Skiplagging is the hot travel hack of the moment. But while you could save some money, there are risks associated with the practice.
Skiplagging — better known as “hidden city ticketing” — involves buying a cheaper ticket where your layover is secretly your actual destination. Hints about skiplagging started appearing on travel forums around 2013, and the practice takes advantage of the strange pricing models airlines use.
“The reality is, the way airlines price their tickets, mostly with their hub and spoke model, creates really challenging pricing for travelers that want to go to a specific hub city,” explained Dan Gellert, COO of Skiplagged.com to Good Morning America.
Gellert’s site claims to help you find the best flight while exposing “loopholes in airfare pricing to save you money.”
While getting off at your layover and canceling your last leg of travel may seem like a clever way to fight back against confusing airline pricing, it does limit how you travel. To start, it won’t work if you’re traveling with a lot of luggage.
“After all, the luggage is tagged to the final (ticketed) destination,” said SimpleFlying.com.
And while you might save money, the fine print on your ticket might include a clause forbidding skip-lagging.
“Airlines might have a certain amount of leverage over you. This could include your hard-earned, accumulated frequent flyer mileage, elite status, and membership. Airlines could even ban you outright,” warned SimpleFlying.
Traveler Jesse Collier spoke with INSIDER about her skiplagging experience, which she called a “nightmare” due to her anxiety and other hidden costs she faced.
“Sure, it can save you money — it saved me around $200 — but there was an added cost I never accounted for: my time and peace of mind.”