights that normally cost a pretty penny. Technically, it’s a violation of the airlines’ terms of use, but it’s tough to enforce. Regardless, they sued Zaman on the grounds that Skiplagged encourages travelers to go rogue.

As you can’t actually book travel on Skiplagged, Zaman isn’t breaking any laws. The site exists solely to give you information about cheaper flights. Pulling out your credit card and actually booking the flight? That’s on you.

The good news is Zaman didn’t back down. He convinced the presiding judge in Chicago to throw out the case because Skiplagged isn’t based in Chicago. United can (and probably will) re-file in NYC… right after they fire the poor schmuck who convinced them to file in the wrong city.

In the meantime, check out Skiplagged: a company founded and operated by a bad to the bone 22-year-old.

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