Skiplagging for cheap flights - what it is and what airlines are doing about it

More than ever before, and they’re getting more creative with money-saving airline hacks by exploiting loopholes to get lower-priced flights, such as ‘skiplagging’.

AAA projects that 4.69 million people will travel by plane this Thanksgiving week, a 2.5 percent increase from pre-Covid numbers in 2019.

Skiplagging, also known as hidden-city ticketing or throwaway ticketing, is a booking workaround that saves customers money by issuing tickets with a final destination that they have no intention of visiting – to make the journey cheaper.

For a variety of reasons, some destination cities have higher airfare than others.

To get around this, skiplaggers will take advantage of a , but their intended destination is one of the connecting cities, not the plane’s final destination.

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“For example, say you wanted to fly from Orlando to New York. You know, see the city, but the price tag is a little bit out of budget. Maybe it’s £119 ($150),” Katy Nastro from explained to The National Desk.

“However, you found a flight from Orlando to Richmond via New York and that’s only £70 ($88), which is a pretty nice savings,” she said.

In this scenario, the passenger is supposed to stay on that flight path and continue on to Richmond – but they never complete the trip. “However you got off in New York and you paid a fraction of the price for that direct flight price, but you bought a connecting flight,” Nastro said.

“So, in essence, it’s basically like you bought a direct flight without the direct flight cost.”

More and more people have become aware of the tactic thanks to the website – which has the tagline, “Our flights are so cheap, United sued us … but we won”.

Skiplagging also wouldn’t work for everyone. Nastro said the passenger would have to travel with just a carry-on since checked bags will go to the final destination of the flight.

She also hinted that it would only be effective for one-way flights, as skipping the second flight would label the passenger as a no-show with the airline.

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