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The Cheap Airfare Loophole United Doesn't Want You To Know About

 

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The painted smiles and winking offers of an extra bag of pretzels are a sham: Airlines are not your friends. Recall that airline companies last year raked in nearly $32 billion in ancillary revenue by instating bullshit fees for stuff like checked bags, priority boarding and legroom that doesn't violate the Geneva Convention. This is a 1200 percent increase since 2007. With $32 billion in Popcorners you could build yourself an edible flotation device the size of Sri Lanka and drift anywhere you damn well please.

Like all billionaires, airlines are willing to expend exceptional amounts of energy guarding their wealth. Skiplagged.com, a website dedicated to helping passengers book less expensive multi-stop flights, then bail before their final destination, is currently facing a lawsuit from United and the travel booking company Orbitz.

“In its simplest form, a passenger purchases a ticket from city A to city B to city C but does not travel beyond city B,” the complaint reads. “‘Hidden City’ ticketing is strictly prohibited by most commercial airlines because of logistical and public-safety concerns.” The official gripe is that, in addition to undercutting ticket sales, hidden city ticketing meddles with a carrier's ability to count passengers, which can in turn result in flight delays and impact fuel load assessments. (Which shouldn't currently matter, what with fuel being cheap as dirt these days.)

But proponents of the practice argue the "chip bag theory": If you paid for the chips, why should you have to eat the whole bag?

Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, be sure to swindle with care: If an airline discovers that you're making frequent use of the practice, they are not above voiding your ticket without a refund or robbing you of your hard-won frequent flier miles. 

 

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