Like the ABC’s, except you stop off at B and save money…

Before Skiplagged, a technique existed within travel circles that was so effective, it was hardly ever discussed publicly. It was like Fight Club, but more like flight club. The magic trick known as “skiplagging” still totally exists, still saves incredible amounts of money and it’s now reached MTV pop culture status. With all that attention, it’s gotten more people than ever trying it and that’s causing chaos in the airline world. One airline is even threatening people.

But for most of you, that’s all irrelevant because you have nothing to fear…

What Is Skiplagging?

“Skiplagging” is a travel technique where you save on airfare by booking a ticket through the place you actually want to go and get off there. Sometimes it makes business class cheaper than economy.

You do this because it’s cheaper to fly through the place you want to go, than to the place you want to go. Let’s say the Super Bowl is in Dallas, and flights to Dallas are impossibly expensive, but flights to San Diego via Dallas are super cheap. You’d just book a ticket to San Diego via Dallas, and get off in Dallas and walk out of the airport. Easy!

Here’s a casual example from Los Angeles to New York in business class. Click this one, then this one (same flight, half price). Like Fight Club, there are rules…

Skiplagging Rules

There are rules to skiplagging, which simply cannot be broken. If you do, you’ll ruin your trip, and perhaps your entire week. It’s like a secret club for people who love to travel and love to save money, so basically everyone on earth. The unbreakable rules of skiplagging are…

  • Never tell someone you’re skipping a flight, especially airlines.
  • It only works one way, you cant do it round trip. 
  • Once you miss a flight, the rest of your reservation is canceled. No exceptions.
  • You can’t check luggage, because it will carry on without you. 
  • You must be careful not to abuse it every time.

United, Of Course

United Airlines has threatened to go after people who “skip lag” their flights, and now Lufthansa has done the same. This is virtually impossible to enforce in real life, and really just a big, giant “loudest person in the room” tactic, but it raises important points.

You never tell someone you’re skiplagging, and ideally, you don’t do it every time. Airlines in their T&C’s have the right to shut down your frequent flyer account if you do, and United says they want to go after you personally, even your credit. For reference, the person who was threatened by United had done this 38 times already. Cool United, more good press, fewer travelers to deal with. Enjoy.

The Truth For 98% Of Travelers

If you have a frequent flyer account with lots of miles and elite status, you take a risk “skip lagging” while hoping to earn points from the flights. In the history of the universe, like 5 people have had issues and had their accounts closed. If you, like most people, don’t have a big hefty frequent flyer account – you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the Biscoff crackers.

For 98% of travelers, there’s nothing to worry about. Most people (including this guy) have skiplagged their way around the world for years, earning points, elite status and all sorts of perks without issue.

Blue Moon Scenario

If you’re doing it once every blue moon, and especially if you’re also taking completely normal flights in between – it’s impossible for someone to prove you’ve intentionally done wrong. Your meeting changed, you had a surprise, you fell ill, the possibilities are endless.

Like all great movie scenes, just don’t crack or flip under pressure. You stay strong! But really, they’ll never ask, you’ll never hear a word and the truth is that this is a great way to save, and you probably really should use it. Probably just best not to tell them you bought your ticket from

Have you Skiplagged? What do you think of United’s take?

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