Well here we are in the age of technology where hackers find new and innovative ways to angry mass corporations. This time, I actually kinda chuckled when I first heard it.
Apparently, this 20 year old computer whiz found a way to hack into the system and sell airline tickets for cheap. He started a website that allowed customers to buy tickets with cheaper fares. It was actually kinda clever how he did it.
Skiplagged.com, the brainchild of Aktarer Zaman, operates by searching flight patterns where the intended destination is a layover city instead of the flight’s final stop. The practice is only possible if passengers don’t check a bag. While it may seem strange that a ticket to a place closer to home may cost more than one an extra 2,000 miles away, Skiplagged reports that consumers have saved as much as 80 percent on airfare compared to other sites.
But even though people saved money and he did a pretty creative thing, this pretty creative hack is very much illegal and now he’s being sued.
A federal lawsuit now alleges Zaman “has used his website to intentionally and maliciously interfere with Orbitz and United’s ‘contracts and business relations’ in the airline industry and has falsely associated Skiplagged with the site… 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,” Christen David, a United spokeswoman, told ABC News.
Opps! I’m sure he knew it was illegal and I think he just wanted to see how long he could get away with it. My question is, does he get to use the money he earned to pay his legal fees or is that a stretch? But what about the customers who bought the tickets? Basically, they wasted their money. If they’re caught with said illegal underground hidden route tickets, the tickets will be voided and will not be given a refund. So not only do they lose their seat, and their ticket, they don’t get a penny back! Really bad for the people who had no idea this whole thing was a set-up.
Well, lesson learned. For more on this story and to read more rules and regulations that will be enacted, check out: United, Orbitz Sue Computer Whiz Who Started Cheap Airfare Site