Forcing longer connection

Old Jun 22, 22, 9:42 pm
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Forcing longer connection

Is it OK to use multi-city to force a connection that the DL website doesn't display, apparently because the connecting time is greater than four hours? I was looking for ELM-DTW-MSY and the only one-stop routing that it would show leaves ELM at 6:00 a.m. When I checked for a routing from ITH, one came up leaving in the afternoon and connecting to a DTW-MSY flight in the evening. I can get that flight to show up from ELM using the multi-city option, but will DL give me any trouble if I book it? I don't want to leave at 6:00 a.m., nor do I want to connect through ATL in addition to DTW if I don't have to.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 9:46 pm
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You can book it, but it's likely to be more expensive because you will have a broken fare (which also restricts SDC/SDS options, although that's unlikely to matter in this case). You'll need to have one fare component to the "long connection" (actually stopover) and a new fare component departing from the "long connection" (stopover) airport. OTOH, there's always a chance that married segment logic could make the broken fare cheaper.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 10:17 pm
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Thanks.

Isn't airline pricing wonderful? Although the multi-city fare is higher than with a connection at ATL, it's lower than the early-morning one-stop. It's also possible to force a one-stop afternoon routing for the return, albeit with an even longer layover.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 10:56 pm
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Currently, domestic layovers longer than 4 hours results in a broken fare and paying a fare for each segment vs. a single "through" fare covering entire ELM-MSY itin (there are separate fare filings for both the individual segments, as well as for ELM-MSY). Generally, one-way and roundtrip searches won't show such options which is why you have to resort to multi-city search. While purchasing separate fares on each segment is generally more expensive than a single through fare, this is not always true depending fare bucket availability and fare filings. Early during Covid, they allowed connections up to 6 hours on a single fare for a time due to very limited flight schedules being flown. They have reduced a lot of regional flying this summer due to regional pilot shortages and many routes that had 3-4 daily flights last year are now down to 1-2. I suppose it wouldn't be too surprising if they allowed 6 hour domestic connections again on a single fare from certain smaller stations if current situation continues.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 7:51 am
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Some background, not that it matters to the actual question: this is to replace an ITH-PHL-MSY routing on AA, because AA is discontinuing service at ITH. The alternatives that AA can offer leave from ROC or SYR, each roughly 100 miles away and with much worse winter weather than ELM -- the trip is in January -- plus very tight connections. It's an award flight so I could cancel it and redeposit the miles. ITH-EWR-MSY on UA is also possible.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by kochleffel View Post
Is it OK to use multi-city to force a connection that the DL website doesn't display, apparently because the connecting time is greater than four hours? I was looking for ELM-DTW-MSY and the only one-stop routing that it would show leaves ELM at 6:00 a.m. When I checked for a routing from ITH, one came up leaving in the afternoon and connecting to a DTW-MSY flight in the evening. I can get that flight to show up from ELM using the multi-city option, but will DL give me any trouble if I book it? I don't want to leave at 6:00 a.m., nor do I want to connect through ATL in addition to DTW if I don't have to.
You can book it as a Multi-City on one ticket. You can also book this as two separate one-ways. The advantage to the latter option is that if the price for one segment changes (drops), you can rebook that segment and get the difference back as an e-credit where is if it's all one ticket as a multi-city, you would have to reprice the whole ticket for any change. DL will protect you on back-to-back separate tickets in the event of IROPS and will even through-check bags across separate tickets when it's DL to DL (or DL to a handful of select partners).

The disadvantage to booking as separate tickets is with respect to schedule changes as a switch on one ticket will mean also having to change the other. IROPS may also get a little more complicated (though not overly so) because an agent will have to make adjustments to two tickets versus one.

ETA: I see your recent post where you said this trip is in January. There is a good chance of schedule changes between now and then so I may recommend booking as a multi-city on one ticket. Then DL can more easily treat this as ILM-MSY and if there are schedule changes, just rebook it as ILM-MSY, particularly if segments are added or changed to make for a true connection in DTW.
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Old Jun 24, 22, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
You can book it as a Multi-City on one ticket. You can also book this as two separate one-ways. The advantage to the latter option is that if the price for one segment changes (drops), you can rebook that segment and get the difference back as an e-credit where is if it's all one ticket as a multi-city, you would have to reprice the whole ticket for any change. DL will protect you on back-to-back separate tickets in the event of IROPS and will even through-check bags across separate tickets when it's DL to DL (or DL to a handful of select partners).

The disadvantage to booking as separate tickets is with respect to schedule changes as a switch on one ticket will mean also having to change the other. IROPS may also get a little more complicated (though not overly so) because an agent will have to make adjustments to two tickets versus one.

ETA: I see your recent post where you said this trip is in January. There is a good chance of schedule changes between now and then so I may recommend booking as a multi-city on one ticket. Then DL can more easily treat this as ILM-MSY and if there are schedule changes, just rebook it as ILM-MSY, particularly if segments are added or changed to make for a true connection in DTW.
Hmm. I was seeing it the opposite way: I suspect that, if I book ELM-DTW-MSY on one ticket and there is a schedule change, Delta's IT would automatically change the booking to either the early-morning one stop, or a two-stop via ATL -- that is, the options that show up in an ordinary schedule search -- even if the schedule change is minor and doesn't affect the feasibility of the routing. DL has said that ELM would get an additional DTW frequency, but it's not in the schedule and I doubt that they have the resources to do it.

Is there any chance at all, for ELM-DTW and DTW-MSY on separate tickets, that an agent would refuse to check a bag to MSY? I don't know whether Delta ground service at ELM is staffed by Delta employees, Skywest employees, or someone else.
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Old Jun 24, 22, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by kochleffel View Post
Is there any chance at all, for ELM-DTW and DTW-MSY on separate tickets, that an agent would refuse to check a bag to MSY? I don't know whether Delta ground service at ELM is staffed by Delta employees, Skywest employees, or someone else.
Well, policy is always what's practiced, not what's written. And all it could take is an (uninformed) agent refusing to check bags across both tickets. But as long as other conditions are met (layover/connection length), policy is to check baggage across separate DL to DL tickets (along with a handful of select "exception" carriers):
https://pro.delta.com/content/agency...e-policy-.html

I would save the above link as a favorite so if you run into an agent who is saying it's not permitted, you can point to them that DL policy says it is permitted (again, as long as your layover doesn't exceed a certain number of hours that would force you to claim your bag regardless of being on separate tickets or the same ticket - I do not know what the figure is with 100% certainty).
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Old Jun 24, 22, 10:19 am
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I've seen some claims about a 12 hour connection maximum to check bags through (although it doesn't really seem to be documented anywhere), but it doesn't sound like OP will be anywhere near that.
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Old Jun 24, 22, 11:28 am
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Somewhat unrelatedly, but while we're on this topic - I have noticed that the DL website blocks you from using multi-city search to price a fare break at a transfer point (that is, a fare break point must have a minimum connection time of 4h01 domestically). Very annoying when the fare break is cheaper.
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Old Jun 24, 22, 11:37 am
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It also forces >24 hour connections on international routes. If you try some like DTW-ATL + ATL-MBJ with both flights on same day, it will just bomb out. Most likely a work-around related to multi-city searches not checking married segment inventory (and only checking individual flight inventory) and mistakenly offering fares for which there is no married segment availability. If you prevent the multi-city search from offering any connections where married segment inventory would apply, it can't flub it up.

Last edited by xliioper; Jun 24, 22 at 11:44 am
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Old Jun 24, 22, 1:30 pm
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Yet delta.dumb routinely offers me broken fares with (domestic) connections under four hours even when there's a cheaper through fare. It used to be easy to solve this by using advanced search and forcing a higher fare class until the broken fare goes away for the flights one wants, but this isn't an option any more.
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Old Jun 24, 22, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Yet delta.dumb routinely offers me broken fares with (domestic) connections under four hours even when there's a cheaper through fare. It used to be easy to solve this by using advanced search and forcing a higher fare class until the broken fare goes away for the flights one wants, but this isn't an option any more.
Can one use a tool like ITA Matrix to build such an itinerary then use the "Book With Matrix" tool to then book the ticket through DL.com?
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Old Jun 24, 22, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Yet delta.dumb routinely offers me broken fares with (domestic) connections under four hours even when there's a cheaper through fare. It used to be easy to solve this by using advanced search and forcing a higher fare class until the broken fare goes away for the flights one wants, but this isn't an option any more.
If you look carefully at fare routing rules on EF, you will see it only does this when there are no covering through fares on the route. For example, it will offer MSP-DTW-LGA broken fares because all MSP-LGA fares require non-stop routing and MSP-DTW-LGA is not actually a valid routing for any single through fares. It's also not always clear when you are getting a broken fare as it will display a single fare letter if both fares are the same fare class (see broken fare example below). delta.com won't show broken fares for ELM-DTW-MSY routing because that's a valid routing for covering through fares. If you use ITA multi-city to search ELM-DTW-MSY and connection is less than 4 hours, it will combine segments and only quote as a single through fare (although it may get fare class wrong as it doesn't check married segment inventory when it combines segments from multi-city searches under a single fare).



Last edited by xliioper; Jun 24, 22 at 2:21 pm
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Old Jun 24, 22, 2:25 pm
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
I've seen some claims about a 12 hour connection maximum to check bags through (although it doesn't really seem to be documented anywhere), but it doesn't sound like OP will be anywhere near that.
DL to DL bag policy is over 6 hours you can short check, over 12 you must short check.. This only applies when checking bags in with DL and only for DL to DL connection. (DL system imposes the limits)

However an agent who knows how can override 12 hour limit. They just add the segment onto the bag tag like it was a separate ticket.
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