Skiplagging Flights

Travel2 years ago
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Will Skiplagging flights get you in trouble?

Canny travelers are always looking for the latest and cleverest travel hacks to save dollars on flights and travel. As a result, new money-saving flight ideas are constantly being discovered. One of these hacks, skiplagging flights and using skiplagging apps has recently become a well-known travel hack!

But if you have recently heard about the cost-saving opportunities of these hidden city flights, you may have a few questions about the practice. What is Skip lagging? How does skip lagging work? And will skiplagging flights get you into trouble.

Below we will cut through the internet mythology to bring you the facts about Skiplagging. We will detail exactly what it is, how it works, and if skiplagging flights is legal.


What is Skiplagging?

Let’s start at the beginning. What is Skiplagging? Well, this hidden city ticketing process is the process of booking a flight with a stopover where the stopover is your destination. You may be surprised to discover that booking a flight that goes further than your intended destination could end up saving you hundreds of dollars!

For example, if you want to find a flight from New York to London, you could check the search engines or one of the skiplagging apps for a flight from New York to Lisbon with a stopover in London. You may be able to buy a ticket for this stop over flight which is cheaper than a direct flight booking from New York to London. All you would need to do is leave the plane in London before it sets off again for Lisbon.


What are the Practical Problems with Skiplagging?

Before we look at the legal issues regarding skiplagging, we should think about the practical issues - namely your luggage and how you will get home.

If you want to travel with checked bags and luggage, you will be unable to unload them on the stopover as they will be checked in at the destination of Lisbon, where they will continue to head!

If you have booked a return flight, you will face trouble getting home. The airline may have canceled your ticket once they discovered that you were not in your seat at your destination. If you then have to book a whole new flight, you may find that the saved money will need to be spent on getting home!



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Why are Skiplagging Flights cheaper than booking Direct Flights?

When you think about it logically, it makes sense that the longer a flight is, the more expensive the ticket should be. Surely the fuel and labor costs involved will result in an increased ticket price. Why would a flight going further away, end up costing you less money?

Well, the answer lies in the way airlines go about pricing their tickets. Airlines will price their flights to make as much money as they think they can. So, if a flight is on a particularly popular flight path, they will charge as much for the tickets as they think that they can get away with. Even if the distance is less than that of a less popular flight.

New York to London may have more demand than New York to Lisbon, so it will be priced higher than a flight to London.

Stop-over flights also tend to be less popular with flight buyers so airlines will price them accordingly. They are likely to offer cheap flight prices to provide a reason to choose them over a direct flight with another airline.


Will Skiplagging flights get you in trouble?

Unsurprisingly airlines hate this practice and strongly discourage it. The next time you buy a flight make sure to check the contracts of carriage and you may find that the practice of flight lagging is expressly prohibited in the fine print. In deciding to start skiplagginf flights, you may technically leave yourself open to being sued by the airline.

in 2015, United Airlines had its case thrown out of court when it attempted to sue a 22-year-old for abandoning his seat at his stopover destination. And in 2019, German Airline Lufthansa also sued for the same reason, although they ended up dropping the case after it had previously been thrown out of court.

And it isn't just passengers they airlines have pursued through the courts. Skiplagging apps such as Skipflagged, have faced strenuous opposition from airlines such as United Airlines and South West in the court, although as yet they have been unsuccessful.

So far, airlines have been less than successful with clamping down on this money-saving hack in the courts, but they haven't given up the battle against skiplagging altogether!


What will happen if you get caught Skiplagging?

You may not have to face legal consequences if an airline spots that you have skiplagging, but that doesn’t mean you won’t face any consequences. You could end up losing your frequent flyer membership, points, and benefits with the airline, or maybe even be banned altogether.

Whether you think that the money you can save with hidden city flights, is worth running this risk will be all down to individual choice.

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Takeaway - Will Skiplagging flights get you in trouble?

In artificially raising prices on popular flights, airlines have inadvertently created a whole new market for their cheaper stop-over flights! Skiplagging is the legal practice of booking a stopover flight which is cheaper than a direct flight to your destination. But even though this practice is perfectly legal and may save you hundreds of dollars, you will need to weigh up the possible consequences if you get caught.

You could potentially lose all the frequent flyer points and benefits you have been acquiring and face even being banned outright by the airline altogether. Skiplagging is something to consider if you are looking to save a substantial amount of money on a flight to a popular hub, but make sure you are aware of the risks involved when you decide to make your purchase using skiplagging apps.