American Airlines faces backlash for cracking down on skiplagging

American Airlines

Skiplagging, or hidden city ticketing, is a controversial travel hack that allows passengers to save money by booking a flight with a layover and getting off at the connecting airport instead of flying to the final destination. While this practice is not illegal, it is against the terms and conditions of most airlines, who claim that it causes them to lose revenue and disrupt their operations.

American Airlines

American Airlines sues travel website Skiplagged

One of the most prominent cases of skiplagging involves American Airlines, who filed a lawsuit against a travel website called in 2023. helps travelers find and book flights with hidden city ticketing, and claims to offer savings of up to 80% on airfare. The website’s founder, Aktarer Zaman, said that he created the site as a hobby project to expose the “inefficiencies” of the airline industry.

American Airlines accused of violating its contract of carriage, which prohibits passengers from purchasing tickets without intending to fly all segments. The airline also alleged that the website engaged in unfair competition, trademark infringement, and deceptive trade practices. American Airlines sought damages and an injunction to stop from operating.

However, the lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge in New York in 2023, who ruled that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case. The judge also noted that did not sell tickets directly to consumers, but merely provided information and links to third-party booking sites. Zaman celebrated the victory and said that he would continue to run as a public service.

American Airlines bans teen for skiplagging

Another incident that sparked controversy over skiplagging involved a 17-year-old boy who was banned by American Airlines for three years for using the travel hack. The boy had booked a flight from Gainesville, Florida, to New York City, with a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina. His intended destination was Charlotte, where his family lived.

However, when he checked in at the airport, an American Airlines employee noticed that he had a North Carolina driver’s license and suspected that he was a skiplagger. The boy was taken to a security room and questioned until he admitted that he planned to get off at Charlotte and skip the connecting flight. The airline then canceled his ticket and forced his family to buy a new one for a direct flight from Florida to North Carolina.

The boy’s father, Hunter Parsons, said that he was outraged by the airline’s treatment of his son and accused them of bullying and intimidation. He said that he was not aware of the skiplagging policy and that he had booked the ticket through, which did not warn him about any potential consequences. He also said that he did not understand why the airline cared about his son’s travel plans as long as he paid for his ticket.

Skiplagging: A risky travel hack

Skiplagging is not a new phenomenon, but it has gained popularity in recent years as travelers seek ways to save money on airfare. Some websites and blogs have promoted skiplagging as a smart and easy way to beat the system and find cheap flights. However, skiplagging also comes with many risks and drawbacks that travelers should be aware of before trying it.

First of all, skiplagging violates the contract of carriage of most airlines, which means that they have the right to take action against passengers who use this technique. Some of the possible consequences include:

  • Cancellation of the ticket and denial of boarding
  • Loss of frequent flyer miles and elite status
  • Additional fees and charges
  • Legal action and fines
  • Lifetime ban from the airline

Secondly, skiplagging can cause various problems and inconveniences for travelers, such as:

  • Inability to check baggage or carry-on items
  • Missing connections or flights due to delays or changes
  • Losing the return or onward segments of the ticket
  • Having no recourse or compensation in case of cancellation or disruption
  • Facing ethical and environmental issues

Therefore, skiplagging is not a recommended travel hack for anyone who values their time, money, reputation, and peace of mind. Travelers who want to find cheap flights should use other methods, such as comparing prices on different websites, using flexible dates and destinations, booking in advance or at the last minute, using low-cost carriers or alternative airports, or taking advantage of deals and discounts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *