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111op Jun 29th, 2007 07:24 AM

Connecting Flights On Two Tickets, Same Airline -- What If First Flight Delayed?
Hi, what if I book two flights on two separate tickets on the same airline and miss the second flight due to delay on the first flight? Will they just put me on the next one? Or will I need to pay a penalty?

Thinking about SAS.

The problem is that I can't seem to book the flights I want exactly online. SAS's website doesn't allow openjaw though Kayak shows this option, and a travel agent hasn't answered. I'm thinking of booking the pieces individually.


Sue_xx_yy Jun 29th, 2007 07:35 AM

Look, I'm no lawyer, but I deal with contracts all the time, and this is how I read it:

Strictly speaking, with two separate tickets, you don't have a connection in the legal sense. It is a matter of the terms of the contract. The airline's part of performing the contract is to get you to the destination listed on the ticket; as for your part, you are responsible for getting to the point of origin on the ticket.

If getting to the destination as listed on the ticket involves more than one flight, then you have a connection, i.e. there is only one point of origin for which you are responsible. As for any intervening points, the airline is contractually obligated to underwrite the cost of finding you the next available flight if due to delays you miss the connection.

But with two tickets, this strictly speaking isn't the case. The airline's job in the case of one contract is to get you to b from a, providing you get yourself to a; its job is also to get you to c from b, provided you get yourself to b. The fact that you got to b on their equipment on the same calendar day is irrelevant, in terms of who is legally responsible for any extra costs in the event you arrive at b too late.

Of course, what airlines actually do in the field, so to speak, seems to vary by airline. Dunno about SAS, but AC categorically states they won't even through-check luggage if two separate tickets are involved, even if they are the carrier on both tickets. Personally, I'd skip both the website and the TA and try calling the airline directly, if you want to book an open jaw. Or try dealing with Expedia or similar.

ellenem Jun 29th, 2007 07:36 AM

By 'travel agent' do you mean an SAS agent? I would deal directly with the airline to make sure.

Dukey Jun 29th, 2007 07:36 AM

Is it the fee that is keeping you from calling SAS directly?

111op Jun 29th, 2007 07:40 AM

SAS quotes a much higher rate. I'm thinking the package is about $850, but SAS quotes well over $1000 -- I can't recall exactly how much.

I just meant a normal travel agent. I've used this one before when there're fares I've found online that I can't book for whatever reason.

Yes, I should call SAS to find out what their policy is. But feel free to speculate. I won't hold anyone responsible. :-)


amp322 Jun 29th, 2007 07:48 AM

Sorry I can't help, but I was wondering the same exact thing! They have a great deal online, but the connection is less than 1 hour, and I'm afraid I'll miss flight #2 with all the delays going on!

lindsaybeth Jun 29th, 2007 07:55 AM

I am actually doing the same thing with Lufthansa. I called them directly and worked them them. They told me that as long as the connection time is a legal connection that they would hold responsibility. If you book a "non - legal" (to short) connection time then you're responsible. They will even send my luggage to my final destination.

Good Luck!!

Gardyloo Jun 29th, 2007 07:58 AM

The general rule is that unless the ticket for the flight you're connecting to is in a fare category that allows changes for no fee, you're sunk if you misconnect. If it's on one ticket, you're "protected" and would be put on the next available flight if you miss the connecting flight.

It's often the case that intra-Europe tickets are cheaper (due to competition with low cost carriers) if bought separately, than if included in a transatlantic routing. London to Germany with BA, for instance, can be had much cheaper than if you include it with your US > London ticket. I presume the same thing is going on here with SAS.

It's a gamble. I would try to minimize the risk by leaving yourself plenty of time between arriving and departing to/from CPH if you want to go that route.

Also when you check in, you should show both tickets to the check in person and hopefully they'll through-check your bags to the final destination, rather than making you go outside security at CPH and re-check them yourselves.

dawnnoelm Jun 29th, 2007 08:31 AM

I sit in Chile right NOW in the Admirals Club as a result of two short of a layover - and even though it was booked through AA - it has been a nightmare. We had a 50 minute lay over in Dallas (travel from LAX) our flight was delayed leaving LAX and there is only one AA flight from Dallas per day - they could not reroute us from Dallas till Tuesday (to Paris)...

JFK, Newark,Miami, Boston were all tried with no sucess. They sent us to Chile and now we are waiting for an AirFrance flight to take us to Paris... it will be a total of 48 plus hours of travel time to get from LAX to Paris.

Joke is on me ...because I booked AA on purpose to get the miles - we are gold members and very loyal. Til now - the way we have been treated has been horrible. I mean horrible. It is surprising.

I have no seats on AirFrance and they do not even have a counter in Chile (according to everyone I have spoken to)

The flight is another 13 hours.

This was our big trip..and right now we sit in Chile -

Moral of the story? Don't do it... don't do it.

111op Jun 29th, 2007 08:32 AM

How did you know I'm thinking about connecting in CPH, Gardyloo? I guess that must be the hub for SAS.

Basically I can't book an open jaw on SAS's website though the option appears on Kayak. I also can't book the open jaw I want on Orbitz, Expedia, etc.

But I figured out that I can book another open jaw on Orbitz, say, and combine it with CPH-Barcelona on SAS for roughly the price Kayak is showing.

Then I guess I can go to a travel agent and see if they can book the Kayak itinerary.

Or just fly a different airline -- like AA -- which I'm thinking of doing. It's more expensive, but I've most of my miles on AA.

I will call the airline and see what they say and report back.

111op Jun 29th, 2007 08:34 AM

Oh, it's 1h 5min in CPH, so technically legal. But historical records for that flight on flightstats aren't encouraging. And even if they put me on the next one to BCN for no fee, I won't get in until much later.

But I'm thinking about it because it does save me money. But would like to understand the risks I'm taking before doing anything.

111op Jun 29th, 2007 08:37 AM

Dawn, sorry to hear about the misfortunes. But if I were you I'd be out enjoying what Chile has to offer -- especially if the flight doesn't leave for another 13 hours! It's a roundabout way to get to Paris, I agree, but at least you get to see something different for a change.

But then usually I travel with carryon so delays are less disruptive.

tomassocroccante Jun 29th, 2007 08:56 AM

Try to book your ticket all at once.

I was stuck in Atlanta by an ice storm. Of course, I was supposed to fly back to NY, and a day later to Florida. (My ticket sat back home in NY) Because I couldn't get back in time, I rebooked Florida from Atlanta after Hartsfield reopened. All the lfights were USAir, but my original FL ticket was considered unused and I had to pay the penalty to make use of it later. It's just the way it goes, so I'd cover myself if I were you.

suze Jun 29th, 2007 09:19 AM

I wouldn't do it. I hate to be stressed out when I travel and that plan would do the trick. I'd rather pay a bit more and have a really good itinerary (decent flight times, layover not too long and not too short, better airports, least connections, etc.).

I always book direct myself with the airlines (not thru secondary websites, vendors, or travel agents).

tomassocroccante Jun 29th, 2007 09:55 AM

And while you can often, by speaking directly to a booking agent, get the airline to honor offers made elsewhere as well as clear up connection issues, etc, how often can you get another site to do the same?

I like booking on airline websites, but sometimes the site just doesn't get into the options you need, and the agent is the only way: even if there is a discount or mileage bonus for booking online. (In fact, I've mentioned that on occasion and had the agent make good on the online offer, since I tried but could not close my purchase online.)

111op Jun 29th, 2007 10:01 AM

Well I'm a little surprised that SAS's website can't handle an open jaw.

Actually usually for straightforward roundtrips the airline websites are cheaper because they don't charge the little extra Orbitz or Expedia charges.

I just tend to go with what's cheap within reason.

111op Jun 29th, 2007 11:33 AM

I called SAS and spoke to one agent. The answer she gave is that it's up to the airport staff. But obviously I can't expect that they will automatically put me on the next one.

In the meantime I'll think about other options.

111op Jun 29th, 2007 12:17 PM

Interestingly the travel agent I called can't book the two flights on one ticket. He has to do one with a much longer layover to get the same price. Wonder why?

The best connection is supposed to be 1h 5min. Prices could have changed in the last few hours but I doubt it.

Oh well, the wonders of airline pricing.

tomassocroccante Jun 30th, 2007 10:38 AM

Maybe the airline will not book the two flights as "connecting" if they see too little time between them.

With the on=time records being what they are of late, they probably have a point. They probably foresee the strong likelihood of missing the connection, so won't schedule it for you.

nytraveler Jun 30th, 2007 10:47 AM

Why not just call SAS and book it all as a single ticket so you have no problems?

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