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Booking through a major city instead of your home city

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by ksuguy15, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. ksuguy15

    ksuguy15 New Member

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    There are many examples of how booking through a major city like LAX or JFK for travel to Europe or Asia is cheaper than flying from your home city in the US. For example, a business class ticket from DFW to NRT can run about $5,000 but if you book it from LAX it can be $2,500-$3,000. Any ticket from Dallas to Los Angeles is not going to run over $1,000 so isn't it cost effective to book international travel as segments instead of through your home city? I have some questions below.

    -Is it common to book in segments to save money?
    -How does someone eliminate the requirement of having to pick up bags and re-check in when dealing with segments?
    -Can multiple segments be combined so that bags go to the final destination?
    -What is the best way to find cheap tickets when booking this way?
    -Am I missing anything else?

  2. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    It's somewhat common, I think. Most recently, I purchased 3 separate tickets to save money - SEA-EWR one way, JFK-CDG-BCN round trip and finally JFK-SEA. Saved me a few hundred dollars.

    The bags can be an issue - a lot of airlines have interline agreements so bags can be transferred. However, sometimes it depends on the agent. There is no absolute guarantee. If you are in this situation, show both tickets to the check in agent for your first flight and see if they can do it. Note that you almost always have to pick up bags and recheck them when entering the US from a foreign country, even if they are thru checked.

    If you have separate tickets for travel on the same airline, then yes, you can "combine" the segments for the purposes of your bags, again keeping in mind that the restriction for entering the US from a foreign country.

    Finding the right mix of separate tickets will involve a lot of trial and error - there is no easy tool for it. Plan to sit in front of your computer for a couple of hours and play around with different cities and options.

    Not missing anything per se - just remember that on separate tickets, if something goes wrong (delays, irrops) that cause you to miss a flight, the next airline does not have to help you. This is not without it's risks and if I were do to this, i'd leave plenty of time between separate tickets.

    In my case, I gave myself about 8 hours to get between EWR and JFK and 23 hours in NYC on my way back.
  3. Richard on Dauntless

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    I'd add from the above:
    • If you have an issue and need to change the tickets, then change fees become very significant.
    • On the other hand, I have noticed that airfares on the primary point of entries stay low even with only 7 to 10 days advance. For example, a few months ago I bought a Z ticket on KAL from SFO to SGN for $4,000 (i needed the MQD). Now this ticket is two weeks away and I wish I could adjust it a few days. And when I look at flexible dates, the same price is available. And even cheaper fare on China Eastern. So lesson learned.