DIY Split Fares

Tracy Stewart, August 11, 2010
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. Is there a simplified way to find out if it’s cheaper to buy separate one-ways on two different airlines vs. a roundtrip fare online on one airline to get to the same destination? In other words, I’ve found, for example, that it’s cheaper to fly on JetBlue from New York to Nassau in the Bahamas and then to buy a separate ticket from Nassau on Bahamasair to some of the smaller islands in the Bahamas rather than one “through” fare. Or the best way to fly to some Asian destinations is to buy a fare online at and then on onward ticket on AirAsia. But sites like Kayak and Orbitz won’t allow me to do this.

    A. Currently, the answer is no. What you’re asking about is a “split” fare strategy, something that a good travel agent would be able to put together. Despite giant strides in online airfare booking over the years, current fare search technology isn’t capable of combining fares like the one in your example. However, we’ve heard through the grapevine that this sort of thing is “in the works” and as soon as we learn more and take it for a test drive, we’ll tell you about it.