A WOMAN who tried a popular money-saving hack when booking flights has revealed how it backfired massively.
The traveler Theresa MicKinney had booked flights from the USA to Madrid in the year.
She flew from Cleveland, Ohio and stopped in Newark, New Jersey.
However, a few days earlier she decided to travel to Boston, Massachusetts to see her husband.
However, she realized she could save $900 (£726) if she skipped the first leg of her flight from Cleveland to Newark and instead flew from Boston, where flights cost just $60.
This is called skilagging, where passengers book a flight with a stopover to savebut skip the first part.
But Theresa said this backfired massively – and she ended up having to cancel her trip to Europe.
She explained further insider: “As soon as I land [in Newark]an agent pulled up my itinerary and asked why I wasn’t on my flight from Cleveland.
“I didn’t understand why I had to explain my personal travel arrangements, so I said that plans had changed and I had to fly from Boston instead.”
“They told me that if I didn’t take my first flight from Cleveland, my entire itinerary would be canceled and my only option would be to rebook my ticket for the (seemingly unavoidable) $900 price difference.”
She said she was very embarrassed and had to cancel her trip to Spain and instead booked a flight back to Boston to see her partner.
While she received a flight voucher from United for her canceled flight – which she said she redeemed for another vacation – she said she would never recommend this trick.
She concluded: “I am now aware that ski lagging in any form is not permitted and can safely say that you will never catch me intentionally missing a connection again.”
Theresa isn’t the only person affected by this.
Teenager Logan Parsons was caught trying to skip lag while booking a flight from Florida to New York with a stopover in North Carolina, where he lived.
This meant he would fly to Florida and get off in North Carolina and skip the flight to New York as the tickets would be a much cheaper option.
However, airport staff then detained him when they realized he had a North Carolina ID and forced him to buy a new direct ticket.
Airlines have cracked down on skip-plaggers in recent years.
American Airlines announced in January 2021 that they would be rolling out tools to alert travel agents to Skiplag bookings.
And in 2019, Lufthansa tried to sue a passenger for skilagging, although the case was dismissed.