What is skiplagging, this (false) good idea that allows you to pay less for your plane ticket?

What is skiplagging, this (false) good idea that allows you to pay less for your plane ticket?
What is skiplagging, this (false) good idea that allows you to pay less for your plane ticket?

Billed as an innovative way to travel cheaply to distant destinations, skiplagging is not as good an idea as it seems. Let’s explain why.

If you’re planning to take a plane this summer to go to your vacation spot, perhaps you’re looking for advice on how to pay for your flight at a low price, and therefore save money. And you’ve probably heard of “skiplagging.”

Behind this somewhat obscure term lies a technique used by more and more travelers to pay less for airfare. But be careful, it can be risky.

What is skiplagging?

As the French Cosmopolitan website explains, skiplagging consists of booking a plane ticket with one or more stopovers – non-direct flights generally cost less – but ending the trip in one of the stopovers instead of taking subsequent planes.

For example, you plan to go to Athens from Paris, but find the ticket too expensive. All you have to do is book a Paris-Cairo trip with a stopover in Athens, and never take the last flight.

Risk of flight ban

On social networks and travel sites, many Internet users rely on this advice to find cheaper trips than if they booked direct flights. As Cosmopolitan notes, today there are even dedicated sites that help you find the cheapest flight with a stopover to travel for less. For example, Skiplagged.com promises to help you find “flights that airlines don’t want you to see. We expose flaws in airline ticket prices to save you money ».

But is this technique really legal? According to airline industry expert Clint Handerson, yes, but it is not without risks. Asked by Le Figaroexplains that practicing skiplagging “it amounts to fraud”. This means that if the airline you fly on realizes the deception, they can do so “they ban you from flying with them, force you to buy a full-price ticket, take away your loyalty points if you are registered with their program, close your loyalty account and even take legal action against you”.

The practice, which is starting to become well known in the United States, now encourages airlines to "track" passengers who book connecting flights to ensure they arrive at their final destination. In July 2023, a 17-year-old teenager was banned from flying on American Airlines for three years because he purchased a trip from Gainesville, Florida to New York, but did not intend to return to the plane after making a stopover in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Be careful to travel light

Wanting to travel for less thanks to skiplagging can prove complicated even if you plan to bring more than one piece of hand luggage with you, Air France reminds Figaro. “If you have checked baggage in the hold, it is sent to your final destination. It will not be possible to collect them at the airport. »

Furthermore, according to the French airline, this tip does not really save money because, “in fact it is quite rare for a flight with a stopover to be cheaper than a direct flight”.

So you'll know what to expect during your next plane trips. Sometimes paying a little more for the ticket (or preferring another more virtuous means of transport) is a good thing.

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Source: Madmoizelle

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