What is skiplagging? American Airlines bans North Carolina teen who tried popular travel hack

A North Carolina teenager who was recently caught attempting to use a popular cost-saving hack while traveling on American Airlines has now been grounded by the airline.

Hunter Parsons, the father of the 17-year-old, said last week that his son was detained and "interrogated" at a Florida airport for "skiplagging," also known as hidden city ticketing or point beyond ticketing, which violates the travel policies of most major airlines.

Parsons told Insider that his son's "ticket was canceled, and he was banned from AA for three years but never actually did anything wrong. He never even got his boarding pass."

According to Parsons, the teen had a plane ticket to travel from Gainesville, Florida, to New York City but was stopped by a gate agent before he was allowed to board because he had a North Carolina license and the flight had a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

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The elder Parsons told WJZY that an American Airlines gate agent suspected the teen of "skiplagging" – or intending to travel to the connecting city rather than the destination on his boarding pass – in an effort to save money.

Parsons told Insider the revoked ticket cost $150 and the family had to buy a $400 direct flight in order to get his son to Charlotte. He said the teen "didn't know he was doing anything wrong."

"He was left to fend for himself 500 miles from home," Parsons told the outlet of his son. "He never violated any policy or broke any contract. He simply went to a counter to get his boarding pass."

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Parsons confirmed his son was skiplagging and said the family has used Skip Lagged, a website that specifically lists hidden-city ticketing trips, for at least five to eight years to save money.

However, he told Insider that if his son had been successful, it would have been the first time a member of the family actually skipped the final leg of a flight.

When reached for comment on the situation, American Airlines directed FOX Business to its policies that show the airline prohibits "purchasing a ticket without intending to fly all flights to gain lower fares."


"Our records indicate the customer was questioned only at the ticket counter about their travel while attempting to check-in for their flight," a spokesperson for AA said in a statement. "A member of our Customer Relations team has been in touch with them to address their concerns."

FOX Business' Lawrence Richard contributed to this report. Read more on FOX Business.