What is skiplagging? Why do Airlines hate it?

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A new lawsuit brought by American Airlines against a controversial ticketing website is bringing renewed attention to “skiplagging,” or “hidden city ticketing” — a technique used by some passengers to get lower fares.

It works like this: Say a passenger wants to travel from New York to Charlotte, N.C., but the nonstop route is pricey. So instead, they book a cheaper flight that takes them from New York to Denver, with a layover in Charlotte. Rather than fly all the way to Denver, they simply get off in North Carolina and ditch the rest of the ticket.

The practice isn’t exactly new. “Travel agents have known about hidden city fares for decades, and in some cases travel agents would knowingly tell their customers,” says Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at Atmosphere Research Group.

But as airline prices started to surge in late 2021, skiplagging started getting a lot more attention.

One site that’s helped popularize hidden city ticketing is Skiplagged.com. The website allows users to type in their desired destination, locating flights where that destination is actually a stopover en route to another city (with a less expensive fare). The customer simply exits the airport at the connecting city and never completes the second leg of the journey.

Last week, American Airlines filed suit against Skiplagged in federal court. In its complaint, American alleges that Skiplagged’s practices are “deceptive and abusive.”

Read more at NPR.org

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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!