‘Skiplagging’ travel hack is dividing customers and airlines

“Skiplagging” is the growing travel trend dividing airlines and their customers.

Fed up with skyrocketing ticket prices and limited flight options, travelers are tapping into this hack, also known as hidden city ticketing, that allows them to get to their final destination for cheaper. Rather than book a pricey direct flight, travelers are using platforms like skiplagged.com to find less expensive travel paths with layovers at their intended final destination.

Here’s how it works: Say you are in Los Angeles and want to get to St. Louis. Rather than pay for an expensive direct flight, you could book a cheaper flight from Los Angeles to New York that has a layover in St. Louis. Then, instead of getting on that connecting flight to New York, you simply stay put in St. Louis.

“Travelers should be able to purchase point A to point B tickets and use it as they see fit,” said Dan Gellert, Chief Operating Officer of skiplagged.com.

Gellert says since its launch in 2013, the platform has rapidly grown in popularity, especially post-COVID-19 as more Americans look to travel.

“Over the past couple of years … airfares have continued to get higher and higher, with the airlines blaming everything from shortages of workers to inflation to now whatever they’re saying now that both of those things are gone,” Gellert said. “But airfares are still, you know, ridiculously high, and skiplagged.com has become even more of a demand for people that are looking for different ways in which they can find cheap airfares, whether that’s hitting city ticketing or just other discounted fares from the airlines.”

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For many travelers, the skiplagging hack seems almost too good to be true.

“No, there is nothing illegal about it whatsoever,” Gellert said.

But just because the trend isn’t illegal doesn’t mean getting to your destination will be smooth.