A WOMAN who tried a popular money-saving hack when booking flights has revealed how it massively backfired.
Traveller Theresa MicKinney had booked flights from the US to Madrid in Spain.
Flying from Cleveland in Ohio, she had a stopover in Newark in New Jersey.
Yet she opted for a trip to Boston in Massachusetts a few days before to see her husband.
However, she realised she could save $900 (£726) by skipping the first leg of her flight from Cleveland to Newark, and instead flying from Boston, where flights were just $60.
This is called skiplagging, where passengers book a flight with a layover to save money, but skip the first part.
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But Theresa said this massively backfired – and she ended up having to cancel her trip to Europe.
She explained on Insider: "Once I landed [in Newark], an agent pulled up my itinerary and asked why I wasn't on my flight from Cleveland.
"I didn't get why I had to explain my personal travel arrangements so I said plans had changed and I needed to fly out of Boston instead.
"They told me if I didn't get on my first flight from Cleveland, my entire itinerary would be cancelled and my only option was to rebook my ticket for the (apparently unavoidable) fare difference of $900."
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She said she was left very embarrassed and had to cancel her trip to Spain, instead booking a flight back to Boston to see her partner.
While she was given a flight voucher from United for her cancelled flight – which she said she put towards another holiday – she said the trick is something she would never recommend.
She finished by saying: "I'm now aware that skiplagging in any form isn't allowed, and can confidently say you'll never catch me intentionally missing a connection again."
Theresa isn't the only person to have been caught out by this.
Teenager Logan Parsons was caught out when trying to skiplag when he booked a flight from Florida to New York, with a layover in North Carolina where he lived.
This meant he would fly to Florida and get off in North Carolina, skipping the flight to New York with the tickets being a much cheaper option.
However, airport staff then detained him after noticing he had a North Carolina ID, and he was forced to buy a new direct ticket.
Airlines have been cracking down on skiplaggers in recent years.
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American Airlines announced in January 2021 that they were introducing tools to flag skiplag bookings to agents.
And in 2019, Lufthansa tried to sue a passenger for skiplagging although the case was thrown out.
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