- Cassie Aran bought a hidden-city flight from Skiplagged.
- An American Airlines agent told Aran she would be banned if she missed the last leg of her flight.
- Right before entering security, Aran decided to cancel her ticket and rebook a proper one.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Cassie Aran, a TikTok creator known for her traveling videos. It has been edited for length and clarity.
Skiplagging or “hidden city,” ticketing is when you book a flight with a layover. Then once you make it to your layover — the place you actually want to go — you don’t head to your final destination.
For example, I wanted to fly to Washington D.C., so I bought a plane ticket to Boston with a Washington D.C. layover. It was never my plan to head to Boston. Skiplagging is done as a way to save money, which is why I personally was doing it.
The first time I tried skiplagging, everything went great. It was a success, but during my Washington D.C. trip, it all went terribly wrong.
After arriving at the airport, I received my boarding pass on my phone. When I opened it, there was a note on my pass asking me to head to the ticket counter.
I had never experienced that before, and I quickly became concerned. When booking my tickets on Skiplagged, I remember the website telling users that they shouldn’t tell the airline that they booked through Skiplagged.com.
I was worried that I had been caught.
When I got to the counter, the woman looked at my pass and called over her supervisor. After a minute, she approached me again. She asked if I had bought my ticket through Skiplagged.
Quickly, I lied. I didn’t want to get in trouble. Still, she warned me, saying that their system had flagged it.
She also said that if I didn’t get on my flight to my final destination, I would be banned from American Airlines altogether.
I didn’t know the consequences would be that serious.
What made it worse was when she asked me where my final destination was, I couldn’t answer her. I didn’t remember, and that made me look suspicious.
The whole situation really scared me. Since I didn’t want to get banned from the airline, I had two options: I could either fly to my final destination, or I could cancel my flight.
After walking away and right before I entered security, I decided to cancel my Skiplagged ticket. Then I bought my ticket the right way on my phone. By doing so, it prevented me from getting banned.
I was so terrified when this happened, I decided not to do it again. Instead, I now just buy my tickets the right way.
If this is something you’re considering, I would suggest that you don’t do it. Or, you might run into the same issues that I did.
For me, skiplagging wasn’t worth the risk.
American Airlines did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
If you have a travel hack or regret and would like to share your story, email Alyshia Hull at email@example.com.