American Airlines canceled a teenager's 'skiplagging' ticket after realizing he wasn't planning to board the connecting flight to New York: report
  • American Airlines canceled a teenager’s ticket after realizing he wasn’t planning to fly to his final destination.
  • The teenager planned to disembark at his layover in Charlotte instead of flying to New York City.

American Airlines canceled a teenager’s ticket after realizing he wasn’t planning to board his connecting flight to New York City, forcing his family to purchase a direct ticket to Charlotte instead.

The teenager was scheduled to fly from Gainesville, Florida to New York City, but he planned to disembark during the layover in Charlotte, according to the local television station Queen City News.

His father, Hunter Parsons, said he booked the ticket using Skip Lagged, a website that shows flights with layovers that are less expensive than direct routes.

“We’ve used Skip Lagged almost exclusively for the last five to eight years,” Parsons told Queen City News, adding that it was the first time his son traveled alone on a plane.

But Parsons said the gate agent in Florida was doubtful of his son’s final destination after seeing his North Carolina driver’s license. The agent suspected the teenager wasn’t going to continue flying to New York City, per the report.


“They kind of got out of him that he was planning to disboard in Charlotte and not going to make the connecting flight,” Parsons said in the report, adding that his son was taken to a security room to be questioned.

A representative with American then canceled the teenager’s ticket, per Queen City News. His family then bought him a new direct ticket to Charlotte.

According to the report, the family said they didn’t know that skiplagging — the controversial practice of booking a flight with a layover and skipping the second leg — is prohibited by many airlines, including American. Skiplagging is a cost-saving strategy that helps passengers save money on tickets, but this often results in lost revenue for airlines.

“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,” American told Queen City News in a statement, adding that the airline is in contact with Parsons.

Parsons said in the report that he was concerned about his son being detained and questioned by the gate agents in Florida.


“I think a stern warning, hey this is frowned upon, if you do it again there would be consequences, financial penalties,” Parsons told Queen City News, adding that his son shouldn’t have been detained as he was a minor.

In January 2021, American announced in a memo that the airline would be cracking down on skiplagging — and in recent years, it hasn’t hesitated to punish passengers caught skipping their final destinations.

In August 2020, a passenger claimed to have been charged $2,500 for skiplagging 52 times on American flights. Just four months prior, another passenger said he was kicked out of American’s frequent flyer program for skiplagging on 95 flights.

Parsons and American did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

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