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An ex-flight attendant who flew with 2 US airlines shares ways travelers can save money on flights — without skiplagging

Marielle Descalsota   

An ex-flight attendant who flew with 2 US airlines shares ways travelers can save money on flights — without skiplagging
  • More than 55 million Americans traveled abroad in 2022 despite rising airfare prices.
  • Travel expert Bobby Laurie shared two ways travelers can save money on airfare.

Airfares have gotten more expensive in recent years. Yet, more Americans are traveling than ever before, with over 54 million traveling abroad in 2022, per the International Trade Administration.

Notably, many people have been looking for ways to save money on flight tickets, which can often be one of the costliest parts of traveling. Some travelers have turned to skiplagging, where passengers would book a ticket with a layover but skip the flight to the final destination.

But airlines have cracked down on skiplagging in recent years, canceling passengers' tickets who've been caught bailing on connecting flights.

Bobby Laurie, a travel expert who worked as a flight attendant for US Airways and Virgin America, told Business Insider about two ways passengers can save money on flights without skiplagging and risking their travel plans.

1. Don't search your planned flight too often.

Laurie said travelers should avoid searching their flights on the same search engine, device, or IP network as many airlines have a dynamic pricing strategy. This means that airfares may surge based on how many people are searching for a specific route.

"If their system detects a particular flight is of interest, the prices may rise the more you search assuming you're interested and would pay the higher price," Laurie, the cohost of "The Jet Set," a travel talk show that airs weekly on national television, said in an email.

Laurie said travelers could also use dynamic pricing to their advantage by searching for the cheapest upgraded cabin fare instead of the cheapest economy fare.

"If a lot of people are searching for economy flights, the price will rise. I've seen many times situations where first class or premium economy was cheaper than the coach ticket," Laurie said.

2. Be selective with add-ons to your tickets.

Laurie said travelers should avoid spending extra for a refundable fare when booking with major US airlines. The only exception is when booking with ultra-low-cost carriers.

"You may not get a cash refund if you cancel after 24 hours of booking — but you will receive a credit to use with the airline," Laurie said of canceling a flight ticket or making a change to your flight date.

Laurie added that travelers should also check out all the available routes to their destination as it's often cheaper than taking a direct flight.

"Don't be afraid of stopovers. Flight pairings with a stopover are sometimes cheaper than a non-stop," he added.


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