Skiplagged Gets Sued Again
Skiplagged is an airfare search engine for cheap flights, showing hidden-city ticketing trips, which often are cheaper than direct flights. Skiplagged has often been the target of lawsuits from airlines and even brags about it on the site, saying “our flights are so cheap, United sued us… but we won.”
Now the site has another lawsuit on its hands, this time from American Airlines. The lawsuit filed in a Texas federal court alleges that Skiplagged deceives travelers by selling American Airlines flights without a proper agency agreement, putting the tickets at immediate risk of invalidation. It also accused the site of copyright infringement over its use of American’s logos.
“Many of the fares displayed on Skiplagged’s website are higher than what the consumer would pay if they simply booked a ticket on American’s website or through an actual authorized agent,” the suit says. “It is a classic bait and switch: draw consumers in with the promise of secret fares, and instead sell the consumer a ticket at a higher price.”
“Skiplagging” is the term for buying a connecting series of flights and intending to use only one. Airlines don’t like this trick and most of them have banned it in their contract of carriage.
Just last month, a 17-year-old boy was banned from American Airlines for three years for attempting such a thing on a flight from Florida to New York, trying to get on the connecting flight from Charlotte, not Florida. They were able to figure out that he was skiplagging only because a gate agent noticed his North Carolina ID and questions him.
Besides United Airlines, Orbitz also sued the company in 2014 for unfair competition and deceptive behavior. In 2021, Southwest Airlines did the same because the website wasn’t authorized to show the airline’s fares or sell its flights. Orbitz lost its case, while Southwest and Skiplagged settled earlier this year.
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