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Book domestic separate from International?

Book domestic separate from International?

Old Jan 24, 23, 12:56 pm
  #1  
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Book domestic separate from International?

I'm in the planning stages of my trip from DTW -> JNB in business class. If I look at flights from DTW United is around $6K per person. However, from ORD it's around $4K. For a family of 4 the savings is substantial. Can I book my domestic DTW-> ORD flight separate and then my business class flight to JNB separate? How would the logistics of changing terminals etc. work? Any other trick to bring the cost of flight down? It's my first time booking an international flight and I want to surprise my family by flying them in business class. I can do economy from DTW to ORD. Please and thank you.
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Old Jan 24, 23, 1:05 pm
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You would need to investigate whether United offers "protection" in the case of irregular operations (IROPS) when traveling on separate tickets, as well as through-checking of baggage on separate tickets. Without protection, a cancellation or major delay in your DTW-ORD flight could ruin your trip.

Since the drive from Detroit to ORD is only about five hours, I might consider just buying roundtrip tickets from ORD, and driving to and from ORD -- either with your own vehicle, or with one-way car rentals.
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Old Jan 24, 23, 1:18 pm
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I thought about the drive and while leaving DTW it's ok but on our way back we will already be tired from our trans atlantic flight and even a day's rest might not be enough for us to drive another 5 hours. Good point on flight protection if we miss our connection. Any insight on how we can change terminals in case our flights are from 2 far off terminals?
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Old Jan 24, 23, 1:40 pm
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UA is pretty good about protecting you IF it's from another UA flight on separate reservations. They also have an unpublished "flat tire rule." Of course this may not help if Biz class is sold out for next day.

Now a serious concern, because many travel wit checked luggage. On separate tickets you may be OK if it's UA, as they *should* be able to check through, though there were reports in United forum that it could sometimes be a problem. Of course if it's a different carrier, you would have to leave secure area and pick up and then check the luggage for the next flight and then clear security.

There is also the option of driving to ORD only and flying back to Detroit as domestic OW flights tend to be half of RT (unlike Int'l flights).

I've done these positioning flights several times for good fares, though for me it pretty much always involved an overnight stay - which was OK back in the day when AirBNB did not charge exuberant prices for cleaning in addition to the room fee

And I can tell you that ORD is pretty easy to get around (past security) - at least in the UA area. Not sure about the area where other airlines are located.
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Old Jan 24, 23, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by uvasag View Post
I'm in the planning stages of my trip from DTW -> JNB in business class. If I look at flights from DTW United is around $6K per person. However, from ORD it's around $4K. For a family of 4 the savings is substantial. Can I book my domestic DTW-> ORD flight separate and then my business class flight to JNB separate? How would the logistics of changing terminals etc. work? Any other trick to bring the cost of flight down? It's my first time booking an international flight and I want to surprise my family by flying them in business class. I can do economy from DTW to ORD. Please and thank you.
On separate tickets need to allow plenty of time between flights. Far far more than if both domestic & international flights on 1 ticket. Overnight would be safer.
International departures have document checks, etc so need to be at check-in with time to spare.
The consequences of missing (no show) the flight to JNB is high.
On the return, the consequences of missing (no show) the flight to DTW is low.
Schedules can change: all your risk.

Look at ORD web site
https://www.flychicago.com/ohare/pages/default.aspx
https://www.flychicago.com/ohare/myf...s/default.aspx

ORD-JNB on UA or a UA ff~allaince partner?
Link-->UA Bag Interlining If Separate Tix with *A Partners (YES) & Non *A Partners (NO)
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Last edited by Mwenenzi; Jan 24, 23 at 1:48 pm
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Old Jan 24, 23, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
There is also the option of driving to ORD only and flying back to Detroit as domestic OW flights tend to be half of RT (unlike Int'l flights).
This is a great idea, if it's cost effective for the OP.
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Old Jan 24, 23, 3:45 pm
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uvasag, based on your FT handle, do you happen to be a U. of Virginia alum? This might come in handy if you happen to need a one-way car rental in connection with this trip. Hertz has a contract with UVA that allows for leisure rentals, but it's not clear whether alumni are permitted to utilize the contract's leisure rate. (If you want to explore this, send me a private message, and I might be able to suggest some ways of figuring this out.)
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Old Jan 24, 23, 5:17 pm
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Thanks guv1976 . It's amazing how many people reach out to me and ask me this. Unfortunately I'm NOT a UVA. Thanks though
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Old Jan 24, 23, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
UA is pretty good about protecting you IF it's from another UA flight on separate reservations. They also have an unpublished "flat tire rule." Of course this may not help if Biz class is sold out for next day.

Now a serious concern, because many travel wit checked luggage. On separate tickets you may be OK if it's UA, as they *should* be able to check through, though there were reports in United forum that it could sometimes be a problem. Of course if it's a different carrier, you would have to leave secure area and pick up and then check the luggage for the next flight and then clear security.

There is also the option of driving to ORD only and flying back to Detroit as domestic OW flights tend to be half of RT (unlike Int'l flights).

I've done these positioning flights several times for good fares, though for me it pretty much always involved an overnight stay - which was OK back in the day when AirBNB did not charge exuberant prices for cleaning in addition to the room fee

And I can tell you that ORD is pretty easy to get around (past security) - at least in the UA area. Not sure about the area where other airlines are located.
Return Domestic flights from DTW to ORD is around $900 for the 4 of us. If I drive there and park my car for about 2 weeks and also count overnight stays both in the beginning and end of my trip it comes to around $400. Not to mention the cost of driving to ORD, meals etc. It might be easier to just do the domestic flight.
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Old Jan 24, 23, 5:35 pm
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I do repositioning flights all the time. Often with another airline. I've never done it with a family of four though.

I give myself plenty of time....which means sometimes a long layover in the airport. When I reposition to EWR or ORD or IAH etc, I make sure there are at least 1 but usually 2 later flights from my home airport (BNA) to that airport in case my flight is cancelled.

I have driven instead of flown to reposition, but then I stayed the night in a hotel before and after. I also got a rate that included long term parking at the hotel.

It's risky though. I can easily justify a long 6 hour layover in the Polaris Lounge because I wanted to be safe, but I am not sure your family would enjoy that long of a layover.
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Old Jan 24, 23, 5:49 pm
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Originally Posted by uvasag View Post
Thanks guv1976 . It's amazing how many people reach out to me and ask me this. Unfortunately I'm NOT a UVA. Thanks though
OK. But if you -- or someone else going on the trip -- is/are an alum of a U.S. college or university, you might find that you can get a very good deal on a one-way rental.

Would you necessarily need to overnight at ORD if you just did a one-way car rental on the outbound, and booked a separate ORD-DTW flight on the return? It's about a five-hour drive (without stops), but, of course, you gain an hour going West. I guess it depends how early in the morning you would be able to start the drive, having picked up a rental car the preceding afternoon.
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