What is skiplagging? We have the information for you. ouritalianjourney.com

Skiplagging… up until a few weeks ago, I had never even heard of the term. I actually had to look it up when I saw a post from Samanta Brown about it. It’s been happening for years – has my head been in the sand? Usually, Gary does our flight booking… does he know about it?

But skiplagging is controversial, and many airlines frown upon it – so much so that it can be punishable by miles or status cancellations and even a lifetime ban from the airline.

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What is Skiplagging?

Skiplagging, also known as “hidden city ticketing,” is when an air traveler purchases a ticket for a flight with a layover before the final destination – and departs at the layover airport. On purpose.

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How I Heard About Skiplagging

Again, I was reading a great article by Samanta Brown the traveler. She advised It came into the news recently because a teenage boy was banned from American Airlines for three years when he tried to skiplag. Since then, it’s been a hot topic in the travel community. This was in July 2023, did you hear about this? Perhaps because we’re living in Italy it wasn’t publicised much.

Her Facebook post got a lot of attention. Comments keep pouring in but here are just a few that I choose. Of course, I’ve blocked out the names. It amazes me that the comments range from expressing anger with the airlines to complete understanding. Some are willing and do it – some wouldn’t consider it.

What is skiplagging? We have the information for you. Comments from a facebook post about it. ouritalianjourney.com

Why Would You Even Consider It?

The price of airline tickets has reached an all-time high this year. With costs soaring to unbelievable heights, passengers are desperately searching for cheap flights. People, including us, are just trying to visit family or go on a vacation without taking a bank loan. Remember when you booked a ticket and everything… even the seat, was included in the price?

What is skiplagging? We have the information for you. ouritalianjourney.com

Is Skiplagging Illegal?

The bottom line is “No,” but it is against most airlines’ “contracts of carriage” or the rules people must follow to fly with the specific airline.

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have skiplagging listed first on their list of prohibited booking practices. The airlines define skiplagging, as “purchasing a ticket without intending to fly all flights to gain lower fares.” United Airlines and Delta Air Lines also prohibit skiplagging.

I think this is pretty funny… the last item on Skiplagged.com’s FAQ page on skiplagging reads… “You might upset the airline, so don’t do it often.”

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Skiplagging Potential Risks

Potential risks and considerations associated with skiplagging include:

  1. Cancellation of Subsequent Flights: If you skip a leg of your flight, airlines often have the right to cancel any subsequent flights on your itinerary. This is because your remaining flights might be considered a “no-show” due to your failure to complete the entire journey.
  2. Luggage Routing: If you check baggage, it might be routed to your ticketed final destination, even if you get off at the layover. This could result in inconvenience and delays while your baggage is rerouted.
  3. Mileage and Loyalty Programs: Skipping a leg of your flight might affect your eligibility for frequent flyer miles and other loyalty program benefits if caught.
  4. Legal and Ethical Concerns: Some argue that skiplagging can be considered unethical, as it manipulates fare structures that airlines have put in place.
  5. Lack of Protection: If you experience delays, cancellations, or other disruptions, airlines would have the right to not offer assistance or compensation for flights that were skipped.
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It’s important to note that airline policies and industry practices can change. You should always check the specific terms and conditions of your ticket for the airline you purchased with. You need to know that using this strategy is a risky practice and might not always result in the savings you expect. Doing this also can come with potential consequences.

If you choose to skiplag, don’t check your bag. If you do, or if you’re forced to check a carry-on bag because there’s no room for it in the overhead bin, your luggage will end up in the final destination on the itinerary, not at the connecting airport where you’ve chosen to end up.

Personally, I think the risk is too high. It’s like us constantly purchasing local train tickets and the conductor never comes by the train car to check them. We often think about how much we could have saved over the years… but we wouldn’t even think about doing it. The risk of paying the fine isn’t worth it.

So I must know… did you know about this term before this post? Please leave a comment!

What is skiplagging? We have the information for you. ouritalianjourney.com


  1. Ilene
    Happy Holidays
    My son and I loved Lucca when we came through last month- what a beautiful City!
    We only stayed 2 days but plan to return soon for a proper visit
    Back in Florida now
    Good post
    Ciao. Jeff

  2. Thanks for the post. Yes, I have heard about this, but don’t understand what the issue is. You pay for the entire flight at the posted price, you decide not to use part of the flight. Airline still has the full amount for the flight (you sure aren’t getting any sort of refund), just one less body and luggage on the flight, saving some amount of fuel as well. The cost of whatever snack you may receive cannot possibly be a factor in this case.

    The analogy I can think of is buying a panino and only eating three-quarters of it. Or to use your analogy, purchasing a train ticket from say Rome to Venice and getting off the train at Bologna or Florence. You have purchased something that you make a conscious decision to only use part of.

    That said, considering there is something so heinous about this that the airlines are now actively punishing flyers for it, would not do it.

  3. This pushback is a result of the airlines’ move to “hub” routing where almost all flights are routed through the airline’s major locations. You want to fly from Miami to Pittsburgh, but the only route is through Chicago or Dallas. People are fed up with no direct flights and options that make them fly halfway around the country. Now, if you’re going from Charleston to Las Vegas, at least a stop in Atlanta or Dallas is in the right direction. But in most cases, the changes are annoying and can be fraught with delays.

  4. I never heard of until now. But now, I understand why Southwest’s flights are more expensive for the layover flights than the “very few” direct flights they have. Interesting.

  5. I have definitely heard of this. I have not done it but my 3 children all have in order to save quite a bit of money at times. They have also been warned by the airline (American) at least once that they could be penalized at some point. The flight game has gotten so ridiculous and I think it’s clever that customers are beating the airlines at their own game. It does, however, create further inefficiencies when flights have no shows at the gate and customers who may have wanted a particular flight may be shut out because it was booked full. It’s causing an increase in fares to smaller cities with fewer direct flights. Also, many airlines are requiring you to check your carry on bag at the gate if you have a connecting flight stating the flight is very full and it will arrive at your final destination. This has happened to us twice and there was plenty of room in the overheads. Flying isn’t fun these days!

    1. Great information Cynthia and I completly agree that flying isn’t as fun as it used to be. I’ve heard of penalities to reward points happening from other people. Thanks for the additional inforamtion and for commenting!

  6. I heard about this for the first time this past summer, when I read a news article about the young man you referenced in your blog post. With the price of airfare, I can understand the temptation, but would be afraid to chance it.
    Funny train story…..One time when we were taking the train back to Lucca from Pisa, the ticket machine at Pisa wasn’t functioning. It was late evening and there wasn’t an attended ticket booth. We were so afraid that would be the time we would get checked for a ticket. Luckily, we made it back to Lucca without being detected.

  7. Thanks for the post. I have never heard of this practice. Interesting, but I’ve no plans to do this.
    Merry Christmas to you , Ilene and Gary! Enjoy your family time and safe travels back to Lucca!

    1. It’s good to know others hadn’t heard either. Confirms to me that I choose a good topic to post about! Thank you Teresa for being such a loyal supporter. Buon Natale to you and your family. We can’t wait to return home.

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