What is skiplagging? Travel hack that has seen airlines cracking down | The Sun

Skiplagging is the latest travel hack that has airlines up in arms – but what is it?

With summer round the corner, many travellers are now looking to get away and enjoy the sunshine on tropical beaches.

And luckily the internet is flooded with several money-saving hacks like using incognito mode when booking flights and by travelling with "open-jaw" flights.

But the latest cheap travel hack, known as skiplagging, has airlines in uproar as it can save travellers hundreds of pounds on flights.

What is skiplagging?

Skiplagging, also known as "hidden-city" or "throwaway" ticketing, involves booking a cheaper flight with the option to layover in another city.

But the practice includes booking the stopover flight, and not flying the entire route as the traveller's desired destination is the layover city.


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And people are going mad for this controversial, but perfectly legal, hack as it can often be much cheaper to book a layover flight than a direct flight.

There is even an entire travel service dedicated to the hack called Skiplagged.com, which inform users of "ridiculous travel deals you can't find anywhere else".

They also claim to "expose loopholes in airfare pricing to save you money".

The service works by giving travellers the option to search for a route which includes their desired location as a "hidden-city" layover destination.

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If the option is available, they will appear in the flight search results with the final steps of the journey scribbled out and the new price marked as the "skiplagged rate".

How much money does it save you?

With rising fuel costs, a strong post-pandemic demand to travel and the cost-of-living crisis in full force, holidaymakers are continuously on the hunt for money-saving travel hacks.

Skiplagging can save travellers hundreds of pounds on tickets which is especially enticing as expensive fares continue to dominate the industry.

Skyscanner says a roundtrip flight from New York to Amsterdam in mid June with KLM will cost around £1,987.

But through readjusting the booking by setting the final destination as London with a layover in Amsterdam and using two different airlines, the trip way brought the price down to just £977.

The return-flight is still non-stop out of Amsterdam so a traveller could skip the second leg of the journey and stay in the Netherlands instead.

This works the other way too with the return having a stopover too – and this is also considered much safer as skiplagging on the outbound may result in your reservation being cancelled by the airline.

What do the airlines think about it?

Although the hack may come as a saving-grace to eager travellers, some airliners have dubbed the practice "unethical" and have taken a firm stand against it.

American Airlines announced in January 2021 that they were cracking down on skiplagging and introducing tools to flag skiplag bookings to agents.

The popular airline called it "unethical" and threatened to deny boarding, cancel the return flight or charge the price difference to those who are caught.

In 2019, Lufthansa tried suing a passenger for skiplagging, with the airline claiming the passenger exploited the ticketing system, Daily Mail reported.

The man was meant to fly from Seattle to Frankfurt and then finally to Oslo but he didn't make it the entire way to Oslo and flew to Berlin instead.

The passenger reportedly saved £1,687 when he made the initial booking after purchasing a multiple stop ticket rather than a single stop.

He paid £453 for his return ticket to Seattle but airline Lufthansa claimed that he should have paid £2,396 – and they later demanded £1,828 plus interest.

But the case was eventually thrown out as the airline failed to fully explain how they arrived at their compensation figure.

The German company took a stand as they made it clear on their website that skiplagging is strictly not allowed, but technically, the money-saving practice is not illegal.

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This comes after a travel expert revealed why you should book your package holiday at the last minute.

And airline workers explained the best way to get cheap flights – and even revealed that the day you book makes a difference.

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