A website you may have never heard of before called Skiplagged is being sued by United Airlines and Orbitz (the online travel booking site). The lawsuit is to prevent the site from sharing so called 'hidden city' deals, deals so good that they are suing this site to keep the information offline! How delicious, tell me more... Details on lawsuit here.
What Are Hidden City Deals?
Hidden city deals are based on a very unique travel strategy that has been used for years by super savvy travelers. The strategy involves traveling with only your carry on luggage so you can leave the flight during a scheduled layover. A current example involves very cheap flights to Bermuda from Los Angeles. They all involve a stop in New York. So,once you reach New York you simply get off the plane and enjoy your time in the Big Apple. You won't be showing up on the next leg of the flight to Bermuda. The airlines say that this practice is unethical, while one travel commentator said it is no different than buying a bag of potato chips and only eating half the bag. Why should you be required to use the entire itinerary if you choose to get off in the middle?
Other Hidden City Airfare Websites
How To Find Hidden City Deals On Your Own
A great article here on how to find hidden city airfare deals using the Google Flights search engine.
Why Do Airlines Care?
They say it causes delays when they can not account for a passenger that has not shown up for a connecting flight. They also suggest that there are additional issues related to security, calculating fuel requirements, and seating the other passengers. Some of these concerns may be valid, but the primary issue here seems to be all about the money. Passengers using this strategy my save 50% or more on what they would have otherwise had to pay for a ticket to the same city if selected as their final destination.
What Is The Risk?
Travel experts say that the risks are minimal, but they should be considered. There is a chance that the layover city could be changed due to weather or other circumstances. Airlines do not approve of this strategy, so don't expect them to help you if you end up in a different city than you planned. Also, you can only do this with one way tickets as the airline will cancel the remainder of your itinerary when you don't show up for your connecting flight (to create a roundtrip itinerary, you will need to purchase another one way ticket for your return flight). Some reports also suggest that airlines may retaliate against passengers using this strategy by stripping them of their frequent flier miles, while others may be sent to bed without cookies and milk.
How Much Can You Save?
The savings can range from modest to enormous. Using the example mentioned earlier, I found a one way ticket from Los Angeles to New York for $142.
More Deals Than Just Hidden Cities
Skiplagged also has a very unique visual tool to help you find bargain fares from your home city that are not necessarily based on the hidden city strategy.
Other one way deals I found from Orlando -
St. Louis $29
Altantic City $68
Washington, DC $72
Holiday Travel Dates With Lowest Cost Airfare This Year
December 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, and 31
January 1, 2, and 6
Helping you make the most of God's money!