Friday, August 10, 2012

How to Beat High Airfares

Just thought I would send along an interesting article on this rainy Friday.  Nate Silver, of Baseball Prospectus and New York Times fame, published an article back in May about how to "beat" the major airlines at their airfare game.  The method, which still works to this day, requires you to purchase a ticket with your final destination as a connection.  For instance, if you need to travel to Chicago from Baltimore (which is usually a pricey non-stop), you can book a ticket to Seattle with Chicago as the connection .  When you arrive at your connection/actual destination (in this case, Chicago), simply hop off the flight.  This trick is called "Hidden City Ticketing."

With a little research, Hidden City Ticketing can save you potentially hundreds of dollars.  Three words of warning: the airline will undoubtedly cancel your remaining itinerary should you choose to do this, so make sure you book your trip as two separate one-way tickets.  Also, this method is only suitable for those with carry-on bags only.  Checked bags will always go to the final destination, and the airline is under no mandate to help you get them back if you pull this stunt.  The final advisory is this isn't a method that can be done ad naseum.  Airlines have been known push back on this, so don't be flagrant.  Use this trick for when prices are outrageous, and you absolutely have to be somewhere.  The article link is below: happy hunting!

Nate Silver: How to Beat High Airfares

-Charm City Traveler


  1. Probably wise to go carry-on only as well, unless you want the airline to drop your luggage from the plane at altitude when you call to ask for them to bring it back to Chicago.

  2. Thanks, Kevin. I updated the post to reflect this. Checked bag travelers need not even attempt this stunt!