Why are two round trip tickets cheaper than one?
I was looking at airfares to New Delhi-DEL from ORD, CID, or DSM for a friend using the Yahoo!/Travelocity/Sabre system through Yahoo! Travel. When I put in point to point ___ to DEL the best I could get was USD $1920 from ORD. But then I looked at fares to DEL from European cities and then fares to those same European cities from the possible starting points and sure enough I found cheap $520 range fares to Paris-CDG with several airlines (Delta, TW, AA, UA) from all of my possible starting points and if you put that together with an Air France fare from CDG-DEL of $836, that's a substantial savings.
The same thing when you want to go through AMS with Northwest/KLM. ORD-AMS 463.90. AMS-ORD 820.10. But ORD-DEL is much more expensive: $1920.00 even though all the flights are the same! (and yes I moved the departure date up one day for the AMS-DEL segment to account for arriving the day after departing)
What would the airline do if you booked seperate tickets? Would that raise a red flag somewhere? Is against anyone's rules to do this?
If anyone is curious to which dates I used, they are leaving on 18 December and returning on 15 January.