We’re all about using the correct tools to travel for less money, even when those tools aren’t really “hacks” at all. Call it travel hacking, whatever you want. This entails using Google Flights to identify the most affordable flights, adhering to the Flight First Rule, and utilizing points and miles to almost completely offset business and first-class rates.
However, some travelers fervently adhere to a contentious way to save money: and one that scares a lot of airlines. Lawsuits, news headlines, disagreements, and it’s back in the spotlight following some positive (and negative) publicity.
You may be familiar with throwaway or hidden-city ticketing. yet it’s more probable that you’ve heard of Skiplagged, the website that made this habit popular. However, there are a few things you should know before using this strategy to get inexpensive flights, such as the possibility that it isn’t the best place to find cheap airfare, despite what many blogs and influencers have said.
What is meant by skiplagged?
“Throwaway” or “hidden-city” tickets have become well-known because of Skiplagged. To save money, throwaway or hidden-city ticketing is the practice of booking a multi-stop flight but not using the full itinerary; in other words, you throw away your ticket. Through its online flight and vacation search engines, Skiplagged has integrated this flight booking mechanism, enabling you to book both cheap flights and hotels. But, the way it locates and presents inexpensive flights sets it apart from other online travel agents (OTAs) like Priceline and Expedia.
How is Skiplagged Operational?
Skiplagged simplifies the process of discovering those undiscovered discounts by using the idea of skiplagging or throwaway tickets.
The simplest way to illustrate this idea is with an example:
- Suppose you would want to travel to Atlanta (ATL) from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), but the cost of the ticket is prohibitive.
- But for a lot less money, there’s a route that goes from Minneapolis to Orlando (MCO) that stops in Atlanta.
Purchasing a ticket with the aim of not using it to travel to Orlando as your final destination is known as hidden-city ticketing. Rather, you would just get off at Atlanta and forego the second segment.
Although this trick has been around for a long, Skiplagged helped make it more widely known and made it much simpler to locate these (perhaps) cost-effective alternatives.
You’ve likely read or watched news reports about Skiplagged. There has been a lot of talk in the last few years about airlines pursuing passengers who utilize Skiplagged to omit portions of their itinerary. It was back in the news just this month when American Airlines “interrogated” and ultimately barred a minor for skiplagging.
Indeed, utilizing this strategy too frequently is discouraged even on the Skiplagged website itself. As United has threatened, airlines may suspend your frequent flyer account and take your miles, or worse. A few tourists who used and abused this strategy have faced legal action. Consequently, you should not link your frequent flyer account to a flight that you miss.
Essential Advice for Using Skiplagged
You’re undoubtedly already brainstorming all the possible ways that this could go wrong. Yes, there are a handful.
- Consider these “rules of skiplagging” before utilizing this technique on your subsequent travels.
- It is limited to one-way tickets. This is arguably the most crucial aspect of ticketing for secret cities. The guidelines are the same for any flight: if you miss a section, the remaining portion of your reservation will be canceled. Therefore, you won’t have a flight home if you leave a round-trip flight midway through. You would need to purchase two different one-way tickets if you wanted to use this strategy for a round journey.
- Never check a bag. The bag you checked doesn’t know it’s meant to arrive early. You can only bring a carry-on bag if you skiplag. And bring as little as possible with you because you’ll be stuck if the gate agents insist on checking bags on a packed flight.
- Avoid making it a routine. This strategy is hated by airlines, and for good reason. They may hold the doors open or yell your name in the hopes that you make it, worried that you’re going to miss the second flight that you’re deliberately missing. More significantly, though, airlines believe that travelers who engage in this behavior are breaching the terms of their “contract of carriage.”
- Remember that Skiplagged, like Priceline, Expedia, and other companies, is an online travel agency (OTA). Booking with Skiplagged means that you are doing so through a third-party agency rather than directly with the airline; they take a tiny cut of the flights that are sold. Not only do they offer discounted tickets, but they also offer regular one-way and round-trip flights.
- That’s right, Skiplagged.com is trying to sell you tickets. Furthermore, although savings are possible, they are not assured.
Is Skiplagged a Good Option for Saving?
It varies. Undoubtedly, in some circumstances, purchasing tickets for hidden cities can result in cost savings. However, you shouldn’t count on finding a great deal every time you use Skiplagged or reserve a last-minute ticket.
Travelers who: can benefit greatly from using Skiplagged have looked far and wide for a cheaper deal on tickets for a particular trip, but you are aware of the drawbacks and difficulties of carry-on only travel
Skiplagging is not recommended for tourists who:
- Need to check a bag; want to plan a straightforward, round-trip travel; haven’t done any research on Google Flights and other websites
Occasionally, there won’t be any discounts at all, or the cost will be more than if you just use Google Flights and make your reservation straight with the airline.
- For instance, a direct American Airlines ticket from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Los Angeles (LAX) costs only $93. In the meantime, use Skiplagged.com to look for hidden-city tickets for the same date and destination resulting in a $20 price increase.
Is using Skiplagged for reservations safe?
Skiplagged is a reliable website in and of itself. That’s not up for debate. Making reservations on the website is safe and secure.
However, there’s a reason we advise all travelers to use Skiplagged as their last resort for finding affordable tickets. In the travel sector, it’s despised (particularly by airlines, surprise, surprise.) For this reason, if you intend to use Skiplagged, we advise against attaching your frequent flyer account early in this article. Invalidation of your airline miles and potentially the revocation of your elite status by the airline are further potential outcomes.
Airlines have taken severe measures against those who mistreat customers often. Even Skiplagged and a few of its clients are the target of lawsuits. Use Skiplagged at your peril, even if few, if any, have been successful. The fact that it’s now a legal issue should also warn you.
How to Make Use of Skiplagged
We won’t stop you if you have used all other avenues to obtain a cheap flight and are determined that utilizing Skiplagged will save you money. We’ll even show you how to use Skiplagged to make it function.
Use Skiplagged.com to Search for Flights
- Recall that Skiplagged is more than simply a search engine; it is an online travel service.
- Start by looking up one-way flights to compare prices.
- You’ll need to filter to only see hidden-city alternatives after entering your departing city and preferred destination. This will eliminate planes that just stop at your destination rather than end there.
- Certain searches lack the hidden-city toggle. Select the filter by layover cities in that scenario. This will require additional effort from you: To find routes that frequently include a layover at your desired location, you’ll need to work backward.
- Sadly, Skiplagged.com isn’t the best search engine to locate flights with hidden cities. However, it’s by far the greatest resource for learning about some of the hidden-city choices that could allow you to save money on your airfare. Might is the crucial word there.
- It is generally advisable to compare the outcomes with round-trip tickets found via Google Flights. In our opinion, Skiplagged and similar sites are best used as a last resort rather than as your primary source of low-cost flights when the airfare you require is high.
Get the Skiplagged App now
Use a mobile app instead. The airline search engine app from Skiplagged.com is available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.