Photo Credit: Photo credit: Tim Gouw
Here's How Skiplagging Could Make Your Plane Ticket Null And Void
A teenage boy from Charlotte was recently detained and questioned in Gainesville, FL after admitting to skiplagging on an American Airlines flight. The teen was traveling to JFK in New York City but never planned on reboarding the plane after the layover in Charlotte. After an interrogation, the boy’s ticket was canceled and he was not permitted to board the flight, according to Queen City News.
Although the teenager’s flight was booked through a popular skiplagging website by his father, his detainment has travelers questioning what skiplagging is and how to travel on a budget without breaking the rules.
What Is Skiplagging?
Skiplagging or hidden city ticketing is a frugal flight-booking strategy that emerged in the 2000s. Travelers can view flight layovers and book them with no intention of completing the second leg of the trip. Although this can be costly for airlines, travelers can save up to 25 percent on flight prices, according to Simply Flying.
Hunter Parsons, the father of the boy detained at the Florida airport, told Queen City News that he intentionally purchased his son’s ticket through the site Skiplagged. The popular site displays layovers for travelers to book flights and skiplag before reaching their destination. The flight to New York City was Parsons’ son’s first time flying alone.
“We’ve used Skiplagged almost exclusively for the last five to eight years,” Parsons said.
In 2019, the travel blog God Save The Points described Skiplagged as “a secret club for people who love to travel and love to save money.” The site has a list of rules to ensure travelers don’t get caught while skiplagging to their destination.
While Parsons felt the airline overreacted by detaining his son simply for traveling on a budget, the cheap trick of skiplagging could’ve come with a heftier penalty.
First-World Travel Problems
Scheming and scamming airlines to save money on plane tickets is truly a first-world travel dilemma. With the price of goods 13 percent higher than they were two years ago, according to CNBC, Americans are struggling to make ends meet. That includes bending the rules a little on their travel budget. However, airlines aren’t happy with the skiplagging trend.
“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 airline told Queen City News in a statement following the incident with the teen boy.
Despite Parsons believing his son should’ve been able to board the plane with a warning, other travelers have faced greater consequences for skiplagging. According to Insider, a passenger was fined $2,500 for skiplagging 52 American Airlines flights in 2020. Another traveler was kicked off a flight that same year for skiplagging 92 flights.