Booking flights with a layover

I usually use Travelocity for booking flights and have had good look with most flights. But I’m looking at an upcoming trip where we’d like to stay over two nights in a European city on the way home, but if I book the trip as a multiple destinations with the layover the price skyrockets.

Is it better to use a travel agent for this sort of thing or call the airlines directly? Anyone have any tricks?

I’ve booked multi city flights through Flight Network, a couple of times and it didn’t seem to shift the price much either time.

But I bet it’s about the destination cities, more than whom you’re booking through. But it’s just a guess!

As a rule, they won’t let you book a unified flight with a layover longer than the gap between available flights. It’s pretty easy to worfk out an overnight layover.

Last summer, I rebooked a flight for a day earlier into Dubai where I had an overnight layover, and I asked if I could keep the original onward flight, to have two nights. Emirates said no, that would be a different ticket rerwite, and I had to also move the onward flight to a day earlier.

But sometimes it is actually cheaper to fly on two separate tickets. I flew RT to Bangkok with a separate ticket Bangkok to Darwin, about $300 cheaper than any direct flight booked straight to Australia would have been. I could then have as long as I wanted in Bangkok. It takes a bit of searching, though, to find the connection.

Are there still travel agents?

The last time (but one) that I used a travel agent, it was for this kind of thing. My wife & I were flying to Britain (from Sydney Airport), and Malaysian Airlines gave the best price, via Kuala Lumpur. We wanted to break the journey with a 2-night stay in KL, and I couldn’t see how to do it online, so we went to a travel agent who did it for us at a similar low price.

(And of course we enjoyed our stay in KL, so about a year later we spent about 2 weeks in Malaysia and Singapore.)

I’ve never used one and was wondering the same thing.

My impression is that travel agents tend to be used by people who are not used to international travel, so need a bit of hand-holding and advice as they plan their trips. These people would also go on cruises and organised tours, rather then on independent travel. I understand that, since it can be a bit intimidating to travel in a country where you don’t speak the language and the culture is different from yours.

As I said above, the second last time I used a travel agent was to book a flight with a 2-night stopover. The last time, I was organising a 6-week trip to Europe, booking flights, trains, hotels, etc., myself. However, when I came to booking a flight from Athens to Paris with Air France, for some reason I couldn’t work out how to pay for the flight, so I just told a travel agent the details that I wanted, and she could book it for me.

Agents can be very helpful when you’re trying to do something that’s not quite straightforward. If you’re trying to book a trip with multiple legs, find good hotels at each stop, and pair some tours with it. It can be very time consuming and an agent can do it for you. For cruises they can get special deals like on board ship credits and the like.

I have done this several times with little to no increase in price for an itinerary that included a layover. It works best if you choose an airline with its hub in the layover city. For example, I was doing Houston - Delhi with a layover in Paris for a week. I could book it easily on the KLM/Air France website by selecting “multiple destinations” as the option instead of one-way or round trip. It would have worked very well for a layover in Amsterdam AND Paris, because KLM and AirFrance are basically the same airline now.

I would consider calling the airline directly and explaining what you are trying to achieve. They could try different scenarios and work out what is best (hmm, maybe all one-way tickets works best). But, be warned, it seems that domestic US carriers charge money for calling on the phone for booking, if you don’t have status.

Would this help:

There are codes you can put in which change layover times?

Interesting article just showed up on my feed -

Also this site looks promising -

Hrmm, Lisbon…

Username/post combo!

There are and my company uses one to funnel all corporate travel through the one organization. It’s probably cheaper to outsource that than to dedicate one or ten different people within the company to handle that sort of thing. Because booking the travel really isn’t the issue. We have a web-based app for that and we book our own travel based on our needs. Where they really come in handy is when there’s terrible weather or something and the plans get all wonky – they can help resolve problems during and after travel.

Yes, my cousin is one.

I found a Polish travel agency (in the US) that I used to assist me when I went to Poland two years ago. He helped in securing housing in a good area & giving me suggestions on what to do with my extra day there. I’m sure he got paid via kickback from the place I booked thru but it didn’t cost me anything ‘extra’ as I could have paid the same amount on Expedia or whatever other website I looked at. I ended up with a rental studio in an apartment building rather than in a traditional hotel.