Scoop, So, imagine chopping off 500 bucks from a flight ticket—sounds unreal, right? Well, some smart flyers do it by playing this sneaky game called skiplagging.
They call it hidden-city ticketing or throwaway ticketing, where travelers outsmart the airlines and shave off some cash from their trips. See, sometimes airlines charge more for a direct flight than one with a layover or two. That’s where skiplaggers strike.
The Skiplagging Game Plan
Scoop. Here’s the deal: instead of splurging on a pricey direct flight, skiplaggers book a cheaper flight with multiple stops. But here’s the catch—the final destination isn’t actually where they want to go. They exit the plane at the layover city and ditch the rest of the trip. Airlines? Not a fan of this move, to say the least.
Meet Amanda, the Skiplagging Pro
Amanda, a Texas-based marketing pro and frequent flyer, spills the beans. She’s been skiplagging for a couple of years and saved a whopping $3,000 to $4,000! Scoop. Her trick? Nabbing cheaper international flights using this sneaky tactic. But is she worried about getting caught? Nah, she’s got more flights lined up and plans to keep doing it.
What’s the Risk?
Skiplagging isn’t illegal, but it sure breaks the airline’s rules. Scott Keyes, a travel site founder, says airlines can’t toss you in jail for it, but they’ll come down hard on skiplaggers. They might snatch away your frequent flyer miles or ban you from flying with them.
The Birth of Skiplagging and How It Works
This sneaky move isn’t new. Travel agents used it to save cash for ages. But websites like Skiplagged.com made it popular. Kathleen Bangs, a former airline pilot, explains how it’s like ghosting a flight—the airline expects you on that second leg, but you never show.
Airlines vs. Skiplagging
Why do airlines hate it? Phil Dengler, an online travel expert, breaks it down. It costs them money. Flights with connections are cheaper, but skipping that last leg leaves an empty seat they could’ve sold for more cash. Plus, it’s a headache for the airline staff.
What Airlines Have to Say
American Airlines had a thing or two to share. They’re not down with hidden city ticketing. They say it messes up flight operations, especially with checked bags and other folks needing seats. Other airlines didn’t chime in much when asked about it.
The Balancing Act
Airlines are walking a tightrope here. If they crack down too hard on skiplagging, they might end up making more folks aware of this money-saving trick.
The Bottom Line
Skiplagging? It’s a clever trick to save bucks, but it’s risky. Airlines don’t dig it, and they’re not afraid to drop the hammer on repeat skiplaggers. So, if you’re up for the game, keep it on the down-low—your flight plans might just stay on track.