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American Airlines Drops Lawsuit Against Online Travel Agent Accused of Using ‘Secretive and Hidden’ Hacks to Find Cheap Flights

American Airlines Drops Lawsuit Against Online Travel Agent Accused of Using ‘Secretive and Hidden’ Hacks to Find Cheap Flights

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American Airlines has reached a secret settlement with an online travel agent it had accused of using ‘notorious and brazen’ methods to sell its tickets using unauthorized hacks like hidden city ticketing.

The Dallas Fort Worth-based airline filed the lawsuit against the popular flight search website last August in an attempt to ban the travel agency from selling its flights.

American Airlines previously had a working relationship with but tried to stop the Czech-based website from selling its tickets after accusing it of using  ‘explicitly forbidden’ methods to find cheaper flight deals than its rivals. had boasted about its various ‘travel hacks’, and although the website never explicitly mentioned it, American Airlines claimed one of these hacks is the controversial method of booking hidden city ticketing.

Hidden city ticketing is the practice of buying a ticket to a destination which involves a stopover with the intention of ending your journey at the stopover destination.

Because of how airline inventory is sold, buying a direct flight to your destination is often more expensive than buying a connecting flight and simply discarding the final segment, but it’s a travel hack that airlines hate.

In its 2023 lawsuit, American Airlines said that it had ordered to stop breaking its rules, but the travel agency allegedly continued to sell tickets that it isn’t authorized to sell, using dubious methods to get hold of the tickets without AA’s permission.

One method that uses is a technique called ‘screen scraping’ in which Kiwi simply searches for flights via the website and then uses fictitious email addresses to book tickets on behalf of their customer. became an authorized seller of AA’s tickets in 2016, but the airline ended up having to warn the website about its ‘abusive’ sales activities. American Airlines ended its contract with in 2020.

In a filing in a Texas court, American Airlines said it had now reached a “confidential settlement agreement resolving the underlying issues”. The airline said it had agreed that all the claims against would be dismissed with prejudice, which means AA can’t file a similar case against the website in the future.

Last month, European low-cost carrier Ryanair struck a deal with to allow the website to officially sell its tickets after only recently accusing of being the  “no.1 pirate” for “scams and overcharges”.

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