Hey Loves! So this post is all about my experience with Skiplagged. For those of you who never heard or this or think that I’m about to go into a whole advice column on how I skipped my jet lag I’ll explain in more detail.
So Skiplagged is a company where they use “hidden-city” flights to find you the best deals. A hidden city flight is a flight where you get off at the layover instead of the destination. For example if you are flying from NY to Iceland you could end up paying $200. Skiplagged will show you a cheaper flight to Dublin but has layover in Iceland therefore you would end up paying $160 vs $200 and will most likely end up with a nonstop. From there you would hop off on the layover and never catch the connecting flight.
So now that you have more background here’s my experience. So I booked my trip to Japan really late and didn’t want to pay over $1,000. MY co worker recommended I check out skiplagged, which he used on his trip to Europe.
Search: The website’s interface was very intuitive. All I needed to do was enter my destination, Tokyo, and I received a number of flight options. I spot checked my other favorite site Skyscanner and indeed the hidden flight option was cheaper.
Booking: So you cannot book directly on the site but what Skiplagged will do is give you the link and the exact search terms and filters to find the appropriate site. The downside is that you are taken to a different website and would have to re-enter all of the information. The upside is that they give clear instructions on how to do that. Also if you book right after you found the flight on Skiplagged there will be no price discrepancies. What I loved was that before they link you to the external site they have an informational pop up that list important information and require that you acknowledge that you read. Because you aren’t getting off at the true final destination they want to make sure that you are aware that you can’t check a bag, and other situations you may encounter.
Day of the flight experience: So I show up to the airport ready to go thinking I was fully prepared with my 11 days worth of clothes in a carry on. Let me tell you that was not easy for a girl like me that likes to have multiple outfit changes in a day. I get to the counter to receive my ticket and I was asked to first show a return flight because you can’t buy a one way to Vietnam and then show my Visa.
I was definitely freaking out at that point, I bought my ticket so last minute and in a rush that I didn’t read all the requirements. It was a good thing I just so happened to choose this instance to show up to the airport really early. Side note, I’m that flyer that likes to show up to the gate right when they are boarding. I hate waiting in airports!! So I bought a ticket right then and there from Vietnam to NY. It added an additional $400 in expenses for my trip but fortunately I was able to get 75% of it refunded since I cancelled on the same day.
The biggest issue was the visa situation. For those of you who don’t know, like me until that very day, Vietnam has a strict visa policy if you are an American Citizen. Fortunately the manager was super helpful, he let me use his personal laptop and showed me were I could apply for the Visa. Once I applied he was able to let me go through security to be seated at the gate.
Here’s the part were I thought my trip to Japan was cancelled. As they called to board families with small children the manager came up to me to say that there was certain documentation that I needed to board and that I couldn’t get on. Essentially he needed proof that my visa application went through, which there was absolutely 0% chance of that happening an hour after applying. I started to panic just a little because I couldn’t just tell them I was never planning on catching the second flight in Tokyo but also I needed to go on this trip. The shining light at the tunnel was thanks to the way Vietnam Immigration Department phrased my pending status of the application in the email. The phrase that saved me was “If the E-visa is granted”, to some reading this you may say that it’s obvious that the visa was not confirmed, but in a situation where several people are panicking including myself the only words people paid attention to was “E-visa is granted”. I was literally the last one to get on the plane and probably held up the boarding process by a few mins. Good thing was that I was able to go on my trip!
My Opinion: The website is great for finding cheaper flights especially if you are booking close into the date of your trip. It would be great if you are able to book through their website but they do a great job walking you through how to book externally. Whatever you do please be sure to do the research on the “fake destination” city to make sure that you are compliant with their laws. You won’t want to end up in a situation like I did. Also reading is fundamental and their site does a great job telling you what you need to know. Overall I found the site useful and I use it in my routine when trying to find the cheapest flights.