Posts: 2955
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2000 5:56 am

Airfare To India Question (NW/KLM; AF)

Thu Aug 31, 2000 8:04 am

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.

RE: Airfare To India Question (NW/KLM; AF)

Thu Aug 31, 2000 8:25 am

Hi there,

To answer your question, I don't think the airlines would do anything if you booked separate tickets. You may have difficulty with baggage enroute though (i.e. you will have to collect it, go through customs, and check it in again). However, if you want a good fare, I suggest you not go through travelocity or any of these web reservation companies. For that matter, don't even go directly through the airline. Travel agents (consolidators in particular) often have discounted tickets from the airlines -- these fares don't show up in the computers because of the way international fares are structured. For ORD-DEL RT in December, you shouldn't have to pay much more than $1000. From SFO you can often get a RT through a consolidator for less than $900 off-season.
Posts: 2955
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2000 5:56 am

RE: Airfare To India Question (NW/KLM; AF)

Thu Aug 31, 2000 8:59 am

Thanks for the tip. Are the consolidators pretty flexible on dates? Could you suggest one or two?


RE: Airfare To India Question (NW/KLM; AF)

Thu Aug 31, 2000 9:33 am

Hi again,

Dates are usually not a problem with consolidators, but it varies from agent to agent as they may have differing contracts with the airlines. The reason I know this is because I just went to Delhi a couple months ago. The agent I used was based in San Francisco, so I'm not sure he would be much help for flights originating in Chicago, although the fare was excellent. If your friend is a student, Council Travel often has pretty reasonable fares with very few restrictions. They have a website...I think it's or something like that. Maybe without the dash. experience with them is that they are very very inefficient, different agents tell you different things, and the result was I went with someone else even though they had the lowest fare. But since they're so big and famous you're pretty sure not to get swindled. Otherwise, you might check your newspaper's travel section. The little boxes advertising DEL $1000! are usually consolidators. Except it's always caveat emptor with these guys. Maybe some Midwesterners on this board can offer some suggestions for agents they've used and liked.

RE: Airfare To India Question (NW/KLM; AF)

Thu Aug 31, 2000 9:35 am

And I may not get frequent flier miles on some consolidator tickets. Although you often can---check to make sure before you buy.
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 6:47 pm

RE: Airfare To India Question (NW/KLM; AF)

Thu Aug 31, 2000 12:54 pm

YOu should begin by reading the Consolidator FAQ
at Ed, has written a very good FAQ on this matter.

Any good consolidator will tell you upfront
which airline and how much it will cost.

There is a FAQ on Travel Agents for the Indian Sub-continent at Once you've read these two, you'd have preety good feel of the subject matter and pricing structure.

Hope this helps

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