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Extended "Stopover"

I tried to find this question without luck...I am planning a trip to Europe for my husband, daughter, and myself in March 2020. Multi-city itineraries are more expensive from our city (Portland, OR), but I found that the cities we want to do to, beginning in Amsterdam, ending up in Frankfurt are cheaper if I book on AirFrance from PDX-FRA with a "stopover" in AMS. This however, would not be a stopover because we would not rejoin for the flight. I tried checking Netherlands customs for info to no avail. Anyone know if we can leave the AMS airport immigration without any problem?

Posted by
1916 posts

If I understand your question correctly, it sounds like you plan to engage in "hidden city ticketing." Most airlines will cancel all subsequent flights if you miss a leg of an itinerary. So, if you book a round trip PDX - FRA ticket with stopover in AMS on the outgoing itinerary and then skip the AMS-FRA leg, you will likely have your FRA-PDX itinerary cancelled. You will not, however, have any trouble getting through immigration at AMS and exiting the airport.

Posted by
4437 posts

As Dave stated, it is the airline you need to worry about. They will cancel your remaining flights (e.g., your flight home to PDX) if you miss one of the legs. You’d be violating the contract of carriage.

Posted by
6118 posts

Tried a random dates in March PDX-AMS, FRA-PDX (on expedia) and got $845 rt. one stop each way.

Did not try to find prices directly with the airlines. ( not knowing your dates makes it difficult to produce meaningful results)

Seems reasonable to me, but that is a subjective assessment.

Happy hunting!

Posted by
5019 posts

As Dave stated, it is the airline you need to worry about. They will cancel your remaining flights (e.g., your flight home to PDX) if you miss one of the legs. You’d be violating the contract of carriage.

Indeed. The airlines take a very dim view of this. They do retaliate against those who make a habit of doing it (most commonly, confiscating frequent flyer miles, in extreme cases, banning passengers). If you do this once (or a few times spread over time), the risk of adverse action is limited (they surely would cancel any subsequent legs that you have booked once you are a no-show for a leg). Do this often, and they'll do their best to punish you.

Posted by
5284 posts

The additional expense of multi-city (open jaw) flights will probably be just a fraction of buying last-minute one-way flights back to Portland. Keep checking -- when you see deals into either of your destinations, take a look at multi-city airfares. Scott's Cheap Flights has a daily free email listing of buy-them-now bargains listing airlines involved.

yes if you will not board the connecting flight, the remaining ticket will be cancelled.
I just had a quick look. In this case its the best to book KLM cause AMS is their base. If you check their page and check the prices, select MULTI-CITY. This way you can book a ticket with different departure/arrival.
So the price I saw was around $850. This is going to Frankfurt and going back from Amsterdam. Then you could do the trip frankfurt to ams with the train.
another option is trying to book a KLM ticket with a few days stopover in Amsterdam. I did this once and it worked out perfectly.
Good luck

Posted by
2666 posts

In case you don't know about it, there is a schedule website called Matrix ITA Software. It is the old travel agent flight software now available to all. It allows you to do a variety of options, like cheapest flight in a set month, or from/ to close by airports. From there, you buy on the airline website. It is owned by Google now and similar in method to Google Flights, but I like Matrix better. Maybe that will build something you didn't think of.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks everyone for chiming in and even attempting itineraries for me! So glad I asked the question. We are now going to do an "open-jaw" trip. Happy traveling!

Posted by
950 posts

Or you could try flying RT to AMS, and check domestic flights from Frankfurt to AMS. Flight can be very inexpensive (~$30 OW) in Europe. Perhaps the RT to AMS is cheaper, and then the domestic OW is cheap...

Posted by
1915 posts

Yes, do not "jump". In 2015, we were going to Zagreb, on Polish Air. Our plane was late. We were taken off the plane in Warsaw, put into a lounge, and then bussed quickly to the connecting flight. We didn't check in. On our return trip, we found our flight had been cancelled. Fortunately, the Lufthansa desk attendant was able to recover it from the bowels of the system, but it took almost 2 hours. And the entire issue was due to a problem caused by Polish Air, not by us.

Posted by
1507 posts

Yes, search for PDX-AMS and FRA-PDX. What dates? if you're going on spring break, the prices are probably higher. The Delta direct flight to Amsterdam is a good one - they are an Air France/KLM partner. There are no direct return flights from Frankfurt until later in the spring (Condor has direct service late May-Sept). A quick search of random March dates shows a 6:55a.m. departure from Frankfurt that connects in Amsterdam (1.5 hour layover). That's doable. The unfortunate thing about getting back to PDX is you typically have to leave Europe at an unholy hour. Good luck!

Posted by
11704 posts

The issue isn't with immigration.

We did similar a few years back. Originally, a change in Amsterdam and on to Cologne. It turned out leasing a car in Amsterdam was the better option so left the flight in Amsterdam.

As far as I can tell immigration didn't care at all (that may have changed but I doubt it) which port of entry we used to enter the Schengen zone.

I had booked the flight to Cologne as a second ticket with Lufthanse, rather than all on one KLM ticket. The flight home, from Rome, wasn't affected.

The biggest danger in leaving your ticketed flight is airlines are more picky now. They're likely to cancel everything else on your ticket when you're a no-show for a leg. There was a time when people used this as a technique to find cheaper flights so the airlines countered with a fairly brutal cancellation policy.

Posted by
8889 posts

Immigration (passport control) will take place when you enter the Schengen Area - that is at Amsterdam.
Provided you are "hand luggage only" there is nothing at the airport to stop you doing this, it is the airline.
1) If you have any bags the will be labelled through to Frankfurt, you will not be able to retrieve them in Amsterdam.
2) The airline will cancel the rest of your ticket for "breach of terms", including any return flight back to Portland.

Note customs and immigration are two different things. By searching for "customs" you were looking in the wrong place.