Cheap airline tickets: United, Orbitz suing creator of SkipLagged.com

It's a way to save money -- sometimes hundreds of dollars -- on cheap airline tickets, but the idea from a young computer whiz in New York City has made him the target of a lawsuit.

22-year-old Aktarer Zaman started SkipLagged.com, which essentially helps travelers find the lowest fares using a well known strategy among frequent flyers called "Hidden City" ticketing.

Here's how it works: Say you want to travel from Phoenix to Salt Lake City.  A direct flight -- one way -- on most airlines would cost you over $300, but using his technique, you buy a one-way ticket to San Francisco on a flight that stops over in Salt Lake City and get off there.  Those tickets run about half of what you would have paid for a direct flight.

None of this is illegal and it's long been a trick that some frequent flyers have used.  But this won't work for every destination or for every airline and obviously, you have to carry-on any luggage.  You can't check a bag or it will end up in the final destination without you.

But this is seen as enough of a threat to the status quo that United Airlines and Orbitz have filed suit against Zaman, claiming competition.  They're trying to recoup more than $75,000 in what they claim is "lost revenue."

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