Airline and travel company suing 22-year-old over cheap ticket websites

January 2, 2015

If you’ve flown anywhere you know prices are not cheap.

A website called found a way around those expensive tickets, but now it’s under fire with an airline and travel company.

The website finds cheap tickets by using “hidden cities.”

For example, if you’re in New York and want to fly to Minneapolis, you can find the flight for nearly half the price by purchasing a ticket to Raleigh, North Carolina with a layover in Minneapolis and get off the plane there, but there are a lot of stipulations — and when it comes to the legal side, things can get really confusing.

“it’s not a real common thing to do because there are so many parameters that you have to fall within in order for it to work, like I said, it has to be a one way, you can’t be checking bags,” said AAA Travel Consultant Kay Parrott.

She explained it’s a legal gray area, “I don’t know that it’s anything that’s is written down that it’s illegal, but the airlines have always maintained with travel agents, which is why travel agents will not do those, that if they find out that a passenger has done that they will come back to us to collect the additional fare 38.

That’s why United Airlines and Orbitz are suing, they’re claiming it’s unfair competition.

“I’m kind of surprised it took this long for somebody to bring that up. I figured the airlines, as soon as somebody found out, they would not be happy with it,” she said.

That’s not stopping customers from using the site though.

More than 2,300 people have donated $51,000 to help the creator with legal fees.

Even people right here in Sioux Falls would still use it.

“If it’s going to save me money, I’ll do it in a second, I’d do it in a heartbeat,” said Jeff Gilbertson.

He doesn’t buy the airline’s unfair competition argument.

“We got $2 gas and I haven’t seen the airlines drop their prices yet, I’m sure they will be so they’re doing alright, I’m sure they’re doing alright,” he said.

Parrott added using the website would make it much easier for the airline to catch people doing this; and if you are caught — they could charge you for the additional fare or add an extra fee. (By Logan Bartness)