American Airlines sued Skiplagged Inc. , an online travel agency, over allegations that the agency deceives customers, even though the airline has the right and power to cancel tickets.
in lawsuit American Airlines filed Thursday in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, claiming that Skiplagged “deceives the public” by claiming to issue valid tickets despite having no authority to “form and issue a contract” on behalf of American Airlines.
The suit alleges that Skiplagged is not an agent for American Airlines and, therefore, the airline can cancel any ticket issued by the travel agency.
“He. She [Skiplagged] employs unauthorized and deceptive ticketing practices, and solicits customers to participate in these deceptive ticketing practices by promising savings, then not delivering,” the suit states.
American Airlines has claimed that Skiplagged also tricks customers into thinking they are entering a “loophole” but many of the prices listed on Skiplagged’s website are higher than if they booked a ticket on American’s website or through an authorized agent.
“This is the classic bait: lure customers in by promising secret prices, and instead sell the consumer a ticket at a higher price,” the suit said.
Skiplagging is a practice in which travelers book a flight that includes at least one stopover, but leave the plane during the layover. Although airlines are generally illegal, they claim that this practice violates their policies.
The lawsuit alleged Skiplagged is “misusing” US trademarks to imply that it is an authorized agent of America and is committing copyright and trademark violations.
The suit said American Airlines “will continue to lose control of its reputation and goodwill” because of Skiplagged’s practices.
American Airlines has requested that Skiplagged be prohibited from posting American Airlines flight content, selling or reselling American Airlines tickets, accessing the American Airlines site for commercial use, acting as an agent for American, or displaying US trademarks and copyrights.
Skiplagged, based in New York, has faced allowances before, from airlines including United and Southwest.
The Hill has reached out to American Airlines for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to the report.
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