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I'm planning a multi-destination trip (TLS -> AKL -> YUL -> TLS). Flight finders are showing me prices around €2-3000 for EACH of these legs, total up to €9000, whereas the (geographically similar) TLS -> AKL -> TLS round trip is reasonably priced (€1400).

It seems that I'd save loads of money if I booked return trips for each of the three segments, flying the outbound leg and cancelling the return leg each time.

But this sounds like a hacky solution to work around airlines' pricing policy. I've read reports online of airlines claiming money afterwards from people not showing up on the return leg, but not from cancelling it. Can anyone confirm that it works (or doesn't)?

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    One thing you may want to try is playing with a multi-city search tools like matrix.itasoftware.com/search You don't need to buy only one-way fares, combining the different legs might give you access to other cheaper fares. For example, checking some random dates in June, I find tickets for €2600 for the whole trip, no hacking (but a very long journey from TLS to AKL with a layover in China).
    – Relaxed
    Commented Apr 27 at 15:28
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    Checking that you really mean Toulouse->Auckland->Montreal? Commented Apr 27 at 15:39
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    @DJClayworth yes, that's the plan! Got a friend to see in NZ, and when I saw the return flight was eastbound, I thought I might as well say drop in and say hi to my sister in Canada. I quite like the idea of flying around the globe for this trip, too!
    – foucdeg
    Commented Apr 27 at 15:45
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    You may want to look into round-the-world fares. Not all airlines sell them, the rules can be complex, and they are not always easy to book, but they often allow you to make a number of stops for a much cheaper price than the cumulated segments, though usually with a few more stops along the way (which you’ll need as there definitely aren’t any direct flights for that sequence). You may also want to consider a TLS-North America return + a North America-AKL return. You don’t even necessarily need to have the same stop in North America both ways (open jaws) but you would need a night in between.
    – jcaron
    Commented Apr 27 at 20:05
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    Whilst not a duplicate, you may want to have a read through this answer - travel.stackexchange.com/questions/11501/…
    – Doc
    Commented Apr 28 at 15:20

2 Answers 2

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As Relaxed says, you can almost certainly find cheaper flights than you have. For the end of June, with the 3 flights spaced a week apart, I found €3700 as the cheapest option, without any tricks, just searching for a multi-city trip on Expedia. Some of those were pretty horrible connections, but they do exist.

But you can make it better by buying two return tickets and using all the legs. You can get TLS->YUL for only €500 return, and YUL->AKL for €1700 return. You fly to Montreal and then straight to Auckland, then when you are done fly back to Montreal and stay with your sister. Or if it was me take a break of a few days each way. The only thing you are losing is your round-the-world trip (I just did one, and believe me it's not that exciting).

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    Flying to AKL directly after arriving at YUL is risky - of the flight arrives late at YUL and you miss your flight to AKL then the entire YIL-AKL-YUL ticket is cancelled. Much safer to stay in YUL on outgoing for a day or two.
    – ugoren
    Commented Apr 27 at 17:54
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    I did of course mean to leave enough time for a safe transfer in the event of delay. Commented Apr 27 at 18:08
  • Two round-trip/return flights is what I'd do. Just doesn't tick the "round the world" box, but then, you may have to pay for that...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 29 at 17:29
  • I ended up doing as you suggested. On the outbound trip, 18 hours in Montreal, night at my sisters, then onwards to AKL via a 9h layover at LAX. Return trip is the same way back to Montreal, I'll spend 5 days there, and then fly back to Toulouse via Toronto and Frankfurt (quite short layover there, I hope it works out fine, but it's the reservation's layover so I'm covered. Full price just a bit over 2000€ plus some travel insurance.
    – foucdeg
    Commented May 13 at 11:32
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This probably won't work for all air companies, but some of them allow making multiple legs reservation. For example on KLM I can search for your itinerary with a multi city trip

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This would spare you the "trick" of booking a return which you won't use.

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