The busiest travel holiday of the year is almost here and everyone is looking for the best deals. One travel app makes big promises to save, but is it worth the risk?
The app is called Skiplagged. It's an app and a website that's becoming famous for it's "hidden city flights" feature, but there are some risks to consider before you book.
A flight from New York to Chicago non-stop might cost you about 300 dollars, but a flight from New York to Los Angeles with a layover in Chicago could cost only 150. You simply get off at the layover. Skiplagged says its a trick over 90% of flyers don't even know exists. We decided to check out the savings for ourselves.
A flight from Bradley Airport to Charlotte nonstop cost over 450 dollars, but a flight the same day from Bradley to Miami with a layover in Charlotte cost almost 200 dollars less. The savings also depend on the airline and the time of the flight, but there are some catches.
The flights have to be one way and you can't check bags in, otherwise, they end up at your arrival. Another risk; avoid using mileage cards, or else airlines may remove those miles you flew. Some airlines also say it violates their contract of carriage, or certain rules all passengers must follow. We asked the creator of the app, Aktarer Zaman about those risks.
"Some of them don't like the idea of missing flights on purpose, in fact it could be against their rules of contract of carriage, you miss flights on purpose, you are technically breaking their agreement." Zaman said.
Skiplagged was sued by United Airlines for this very thing, but the lawsuit was dismissed last may. United Airlines says it effects their daily operations and causes delays in flights looking for passengers. Zaman says the site is simply revealing airline's tricks.
"Our goal is to just provide the information to the user, we tell them that the airline might not be happy, we provide all this information up front, we're not trying to hide anything." added Zaman.
We showed Skiplagged to some Bradley airport flyers.
"This is actually a nice app, I kind of see that already." said John Freiwirth of Orlando, FL.
Freiwirth is searching for the cheapest and fastest flight for his family this holiday season, and says the savings outweigh the risks.
"In order to save a couple hundred and not get some miles, I think it's worth it." said Freiwirth.
Tom Slocum of Marietta, GA compared his return ticket home with savings on the app.
"I can see that based on half of my round trip ticket, that it's way more than this price for a one way ticket back to Charlotte with a layover in Atlanta." said Slocum.
The U.S. Department of Transportation says the U.S. has averaged over 50,000,000 domestic passengers every November for the last 10 years, and with numbers that high for holiday season, travelers are looking for great deals wherever they can find them.
"It's just pure cash savings, I don't see any real downside to it, other than, you got to be sure you get off the plane when it has the layover." added Slocum.
Whenever you're booking flights, know the rules of the airlines and the conditions of the travel booking sites. In other words, always read the fine print.
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