Author Topic: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage  (Read 4167 times)

jeromedawg

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Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« on: May 12, 2016, 12:15:10 PM »
Hey guys,

So in researching pricing to come back from Hawaii to San Jose, I noticed there's a red-eye flight that stops over in LAX. We would be heading back to San Jose but my in-laws who are joining us for part of the Hawaii trip are from Los Angeles would want to go back to LAX. Tickets direct from Hawaii to LAX are nearly $100 more expensive versus the route that we're going on.

If we bought my in-laws these Hawaii-to-San Jose tickets would it be an issue if they forfeited and missed the second leg from LAX to SJC since LAX is their ultimate destination? The flight arrives early at around 6am or so in the morning. The only concern would be their luggage. But we could always pick the luggage up for them in SJC and bring it back down when we come back to LA (we're initially driving up from LA to the Bay Area anyway before all this to visit my family). In fact, would it just make sense for us to check in their luggage under our names instead? I don't imagine there would be any way for them to retrieve their luggage from LAX during the layover? If they do check the luggage in under their name/tickets and it goes all the way to SJC, would there be any issues with us picking it up for them? Or any further complications with claiming the luggage if it were somehow lost and then found later?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2016, 12:16:53 PM by jplee3 »

seattlecyclone

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2016, 12:23:25 PM »
The practice of booking a flight with a layover in your destination city instead of a more expensive one-way ticket is often known as "hidden-city ticketing." There are sites such as https://skiplagged.com/ that specialize in searching for this type of ticket.

That said, the airlines strongly discourage this practice. They can't stop you from walking out of the airport in your layover city, but they can cancel your return ticket if you happened to book a round-trip. In theory they can also ban you from buying tickets on that airline in the future, though this seems extremely unlikely to happen the first time you do it. You will not be able to retrieve your checked luggage at the layover city. I think checking the bags in your own name is the safest course of action if your relatives can't make do with carry-ons only.

Kaybee

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2016, 02:26:20 PM »
Just chiming in to say that as far as I know airlines (at least in Canada), for security reasons, cannot knowingly let a flight go carrying checked bags for passengers who are not onboard.  I'm an FA and we often have to delay flights when passengers who are checked in "go missing" in the airport so that the ground staff can find and remove their bags from the cargo hold.  I agree with the other poster that if this is something the airline finds out was intentional, it could earn your parents a black mark next to their name with that airline.  I believe there are exceptions to this and sometimes bags are sent on flights in error but if they were to travel with their bags checked under their name, the second leg of that journey *could* be negatively impacted if they just choose to go home at that point.  If they only had carry-on luggage, that should solve that issue.

The rules for airlines in other countries may vary (I'm too lazy to look up the ICAO regulations) so don't take what I'm saying as the absolute rule.  I hope you find a solution!

jeromedawg

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2016, 02:41:39 PM »
Thanks all. So it seems like checking in bags and then not showing up on whatever leg of the flight is really where the concern is. Otherwise, it doesn't seem like airlines care all that much if you just bought a ticket and don't show up on say the second leg of a flight.

Since this is a one-way flight back to California, I'm not as concerned. If it were round-trip I'd be a bit more concerned. So I guess what we should do, if we do this, is to just check their bags in under my wife's name and mine and have them carry whatever they absolutely need in small carry-ons.

Since we'll have our infant with us, we're also going to need to bring a car seat at least. And possibly a stroller. Do these count against our check-in limits? My understanding is that we won't be charged for these but for standard luggage it's $25 a piece.

JoJo

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2016, 02:42:29 PM »
Just chiming in to say that as far as I know airlines (at least in Canada), for security reasons, cannot knowingly let a flight go carrying checked bags for passengers who are not onboard.  I'm an FA and we often have to delay flights when passengers who are checked in "go missing" in the airport so that the ground staff can find and remove their bags from the cargo hold.  I agree with the other poster that if this is something the airline finds out was intentional, it could earn your parents a black mark next to their name with that airline.  I believe there are exceptions to this and sometimes bags are sent on flights in error but if they were to travel with their bags checked under their name, the second leg of that journey *could* be negatively impacted if they just choose to go home at that point.  If they only had carry-on luggage, that should solve that issue.

The rules for airlines in other countries may vary (I'm too lazy to look up the ICAO regulations) so don't take what I'm saying as the absolute rule.  I hope you find a solution!

Agree with this... they cannot let their bags go on without boarding.  This will delay the flight for the bags to be pulled off and I wouldn't be surprised if this would incur a fine if they found out it was done on purpose.  Only attempt to do this if you're not checking bags.  The airlines don't like this and they might not credit you miles or do something else negative.

tweezers

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2016, 03:32:04 PM »
Since we'll have our infant with us, we're also going to need to bring a car seat at least. And possibly a stroller. Do these count against our check-in limits? My understanding is that we won't be charged for these but for standard luggage it's $25 a piece.

Baby items don't count in checked luggage limits, and do not incur a fee.  If you're checking in at a terminal (rather than a desk with a person) and have a suitcase, car seat, and stroller, only indicate the number of suitcases on the "number of bags to check" screen.  The baby items are processed separately by the agent.  If you want the stroller during your layover you should check it at the gate.

jeromedawg

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2016, 03:32:32 PM »
So it turns out my wife's aunt from Hawaii is wanting to join us for this trip back to LAX and would want to be on the same flight back. we think she'll be able to bring everything in a carry-on but we'd have to really push them to carry things on. I guess they can bring one larger luggage to check-in if they really need to check-in. They're not even staying in Hawaii for that long so I think carry-ons for them would be completely viable.

jeromedawg

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2016, 03:34:20 PM »
Since we'll have our infant with us, we're also going to need to bring a car seat at least. And possibly a stroller. Do these count against our check-in limits? My understanding is that we won't be charged for these but for standard luggage it's $25 a piece.

Baby items don't count in checked luggage limits, and do not incur a fee.  If you're checking in at a terminal (rather than a desk with a person) and have a suitcase, car seat, and stroller, only indicate the number of suitcases on the "number of bags to check" screen.  The baby items are processed separately by the agent.  If you want the stroller during your layover you should check it at the gate.

We're planning to gate check the car seat at least. Still not 100% sure if we'll bring the stroller but we'll see. If we gate check that stuff on the flight from Hawaii to LAX, will we have to collect it upon de-boarding and then gate check it again on the flight from LAX to SJC?

jeromedawg

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2016, 05:11:29 PM »
On the topic of gate checking, what's to stop someone from bringing two large pieces of luggage to the gate and gate checking to avoid paying baggage fees? Unless, do airlines charge you for gate checking luggage?

LeRainDrop

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2016, 05:33:58 PM »
On the topic of gate checking, what's to stop someone from bringing two large pieces of luggage to the gate and gate checking to avoid paying baggage fees? Unless, do airlines charge you for gate checking luggage?

When you try to go through security with the large luggage, the TSA would stop you and say that your bag is too large to be a carry-on.  They'd send you back to the front desk to check it.

jeromedawg

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2016, 05:43:37 PM »
On the topic of gate checking, what's to stop someone from bringing two large pieces of luggage to the gate and gate checking to avoid paying baggage fees? Unless, do airlines charge you for gate checking luggage?

When you try to go through security with the large luggage, the TSA would stop you and say that your bag is too large to be a carry-on.  They'd send you back to the front desk to check it.

That makes sense. And I suppose you could request a gate check for 'normal' sized bags but they'd probably give you a dirty look. Seems like strollers and car seats are the only 'passable' things to request a gate check for. Otherwise, attempting to bring multiple bags would likely result in the 'walk of shame' back to the front of the plane for the gate check in the case that the flight was full.

mm1970

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2016, 08:47:24 PM »
On the topic of gate checking, what's to stop someone from bringing two large pieces of luggage to the gate and gate checking to avoid paying baggage fees? Unless, do airlines charge you for gate checking luggage?

When you try to go through security with the large luggage, the TSA would stop you and say that your bag is too large to be a carry-on.  They'd send you back to the front desk to check it.

That makes sense. And I suppose you could request a gate check for 'normal' sized bags but they'd probably give you a dirty look. Seems like strollers and car seats are the only 'passable' things to request a gate check for. Otherwise, attempting to bring multiple bags would likely result in the 'walk of shame' back to the front of the plane for the gate check in the case that the flight was full.
They will gate check stuff for you if the overhead bins are full too.

jeromedawg

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2016, 04:55:10 PM »
Was also curious what your guys' opinions are on the flight pricing I've gotten so far.
$249 SJC-HNL and $218 (LIH->LAX->SJC) seems pretty good. Of course, I haven't factored in the HNL to LIH flight. I've already booked the SJC-HNL flight so just debating on the return flight. I'll worry about the inter-island flight later since I don't think prices would fluctuate that much. The only thing about the $218 flight is that it's red-eye/overnight and we'll have our kid (who will be over at year by then). Not sure how we'll he'd do on one of these flights but hoping that he would sleep through it.

Most flights for my in-laws, who are flying out of LAX are over $300 - do you think prices would be expected to drop between now and January? Or is it best just to grab whatever we can find now?

mm1970

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2016, 05:08:35 PM »
Was also curious what your guys' opinions are on the flight pricing I've gotten so far.
$249 SJC-HNL and $218 (LIH->LAX->SJC) seems pretty good. Of course, I haven't factored in the HNL to LIH flight. I've already booked the SJC-HNL flight so just debating on the return flight. I'll worry about the inter-island flight later since I don't think prices would fluctuate that much. The only thing about the $218 flight is that it's red-eye/overnight and we'll have our kid (who will be over at year by then). Not sure how we'll he'd do on one of these flights but hoping that he would sleep through it.

Most flights for my in-laws, who are flying out of LAX are over $300 - do you think prices would be expected to drop between now and January? Or is it best just to grab whatever we can find now?
It's pretty fantastic.  I've never paid less than $500 for a flight to Hawaii (round trip), from LAX or SBA.  And that flight was probably 12 years ago.  The last few times we went, flights were around $700-800 (RT), including to/from LIH.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2016, 05:23:13 PM »
If you have (or can get) United miles, look into using those for the interisland flight. They tend to sell those tickets for 6,000 miles plus $5.60 in taxes and fees. These flights tend to sell for ~$70 and up depending on availability. My rule of thumb for miles is that if you can redeem them in a way that makes the miles be worth more than 1¢, you're getting a pretty good deal.

jeromedawg

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2016, 05:42:13 PM »
If you have (or can get) United miles, look into using those for the interisland flight. They tend to sell those tickets for 6,000 miles plus $5.60 in taxes and fees. These flights tend to sell for ~$70 and up depending on availability. My rule of thumb for miles is that if you can redeem them in a way that makes the miles be worth more than 1¢, you're getting a pretty good deal.

Gah, I haven't flown United in *years* (last record I have is from 2005 lol).

seattlecyclone

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2016, 07:40:52 PM »
Might be a good time to open a credit card? You could buy tickets for yourself and maybe your relatives with the sign-up bonus.

jeromedawg

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2016, 10:49:20 PM »
Might be a good time to open a credit card? You could buy tickets for yourself and maybe your relatives with the sign-up bonus.

Which card gets you the biggest bang for your buck? I'm a little scared that I'll miss out on a good fare rate if I wait too long. The card application process and everything will take a while, in addition to finally getting all the points, no?

jeromedawg

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2016, 12:26:46 AM »
What about this?:

- Buy gift cards at discounted rates for whatever airline I'll be flying that would cover *most* of the cost of the trip
- Apply gift cards towards the total cost and pay the remainder of the cost using Chase Sapphire to get travel protection benefits (assuming that is still possible per http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2013/09/25/partial-payment-full-trip-coverage/ and https://www.chasebenefits.com/sapphireVW15)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 01:50:10 AM by jplee3 »

LeRainDrop

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2016, 07:10:19 AM »
Only you can decide whether all that trouble is worth it to you.  I personally would just go ahead and buy the tickets you found.

jeromedawg

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Re: Airfare, layovers, and checked luggage
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2016, 09:38:15 PM »
If you have (or can get) United miles, look into using those for the interisland flight. They tend to sell those tickets for 6,000 miles plus $5.60 in taxes and fees. These flights tend to sell for ~$70 and up depending on availability. My rule of thumb for miles is that if you can redeem them in a way that makes the miles be worth more than 1¢, you're getting a pretty good deal.

Darn it... I noticed you can transfer Chase UR points to United BUT you need to have either need the Ink Ultimate or Sapphire Preferred card in order to do so:
Note: The Chase Freedom & Ink Cash business cards receive Ultimate Rewards points, but they can’t be transferred out to travel partners unless you combine them with the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus Ultimate Rewards accounts. This is one reason that we recommend applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred first.

I wonder if I'd be able to 'upgrade' our Sapphire Visa Signatures to Preferred. Probably not... but maybe it's worth a call to find out. Of course, the cards that allow you to transfer out miles from are the ones that charge annual fees...go figure