United and Orbitz sue a 22 year old over a unique cheap fare web site

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by dawg, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    Aktarer Zaman, a 22 year old computer scientist has been sued by United Airlines and Orbitz over his web site skiplagged.com. The site searches flights for hidden cities. These are layovers in popular destinations. The gist is that you book a flight for Dallas that has a layover in Atlanta. Atlanta being the place you want to go to. The fare to Dallas is cheaper than the fare to Atlanta so you take a carry on & disembark in Atlanta rather than take the last leg on to Dallas. These can only be done as a 1 way ticket so the return flight has to be booked seperately. The site claims to be able to save consumers hundreds in flight fares.

    The airlines claim it is a TOS violation. Zaman has not made any money off of the site and runs it from his own funds. The site also doesn't book tickets, it only makes the consumer aware that there is a cheaper alternative. He is currently trying to raise legal fees of $15k of which he has $13k in order to fight this.

    Airlines use tax loop holes all of the time. Now when a consumer finds a loop hole the airlines balk.

    Source: http://www.newsweek.com/united-airlines-and-orbitz-team-shut-down-22-year-olds-travel-website-295691
     
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  2. BrulesRules

    BrulesRules Just grab 'em in the biscuits VIP

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    haha that's pretty cool..I hate these damn layovers. I'm flying to Minneapolis but have to fly to Atlanta first?? :scratch:
     
  3. Mark Mayonnaise

    Mark Mayonnaise You look like a tree! VIP

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  4. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    The airlines can fuck you raw but god forbid you find a way to save a few bucks.
     
  5. larryluncg

    larryluncg Empty VIP Gold

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    Fuck united and orbitz. They don't have a very strong case against that site.
     
  6. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    I will never use orbitz again. If they are against me saving a few dollars i will use another website.
     
  7. crazypreacher

    crazypreacher Hey yo

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    Luckily I don't foresee a circumstance where I'll ever have to fly again. Airlines and TSA really treat people like shit.
     
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  8. Mr. Potato Head

    Mr. Potato Head ~Would Like to Play~ Gold

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    Stay in Atlanta. :leavecunt:
     
  9. DarkFriday

    DarkFriday Fired as a MOD...Twice. Gold

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    Welcome to the no fly list Mr. Zaman :fil:
     
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  10. hidden dragon

    hidden dragon the princess of darkness Staff Member

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    When it got to the point that the news is pointing out the TSA's stupidity (like wanting to do a good check in a baby's diaper, since they're convinced parents are going to hide weapons and bombs in there) it made be cold on flying.
     
  11. Gogol Boobdello

    Gogol Boobdello Well-Known Member

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    i'm sure the airlines will fix this flaw too.:nocheer:

    I can't explain airline pricing but I do know some plane tickets can be cheaper depending on where you buy them or, even better, where you appear to buy them from. This is all about leveraging foreign currencies and points-of-sale to your advantage.

    For reasons I never quite understood, every time I tried to book a domestic flight in another country, the prices were always exorbitant. But, say, once I was in Bangkok, that same flight that was once $300 would fall to $30 almost inexplicably. This phenomenon is because a ticket's point-of-sale -- the place where a retail transaction is completed -- can affect the price of any flight with an international component.

    This post originally appeared on Map Happy.

    Most people don't know there is a simple trick for "changing" this to get a cheaper flight on an airline's website; it's how I managed to pay $371 for a flight from New York to Colombia instead of $500+. Though it can be used for normal international flights, it often works best when you're buying domestic flights in another country. (Point in case: A Chilean friend once told me Easter Island flights were much cheaper to buy in Santiago instead of abroad.)

    To demonstrate how this scheme works, we ran a one-way search from Cartagena to Bogotá -- two cities in Colombia -- for June 17 on Google ITA, Kayak and Skyscanner. To keep things simple, I'll ignore a VivaColombia flight that Skyscanner found because Google ITA and Kayak do not include smaller airlines in their searches. Instead, we'll be comparing two large airlines that fly this route, LAN Airlines and Avianca.

    Unsurprisingly, Kayak takes a U.S.-centric approach. Going the path of least resistance, a Kayak search shows that the cheapest flight on LAN is $116 and the cheapest flight on Avianca is $137. If we run this exact search in Google ITA with New York City as the point-of-sale, we see those exact numbers. Skyscanner returns similar results: the cheapest flight on LAN is $114 and on Avianca it is $136.

    Where to change point-of-sale in Google ITA.

    Though Skyscanner actually has the best prices, let's not stop there. Instead of using an American city as the point-of-sale, let's use Colombia as the point-of-sale, something that can only be searched for in Google ITA. You actually don't have to tweak a thing because the departure city is usually set as the default for this option -- that said, it's possible to change this to any place in the world you want. The main difference is we'll get the price in Colombian pesos and that's *exactly* what we want.

    [​IMG]
    Prices shown in Colombian pesos.

    In this new search, the cheapest flight on Avianca is 116,280 COP and the cheapest flight on LAN is 173,820 COP. That of course means a lot of mumbo jumbo to most people, so let's convert that over to U.S. dollars. The same Avianca flight now approximates to $61.59 while the LAN flight is $91.96. In short, you'd be saving $22.04 on the LAN flight and $74.41 on the Avianca flight by simply paying in a different currency. The price difference between the cheapest flight in both the U.S. and Colombia search is $54.41. That's how much you'll end up saving just by comparing the flights in different currencies.
     
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  12. Mlaw

    Mlaw Quite Contrarian Gold

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    remember when the airlines used high gas prices as the excuse for charging you for your bags? Yeah, gas prices are plummeting
     
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  13. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    But God forbid you find a way to save a few dollars in this economy.
     
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  14. mattyfishrip197

    mattyfishrip197 Well-Known Member

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    damn