Hidden secret to traveling while saving money

Traveling can be expensive, but making adjustments to your travel plans can help you save a few extra bucks.

AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez/File
Passengers entering the gate area at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va. Travelers can use skiplagged.com to discover cheaper flights to destinations they originally don't intend to go but leave the airport on the pitstop it makes, saving them a few hundred dollars.

My travel hacking senses started tingling a week ago when I read about Orbitz and United Airlines suing a small travel website for saving people money. What was this site, and why would it be such a big deal for those companies?

Some of you may have seen an article or two over the last month about the suit, which is being brought against Skiplagged.com. Basically, the site has made it easier for you, the traveler, to discover when it is cheaper to travel from Point A to Point B by booking a flight from Point A to Point C, stopping over at Point B. Then, when you arrive at Point B, you leave the airport, ditching your seat for the connecting flight.

Using Skiplagged takes some adjustments to your travel: since you're not going all the way to your final destination, you can't check a bag. Plus, since an airline could cancel your itinerary after you miss a flight, one-ways are your only way to book.

Also, there are some risks- the airline could freeze your frequent flyer miles if they catch on to your flying habits, or ban you from flying completely. This is because the airline could have booked you at a higher fare to your destination, and some other non-assuming traveler on the flight you skipped. Other less menacing consequences: gate-checking a bag on a smaller aircraft, which would mean it going to your reservation's final destination, and weather delays could also re-route you to another city on the way to your fake final destination.

Is it illegal? I am not a lawyer, but in my mind, no. But, the airlines do have this pesky "Contract of Carriage" wordage that does allow them to disbar you from traveling the way they say you should (like not going to your final destination).

I didn't use Skiplagged to try this trick, but I did use this to travel to Denver one year. I booked a flight to Colorado Springs with a connecting flight in Denver, and simply walked out the airport when I arrived, saving about $100. There are real savings to using this method, but, as detailed above, there are some risks involved.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Hidden secret to traveling while saving money
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today