Sites like Skiplagged have grown in popularity amongst travelers on a budget. However, as a travel agent you should know that not all that glitters is gold!
Skiplagged is an online flight booking tool that often has noticeably lower rates for airfare. However, the reason that they have such cheap deals is because they use the unethical tactic of “hidden city ticketing.”
What is “hidden city ticketing,” you ask? We’ll break it down for you.
Let’s say you are in Los Angeles and you want to fly to New York City. You input this information into Skiplagged. It searches for all flights that include connections to NYC from LA, even if NYC isn’t the actual final destination for the flight. So a regular flight to NYC from LA could be $500. But an airline might be doing a promotional deal for a flight from LA to Miami with a layover in NYC for $400. Skiplagged will show you that $400 deal for an LA to NYC flight, and just drop the flight to Miami. This is a loophole and not technically allowed.
In fact, this method of travel is so frowned upon that it could get a traveler blacklisted from flying with an airline if they do this. American Airlines even detained a teenager in Florida for this and, he ended up having to buy a regular ticket, anyway. That’s also why sites like Skiplagged constantly change company names and IATA numbers.
Keep this in mind if a client ever comes to you about how they found a better flight deal online. Advise them of the right thing to do so that they can travel with peace of mind. Check out our recommended flight suppliers and make sure to use them instead of sites like Skiplagged.
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