Flight Discounter Skiplagged asks Federal Court to tell Southwest Airlines to back off – Skift


Ignored, which helps travelers find ‘hidden cities’ flight routes and has aroused the wrath of airlines over the years, has filed a lawsuit seeking a court to declare it not subject to the terms and Southwest Airlines Terms.

By using hidden city tickets, travelers can book a flight from New York to Los Angeles via Chicago, disembark in Chicago, and save money, as stop-over flights can often be cheaper than direct flights. Although it is legal, airlines hate these programs because they lose revenue and fly with empty seats.

In the claim for declaratory judgment [embedded below], filed Friday in the Southern District of New York, Skiplagged said Southwest sent it “threatening communications” in June claiming that “Skiplagged violated federal law.”

Specifically, according to Skiplagged, the eight-year-old New York-based company, Southwest has argued that Skiplagged must abide by Southwest.com’s terms and conditions and violate them by scratching the Southwest.com website and posting flight schedules. airline, and fare information, and using the Southwest Heart logo.

In the court file, Skiplagged said it does not get flight information from Southwest on Southwest.com and therefore is not subject to the airline’s terms and conditions. Skiplagged did not specify its source for the southwest fare information.

“On June 21, 2021, Skiplagged informed Southwest in writing that Skiplagged had not ‘scraped’ any data from Southwest.com or obtained data from Southwest’s application programming interface, had stopped displaying a ‘logo of heart “for Southwest flights and had not sold” Hidden Cities “flights on Southwest Airlines,” the court record said.

In fact, Skiplagged shows hidden city routes that include flights to the southwest and directs users to Kiwi.com to reserve them.

Skiplagged’s complaint asks court to declare that “Skiplagged is not bound by Southwest’s terms and conditions,” has not interfered with the airline’s contractual relationship, or encouraged others to do so .

Founded by Aktarer Zaman in 2013 as a side concert, Skiplagged cautions travelers to avoid checking their baggage as they will likely get off the plane during the layover, and not to use their frequent flyer numbers or using hidden city tickets too often as airlines could cancel their tickets or start them from loyalty programs.

Several years ago, United Airlines and Orbitz sued Skiplagged, which installed with Orbitz and came out unscathed.

Representatives for Skiplagged, Southwest and Kiwi.com did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Southwest Airlines has at least two decades of experience successfully pursuing online travel websites and forcing them to stop displaying Southwest fare information or using its intellectual property.

The airline offers its fare information to global distribution systems for use by travel agencies, and has agreements with corporate booking tools and travel management companies, but avoids displaying its flight information vacationers everywhere except Southwest.com.

Here is the Skiplagged claim:

Download (PDF, 195 KB)

Photo credit: Skiplagged has drawn anger from Southwest Airlines for displaying the airline’s flight information. Pictured is the activation of the 50th Anniversary Southwest Baggage Claim in Dallas, Texas on June 18, 2021. Brianna Juda / Southwest Airlines


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