Some travelers are finding creative ways to cut down on airfares, but airlines don’t like it, so it comes with risks.
Let’s say a nonstop flight from New York City to Los Angeles is $500? But a flight to Seattle with a layover in Los Angeles is $300.
Some travelers are skipping that second flight altogether and just staying in LA.
According to airline industry analyst Henry Harteveldt, if an airline catches you it may charge you more money than just the tickets you initially paid for.
“They could even cancel your frequent flyer account,” he said.
United Airlines and Orbitz sued Skiplagged in 2014. The website helps travelers find cheaper airfare.
The case was dismissed on procedural grounds when the court ruled it didn’t have jurisdiction, but the website now includes explicit warnings that this type of ticketing is risky and should not be used often.
Dan Gellert is Skiplagged’s COO. He said that the more times that you skip on your last flight, the higher the likelihood of airlines catching on.
“Many travelers can do it without any issue at all,” Gellert said. “We encourage travelers to understand what the risks are, to do what’s right for them.”
Harteveldt said skip-lagging is a very risky bet.
“I’m just not sure that the savings are worth the risk even with the high airfares we’re seeing right now,” he continued.