American Airlines bans teen who tried to use skip-lagging hack for NYC ticket

A North Carolina teen who tried to use a “skip lagging” hack on a booked flight to New York City on American Airlines was hit by a three-year ban by the carrier.

Logan Parsons, 17, was detained recently at the airport in Gainesville, Florida, before boarding a flight to the Big Apple with a stopover in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he actually planned to disembark.

His dad, Hunter Parsons, told Insider that American Airlines imposed the ban because he was planning to use a $150 skip-lagging ticket — a practice that many airlines prohibit.

“His ticket was canceled and he was banned from AA for three years but never actually did anything wrong. He never even got his boarding pass,” Parsons, who booked the flight, told the outlet on Facebook.

Airline gate agents in Gainesville took Logan to a security room to be questioned after noticing his North Carolina driver’s license and suspecting he wouldn’t continue on to JFK Airport from Charlotte, Hunter has said.

Hunter Parsons
Hunter Parsons booked his son Logan an American Airlines ticket from Gainesville, Florida, to New York City — with a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he actually planned to disembark.
Queens City News

The dad told Insider that he had to buy a new direct ticket, which cost more than $400, so his son could fly to Charlotte.

Logan “didn’t know he was doing anything wrong,” he said. “He was left to fend for himself 500 miles from home. He never violated any policy or broke any contract. He simply went to a counter to get his boarding pass.”

Skip-lagging is a cost-cutting method in which a passenger books a flight’s layover as the true destination rather than continuing to the ticketed destination.

Logan Parsons, 17
Logan Parsons, 17, of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Facebook / Lisa Cain Parsons

“We’ve used Skiplagged almost exclusively for the last five to eight years,” Hunter told WVNS-TV, referring to a search engine that that helps travelers expose inefficiencies in airline pricing.

In January 2021, American Airlines announced that it would crack down on skiplagging. 

“Purchasing a ticket without intending to fly all flights to gain lower fares (hidden city ticketing) is a violation of American Airlines terms and conditions and is outlined in our Conditions of Carriage online,” the company said in a statement.

American Airlines planes
American Airlines has a strict policy that prohibits passengers from using the “skip lagging” flight hack called hidden city ticketing.
Getty Images

Hunter told Insider that his family had never abused the hidden city tickets they bought to save money, added that his son disembarking in Charlotte would have been the first time that someone in his family would have skipped the final leg of a flight.

“With that said, we have always seen every flight through to its final destination. Never once (even now) have we missed a connecting flight nor did we know we were breaking a contract if we ‘were’ to have done it,” he told the outlet.

In 2015, United Airlines filed a lawsuit against Skiplagged’s founder, Aktarer Zaman, alleging the service promoted “strictly prohibited” travel as well as “unfair competition,”  but  an Illinois judge threw it out because he was not living or doing business in the area.

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