Practice of ‘skiplagging’ takes off with travelers not turning up for legs of their


European flight prices for US travelers are currently at an all-time high – with an eye-wateringly expensive average of $1,167 per ticket – and in a bid to save dollars, ‘skiplagging’ has reemerged as a popular travel trend. 

The concept works like this: A passenger books a flight from Point A to Point B with a stopover at their desired destination, and doesn’t board the connecting flight to Point B. This often results in substantial savings on tickets. 

For example, Skyscanner says a roundtrip flight from New York to Amsterdam in mid June with the Dutch flag carrier KLM will cost from $2,457.

However, readjusting the booking by setting the final destination as London with a layover in Amsterdam and using two different airlines, brought Google Flight’s roundtrip price down to $1,208.

European flight prices for US travelers are currently at an all-time high - with an eye-wateringly expensive average of $1,167 per ticket (stock image)

European flight prices for US travelers are currently at an all-time high – with an eye-wateringly expensive average of $1,167 per ticket (stock image)

The 'skiplagging' concept works like this: A passenger books a flight from Point A to Point B with a stopover at their desired destination, and doesn't board the connecting flight to Point B

The ‘skiplagging’ concept works like this: A passenger books a flight from Point A to Point B with a stopover at their desired destination, and doesn’t board the connecting flight to Point B

But these so-called ‘hidden city’ fares only work with no checked baggage and come with considerable risk.

American Airlines, for example, calls it ‘unethical’ and threatens to deny boarding, cancel the return flight or charge the price difference to those who are caught.

Insiders suggest those who take a risk on a ‘hidden city’ fare book a one-way ticket to avoid having the return flight cancelled.

Some airlines have taken a very firm stand on the matter.

In 2019, Lufthansa tired suing a passenger for skiplagging. The airline claimed the passenger exploited the ticketing system. 

The man was supposed to fly from Seattle to Frankfurt and then to Oslo – but he failed to fly from Frankfurt to Oslo and flew to Berlin instead in April 2016. 

The passenger saved $2,308 when he made the original booking by buying a multiple stop ticket rather than a single stop. 

He paid 6,224 Norwegian Krone ($560) for his return ticket to Seattle. 

But Lufthansa claimed that he should have paid €2,769 ($2,963), and went on to demand €2,112 ($2,260) plus interest.   

According to German court documents, the case was thrown out because the airline failed to fully explain how it had arrived at the compensation figure of €2,112 ($2,260). 

Taking advantage of this loophole is flight-booking website Skiplagged.com. The site even boasts: 'Our flights are so cheap, United (Airlines) sued us... but we won'

Taking advantage of this loophole is flight-booking website Skiplagged.com. The site even boasts: ‘Our flights are so cheap, United (Airlines) sued us… but we won’

Skiplagged.com has dozens of flights on offer, with the 'skiplagged' rates alongside the standard prices

Skiplagged.com has dozens of flights on offer, with the ‘skiplagged’ rates alongside the standard prices

Lufthansa tried appealing the case but it later withdrew the lawsuit.

The Germain carrier took stand because it is hit harder than most other airlines by the practice.

That is because so many of their flights are routed through the hubs of Frankfurt and Munich. 

Like many airlines the terms and conditions when buying tickets through Lufthansa do, however, make it clear the practice is not allowed. 

But travel pros highlight that the money-saving technique is not illegal. 

Taking advantage of this loophole is flight-booking website Skiplagged.com. The site even boasts: ‘Our flights are so cheap, United (Airlines) sued us… but we won.’

It has dozens of flights on offer, with the ‘skiplagged’ rates exhibited alongside the standard prices.  

However, it does warn travelers not to indulge in the practice too often as airlines could pick up on it and penalize you.

It also recommends not associating ‘skiplagged’ flights with a frequent flyer accounts as if you do, ‘the airline might invalidate any miles you’ve accrued with them.’

On Reddit, dozens of travelers have shared their views on ‘skiplagging.’

One commenter wrote: ‘One-off likely fine, but don’t make it a pattern.’

Echoing similar sentiments, another warned: ‘You’ll only get banned if you do it frequently. 

‘I’ve done it a few times with a few different airlines but the last I did it was before Covid lol. So… use but don’t abuse.’ 

Offering a couple of tips to others, one ‘skiplagger said sometimes they have ‘said nothing and just left the airport with no consequence.’ 

While on a couple of other occasions, they went about calling the airline to declare fake personal emergency ‘preventing me from flying the final legs.’ 



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