Airfare 101 mike corey at airport

Published on December 18th, 2013 | by Emma Hackwood


Tips for Travelling on Multiple Tickets

So, you have an upcoming trip which involves a few stopovers and you’re worried your luggage won’t make it there. For many travellers, there is an overwhelming desire to issue all their flight segments on to one ticket. Travellers are concerned that if they are issued on separate tickets, it will mean they have to pick up their bags at the intermediate point and increase issues around missed connections due to flight delays. While both are valid points, it can also exponentially increase the cost of your ticket to issue it this way. Our airfare experts share a few tips on what you need to know when travelling on multiple tickets:

Some Background

Many full service airlines have an interline e-ticketing agreement with each other. This is by no means restricted by their Alliance. We tend to find most major international carriers need help from the Canadian domestic carriers to get travellers to a point within Canada or the USA from which they can take over. For instance in Eastern Canada, Emirates has an agreement with both Air Canada and WestJet to uplift clients to Toronto where Emirates will take over and fly you to Dubai. From Western Canada, Emirates enlists the help of Alaska Airlines to get travellers to Seattle or Los Angeles amongst other options.

By virtue of an airline forming an interline agreement, this will allow both airlines to see passengers coming from one carrier to the next, or alternatively allow the first carrier to thru-check a passenger from their origin all the way to their destination, including baggage.


When you have one ticket and multiple airlines, they will be able to see the complete itinerary from review of the e-ticket and check you in accordingly. However if you are travelling on two separate tickets, the first carrier can still thru-check you once you notify them of your situation and present your onward carriers e-ticket.


What to do when travelling on two separate tickets:

1)      Ask your Flight Centre agent to complete the booking on one PNR (reservation). You can be booked in one reservation, but have multiple tickets issued from that source.

2)      Complete on-line check-in for all carriers 24 hours prior to travel and collect your boarding passes (either on your mobile device or by printing at home).

3)      At baggage drop, notify the check-in agent that you are connecting and present your onwards e-ticket and/or airline confirmation. They will then tag your bags to destination.


It’s important to note that depending on your transit point you may be required to collect luggage regardless of having your flights issued on one or two tickets. This will occur most frequently at your first point of contact with a country where you are required to clear customs and immigration. For instance a flight from London to Toronto to Winnipeg will require immigration clearance and luggage collection in Toronto to enter into Canada, before connecting to the Winnipeg flight. Baggage in this instance will be tagged to Winnipeg, but will be on the Toronto baggage carousel to pass through customs first. You will then be able to drop off the bag on the next baggage drop point where it will be passed onto the next flight.


So what is the benefit of having two different tickets?

Cost, combinability and plating carrier are the main factors that any good travel agent looks at. What the heck are these you ask?

When dealing with complicated itineraries involving two or more stops, you might not be able to obtain the best possible price if it’s all issued on one ticket. This is where the term ‘plating carrier’ comes into effect. The plating carrier is the airline who accepts responsibility for the ticket, and in turn will distribute the funds for the other airline flight segments back to them. This can be a long and challenging process for some airlines, and as a result they might limit which fares are permitted to be issued on a different carriers ticket stock.

For instance a one-way flight from London to Paris on a British Airways ticket presently costs GBP6.00 ($10CAD) plus applicable taxes. However if you were to issue a combination of Air Canada from Toronto to London, and British Airways from London to Paris on the one ticket, the British Airways portion of the Air Canada plated ticket (AC will own the ticket and pay BA for their segment) jumps to a much higher price – in this case a GBP232 ($370CAD) plus tax value. This is because the cheaper value has to be issued on British Airways ticket stock, and it isn’t until you reach a higher fare value that the BA fare is allowed to be issued on a different carriers ticket stock. You would still be able to thru-check as British Airways and Air Canada have an interline ticketing agreement, but you would simply need to follow the steps above.


Complicated? Confusing?

This is what our Flight Centre Airfare Experts are here for! The internet will simply bundle fares together to issue on one ticket, but an agent can break things down and provide sound advice on how to book separate tickets, save money, and advise you if two airlines have an interline ticketing agreement to allow your bags to be thru-checked.


For more information on travelling on multiple tickets, contact a Flight Centre Travel Consultant at 1-877-967-5302


Happy travels!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Emma Hackwood

a freelance copywriter, amateur glider pilot and full-time adventure seeker, has travelled extensively in pursuit of her lifelong dream of simply seeing it all. Up to over 50 countries, she lists American Samoa and the seldom visited Marquesas Islands as her current favourite destinations, with a wandering eye on Guam and Tonga to complete her Pacific escapades.

One Response to Tips for Travelling on Multiple Tickets

  1. Nihal says:


    i recently issued a ticket on Air Canada which has BA flights as well. Nairobi to London on BA and London to Toronto on Air Canada. This is a return ticket. At the time of fare quoting (i use Galileo) Air Canada was the default plating carrier. i confirmed with Air Canada agents in Nairobi and they confirmed that i can issue the above flights on Air Canada ticket. However i am still kind of worried.

    1. BA 64 Q 14APR NBOLHR HK2 2330 #0610
    2. AC 869 L 15APR LHRYYZ HK2 0830 1110
    3. AC 848 L 15MAY YYZLHR HK2 2040 #0835
    4. BA 65 Q 16MAY LHRNBO HK2 1015 2045

    kindly advise

    will highly appreciate any feedback from you


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑

Talk to one of our

Airfare Experts

1855 504 1954

Our consultants:

Can personalize your vacation
to meet your needs

Can find the best value
for your money

Can give advice on the
best way to put your trip
      plans into action

*Where would you like to fly?

*Departure Date
*Return Date





Additional Comments.