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I want to fly Boston -> Venice, stay there for awhile, then Venice-> Barcelona, stay for a few days, then Barcelona to Boston.

I have a minor heart problem that gets worse with lack of sleep so I want to book a business-class "lay flat" seat for the Boston-Venice leg so I can try to sleep, but I'd like to fly economy for the rest.

I'm a Delta frequent Flyer so I called Delta and they said that I had to book the WHOLE trip at business class rates to get that one leg at business class. That seemed ridiculous. Is it true and if so, why?

N.B. the goal here is not just to BOOK a mixed-fare trip - even Delta will let me do that - the goal is to save money over booking the whole thing as Business class.

Can I book a series of one-way flights or will the extra cost of one way wipe out any savings?

Thanks in advance.

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    What's the price of booking all those 3 flights separately the way you want them? Also, can you just a later upgrade of just a single leg? – DJClayworth Apr 15 '15 at 19:22
  • I am wondering a bit, why flying the first - long - leg in business but not the last - also long? Because it's a daytime flight? Why not take a nap/sleep before and after the first one in that case ? "wasting" a day for sleeping is probably way cheaper than a business-class flight. – Vince Apr 15 '15 at 21:20
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    Are you sure you want to fly the Barcelona -> Boston leg in economy? – JoErNanO Apr 16 '15 at 0:25
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It's not something we could know without knowing your dates and flights. But yes, it can happen, you'll just need to investigate. Sometimes the sum of segments can be less than the total price.

ALso, do you have to use Delta? There are many trans-Atlantic airlines, consider an aggregate site like kayak which provides the ability to find flights with mixed fares - so you could find economy for the first part and business for the second, for example.

Sometimes it's cheaper, sometimes it's not. At that point you'll ahve to decide on whether it's worth it for you.

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On a trip like this, unless you have a really good reason not to do so, book a round trip instead of a multi city and fly the European section with a European airline. In case, book a BOS-BCN and a BCN-VCE roundtrip. You might find substantial savings. Or you might not but it worths a try. Use Skyscanner for the European leg, it knows about the low cost carriers.

If you do not stick to Delta then when I search for a BOS-BCN round trip on AA and pick business for one segment I see this: AA BOS-BCN

And while Pricing and booking mixed-class fares, with economy & premium economy combined? says Kayak provides this as a possibility it also says it's not for every flight and for this one I was unable to do the picking there.

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    Yes, BOS->BCN and BCN>BOS on AA and BCN>VCE>BCN very likely on Vueling or Iberia depending on price and willingness to deal with two entirely different airlines. Iberia and AA is in the same alliance but Vueling is not. What AA says there is that picking BCN>BOS costs +308 on business and -1236 on economy. I guess the cost of the return is included in the $4106 and the $308 are just taxes and such. – chx Apr 16 '15 at 6:29
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It may be wise to just take the big hit on a business flight Boston-Barcelona return, then use budget carriers to travel within Europe such as Easyjet or Ryanair.

E.g. BOS-BCN, BCN-VCE, VCE-BCN, BCN-BOS

You will only have to book 2 return flights which could be cheaper than individual flights. I apologize if this is does not coincide with your schedule.

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