Home Travel That Time When Skiplagging Went Horribly Wrong

That Time When Skiplagging Went Horribly Wrong

by SharonKurheg

Y’all, there are travel hacks out there that are perfectly fine and out in the open:

And then there are the travel hacks that people find out, the hard way, are not good ideas:

Skiplagging (sometimes referred to as “hidden city rates”) is, for all intents and purposes, a hack, and Skiplagged.com has got it down to a loophole science. It’s when you book an itinerary with a stopover, but the stopover is your true and intended destination and you just don’t continue with the rest of the itinerary. Skiplagging is advantageous when the flight from A to B to C (and you purposely end it at B) is cheaper than a flight from A to B.

Airlines don’t like when passengers skiplag. They say it’s “deceptive” and “unfair.” In fact, United and Southwest have sued Skiplagged.com over the years (Southwest actually sued both Skiplagged and Kiwi.com, the latter of which was scraping Southwest’s data and passing it on to Skiplagged). The judge threw out the United case. Southwest won its fight against Kiwi, which, in turn, meant that Skiplagged.com couldn’t work with Southwest flights.

Lawsuits set aside, Joe and I don’t skiplag. Here’s why. But that’s just us and how we prefer to travel (and how we prefer to not travel). However the bottom line is that lots of people do, and I don’t hold it against them. I don’t think airlines should either, but apparently they do. Read on, because the other day I read a story about someone who skiplagged and, unfortunately, it didn’t end well.

They bought their tickets through Skiplagged.com. They didn’t check any luggage, as recommended (if you check luggage when skiplagging, your bag will automatically go to the flight’s final destination, even though you don’t plan to travel that far). However when it came time to board the plane, the ticket agent said the flight was full and their carry-on bag had to be checked.


So when they got to their destination, of course, their luggage wasn’t there – it was continuing on to the flight’s final destination. So now what?

They went to the baggage claim counter and were informed that, under the circumstances, they would have to pay a fee for the luggage to be sent back to them.


The person tried to explain what happened – they said it wasn’t their fault the plane was full,  they hadn’t checked any luggage, that it was because of their flight being overloaded that their carry-on had to be checked, yadda yadda yadda.

The story just got worse from there – the customer service representatives were rude, “supervisors” were called who really weren’t supervisors, the whole nine yards.

The airline eventually agreed to find the person’s bag and send it to them free of charge. When the bag arrived the next day, it was dirty and scuffed. They called the airline to complain and were told they’d send a flight credit for their troubles, but it never happened.

Meanwhile, responses to the fiasco were mixed.

Some people said they shouldn’t have brought a carry-on bag; just something that would fit under the seat in front of them, so they wouldn’t have to worry about their carry-on having to be checked.

  • Did you bring a backpack or a rolling suitcase onboard? If you are planning of doing a hidden-city flight, you should only travel with a bag small enough to fit under the seat.
  • Skiplagged gives you lots of warning that your bag can’t be checked in for the obvious reasons.
  • skiplagged says ‘backpack only’, maybe you should have followed the instructions”

Others reminded them that airlines don’t like when passengers skiplag so what other type of response from the airline did they expect?

  • Trying to save a quick buck, but end up paying for more. Airline is not at fault here, and I hope you learn your lesson.”
  • You should have been charged to get your bag delivered back to you as its not their fault you improperly bought a ticket.
  • Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. The airline followed their contract of carriage. That you don’t like the result doesn’t change anything.

The person said they don’t plan on booking through Skipplagged again. Lesson learned.

Feature Photo: Pixnio

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

Too Many May 2, 2022 - 12:28 am

If you do this practice, be prepared for consequences. That goes for every trick/hack. They tried to plan ahead but trying to claim protection on something they purposely circumvented gets no sympathy here.


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