(VitalNews.org) – American Airlines has banned a 17-year-old boy from flying with them for 3 years after they found him trying to save money on his journey by using a practice known as “skiplagging”. American teenager, Logan Parsons, paid $150 for a flight from Gainesville, Florida, to New York City, which had a layover in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Parsons planned to disembark at Charlotte and make his way home, having no intention of finishing the flight to New York. The flight to New York, with its temporary stop in Charlotte, was several hundred dollars cheaper than a direct flight to Charlotte.
Buying a cheaper ticket with the aim of using a layover city as a final destination is known as “skiplagging” or “hidden city ticketing” and is forbidden by many airlines, including American Airlines. The practice is not illegal, but it is frowned upon by airlines as it enables passengers to pay much less for their travel. German airline Lufthansa went so far as to sue a passenger for using the method in 2019, but German courts eventually threw the case out.
While Logan Parsons has not been threatened with legal action, American Airlines did force him to buy a direct ticket to Charlotte when they realized his aim.
Hunter Parsons, the boy’s father, told the press that airline staff became suspicious when they noticed the teen’s North Caroline ID. They took him to an interrogation room and questioned him about his plans. When the boy told them that he was going home to Charlotte, they canceled his ticket and demanded he pay for a new, direct one, or else he would be stranded.
His family paid for the ticket, and he was able to get home, but his father has since expressed his surprise at the outcome. Hunter Parsons explained that he and his family had used the method to travel for at least five years without any issues and expressed his concern that the airline had seen fit to cancel the ticket of a minor traveling alone. American Airlines told reporters that “skiplagging” is against its policy, as laid out in its terms and conditions, and that they had since been in touch with the family to discuss their concerns.
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