Thursday 13 July 2023

North Carolina Teenager Skiplags On His First Flight. He’s Caught and Interrogated.

 A North Carolina teenager who was flying for the first time skip-lagged on his flight — meaning his ticket was booked for connecting flights but he never boarded the second — and was detained at the initial airport, taken to a security room, and then interrogated.

Logan Parsons, 17, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was flying on an American Airlines ticket from Gainesville, Florida to New York’s JFK airport with a stop in Charlotte.  The ticket was purchased with the intent that Logan would get off in Charlotte, as it was a cheaper fare than a direct flight to Charlotte, a practice nicknamed “skip-lagging.” But his North Carolina ID caused an agent at the airport to be suspicious of his true intended destination, prompting him to be detained.

Logan’s father Hunter said his family has skiplagged before, acknowledging, “We’ve used Skip Lagged almost exclusively for the last five to eight years.”

“They kind of got out of him that he was planning to disboard (sic) in Charlotte and not going to make the connecting flight,” Hunter Parsons said of this son being detained. “Our concerns are he is a minor and was kind of left to fend for himself several states away. … I think a stern warning, ‘Hey, this is frowned upon. If you do it again there would be consequences, financial penalties,’” Hunter Parsons told Queen City News.

“It’s the first time he’s flown, and he really doesn’t know what he is doing,” aviation attorney Bruce Brandon told Queen City News. “It seems to be a bit harsh to me. I just don’t understand why they would do this.”

“Was it a security issue or was it a contract issue?” Brandon wondered. “Was he held against his will in that back room?”

“Purchasing a ticket without intending to fly all flights to gain lower fares (hidden city ticketing) is a violation of American Airlines terms and conditions and is outlined in our Conditions of Carriage online,” American Airlines noted in a statement.

In 2014, United Airlines and Orbitz sued Skiplagged; a Chicago judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2015. In 2019 it was reported that United Airlines sent an internal memo to airport staff to look out for skiplagging and report it to higher-ups at the company.

Last year a report stated that United Airlines would fine people who repeatedly skiplagged and that airlines could ban passengers from their airline if they skiplagged.

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