While I do think American Airlines has a decent chance of at least partially prevailing in its lawsuit against Skiplagged, its litigation has brought unprecedented news coverage to the concept of hidden city ticketing. I predict a tsunami of hidden city ticketing from a new generation of customers.
Prediction: American Airlines Lawsuit Will Create Tsunami Of Hidden In City Ticketing
As I outlined last week, American Airlines has a chance at prevailing against Skiplagged for both its ticketing practices and use of the AA logo. Skiplagged and Southwest Airlines ultimately reached a settlement after a similar lawsuit, but you’ll notice that Southwest flights no longer show up on Skiplagged.
Skiplagging is a term that has become synonymous for hidden city ticketing or throw-away ticketing, the idea that A-B-C is cheaper than A-B because carriers charge a premium for nonstop pricing, so you book A-B-C, walk away at B, and pocket the savings. Full example with pictorial illusions here.
American Airlines wants to block Skiplagged from making it easy for customers to engage in this practice, but I do wonder if the opposite will occur: even if American Airlines wins this battle will it lose the war? I ask this because the news of the lawsuit is trending and making waves around the world on mainstream media:
It is not far-fetched to wonder how many of the millions of new people who are now aware of hidden city ticketing as a result of media coverage of this lawsuit will use it themselves. I think many will.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
American Airlines’ lawsuit against Skiplagged is bringing unprecedented attention to the huge savings that are possible via hidden city ticketing.
These sorts of lawsuits are tantalizing to the mainstream media and it seems to me that even if American prevails in its lawsuit, it will see a raft of new customers start engaging in hidden city ticketing.
And part of me loves that.