- A travel expert said that «skiplagging» didn’t guarantee travelers would save money on flights.
- Gilbert Ott told Insider that savings depended on factors such as a passenger’s location.
- Travelers also take serious risks by trying it, including getting banned by an airline, he warned.
The travel hack known as «skiplagging», or «hidden city» ticketing, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll save money on your airfare, according to a travel expert.
The hot travel trick involves travelers booking flights with a layover in a city they want to visit and then skipping the second leg of the journey in an attempt to get cheaper tickets.
But Gilbert Ott, the founder of travel site God Save The Points, warned that skiplagging can save money, but depended on your departure point and final destination, he told Insider. «There’s no guarantee that adding complexity or stops to your journey starting in another city will be cheaper.»
Ott said that the only way to know was by carrying out a comparison search on sites like Google Flights, which allows you to search five different cities at once to find the cheapest routes.
However, he said that skiplagging came with certain risks — such as when an airline suffered «irregular operations.»
This might be when the first leg of a flight that a passenger actually wants to be on is canceled, for example. Another issue is that you can’t check any bags, as they will go to the final destination of the second leg of the journey.
Frequent flyers are also at risk of losing their air miles and points, Ott said, or even getting banned by an airline.
American Airlines, United Airlines, and Lufthansa are among a growing list of carriers taking action to combat the practice.
Lufthansa attempted to sue a skiplagging passenger in Germany in 2018, but a Berlin court dismissed the lawsuit, CNN reported.
American Airlines sent employees a memo in 2021 announcing that it would start monitoring skiplagging, per TravelPulse.
United Airlines and travel site Orbitz also tried to sue Aktarer Zaman, the CEO of travel site Skiplagged, in 2014, accusing him of «unfair competition» and «deceptive behavior.»
However, the case was thrown out as it was filed in Illinois, meaning the court didn’t have jurisdiction because Zaman worked and resided in New York City.