What is Skiplagging? The low-priced flight hack that airlines are cracking down on

Skiplagging could preserve you dollars but there are some major threats and downsides to this cheap vacation trick.

The value of airline tickets has arrived at an all-time superior this year. With costs soaring, passengers are desperately browsing for cheap flights.


Some methods, having said that, are riskier than many others – like skiplagging. Also known as ‘hidden city’ or ‘throwaway’ ticketing, this exercise has develop into increasingly well known above the last number of yrs.

The affordable ticket hack consists of shopping for a significantly less high-priced ticket with a layover in the city you want to vacation to and then not catching the 2nd flight.

There are a quantity of downsides and you are not likely to be common with the airline you fly with if you are caught skiplagging.

So how exactly does it function and what are the downsides?

How does skiplagging do the job?

Skiplagging is when you ebook an oblique flight that charges significantly less than a direct flight and then you do not take the relationship. It is a way of discovering a nonstop flight without the price tag tag that normally will come with these tickets.

Say, for illustration, you required to fly from Geneva to Madrid. A ticket to somewhere else in Spain like Culleredo with a layover in the Spanish cash could save you all over 20 for each cent. You would not journey on to Culleredo and would as an alternative depart the airport in Madrid without applying the 2nd fifty percent of your ticket.

You could conserve income on longer distance journeys much too. A very last-moment skiplagged ticket from Birmingham, United kingdom to New York, US could preserve you all around €100.

Acquiring fares like this on your personal is not effortless while it can be finished with cost comparison websites like Kayak or even Google Flights. But a focused site – Skiplagged – was established in 2013 for persons to search for these hidden city fares.

Its homepage states “Our flights are so affordable, United (Airways) sued us…but we won” offering you a little bit of a clue on how airlines come to feel about this exercise.

What are the downsides of concealed city ticketing?

In spite of the low-priced fares, there are some drawbacks to skiplagging – like not being able to test in your luggage.

Your ticket is for the closing vacation spot of the journey indicating if you check in your luggage, that’s wherever they will close up. Some seasoned flight hackers even advocate travelling with almost nothing larger than a rucksack due to the opportunity that you could be questioned to check out your luggage on a busy flight. Study these expert guidelines on how to travel with only hand luggage.


Utilizing a spherical-vacation ticket is also not likely to get the job done. Airlines are very likely to cancel the return portion if they discover what you’ve accomplished.

“Travellers who do make a decision to skiplag really should normally ebook one-way tickets, that way their return excursion will never be cancelled if the airline does terminate their ticket,” warns Edward Russell, airlines reporter for market publications Skift and Airlines Weekly.

There is also a chance that the hidden metropolis you are aiming for may possibly not truly be wherever you conclude up. Scheduling, rerouting and complicated logistics are an integral section of planning flights.

This means that your connecting metropolis could improve leaving you with a ticket to nowhere near the place you want to go.

Why really don’t airways like skiplagging?

“Airlines selling price tickets primarily based on the market and opposition, not necessarily the length of the flight. That’s why a short excursion is generally additional highly-priced than a lengthy just one,” Russell points out.


He utilizes the illustration of the Tampa, Florida to Charlotte, North Carolina route in the US. Even though Tampa is generally a cheap location to fly to because of the prevalence of spending budget carriers, this unique route is dominated by American Airways.

“So American [Airlines] can charge as a lot as they want for outings just involving Tampa and Charlotte. But if a traveller is flying between, say, Tampa and New York they have tons of options, so American [Airlines] is probable to match individuals fares Tampa-New York fares even if the itinerary involves a quit in Charlotte.”

“In brief, sector opposition dictates airfares a lot more than length or any other issue,” Russell concludes.

An empty seat is also 1 that could have been offered to a different paying passenger. Airlines declare that this signifies they shed money when passengers really don’t go on to their ultimate spot.

Practically all airlines explicitly prohibit skiplagging in their terms of provider with varying degrees of outcomes if you are caught.


That could mean something from cancelling loyalty added benefits like points that you have accrued by means of flights all the way via to currently being banned from travelling with a specific carrier ever once again or even lawsuits.

In July this year, a teenager in the US tried to use this hack to travel from Gainesville in Florida to New York with a halt in Charlotte, North Carolina – his precise intended spot. But American Airways found what he was up to and he was pulled apart by a gate agent.

Inevitably, soon after the teenager admitted he experienced no intention of travelling on to New York, a representative from the airline cancelled his ticket.

Reports from community media claim that the flight was ordered using the Skiplagged web page. The teenager’s father has mentioned that they have used the website to book travel “almost exclusively for the very last 5 to 8 years”.

Is skiplagging lawful?

With airlines so versus the exercise, you may be wondering no matter whether picking to depart the airport at your layover desired destination is authorized. The solution is broadly yes but that doesn’t necessarily mean it comes without having effects.

“The exercise, although discouraged by airways and barred in their agreement of carriage, is seldom versus the law,” Russell points out.

You do need to have to make sure that you have the suitable visas and entry requirements for the region you intend to check out, even so, just like you would with a immediate flight.

There have been instances where airways have sued travellers but Russell suggests they are rare.

In 2019, Lufthansa tried to just take a passenger to court for booking a concealed metropolis fare. They were being requesting extra than €2,000 for the price tag of what was a multi-town flight as a substitute of the spherical excursion ticket. It was thrown out of a lower-degree courtroom at very first then Lufthansa appealed the decision and then inevitably withdrew from the situation unexpectedly.

“Travellers ought to fret additional about probably being banned from an airline – some thing airlines can do – than facing legal costs,” Russell provides.