What Is Skiplagging ? 

When it comes to air travel, finding the best deals can be a bit of a challenge. But have you heard of skiplagging? It’s a travel hack that savvy flyers use to save money on flights.

Skiplagging, also known as hidden city ticketing, is a travel strategy where passengers book a flight with a layover at their intended destination. Instead of taking the connecting flight to the final stop, they disembark at the layover city, effectively skipping the last Portion of their journey. This can lead to significant savings, as flights to popular destinations often cost more than those with less demand.


How to Book Skiplagged Flights?

Let’s say you want to fly from New York City (JFK) to Chicago (ORD) but find the fares are high. You can book a flight from New York to San Francisco (SFO) with a layover in Chicago. Once you arrive in Chicago, simply exit the airport and don’t take the second flight to San Francisco. Voila! You’ve just skiplagged.

Another example is if you want to go to New Delhi from Bengaluru on 5oct 2023. The cheapest flight is costing you INR 5354.

Bengaluru to Delhi

And if you book a ticket from Bengaluru to Lucknow layover at Delhi on the same day 5 Oct 2023, it is costing you just INR 4177.

Bengaluru to Lucknow

So you just skiplagged and saved INR 1177.

Note: The above screenshots are taken from the Make My Trip web-application on 23-08-2023, As everybody knows airline prices will vary subject to their pricing model, availability of seats left, the dates you are booking for, and the demand. So you have to do a little bit of research to find the cheapest and most suitable options.

Is Skiplagging Legal?

The legality of skiplagging is somewhat murky. Airlines frown upon it and often include clauses in their contracts of carriage prohibiting this practice. While you’re unlikely to face criminal charges, airlines might penalize you by voiding your return trip or frequent flyer miles. In rare cases, they could even pursue legal action. In the past airlines tried to go for legal action but it’s useless as it is not illegal.

Why Airlines Don’t Promote Skiplagging?

Airlines discourage skiplagging because it can disrupt their revenue models. Empty seats on flights cost airlines money, and skiplagging can lead to those empty seats. Additionally, airlines utilize complex pricing algorithms that take into account demand, competition, and routes. Skiplagging disrupts this pricing model.

Consequences of Booking Skiplagged Flights

Booking skiplagged flights can have consequences also. Airlines may cancel the remaining segments of your journey, leaving you stranded. Frequent flyer miles or rewards can be revoked, and future bookings with that airline may be jeopardized.

Benefits of Skiplagging

The primary benefit of skiplagging is saving money on airfare. It’s a useful tool for budget-conscious travelers and those who are flexible with their plans. Additionally, direct flights often cost more than indirect ones. Sometimes you can save more money more than the actual direct flight cost.

Disadvantages of Skiplagging

Skiplagging has also its downsides. You may need to forego checked luggage, as it could end up at your final destination. So if you are planning to get skiplagged , do not check in your baggage, just carry it with you. Flight delays or cancellations can also throw a wrench into your plans, as airlines may reroute you to your intended destination i.e. they may change its layover destination.

Should You Book Skiplagged Flights?

Whether you should book skiplagged flights depends on your priorities. If saving money is paramount and you’re prepared to accept the potential risks, it might be worth considering. However, if you value a hassle-free travel experience and have checked bags, it might not be the best option.

Points to Take Care While Booking Skiplagged Flights

  • Travel light with carry-on luggage only.
  • Do not check in your baggage.
  • Avoid booking a return trip directly after a skiplagged flight as the airline may cancel your return ticket.
  • Don’t provide your frequent flyer number, the airline may deduct your frequent flyer points or degrade your flyer status, priority check-in, etc.
  • Be cautious if your plans are not flexible, as delays or cancellations can disrupt your journey.

In conclusion, skiplagging may save you some of your hard-earned money and it can be a useful travel strategy for those who carefully weigh the benefits against the potential drawbacks before embarking on this unconventional journey.

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