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I'm looking to book a multi-city itinerary on Air France, specifically CDG-->KIX (Paris CDG to Kansai International) and KIX-->LHR (Kansai International to London Heathrow).

Air France operates flights for both these pairs, and it seems I would be able to book them separately without any issue (though very expensive, of course). However, I can't book them together (for any amount of money). When I search through ITA Matrix, this combination on Air France does not show up (even though both one-ways show up).

When I search on the Air France website, I get a little bit of hope, since on the first page after the search it indeed lists many flights in both directions. However when I select which flights I want, it gives me a strange error message "There are no flights available. Please modify your travel dates." (even though it just displayed available flights!).

Is there any hope of booking this combination, perhaps through a SkyTeam partner, or does Air France simply disallow this sort of flight combination?

By the way, the combination CDG-->KIX and NRT-->CDG seems to be easily bookable.

  • It is possible that they are not allowed to offer it because of the rights they have or have not negotiated (and are paying for) with those countries. Read up on Freedom of the Air rights. – Aganju Jan 17 at 21:46
  • Possible duplicate of travel.stackexchange.com/questions/66859/… – JonathanReez Jan 17 at 23:54
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    All those KIX-LHR itineraries have a transfer at CDG anyway. – Michael Hampton Jan 18 at 4:59
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    I don't know if it helps, but sometimes (not always) when you phone them they can do things like this, which, the web site won't do. – Fattie Jan 18 at 11:51
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    @Aganju If they can be booked separately, then that's not the issue. Also, the KIX-LHR is really KIX-CDG-LHR, so rights of the air isn't really an issue there anyway. – reirab Jan 18 at 16:37
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To be able to book a combination of flights, the airline has to publish a fare which allows this combination. If that didn't happen, then it can be the case like you have noticed, that you could book two flights separately as one-ways, but not together as open-jaw or return. As long as the airline doesn't add a fare for the combination, there is nothing you can do. Theoretically it could be possible to buy those flights together, if a code share partner has published a valid return fare.

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This excellent answer by @Calchas, while for a different route on AF/KLM, happens to have the answer for your route as well - for whatever reason, they don't allow origin open jaws where the origins are in different countries.

I looked up Air France's fare rules for a first class flight from CDG-KIX, and they include the following (among many other rules). I'm not sure if these rules are easily accessible for the public at large, though.

OPEN JAWS

FARES MAY BE COMBINED ON A HALF ROUND TRIP BASIS
-TO FORM SINGLE OR DOUBLE OPEN JAWS WHICH CONSISTS OF NO
 MORE THAN 2 INTERNATIONAL FARE COMPONENTS AND THE OPEN
 SEGMENT AT ORIGIN MUST BE IN ONE COUNTRY. THE OPEN
 SEGMENT AT DESTINATION HAS NO RESTRICTIONS.
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    doe this imply that adding a third segment, LHR-CDG, would make the combo something that could be sold? OP could always arrange a year or so "stopover" in LHR before using the 3rd segment. – Kate Gregory Jan 17 at 23:10
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    Sounds like a good idea, but empirically, based on trying the Air France site, the answer seems to be no. There's separate sets of rules for stopovers, but I'm not really proficient enough in reading them to say for sure why it doesn't work. – ex-user3761894 Jan 17 at 23:31
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    @KateGregory Not sure about AF, but for many airlines, there are restrictions on stopovers. The lowest fares usually don't allow them at all, and there may be additional costs for other discount fares. There may also be restrictions on where the stopover may happen. – jcaron Jan 17 at 23:51
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    How about booking it so it's not a stopover, just a plane change at LHR? Don't board the plane for the last segment of the trip LHR-CDG. – Harper Jan 18 at 0:33
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    Note that for all intents and purposes KLM is Air France.. – George M Jan 18 at 0:58
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While user3761894's answer is unfortunately correct that AF will not issue such a ticket, there is one way around this that should be much cheaper than booking as two separate one-way flights: Book a round-trip from CDG to KIX and then book a separate one-way flight to LHR on a new reservation.

The downside to this option is that, with it not being booked on the same ticket, they're technically not responsible if a delay causes you to misconnect at CDG, but the CDG-LHR flight isn't that expensive anyway, so it's not that big of a risk. Plus, if you book Air France for both flights, they'd probably be willing to reschedule you anyway if a delay on your KIX-CDG flight caused you to miss the CDG-LHR one, even though they'd not be legally obligated to do so. Especially if you explained that you were simply not able to book them on the same itinerary because of the open-jaw fare rules mentioned in user3761894's answer.

Looking at a random date in February 2019, the CDG-LHR segment would be $135 with a stop in AMS or $170 direct if booked through Air France. Of course, the AMS-LHR segment would be operated by KLM if you booked one of the options with a layover at AMS.

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The Air France flight from KIX to LHR (Osaka to London) may only be available on a limited schedule, or a code share since most international carriers need to fly to or from their home country. Since you want to do a stop over in Japan and come from and go to different countries it would easier to book the flight on an Japanese carrier like ANA or JAL.

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