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Sklamping: how to save hundreds of dollars on airline tickets

Skiplagging - From the English skiplagging (skipping the last flight segment on connecting flights) has become a popular way to save on air travel in recent years. You take an inexpensive ticket with a connection, but do not fly to the end, but remain at the intermediate point where you needed it. This can be significantly cheaper than buying a ticket directly to this point on the map.

Фото: Depositphotos

Such a trick is also called buying a ticket to the "hidden city", because most often skiplaggers book a ticket to an unpopular place with a stop and change in a popular one, where they safely stay while the next plane leaves for its destination, writes Insider. The sklamping method was originally proposed by the young founder of the website. Skiplagged.


Consider the example of New York. In general, flights to popular destinations such as New York are more expensive than less popular destinations such as Hoboken, NJ. If you buy a ticket to Hoboken with a stopover in New York, you can pay less if you get to the Big Apple as well. And here's another: a direct flight from Atlanta to Orlando costs $ 250, and a connecting flight from Atlanta to Dallas with a stopover in Orlando costs $ 130. For many, the choice is obvious, and intermediary companies diligently encourage it.

Photos: Screenshot Skiplagged

It is important to know: American and European airlines have already sued skiplaggerov and Skiplagged site to help such passengers. A recent example was the German airline Lufthansa, which Demands compensation in the amount of 2 112 Euro (about $ 2 385) for the flight missed by the passenger from the transfer point to the final destination. In 2014, United Airlines and Orbitz sued Skiplagged for helping customers find loopholes in airline prices. In all cases, the lawsuits were canceled and the cases were closed.

However, using tickets for flights to “hidden cities” is technically illegal and you can still face repercussions if you are caught abusing single-use tickets from a major airline. You will avoid being charged with fraud, but you may receive a “written warning” or a fine equal to the difference between your payment and the “lowest applicable rate”.

Helpful advice: When planning skiplagging, make sure you are not booking round trip flights. When you miss even one leg of the round trip, the airline will cancel the rest of the trip.

What's wrong with skiplagging

Although the search for cheap tickets can be attractive, this method has several disadvantages for both travelers and airlines, writes Skycanner (by the way, this is one of the resources that allows you to search for legitimate cheap air tickets).

  • 1. Sklamping worsens conditions for other people.

Buying tickets to “hidden cities” creates difficulties for other consumers: passengers who need to reach their destination find that their ticket prices are increasing due to the fact that there are too few seats. Skiplaggers use, in fact, other people's seats on flights from connecting to the final destination, leaving other travelers unable to fly away. Over time, this behavior will also lead to an increase in the cost of all fares due to airlines losing money on empty seats.

  • 2. Inconvenience for other travelers

When a group of skiplaggers leaves the flight at an intermediate destination, the rest - flying further - may be delayed. You will understand how it is if you flew on long-distance flights, sandwiched between uncomfortable armrests and dreaming of getting to the place as soon as possible, and the pilot suddenly announced that the plane would wait for latecomers for another 30 minutes. They will not come - these are the very skiplaggers who have already arrived in their "hidden" cities.

  • 3. Forget about luggage

Checked baggage is sent directly to its final destination. If you don't bring the minimum carry-on baggage, disembarking in the “hidden city” won't be as pleasant as expected. You can either pay a hefty fee to get your bag to its destination in a different way (assuming you have time), or you can say goodbye to your belongings as they go to the final destination where the tickets were purchased.

  • 4. Unexpected changes to plans

Flight plans change regularly due to bad weather and many other factors. If you book a flight with a stop in the same city, but your final destination changes, your entire trip will not make sense.

How else to look for cheap flights

ITA Matrix

Try ITA Matrix Is a simple yet powerful search engine that will help you find the cheapest flights. The ITA Matrix, developed by a group of computer scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and acquired by Google in 2010, is the same software that search engines use - Google Flights and KAYAK.

Photo: ITA Matrix Screenshot

To search for flights, enter your departure point, destination and desired length of stay. Make sure to select “See calendar of lowest fares” instead of “Search exact dates” to easily view and compare routes. For example, if your trip has wiggle room with dates, you can save a ton of money by simply flying on Wednesday instead of Friday.

When you find the price you like, just click on it and they will provide you with detailed information. Using it, you can book a flight through an airline, travel agent or other service.

Useful tips: if you have time to spare and are looking for the cheapest flight, try playing with the routing codes and ITA Matrix extensions. These codes will help narrow your search and make it easier to find cheap but difficult routes. Click on “Advanced controls” and then on the blue question mark icon. A yellow glossary appears showing examples of routing and extension codes that you can use to filter your search. For example, if you enter X: NYC, the search will only show flights with a connecting point in New York.

Photo: ITA Matrix Screenshot

Since booking multiple flights in one direction can be cheaper than booking a return ticket, do not forget to use the search in several cities. Click the tab labeled “Multi-city” at the top of the page and enter your travel details.

The flight deal

The flight deal Is a collection of the best deals currently available. The project team only publishes fares at $ 0,06 per mile or less, which means “a non-stop flight from New York to Barcelona will never cost more than $ 425. Browse the site and click on the appropriate offer. You will also see detailed instructions on how to find this flight on ITA Matrix.

Photo: The Flight Deal Screenshot

Helpful tip: Flight Deal also specializes in finding erroneous fares or price failures, which you can book for a short time before airlines fix the error. Ideal for adventurers, these rates allow you to see the world and much cheaper to make spontaneous trips. Make sure you subscribe to The Flight Deal to Facebook и Twitter, to immediately learn about such errors.

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