Book multi-city itineraries as one-ways and save

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10 Responses to “Book multi-city itineraries as one-ways and save”

  1. Tomas Bridle says:

    Also, search for flights in incognito/private mode so that airlines can’t adjust prices based on their assumptions about your history and urgency. 

  2. ando bobando says:

    Oooh, very interesting stuff! As a personal experiment, I went to Westjet.com and priced a flight similar to the one I’m already taking from Halifax to Vancouver. The multi-city function priced it at $407 one way with a layover in Toronto. Booking the flights separately through Toronto came to $205 + $321 = $526. I also checked flights with Calgary connections but they were no cheaper. So at least in this instance I didn’t miss out!

    I remember a time I booked a weekend trip to Toronto with Porter but due to weather delays, I got out a day late. I called their customer service and argued that my short trip was now hardly worth the travel, so they rescheduled me for a Monday flight home at no charge. I’m sure if I’d booked one flight with AC and the other with Porter, I would not have gotten any sympathy from either of them.

  3. penguinchris says:

    Any time I’ve done a multi-city itinerary search, the prices were clearly outrageous compared to regular single-route tickets. I did this once to make a round-the-world trip out of a research trip to Asia, stopping in London for a couple of days instead of going back the way I went (over the Pacific), and when I looked for a multi-city ticket from Bangkok to London to NYC it came up as several times as much as what I ended up paying (utilizing three different airlines), not merely twice as much. For an already-expensive trip like that… it’s something you notice.

    I suppose if you fly infrequently enough to not be familiar with what regular tickets cost (and this describes most people) it would be easy to assume that a multi-city booking would be cheapest, though, and for most of those people it will probably be relatively inexpensive domestic flights where it might not be obviously outrageous. I am not sure how many people like that book multi-city trips, though; I feel like infrequent and inexperienced fliers are far more likely to be making relatively simple trips.

  4. I believe you can use ITA’s matrix and not run into these problems. 

  5. Tom West says:

    Airline pricing strategies are obviously game playing, but I’d hardly call it “scammy”,  Any business with a large fixed cost faces the challenge of trying to extract *some* sales from the items that didn’t sell at a higher price, without cannibalizing the sales that actually keep the company alive.

    To do that, companies typically make it difficult to get the lowest prices, either by hiding them, adding conditions (typically limited time sales).  The catch is that if they removed those conditions, they couldn’t offer that price to *anyone* (and still stay in business).

    It’s a bit like calling any store that holds a sale a scam.  Obviously they *can* price it at that level, so there’s no excuse for them to *ever* make it hard for the consumer to get that price.  The logic doesn’t hold, and criticizing them for it is tantamount to objecting they every offered it at the lower price.

  6. anon0mouse says:

    I pity the fools who have to fly on a regular basis. Flying has become the DMV of the new century.

  7. ayleph says:

    Ticketing agent? I buy tickets directly from the airline’s website, unless they just don’t fly to my destination. I *usually* get best prices that way, plus I get the convenience of choosing my seat immediately and not having to go through a third party when plans change.

  8. Micah says:

    This trick only works when you’re flying routes that have reasonably priced one-way fares available.  If you’re flying routes that are served exclusively by legacy carriers (United, AA, Delta in the US), the one-way fare can actually cost significantly more than certain kinds of multi-city itineraries.

  9. llazy8 says:

    Yeah, I always try everything before buying- one-ways, multi-city, round trip to international destinations with both one-way and round trip domestic flights, and when you calculate how much a one-way international is, it’s always been lots more dollars than a multi-city.  I think the one-ways only work on flights within the same country.  

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