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Advice for buying 1 ticket for several Eur. destinations to match 2 FF tix?

Advice for buying 1 ticket for several Eur. destinations to match 2 FF tix?

Old Nov 1, 10, 10:52 am
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 22
Advice for buying 1 ticket for several Eur. destinations to match 2 FF tix?

My family (me, wife, daughter) will be traveling to Europe this summer. I had enough FF miles on Continental to get two tickets going from IAD-CDG (via Toronto), from BIO(Bilbao)-ATH (via Barcelona), and from ATH-IAD (via Heathrow and Toronto). There are connections on different airlines for every origin and destination listed.

So I need to figure out flight and luggage issues, some of which apply to all of us and some of which apply to buying the third ticket, which we don't have yet. I apologize in advance if these are basic (i.e., stupid) questions but I have not had a chance to fly internationally in about 15 years and appreciate the knowledge in these forums.

(1) If I'm flying two or three different airlines to get from one specified origin to one specified destination, does the second bag fee apply on each flight segment or only once? (I assume that somehow the bags will be checked to ensure that they keep going to the final destination even though separate airlines are being used.)

(2) What is the best time to purchase a ticket (or separate tickets) for the third ticket? We plan to leave on June 17 and return July 3 (+/- 1 day for ticket #3 if necessary)? I think we're too far out right now to get a good deal on a ticket but wasn't sure when to start really paying attention.

(3) For ticket #3, should I plan to get one open jaw ticket for the big trips (IAD-CDG and ATH-IAD) while buying separate tickets from Bilbao to Barcelona (Spanair) and Barcelona-Athens (Aegean)? If I buy the Spanair and Aegean tickets now, they're 130 euros combined on two separate airlines, including regulations and taxes, and would ensure that we're all on the same flights from BIO-ATH.

(4) If I should buy the two tickets mentioned in #3 above, should the luggage for the third ticket holder be given to a FF ticket holder to ensure that the bags keep going to Athens? Otherwise, because the third ticket holder's tickets appear to be separate trips in and out of Barcelona, it seems possible that the third ticket's luggage might end up in Barcelona (via Spanair) and not make it to Athens (via Aegean) if they don't come out on a conveyer very quickly. Am I wrong? Is this one of those stupid questions I mentioned above?

Thanks for any advice and for taking the time to read this.
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