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Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

Gainesville, Florida
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Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

I've tried to look around for an answer, but figured asking directly is the easiest. Here is the dilemma:

My friend and I are planning a trip together for June. We will be visiting Paris for a few days, with a day stopover in Dubai, then taking a safari in Kenya. He is currently working in the middle east and will be coming to the US to visit first, then flying to Paris from New York. His company is paying for his flight from New York to Paris, then Paris to Dubai. These flights have already been booked. I will be traveling from Florida, hopefully linking up with him in New York to fly together to Paris, then we will fly together to Dubai. The flights from Dubai to Nairobi, then Nairobi back home, are not supplied by his company, so we figured we could book those together online.

The question I have is -- how do I create an itinerary from Florida to New York to Paris to Dubai, making sure I end up on the same flights as him for the NY, Paris, and Dubai legs? I have tried to look online for the same flights but nothing is letting me specify certain flights for certain legs and link them all into one itinerary, without purchasing a bunch of one-way single tickets, which I imagine would be a nightmare as a far as checking bags, getting boarding passes, etc. Am I going to have to use a travel agent to book these all together? And how can I link up with my friend's itinerary so that if a flight is changed or cancelled, we will both be rerouted to the same place?

I am sure this is a simple thing and I am just over thinking; I have had plenty of experience flying domestically and buying tickets online, but not internationally and not when booking tickets separately. Thank you so much in advance!!

Edited: 27 March 2014, 00:43
San Diego
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1. Re: Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

Are you planning to spend time together in NYC or just meeting there to fly to Paris??

IF you are just meeting there then I think you should just fly Florida to Paris and meet him in Paris. Then do the rest of the flights together.

IF you want to meet up in NYC to spend a little time I'd try a one way (maybe on southwest?) to get there since that is not really part of the whole trip together.You might try NYC to Paris then dubati Nairobi and back to NYC and price that out.

OR NYC to Paris and Nairobi to NYC and then price the Dubai leg as a separate one way.

Not sure how Dubai fits into this safari plan if it is only a 1 day stop over.

Gainesville, Florida
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2. Re: Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

Thank you for the feedback! I could just fly straight to Paris and meet him there, but we thought if at all possible, it would be nice to try to get on the same flight from NY since it's a long one. I will try looking at a simple one way from FL to NY, get there a bit earlier in the day, and then do the rest of the trip from there.

Silly question, probably, but I've never not had a full itinerary booked all together -- if I had a one way ticket from FL to NY, when I got there, would I have to retrieve baggage, exit the terminals, and go back in to ticketing to check in for the next leg to Paris?

The Dubai stopover is just an extended layover...his company-supplied ticket goes from Paris to there, so he is booking separately over to Kenya. We figured I'd just go with him from Paris to there (arrives early AM), and then book the flight to Nairobi late that night or early next morning, so we could take a look around that day.

It seemed so simple to just book online like I usually do for simple, single-destination trips, and make sure I picked the same flights along the way, but now it's looking so complicated! I appreciate your reply!

Anyone else? Thank you!!

Edited: 27 March 2014, 02:08
Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

"Silly question, probably, but I've never not had a full itinerary booked all together -- if I had a one way ticket from FL to NY, when I got there, would I have to retrieve baggage, exit the terminals, and go back in to ticketing to check in for the next leg to Paris?"

It would depend exactly what you booked. Some airlines have interline agreements where they'll check the bag through for you, but most likely if you buy two separate tickets you would have to claim bags, exit security, then check in and drop the bag for the second flight.

UK
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4. Re: Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

Also, instead of buying individual one way tickets, look at the multi city option, this is a much cheaper way of buying tickets A-B-C-D-A than buying each leg separately.

Dubai, United Arab...
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5. Re: Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

It would help if you would share the flights you want to book (the one your friend is booked on).

I assume that you will take different airlines (either with one from NY to Paris and Dubai and then Dubai - Nairobi / or one from NY to Paris and then one for the Paris - Dubai - Nairobi leg).

I personally prefer to book direct with an airline or with a good travel agency versus internet.

San Diego
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6. Re: Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

The long flight from NYC to Paris is an overnight one and for me most of that would be sleeping so no need for a companion during that flight.

The only reason to look at a one way from Florida to NYC is that airlines like Southwest, Jet Blue, Virgin America(if they fly from your city) do one way tickets that are not more expensive than round trip.

Not sure what Dubai Phil means when he said he'd prefer to book "direct with an airline versus internet" since most direct with airline bookings are done using the internet?

Yes of course you can do multi city bookings but not sure which airlines go to the places that interest you since Dubai and Kenya are not on my usual routes .

Perhaps ask on the Dubai and/or Kenya forums about those flights?

In general if you book a separate one way flight to NYC you'd have to get your luggage and then go to the next terminal to check in again,depending on which airlines you end up using.

Edited: 27 March 2014, 12:21
Winchester, United...
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7. Re: Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

Same flight does not necessarily mean sitting next to or even necessarily near your friend...

Dubai, United Arab...
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8. Re: Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

@ Riff M

I meant that booking directly with an airline is better then booking via a third party website on the internet.

Dubai, United Arab...
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9. Re: Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

Air France flies New York to Paris and Paris to Dubai.

Emirates flies Paris to Dubai and Dubai to Nairobi. They also fly Dubai - New York

What I do not know is with which airline your friend is already booked for.

Chicago
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10. Re: Simplest, most efficient way to align itineraries?

I do think honestly the easiest thing to do would be to fly directly to Paris and meet him there. More often than not I am flying alone, there's really nothing to it. What if your first separately-booked flight gets cancelled or delayed for some reason? You would then lose your international flight totally. But if you really want to fly to New York, maybe come the day before if you are on separate tickets.

It would indeed be helpful if you could post what airlines your friend is flying on. The people that know about airlines could then give better advice.