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Thread: Skiplagged

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    Skiplagged

    Skiplagged searches out cheap airfares, particularly a type of cheap airfare called "Hidden City" that is frowned up by the airlines.
    "Hidden City" travel is when you book a longer flight that includes a layover to your real destination because it's cheaper than flying direct.
    You travel with carry-on and you get off the plane during the layover.


    **************************************************

    The fight over 'hacked' airfares site Skiplagged
    Last updated 12:08, December 31 2014

    As a side project, 22-year-old US computer whizz Aktarer Zaman built a website called Skiplagged, that searches out cheap airfares, particularly a type of cheap airfare called "Hidden City" that is frowned up by the airlines.


    WUNDERKID: Aktarer Zaman founded Skiplagged.com last year.

    Last month, United and Orbitz filed a lawsuit trying to shut his website down, Bloomberg reported at the time.

    In the lawsuit United and Orbitz call Skiplagged "unfair competition" and says it promotes "strictly prohibited" travel, reports CNN Money's Patrick Gillespie. They're asking for US$75,000 in damages.

    But instead of bowing, he's fighting.

    "Everything Skiplagged has done and continues to do is legal, but the only way to effectively prove this is with lawyers," he said in a blog post on Gofundme, where's he's trying to crowdfund at least $US20,000 to pay his legal bills.

    So far, he's raised over US$16,000, with the total raising every minute, thanks to all the press attention this lawsuit has gotten. In the time it took us to write the post, the total raised grew to US$17,000, up from US$14,000.

    "I really don't know how much this lawsuit is going to ultimately cost, other than probably a lot," he told donors on Gofundme. "However, you have my word that how every cent is spent will be posted here. If there are any remaining funds, those will be completely donated to charity. I haven't decided which yet, but if you have any suggestions, do send me a message."

    "Hidden City" travel is when you book a longer flight that includes a layover to your real destination because it's cheaper than flying direct. You travel with carry-on and you get off the plane during the layover.

    Travellers feel that this is a perfectly fair, legit way to travel: they have paid for the flight, why does the airline care if they sit in the seat the whole time? But airlines frown on it. They want you to pay rates according to their complicated pricing schemes. They argue that booking a flight like this makes it difficult to track passengers and that it unfairly takes advantage of the hub-and-spoke nature of airfares, where airlines fly to hub cities and add connecting flights from there.

    Anyone can search and book their own hidden city flights, but it's a time consuming mess to search through many cities, hoping to find a cheaper flight that has a layover at your true destination. Skiplagged does that searching for you. And finding such a flight isn't a given. Often it tells you that there are no lower-cost Hidden City flight available that fits your travel needs.

    As you might imagine, airlines hate this practice. If the airline discovers that you are getting off the aeroplane at a layover, they might cancel the ticket without refund, reports Bloomberg. They may do other things, too, like void frequent flyer mileage.

    Zaman told CBS News that his site merely shows the airfares it doesn't book the tickets. "I haven't made any money from this," Zaman said. He's been paying for the costs of the website out of his own pocket.

    But now, the internet has taken an interest and people are opening up their wallets to help his legal fight.

    United sent us this statement, "This practice violates our fare rules, and we are taking action to stop it to help protect the vast majority of customers who buy legitimate tickets."

    An Orbitz spokesperson told us that Zaman had found a way to help its visitors book the flight directly on Orbitz.

    "Skiplagged had developed technology that provided a direct link to our booking engine. So when it had identified a hidden city itinerary there was a 'book now' button that the customer clicked, directed them to Orbitz and then we processed the transaction not knowing the intent of the customer," a spokesperson told us. "We asked Skiplagged to disengage that link but they originally declined. We have since blocked the link and I believe the link to Orbitz is no longer displayed."

    The Orbitz spokesperson also told us if some airlines catch a passenger on "a hidden-city routing, that ticket will be voided consistent with published fare rules and a refund will not be authorised," adding, "While some independent operators might encourage consumers to try to break ticketing rules, we have an obligation to uphold airline fare rules and also protect consumers from making purchases that could be invalidated."

    United told CBS This Morning it filed this lawsuit to "protect the vast majority of customers who buy legitimate tickets."
    Last edited by Hatari; 31st December 2014 at 11:07.

  2. #2
    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    ^Might make return flights tricky? Though I can see it working well one way...
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน justcruzing1's Avatar
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    I could see this causing a lot of drama with all the terrorist worry. You booked thru but don't get head counted on the exit of the layover.
    I could see it causing the airline to have delays trying to find you or any baggage you might have had and mass fear you have left a bomb and got off.
    "Of course you love me darling, I handsome man 55555"

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    ^ that would, i think, be the perfect argument against it

    On Thursday/Xmas Day I had a 2hr stopover in the transit area at Sydney, while there had so many calls for a 'missing' passenger, they were announcing her name, 'a passenger who arrived on flight xxx from xxx . . . you are to board your flight to xxx at gate xxx immediately'

    On and on it went; didn't think about it at the time, but she may well have already exited customs/immigration and been away from the airport. Then there's the worry re any checked-thru baggage she may have had that was on the plane, and possible delays as they check then if necessary have to locate/remove that baggage. And the inconvenience to the other few hundred passengers.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน
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    An off load is a pain in the butt, but they are saying they do it with carry on only.

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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    It does say no checked in luggage in the op though?
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    ^ Yes, was referring to comments in post #3.

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    ^Might make return flights tricky? Though I can see it working well one way...
    ^^Why shouldn't it work?

    Many people book their flights to and from a destination on a one way basis, sometimes with different airlines due to cost differences.
    If I saw a flight to (Say) Shanghai to BKK cheaper than the same (Shorter) flight to Bangkok, I daresay I'd book it.
    I certainly wouldn't do the trip then book another flight back to where I really wanted to go.

    Security considerations should be properly handled by existing airline systems who book passengers with no checked bags. Trying to force them to re-board planes is absurd.
    Cancelling their flights on the basis of suspecting something like this might occur is the act of a petulant child.

    With all the cheap airline tricks and traps like "One way fares" "No refunds" "Charging for carry on baggage on both legs of the trip" "Checking and charging your carry on bags more than once" and everything else down to the peanuts we've had foisted on us, its nice to see their own system biting back.

    So what if you book a flight and only use part of it? Would they refund your money if you booked a cheap flight then didn't use it? That'd be a no then....

    Bacon likes this.
    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

  9. #9
    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bawdy View Post
    ^ Yes, was referring to comments in post #3.
    Yeah sorry, it was a general comment with regards the posts preceding yours.. as you mentioned the carry on bit... 55
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


  10. #10
    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changone View Post
    ^^Why shouldn't it work?

    Many people book their flights to and from a destination on a one way basis, sometimes with different airlines due to cost differences.
    If I saw a flight to (Say) Shanghai to BKK cheaper than the same (Shorter) flight to Bangkok, I daresay I'd book it.
    I certainly wouldn't do the trip then book another flight back to where I really wanted to go.

    Security considerations should be properly handled by existing airline systems who book passengers with no checked bags. Trying to force them to re-board planes is absurd.
    Cancelling their flights on the basis of suspecting something like this might occur is the act of a petulant child.

    With all the cheap airline tricks and traps like "One way fares" "No refunds" "Charging for carry on baggage on both legs of the trip" "Checking and charging your carry on bags more than once" and everything else down to the peanuts we've had foisted on us, its nice to see their own system biting back.

    So what if you book a flight and only use part of it? Would they refund your money if you booked a cheap flight then didn't use it? That'd be a no then....

    Just thinking it may be hard to get back on the return flight from the layover stop?
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Quarky likes this.
    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    Just thinking it may be hard to get back on the return flight from the layover stop?
    Simples. Should be one way anyway. Just book a flight back from your layover. Maybe with another "Hidden City"...555
    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

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    Lamai Beach Bum Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน bacwaan's Avatar
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    perhaps if the airlines offered fair prices across sectors rather than heavily discounting less popular ones and heavily loading more popular ones there would be no need for this practice

    as usual they want to continue with their own dubious practices and have it all their own way
    Changone and Bacon like this.

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    ^Fair pricing is the key. I was just thinking that this is no different to movie producers whining about pirate downloads when Wabbits said (In another thread) like many others he doesn't mind paying $5 a legit download for the convenience of watching the occasional movie as opposed to spending a great deal of time and effort to go around the system get it for free.
    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน justcruzing1's Avatar
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    I had it happen in 2011 on my return from BKK. The flight had been delayed over 2 hrs because in Dubai, where the flight had layed over from originating in London, some passenger had not returned and they called and called, he had no record of booked on baggage but they had to empty the plane, passengers and all luggage, have special dog's go over everything.

    Then again when they landed in BKK everyone was put off the plane and it was all done again, we were lined up at the entry ramp for miles and everyone's hand luggage was emptied and checked, everyone was checked with the electronic paddles and it took another hour longer to get boarded subsequently i missed my connecting flight in Sydney.
    "Of course you love me darling, I handsome man 55555"

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    Just thinking it may be hard to get back on the return flight from the layover stop?
    you can't
    once you miss any leg of the trip, all the ongoing legs are cancelled

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacwaan View Post
    perhaps if the airlines offered fair prices across sectors rather than heavily discounting less popular ones and heavily loading more popular ones there would be no need for this practice

    as usual they want to continue with their own dubious practices and have it all their own way
    I don't agree with that
    We are at a point where you can fly cross country in US for 400usd
    Fly from N/A to Asia for 1000-1200usd

    I just don't see how there can be any complaints about price of flights these days

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changone View Post
    ^Fair pricing is the key. I was just thinking that this is no different to movie producers whining about pirate downloads when Wabbits said (In another thread) like many others he doesn't mind paying $5 a legit download for the convenience of watching the occasional movie as opposed to spending a great deal of time and effort to go around the system get it for free.
    Why shouldn't they whine?
    If you had created something, I am pretty sure you wouldn't want people stealing it
    And why should they offer it for a lower price to download it when they can make more money screening it
    You do understand people are in business to make money right?
    Or I suppose you want to work for free then?

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน justcruzing1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post
    I don't agree with that
    We are at a point where you can fly cross country in US for 400usd
    Fly from N/A to Asia for 1000-1200usd

    I just don't see how there can be any complaints about price of flights these days
    I agree
    I used to pay $400 for a return trip T'ville to Syd. over 20yrs ago... now $105 each way so 1/2 but a lot less if you look at inflation.
    Perth to Syd return was $ 2,100 before that, now, $5-600 or less.
    The most I have paid Syd to BKK direct, full service is $860 return. Thats less than $50 ph including drinks and food.
    "Of course you love me darling, I handsome man 55555"

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Nomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post
    you can't

    once you miss any leg of the trip, all the ongoing legs are cancelled

    I have caught the AirAsia flight out of KL before, even though it was a BKK flight to MEL through KL. Possibly an exception. I checked prior to make sure.
    "Don't wait around for your life to happen to you. Find something that makes you happy and do it. Everything else is just background noise." George Mason

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