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I'm looking to book a flight from SLC (Salt Lake City) to SAN (San Diego), and the lowest rates I can find are on Southwest airlines. This is convenient, because Southwest seems to have a major hub in Phoenix - I happen to have a good friend in Phoenix with whom I'd like to spend some time.

On the return flight, I see flights (with 1 stop, plane change) from SAN->PHX->SLC, and I'm wondering if there's any way to mix/match these - for instance, take a 9AM flight from SAN->PHX, and then take a later (7PM) flight from PHX->SLC. Otherwise I end up with like, 1 hour layover, and that's not really enough time to catch up with my friend.

Does this question make any sense? I called the airline, and the representatives I talked to (I tried two) tried to convince me to book two 1-way flights to work this out, but that costs ($114+69=$183) instead of the $118 I'd be paying for a "SAN-SLC" ticket (even though there are no non-stop flights).

  • If there really isn't another option, I'd be willing to pay the $65 extra, but goodness - I'd rather avoid that. You'd think the company would be happy to give somebody a LONGER layover... – Helpful Oct 4 '16 at 1:53
  • You could change your ticket when you arrive at PHX, but you'll still have to pay the difference in fare. On the same day, that could be significant if the flight is full or nearly so. Perhaps you could contrive to have SWA bump you off your PHX-SLC leg, and then it's on them. – Michael Hampton Oct 4 '16 at 2:18
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A layover can normally be up to 4 hours on a domestic itinerary, and 24 hours on an international itinerary. If there are no connecting flights within that timeframe, e.g. you take the last flight at night into a connecting airport and the next one is the morning after, then you would normally still be able to take that flight as a connection. If you exceed the limits, you would have to book multiple separate fares and combine them.

If you're looking for a long layover, you need to search for flights that approach those limits or meet the exceptions. With some airlines, you can force these longer connections by doing a multi-city search. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem Southwest offers a multi-city search so you're left with what they offer on the site. Alternatively, you could try calling up and booking the flights with an agent. You could search the flights for SAN-PHX, find the last flight of the day, then ring and ask to fly SAN-SLC but you can't leave before time X, where X is the one you hope to be on. The agent may be able to put you on that flight and give you an overnight layover.

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