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Greek Islands trick? (breaking up itinerary on different reservations)

Greek Islands trick? (breaking up itinerary on different reservations)

Old Jan 31st, 2020, 12:13 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 262
Greek Islands trick? (breaking up itinerary on different reservations)

I'm sure this topic has been discussed before, but I wasn't able to find much when I searched—possibly because I didn't know the right search terms to use. Scott's Cheap Flights calls it the "Greek Islands trick" in this article, but I'm not sure if that's their term or a term that's used generally.

Basically, it's the practice of buying a cheaper fare from a major hub to your destination, and then buying a separate ticket from your home to that major hub—the logic being that it's easier to find cheap fares from major hubs. See the above-linked article for a good overview of the strategy.

I'm curious what people's thoughts are about this strategy. There are some obvious pros and cons, but I'm wondering if there are any cons I might be overlooking.

As an example, for the trip I'm planning now, this strategy definitely works. I've been eyeing an open-jaw Scandinavia itinerary that flies through KEF, and if I book DEN-KEF r/t, and then separately book open-jaw KEF-CPH and HEL-KEF, it works out $300+ cheaper than booking it all together (PER PERSON, so for 3 of us, almost $1,000). There is sufficient layover time both ways for that aspect to be a non-issue: 6 hours on the outbound, and an overnight layover on the return (enough time for a quick Blue Lagoon visit).

What am I overlooking?

Last edited by RaymondLuxuryYacht; Jan 31st, 2020 at 12:22 PM.
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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,713
Not a trick really and nothing at all new. People all the time book R-T into major European cities and then cheap flights on budget airlines intra-Europe. As long as one builds in sufficient connection time AND totally understands the luggage/check-in/etc requirements of the budget airline.
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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 5,354
On one ticket, if the first flight is delayed, your onward flights are protected. On separate tickets, your onward flight if missed for any reason gets you marked as a no show, cancelling all further legs, including the return. So, in the words of Dirty Harry, "Are you feeling lucky?"
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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,902
It is nothing new, splitting tickets into separate bookings to save money have been done for decades, way before budget airlines. And it does not have to be budget airlines. I've had many separate bookings over the years, some included budget airlines, others did not.

I've only had 1 issue with a cancelled flight, the next flight was missed but because I paid for a flexible ticket, I paid a fee to rebook, I did not lose the ticket. And because the bookings are on separate systems as they were on different airlines, the other flights did not become cancelled. That only happens if all the flights are on one reservation.

Last edited by Odin; Jan 31st, 2020 at 03:22 PM.
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Old Feb 1st, 2020, 02:22 AM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 859
My worry is flight changes. You basically have two blindfolded jugglers that only care about themselves at this point. If either airline changes your flight schedule your six hours could disappear in a puff of smoke. Leaving you the option of tossing the cheaper flight

If you are saving enough money you could build in a longer stay. Six hours seems like a long time but even without a change the buffer isn't huge.

Assuming the flight is on time
You'll need to collect luggage. Clear immigration. Find the check in desk. Clear security. Find the departure gate.

If the arriving flight ends up delayed those six hours start getting tight. Remember the first sticky point is the bag drop. That closes before your flight departs. In reality you're already at likely less than 5.30 hours

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Old Feb 1st, 2020, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,285
I did his all the time when carrying luggage on. Never had any problems.
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