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PHL -> LAS in april - any reason not to do multiple one way tickets?

PHL -> LAS in april - any reason not to do multiple one way tickets?

Old Mar 6, 13, 12:52 pm
  #1  
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PHL -> LAS in april - any reason not to do multiple one way tickets?

i've been planning a trip in april for philadelphia to las vegas for a friend's birthday...there will be 6-8 of us travelling. it is nearly $300 less per ticket (for the times of day we need to travel) to book it like this...

PHL -> IAH
IAH -> LAS

LAS -> IAH
IAH -> PHL

as four separate one way tickets rather than two round-trips (or even two one ways from PHL -> LAS and back). i've been watching every day looking for cheaper fares but i haven't seen anything get to a price that makes me say i should jump on it...so today i started playing around and found the above solution (potential solution)...

i understand i need to leave some time inbetween for connections, so there are roughly three hours in houston on each leg...is there anything i need to be careful with if i do it this way? what about checking bags? can i have bags checked directly to LAS and directly to PHL on the way home even though i'm flying separate one ways?
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Old Mar 6, 13, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by crackers8199 View Post
i've been planning a trip in april for philadelphia to las vegas for a friend's birthday...there will be 6-8 of us travelling. it is nearly $300 less per ticket (for the times of day we need to travel) to book it like this...

PHL -> IAH
IAH -> LAS

LAS -> IAH
IAH -> PHL

as four separate one way tickets rather than two round-trips (or even two one ways from PHL -> LAS and back). i've been watching every day looking for cheaper fares but i haven't seen anything get to a price that makes me say i should jump on it...so today i started playing around and found the above solution (potential solution)...

i understand i need to leave some time inbetween for connections, so there are roughly three hours in houston on each leg...is there anything i need to be careful with if i do it this way? what about checking bags? can i have bags checked directly to LAS and directly to PHL on the way home even though i'm flying separate one ways?
It won't be any problem to check your bags all the way through if you let the agent know..they will even be able to get you the onward boarding passes.

The biggest risk in doing it is if you need to cancel or change the flights because there would be multiple change/cancellation charges whereas on a round trip ticket there would just be 1.
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Old Mar 6, 13, 1:36 pm
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What exactly do you mean by booking as four separate one-ways? Have you tried using the multiple-destination search to get it all into one reservation? When you do a simple round-trip search, is it showing you the same flight options but at a higher price?

In theory, the website should price the round-trip out as four separate one ways if that's the cheapest faring, so what you're describing shouldn't happen unless it's simply not showing you those flight options.
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Old Mar 6, 13, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
What exactly do you mean by booking as four separate one-ways? Have you tried using the multiple-destination search to get it all into one reservation? When you do a simple round-trip search, is it showing you the same flight options but at a higher price?

In theory, the website should price the round-trip out as four separate one ways if that's the cheapest faring, so what you're describing shouldn't happen unless it's simply not showing you those flight options.
ua 795 phl -> iah
ua 709 iah -> las

ua 1194 las -> iah
ua 1511 iah -> phl

if i book that combination as a round-trip (phl -> las) united.com tells me the final cost per passenger is $715.60

if i book all four flights separately, as one way tickets (using multiple destination search), united.com tells me the final cost per passenger is $384.60
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Old Mar 6, 13, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by crackers8199 View Post
ua 795 phl -> iah
ua 709 iah -> las

ua 1194 las -> iah
ua 1511 iah -> phl

if i book that combination as a round-trip (phl -> las) united.com tells me the final cost per passenger is $715.60

if i book all four flights separately, as one way tickets (using multiple destination search), united.com tells me the final cost per passenger is $384.60
Ah. There's a difference between booking four separate one ways and using multiple destination search. Based on the price, I'm guessing that what you're actually seeing is a fare priced as at most two fares (one RT, two half-RTs, or two one-ways). Click through to the fare rules and see if there are two fare bases or four.

I'm guessing that the exact flights you're looking at did not come up when you did a RT search?
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Old Mar 6, 13, 3:43 pm
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my bad, i didn't realize there was a difference. they showed up on the RT search, but much lower down the list (when searching by price)...when i searched it by schedule i found them rather easily.

on the multiple destination search, the two legs of the front-end were L class i believe, and both legs on the return were K (or vice versa, but i'm pretty sure i have the classes right). on the RT, the first leg on the front-end was a T, both legs on the return were W.

only reason i even thought to run it as a multiple destination thru IAH is because i go out to CA a lot, and pretty much every time i fly from PHL -> SAN it's under $300 and routed through IAH.
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Old Mar 6, 13, 3:46 pm
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You can book multiple one way or half roundtrip fares on a single ticket, no need for multiple tickets.
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Old Mar 6, 13, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by crackers8199 View Post
my bad, i didn't realize there was a difference. they showed up on the RT search, but much lower down the list (when searching by price)...when i searched it by schedule i found them rather easily.

on the multiple destination search, the two legs of the front-end were L class i believe, and both legs on the return were K (or vice versa, but i'm pretty sure i have the classes right). on the RT, the first leg on the front-end was a T, both legs on the return were W.

only reason i even thought to run it as a multiple destination thru IAH is because i go out to CA a lot, and pretty much every time i fly from PHL -> SAN it's under $300 and routed through IAH.
This is an illustration of how crappy United.com's booking engine can be. I always start my searches with the ITA Matrix for that reason.

Interesting about the different fare classes. Is the price the same?
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Old Mar 6, 13, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
You can book multiple one way or half roundtrip fares on a single ticket, no need for multiple tickets.
i guess my confusion is in why the multiple destination search fare is $300+ less than a round trip or two one-ways...and if there's any particular reason i SHOULDN'T do the multiple destination booking since it's so much cheaper.

Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
This is an illustration of how crappy United.com's booking engine can be. I always start my searches with the ITA Matrix for that reason.

Interesting about the different fare classes. Is the price the same?
as i mentioned above the total for the multiple destination fare was $385, for the round-trip it was $716. is there a way to figure out what the price for each leg is?

Last edited by iluv2fly; Mar 6, 13 at 4:33 pm Reason: merge
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Old Mar 6, 13, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by crackers8199 View Post
as i mentioned above the total for the multiple destination fare was $385, for the round-trip it was $716. is there a way to figure out what the price for each leg is?
In the RT search, click through as if you're about to buy the exact same flights as you found using the multi-destination search. Does it still show a higher price?
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Old Mar 6, 13, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
In the RT search, click through as if you're about to buy the exact same flights as you found using the multi-destination search. Does it still show a higher price?
yep.

Fare Details
1 Adults (age 18 to 64) $675.00
Additional Taxes/Fees $40.60
Total $715.60

but again, the fare classes are still different. i didn't see an option on the RT search to pick the same fare classes (L and K)...
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Old Mar 6, 13, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by crackers8199 View Post
yep.

Fare Details
1 Adults (age 18 to 64) $675.00
Additional Taxes/Fees $40.60
Total $715.60

but again, the fare classes are still different. i didn't see an option on the RT search to pick the same fare classes (L and K)...
Hmm, that shouldn't be happening, but to my knowledge booking it the cheaper way will not create any issues. It sounds like each direction is pricing out properly as a single fare anyway, so you should be extra-safe.
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Old Mar 6, 13, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
Hmm, that shouldn't be happening, but to my knowledge booking it the cheaper way will not create any issues. It sounds like each direction is pricing out properly as a single fare anyway, so you should be extra-safe.
here's another question then - if i do it using the multiple destination search, is that equivalent to one ticket (i.e. if i need to change something it's one change fee)? or would there still be multiple fees?
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Old Mar 6, 13, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by crackers8199 View Post
here's another question then - if i do it using the multiple destination search, is that equivalent to one ticket (i.e. if i need to change something it's one change fee)? or would there still be multiple fees?
Should be a single PNR, so only one fee, etc. -- others will correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old Mar 6, 13, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by crackers8199 View Post
i guess my confusion is in why the multiple destination search fare is $300+ less than a round trip or two one-ways...and if there's any particular reason i SHOULDN'T do the multiple destination booking since it's so much cheaper.
Airline pricing is tough to reverse engineer. Just book it the cheap way.
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