American Airlines barred a 17-year-old from flying with the airline for 3 years because he tried to use a 'skiplagging' ticket, the teen's father says

A father says American Airlines barred his son who tried skiplagging on a flight to New York City.

Hunter Parsons told Insider that the 17-year-old boy couldn't fly with the airline for three years.

"He never violated any policy or broke any contract. He simply went to a counter to get his boarding pass," Parsons said.
American Airlines has barred a teenager who planned to disembark during his layover in Charlotte, North Carolina, instead of New York City, his final destination.

The teenager's father, Hunter Parsons, told Insider that the airline barred his son from flying with them for three years because he was planning to use a $150 skiplagging ticket — a practice prohibited by many airlines, including American.

"His 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," Parsons said in a Facebook message.

Skiplagging — also known as "hidden city" or "throwaway" ticketing — is a controversial cost-saving strategy where passengers book tickets with a layover with the idea of skipping the second leg of the flight. While skiplagging helps passengers save money, it often results in lost revenue for airlines.
Parson said his 17-year-old son was scheduled to fly from Gainesville, Florida, to New York City, with a layover in Charlotte. Gate agents in Florida took his son to a security room to be questioned after seeing his North Carolina driver's license and suspected he wouldn't continue flying to New York City, Parsons first told the local television station Queen City News.

Parsons told Insider that his family had to purchase a new direct ticket, which cost more than $400, so his teenage son could fly to Charlotte. He said his son "didn't know he was doing anything wrong."

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

In January 2021, American Airlines said it would start cracking down on skiplagging. A representative for American Airlines previously told Insider in a statement that Parsons' son "was questioned only at the ticket counter about their travel while attempting to check-in for their flight."

Parsons said his family had never abused the hidden city tickets they bought on booking platforms like Skiplagged to save money. He added that his son disembarking in Charlotte and not continuing on to New York City would have been the first time that someone in his family would have skipped the final leg of their flight.

"With that said, we have always seen every flight through to its final destination. Never once (even now) have we missed a connecting flight nor did we know we were breaking a contract if we 'were' to have done it," Parsons said.
American isn't the only airline that has punished passengers for skiplagging. In 2018, United reportedly charged a passenger who skiplagged 38 times several thousand dollars. And in the same year, the German airline Lufthansa sued a passenger accused of skiplagging on his flight from Oslo to Seattle when he disembarked at his layover in Frankfurt, Germany.

American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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