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Is skiplagging super risky? My company wants to book a "hidden city" flight

Is skiplagging super risky? My company wants to book a "hidden city" flight

Old Dec 1, 18, 3:47 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation Is skiplagging super risky? My company wants to book a "hidden city" flight

I need to go to a certain destination, and if I just book the non-stop flight there, it will cost around $500 each way. But the nonstop fight there is continuing on to another city and those tickets are like $150. How much of a risk is it that I wouldn't be able to use the overhead bin space, or that the airline might find out what I am doing and get pissed? It sounds like I would need to book with a different airline coming home because if they realized what I did, they might refuse me service. I am nervous because it sounds like my employer wants to find flights on Skiplagged and I never even heard of this concept until he mentioned it to me an hour ago. Seems risky, but what do the experienced travelers of FlyerTalk say? Should I push back against my employer? I want to go on this trip very much, but not if my luggage won't make it with me or if I end up stranded.
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Old Dec 1, 18, 6:21 pm
  #2  
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Impossible to answer your question in the abstract. What carrier, what is the routing, checked luggage? How often do you do this? How often does your employer do this (if booked with a corporate CC), booked through a TA?
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Old Dec 1, 18, 7:05 pm
  #3  
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I've never done this. I don't think my company does this, per se, but my supervisor who is booking the flights seems to have done this a lot. The airline we were looking at is Delta. I was going to carry-on a bag 21-inches because checked luggage would be impossible otherwise, I assume. I am thinking if I demand he at least get me priority boarding so there is bin space, that might minimize some of the risk.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 4:38 pm
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I thought airlines, including United, were cracking down (cancelling tickets and in some cases threatening collections) on skiplagging?

United Airlines threatens Skiplagged clients with Collections
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Old Jan 4, 19, 8:11 pm
  #5  
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Does your employer have a travel policy, a travel office, or a corporate travel agent? I'm wondering whether your boss is knowingly or unknowingly telling you to violate your employer's travel policy. I'm also wondering whether the boss has control over some dedicated travel budget and what happens to any saving or generally what the ground rules and incentives are. It would help to know more details, such as the type of job and employer you have and the nature of the proposed business travel since you say that you want to take the trip. [Is it a conference, trade show, or training activity? It sounds like your boss isn't going.] Have you tried searching for (round trip) cheap tickets yourself or would driving etc. be an option? Can you perhaps stay an extra day to save money on airfare?

If this will be DL, you should check their rules for (nonstatus, I presume) passengers on basic economy tickets. It sounds like that's what this will be, which means no seat selection and last zone boarding, which I'm not sure you can pay a fee to avoid. If that happens, you will have a big problem with a gate checked bag, assuming that it's a mainline flight and not a RJ.

To me, this sounds like a shady arrangement for business travel. I wonder what, if anything, your employer would do to help if you get into trouble on this trip. Would any additional expenses be reimbursed, such as a last minute purchase of a different plane ticket?
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Old Jan 4, 19, 8:36 pm
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Agree that payment must come from a credit card that the company is responsible for. Too risky to pay for on your own.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 3:36 pm
  #7  
 
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I've used Skiplagged as a resource when booking flights for my brothers. I use this technique twice a year for my brothers when booking our family vacation. I wouldn't book through Skiplagged.com. You should book direct on the airline's website. Best to book regular economy instead of basic economy. Also, you should only book one-way tickets when doing a hidden city ticket. The airlines can and have canceled the unused leg of a roundtrip ticket when you "skiplag". Make sure that you get there as boarding time starts so you are able to get your carry-on in the overhead. You can't do checked luggage obviously when doing hidden city ticket. Do not put in your frequent flyer number when you make the flight reservation. The point is to do this occasionally and to fly underneath the radar of the airlines. We have done this on Delta and American without any issues.

The heads of airlines are upset about hidden city ticketing, especially United, but it isn't illegal. United Airlines unsuccessfully sued the founder of Skiplagged.com. Courts ruled in his favor. It is definitely a loophole in the system that shouldn't be abused regularly by a customer.
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Old Jan 20, 19, 10:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Cat88L3 View Post
The heads of airlines are upset about hidden city ticketing, especially United, but it isn't illegal. United Airlines unsuccessfully sued the founder of Skiplagged.com. Courts ruled in his favor. It is definitely a loophole in the system that shouldn't be abused regularly by a customer.
While not illegal, persistant abuse can result in having your FF account canceled with accumulated miles canceled. Conceivably, one could be barred from flying a particular carrier based on prior violations of their CoC. As the popularity of Skiplagged grows, airlines' IT developers will improve the capability to catch "skiplaggers", regardless of whether FF numbers are in the reservation or not. Names, phone numbers and credit card numbers are alll identifying data points in a PNR that could ultimately be traced back to a unique passenger.

Skiplagged's success will be its own death and will ruin this "loophole" for those who've used it conservatively in the past, even if they win every lawsuit brought against them.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 5:05 pm
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Time to find a new job OP this is just stupid on so many levels. The employer will never change get out NOW and in fact get out before the trip. You probably have to keep every receipt and have a $10 limit on lunch or some other crap too.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Cat88L3 View Post
United Airlines unsuccessfully sued the founder of Skiplagged.com. Courts ruled in his favor.
no, the court dismissed the case without prejudice due to jurisdictional issues (UA sued founder in Illinois, but founder has no ties to illinois)

without prejudice = UA can refile the case in the proper venue. they didn't/haven't (yet?)

no court result = no precedence, another airline can sue SL in the proper court and who knows what will happen



LH has taken a passenger to court. UA hasn't done that, but has reached out to individual passengers threatening collections/lawsuit
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