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American Takes on Skiplagged Over Hidden City Ticketing

American Airlines wants hidden city ticketing website Skiplagged to forfeit all of their revenue from the airline’s bookings, claiming they are not an American partner and advertises false fares.
Although “hidden-city ticketing” is traditionally looked at as a risky cost cutting opportunity, American Airlines is accusing one popular website tracking such offers of duping customers.


In a 37-page lawsuit filed in federal court, American is suing Skiplagged for alleged false advertising and selling airline tickets as an unauthorized agent.


American Accuses Skiplagged of Selling Overpriced Tickets as Unauthorized Agent

In their complaint sent to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, American makes two claims against Skiplagged. First, the airline says the website sells tickets aboard American flights without being an authorized agent. Second, the carrier says that the website’s pricing is deceptive compared to buying direct with American.


“Skiplagged is not, and never has been, an authorized agent of American. It is a middle-man improperly inserting itself between American and flight consumers,” the lawsuit reads. “It employs unauthorized and deceptive ticketing practices, entices consumers to participate in those deceptive practices by promising savings, and then doesn’t deliver.”


In an example, American compares two flights found on both the airline’s site and Skiplagged. While the flight advertised by American costs $455, Skiplagged shows the same one for $441. American argues that when Skiplagged adds their service fee, the flight costs $459, more than American would charge.


When it comes to purchasing “hidden city tickets” – or purchasing a ticket connecting through their destination city and not flying through to the final destination – American argues that Skiplagged fleeces their customer there as well. The lawsuit provides an example of a flight from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). As a hidden city itinerary, the lawsuit claims Skiplagged advertises the flight for $169.


However, the suit claims after Skiplagged adds their fees, the price jumps to $185. American goes on to argue that if the flyer were to book direct on their website “without having to engage in the prohibited practice of “hidden City” ticketing,” the flight would cost $176.

“Skiplagged.com is intentionally designed to facilitate and enable travelers to engage in expressly prohibited activities that violate American’s (and other airlines’) Conditions of Carriage. By actively promoting prohibited forms of travel, Skiplagged induces passengers to breach American’s Use Agreement and/or Conditions of Carriage.


American is seeking an injunction against Skiplagged to prevent them from selling airline tickets, forfeiture of their proceeds from American flights, and other damages. As of press time, Skiplagged has not responded to the allegations to the court.


A trial date has not been set, and no decision has been made in the case.

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