Back in May, the United Airlines / Orbitz suit against hidden city airfare site Skiplagged.com was tossed out of court. The site’s founder, Aktarer Zaman, crowdfunded his lawsuit ($80,000 was donated) and actually collected more than his legal fees, by the tune of $23,000. He’s now using Reddit to solicit feedback for which charity to donate the excess collections to.
Skiplagged has already received the Reddit “hug of death”, with the site temporarily shutting down on iOS and Android. Check out the interesting AMA here for a lot of bragging from the CEO as well as reader’s cautions on using the site.
Hey guys, I founded Skiplagged. Skiplagged is like a regular airfare search engine except it also shows you fares other websites don’t. Among those is something very controversial known as hidden-city. While Skiplagged is aimed at being a traveller’s best friend and does more than inform about hidden-city opportunities, hidden-city is what it became known for. In fact, many people even refer to missing flights on purpose as “skiplagging”. United Airlines didn’t like any of this. Around September of last year, United reached out trying to get me to stop. I refused to comply because of their sheer arrogance and deceitfulness. Fast-forward two months to Nov 2014, United teamed up with another big corporation and filed a federal lawsuit. I actually found out I was being sued from a Bloomberg reporter, who reached out asking for my thoughts. As a 22 year old being told there’s a federal lawsuit against me by multi-billion dollar corporations, my heart immediately sank. But then I remembered, I’m 22. At worst, I’ll be bankrupt. In my gut, I believed educating consumers is good for society so I decided this was a fight worth having. They sent over a letter shortly asking me to capitulate. I refused. Skiplagged was a self-funded side project so I had no idea how I was going to fund a litigation. To start somewhere, I created a GoFundMe page for people to join me in the fight. What was happening in the following weeks was amazing.
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