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I am attempting to book this sequence of flights on Qantas:

SYD - JNB - CPT

and then later,

JNB - SYD

I'm unable to book this using the Qantas multi-city option on the their website. It says "The selected itinerary is not available online". I'm wondering if it's available offline.

SYD-JNB-SYD is significantly cheaper if booked as a return ticket rather than two one-way tickets. However, I want to include the JNB-CPT flight on the same ticket.

My reasoning is that if the long international flight is delayed, having one ticket means they'll automatically reschedule me on a later flight. Or maybe we could even sneak to an earlier connection if we're fast.

Will a travel agent be able to book this itinerary on a single ticket? Or is it not possible to add an extra fight if purchased as return?

share|improve this question
    
If anyone can think of a clearer headline question, feel free to edit. – WW. Jan 17 at 7:35
    
I've had a go, hopefully it still represents your question clearly! – Gagravarr Jan 17 at 8:19

Can a travel agent book the fare? Yes they probably can. The likely reason you can not do it online is that fare (SYD-CPT) doesn't exist in their online system. So a travel agent will have to call and ask the fare desk to price the ticket out manually. You could possibly do the same by calling Qantas direct.

There are so many possible airfare combos that they can not all be programmed into the system, so most airlines still have fare desks whose sole job is pricing out unique combos.

You, however, will likely lose that sweet SYD-JNB round trip fare and be stuck with a higher fare class when you build in the JNB-CPT leg. You might find it cheaper to buy the SYD-JNB round trip and then a flexible JNB-CPT fare to protect yourself against issues.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks Tom. The price difference is significant, so maybe I'll buy the international return and worry about the internal flight separately. Travel insurance might cover the potential missed connection also. – WW. Jan 17 at 8:02
    
Looking on ITA Matrix, the fare seems to be for itineraries "between Australia and Africa", if so it would also apply to SYD-CPT. – fkraiem Jan 17 at 8:33
    
(In general it is rare for a fare class to be restricted to itineraries between two speific cities or airports, they are generally defined for wider geographic areas.) – fkraiem Jan 17 at 9:00
    
@fkraiem - While a fare class maybe be consistent throughout a region, the actual dollar amount will vary from city pair to city pair. – Tom Jan 17 at 9:07
2  
@fkraiem - it depends on how the fare desk prices it. I have personally seen a number of examples where a non-standard add-on connection forced the long haul segment to be priced using a less restricted (ie higher cost) fare class. – Tom Jan 17 at 9:48

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