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Flight Connections

I found a flight from Houston to Paris with a connection in New York (round trip). However, if I book the same flights round trip separately (Houston to New York and then New York to Paris) , I can save around $1,300 on 2 tickets.

My question is will I run into any problems in the airport by booking this way? One problem I know of would be checked luggage, but we'll bring carry on only. Any advice would be appreciated!

Posted by
6408 posts

My question is will I run into any problems in the airport by booking this way?

The only problem is that if you book separate tickets the airline is not liable if the first flight is canceled or late causing you to miss the 2nd flight on a separate ticket New York to Paris. This means you would have to buy new roundtrip tickets New York to Paris.

If you gamble buying separate flights to save $1300, give yourself at least 6 hours to make the New York to Paris part or fly in the day before and stay a night in NYC if it does not cut into the saving to much

Or if you are trying to find similar savings you might look at booking the transatlantic part separate from the inter-European flight part; for example, Houston direct to Frankfurt or London or Amsterdam.

Once you get over there, there are a lot more options to get to Paris by flight or rail or bus

Posted by
16727 posts

What you are considering is an unprotected connection. If anything happens with the Houston-NYC leg (cancellation, major schedule change, delay) and you miss the outbound transatlantic flight, neither airline is going to help you. You will need to buy a new ticket. Furthermore, if you miss the outbound part of a round-trip flight, the return trip will also be canceled.

You didn't mention when you are planning to take this trip. Given what's going on these days, I'd consider it considerably more likely than usual that one link in your chain will break.

Posted by
1905 posts

I have done this several times on Delta without being burned. BUT I would not even consider doing this right now. Airline schedules at this point are hopeful guesstimates at best. As noted by others, if flight #1 is canceled or arrives late, causing you to miss flight #2, then you would likely be required to buy a new ticket for a new flight to your final destination at the shockingly-high "walk up" rate.

Posted by
332 posts

Have you considered flying to NY the day before and spending the night in case the flight is late? We typically do this as we fly from the west and with a guide dog. It helps with breaking up the flight and seems easier on our aging bodies.

Posted by
82 posts

We do this all the time but we always fly in the day before the international flight. Only once was our domestic flight delayed by a couple of hours so it was nice not to be stressed about missing our over-water flight.

Posted by
2546 posts

When you saw New York, by chance do you mean Houston to Newark on Unites? I have done unprotected connections to fly from SFO to CDG to save money. I usually take the red-eye from SFO with an arrival time of around 8 AM and the departure to Paris was after 4 PM. I have never missed one but once I did not arrive at Newark airport until around 1 PM. Needless to say, I was very anxious during the delay. I'd risk this but only if I had about 8 hours because the airports in New York, including Newark, can be crazy. Twice my husband met us in New York while flying in from Houston for a flight to Paris. Both times, his flights were over 2 hours late. In addition, one of my late arrivals to CDG was caused by a delay on our flight because our pilot was flying in as a passenger from Houston and his arriving flight was about 2.5 hours late. Later, I learned that IAH has a reputation for delays. My stories are anecdotal evidence and all of these flights were United Airlines but they make me very cautious about an unprotected connection with a flight originating from Houston.

Posted by
2788 posts

I've never done any kind of "unprotected" flight, but if I did, I certainly would plan to leave one day in between segments.

Posted by
12 posts

If you are thinking of purchasing 2 tickets of the same airline, then it's fine; however, if 2 tickets of 2 different airlines, then it will be the biggest problem for you.

Delay in flight often creates a problem, so if you're going to purchase two tickets of 2 different airlines and if your 1st flight gets delay, then you might not be able to on-board yourself for the second flight and your amount + time is going to waste.

So, take your decision after drawing a clear picture.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for all of the replies and insight! We are planning on going in late October, and these flights were all through United and did specifically layover in Newark. I'll probably won't book this way, I just saw this option and wondered if anyone had done this before.

Thanks again, and everyone stay safe out there!