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Advice on multi-segment to reduce round trip fare

Advice on multi-segment to reduce round trip fare

Old Apr 5, 19, 10:58 am
  #1  
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Advice on multi-segment to reduce round trip fare

Hello Flyertalk Experts!

I need your advise on a booking pratice. I was trying to book a flight from YUL to CLT and the prices for the flights are outrageous when you fly after 9am. I live far from the airport and I need to be there 2hrs in advance so a 6am flight would require me to leave at 3am... There are many flights at 1,3,5,7,9pm but prices are 20-50% higher.
Most connect in EWR, IAD or ORD.
So I go into Multi-Segment and 3 flights YUL - EWR and then EWR to CLT on the same day. Then YUL to CLT for the return date.
I can fly at 1:00pm instead of 6am with a very similar price. The exact same fare booked as a round trip was 24% higher!

NOW what I want to know is what are the risks? EWR is known to be delayed and late, would United protect me and move me on another segment or consider it two independent flights?
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Old Apr 5, 19, 11:11 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by tilhas View Post
NOW what I want to know is what are the risks? EWR is known to be delayed and late, would United protect me and move me on another segment or consider it two independent flights?
If you booked it on a single ticket, with multi-city search, as you described, there are no risks. You simply took advantage of United's broken pricing engine. Your trip will be treated the same as if you had purchased a roundtrip ticket.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 11:17 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by tilhas View Post
Hello Flyertalk Experts!

I need your advise on a booking pratice. I was trying to book a flight from YUL to CLT and the prices for the flights are outrageous when you fly after 9am. I live far from the airport and I need to be there 2hrs in advance so a 6am flight would require me to leave at 3am... There are many flights at 1,3,5,7,9pm but prices are 20-50% higher.
Most connect in EWR, IAD or ORD.
So I go into Multi-Segment and 3 flights YUL - EWR and then EWR to CLT on the same day. Then YUL to CLT for the return date.
I can fly at 1:00pm instead of 6am with a very similar price. The exact same fare booked as a round trip was 24% higher!

NOW what I want to know is what are the risks? EWR is known to be delayed and late, would United protect me and move me on another segment or consider it two independent flights?
This is confusing. If you have booked YUL-EWR-CLT, how is the return YUL-CLT? Do you mean CLT-YUL and will that be on the same ticket as YUL-EWR-CLT?
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Old Apr 5, 19, 11:24 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If you booked it on a single ticket, with multi-city search, as you described, there are no risks. You simply took advantage of United's broken pricing engine. Your trip will be treated the same as if you had purchased a roundtrip ticket.
THANK YOU! I was a little worried.

I need to figure out all the other "broken pricing engines" as the prices flying from Canada in 2019 have gone up 20-30% it's crazy.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This is confusing. If you have booked YUL-EWR-CLT, how is the return YUL-CLT? Do you mean CLT-YUL and will that be on the same ticket as YUL-EWR-CLT?
My Booking

Multi-Segment
YUL - EWR April 10
EWR - CLT April 10
CLT - YUL April 16 (This flight has 1 stop in EWR)

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 5, 19 at 10:28 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Apr 5, 19, 12:29 pm
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My advice:

if you are happy with the times and routings, book it right now, and then take the next 24 hours to decide if you can get something better or don’t want it. No risk since there’s free cancellations within 24 hrs.

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Old Apr 5, 19, 12:50 pm
  #6  
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I already booked it. Thank you everyone
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Old Apr 5, 19, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by tilhas View Post
Hello Flyertalk Experts!

I need your advise on a booking pratice. I was trying to book a flight from YUL to CLT and the prices for the flights are outrageous when you fly after 9am. I live far from the airport and I need to be there 2hrs in advance so a 6am flight would require me to leave at 3am... There are many flights at 1,3,5,7,9pm but prices are 20-50% higher.
Most connect in EWR, IAD or ORD.
So I go into Multi-Segment and 3 flights YUL - EWR and then EWR to CLT on the same day. Then YUL to CLT for the return date.
I can fly at 1:00pm instead of 6am with a very similar price. The exact same fare booked as a round trip was 24% higher!

NOW what I want to know is what are the risks? EWR is known to be delayed and late, would United protect me and move me on another segment or consider it two independent flights?
As was already answered, there's no risk to booking this all on one ticket. If you book them as separate one-ways, in the event that is price-advantageous, you may find trouble.

A few years ago United did some things to the multi-city engine to try eliminating this possibility, but sometimes you can still get it to what you want. You can also try using google flights, which will sometimes give you a link to an itinerary that UA's search won't return.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 12:56 pm
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There's absolutely no difference in booking your multi-segment itinerary than booking a simple return. The benefit is that you get to decide from a greater selection of flight segments. Trust me, I've done it many, many times, and I am based in YUL as well.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 10:10 pm
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Out of curiosity, in this case: Any issues checking a bag through on the YUL-EWR-CLT legs when booked with multicity or is it totally transparent as a seemingly RT at check in? Or would they try to make you collect in EWR or pay 2 charges?
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Old Apr 5, 19, 10:17 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
As was already answered, there's no risk to booking this all on one ticket. If you book them as separate one-ways, in the event that is price-advantageous, you may find trouble.
.
if you are booking the ‘one way’ as YUL-EWR and EWR-CLT as separate flights, then yes, could be trouble. If you are booking a ‘one way’ by using multi-city YUL-EWR, EWR-CLT,, then it will all be on one ticket and you’ll be fine and protects you, and then doing the CLT-YUL on a different PNR, you should also be fine, presuming it’s not something like an immediate turn.

Speaking of one ways and Canada, at least from my experience flying to YYZ, assuming the one way fare is half the round trip (which I typically see these days, although noticed it wasn’t the case on my last trip) it is typically cheaper to book one ways. I believe it’s a tax thing - not sure if it’s just this or also something else also, but you only pay the Canadian HST on the trip from Canada if booking as one ways, but pay the HST on the total round trip fare if booking as a round trip (or multi city) US-Canada-US. I find it saves about $35/person on my typical trips, so when traveling with the family (which is most of the time), the savings are worth it.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 10:26 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by c5ruzr View Post
Out of curiosity, in this case: Any issues checking a bag through on the YUL-EWR-CLT legs when booked with multicity or is it totally transparent as a seemingly RT at check in? Or would they try to make you collect in EWR or pay 2 charges?
From my experience (when I've done a similar booking to force a connection), it would show up as YUL-CLT at checkin. Bags should go all the way.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 4:44 pm
  #12  
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So I'm currently on this booking (.... because of ORD weather today) and I did find an issue with booking it this way.
When I have my ticket printed it does not show INTL and thus denied entry into the lounge because i'm only Gold. They had to make an "exception" as they couldn't figure out why it doesnt show INTL on the ticket.

So FYI whoever needs to enter the lounge and flying via "international", they might risk lousing lounge access.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 14, 19 at 5:55 pm Reason: Using symbols, spaces or other methods to mask vulgarities is not allowed.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 5:22 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by tilhas View Post
So I'm currently on this booking (... because of ORD weather today) and I did find an issue with booking it this way.
When I have my ticket printed it does not show INTL and thus denied entry into the lounge because i'm only Gold. They had to make an "exception" as they couldn't figure out why it doesnt show INTL on the ticket.

So FYI whoever needs to enter the lounge and flying via "international", they might risk lousing lounge access.
The other ticket -- the one that said INTL -- should have been enough to get you access.

I've run into similar situations and have gotten in that way.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 14, 19 at 5:56 pm Reason: quote update to reflect Moderator edit
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Old Apr 14, 19, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
The other ticket -- the one that said INTL -- should have been enough to get you access.

I've run into similar situations and have gotten in that way.
None of the tickets had INTL written on them.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 5:37 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by tilhas View Post
None of the tickets had INTL written on them.
Was there some other irregularity with your ticket? Cancellation, re-routing, etc.?

At a minimum, your transborder flight BP should have had INTL written on it, but in truth, they both should. The computer would have been it as a single journey with two fare components. It doesn't know that you used multi-city search to generate it, and it needn't care.
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