Flyers are ‘skiplagging’ to try and save money on flight tickets

 Saturday, May 27, 2023 


The post-pandemic travel bug has people flocking to destinations far and wide — but getting where you want to go isn’t cheap, and some flyers are considering a cost-saving strategy known as “skiplagging.”

Skiplagging — also referred to as “hidden city” or “throwaway” ticketing — involves booking a flight with a layover in the intended destination city and then bailing on the second leg of the journey.

Travelers can save hundreds on tickets, which is particularly enticing as expensive fares fuelled by inflation, rising fuel costs, and strong post-pandemic demand continue to plague the industry.

However, readjusting the booking by setting the outbound destination as London, instead of Amsterdam, brought Google Flight’s roundtrip price down to about $2,150.

The return flight is still nonstop out of Amsterdam, so hypothetically, one could skip the second leg of the journey to London and stay in the Netherlands instead.

Some people may want to book the return leg separately if it’s cheaper — or travelers can eventually make their way to the original itinerary’s destination and try to catch the scheduled return from there.

A flight-booking website has built a business around the concept by providing a platform that alerts travelers to these deals based on their preferred airport and destination.

The company only allows one-way tickets — which can be many times more expensive than booking a roundtrip skiplagged itinerary directly through the airlines.

While this strategy may seem like a saving grace post-pandemic, it is not as innocent as it may seem, and Airlines hate it.

American Airlines announced in a January 2021 memo to employees that it was cracking down on the practice and introducing new tools to flag potential skiplag bookings to agents.

United Airlines and a travel website sued a flight-booking website CEO Aktarer Zaman in 2014.

The lawsuit accused Zaman of “unfair competition” and “deceptive behavior,” saying that his website cost the two companies $75,000 in lost revenue.

The case was filed in Illinois but was thrown out because the court did not have jurisdiction as Zaman worked and resided in New York City — not Chicago.

United told a news agency in 2015 that they remain troubled that Mr. Zaman continues to openly encourage customers to violate our contract of carriage by purchasing hidden-city tickets.

Because of the clear disapproval from airlines, the practice is a risk for passengers — especially as carriers have since added written protections against skiplagging in their contracts of carriage.

Share On:

« Back to Page

Related Posts


Subscribe to our Newsletter

I want to receive travel news and trade event update from Travel And Tour World. I have read Travel And Tour World's Privacy Notice.

Sep 29
September 29 - September 30
Oct 03
Oct 04
October 4 - October 6
Oct 07
October 7 - October 15