It’s the trick that you’ve all been waiting for! No, we haven’t learned how to beat the system yet to get flights completely free (wouldn’t that be great?) but we have learned how to save beacoup bucks when flying.
The answer is a website called Skiplagged. Skiplagged specializes in what it calls “hidden city flights.” Basically you book a ticket to a place you have no intention of ever going because it connects through a city you want to visit. Genius! People have been doing it for a while but for those of you who haven’t let’s take a look at what we need to do.
How does this magic work?
To tell the truth, it’s not exactly rocket science. Go to the Skiplagged website and enter your beginning city, end cities and travel dates. The website will then filter the routes to your destination and the routes that connect through it.
For example, if you’re flying from Cleveland to New York, it will bring up the flight itineraries from CLE to JFK, LaGuardia and Newark. Then it shows all of the “hidden city routes” where a flight from Cleveland to Baltimore has a connection through Newark. All of the results are organized by price and duration.
Now, the only thing is, you aren’t able to book through Skiplagged, so you simply go to our search box, book that Cleveland-to Baltimore flight, then when you get to Newark you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve saved over $100.
Who this works for?
People who live in smaller cities looking to fly to big markets. For example, one nonstop Delta flight from Sacramento to Atlanta cost $326. But book a trip to Indianapolis with an Atlanta connection and you spend $153.
It’s also useful for smaller cities with a region to larger ones. For example, one nonstop flight from Nashville to ATL will cost $324 on Delta. There are tons of connections through Atlanta that cost less than $120. For example, a flight from Nashville to Cleveland through ATL is only $81, a quarter of the price for the same service.
Last but not least, it’s a perfect fit for the super expensive local airport, you know the one where you have to drive to a large airport to save money. Did you know that if you live in Orange county and want a nonstop flight from John Wayne to NYC, it could cost you over $700. However, if you book a flight from Orange County to Richmond, VA and connect through Newark, your flight would only be $202.
Who it doesn’t work for
Unfortunately, at times, airlines like to make our lives difficult. This system won’t work for round trip tickets: if you skip your connection on the way there, and never get on another flight, your whole itinerary is canceled. To take full advantage of this, you’ll need to buy one way tickets.
It also doesn’t work for people living in big hub cities like Chicago, Houston, Dallas that have regular nonstop flights everywhere, it’s very rare to find many deals, although it’s not impossible.
Lastly, Popular routes like NYC to MIA or LA to San Francisco, airlines seem to already have cheap nonstop on these routes.
What’s the catch?
The catch, because there’s almost always a catch, you can’t check a bag. Also no frequent flyer miles, as airlines invalidate your flight as soon as you miss the connection. If you love perks, save yourself because they’re null and void here.
Although completely legal, airlines don’t like when people skip connections! United Airlines has even sued Skiplagged! If Airlines catch on to what you’re doing, they may require to show proof of a return ticket. One way to get around this is to purchase a refundable ticket for the return.
If you want to save some serious cash with hidden city flying, then try take a look at Skiplagged. You won’t be sorry.
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