Finding the best flights using multi-city flight search

Finding the best flights using multi-city flight search

When I travel to Europe I usually visit a few destinations, so prefer to fly into one city and out of another. In this situation I will search for multi-city flights rather than the return flight option.

As an example I will use a recent trip flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Europe, arriving in London and departing from Berlin. To save back-tracking to the airport of entry I used the multi-city option on Momondo.

Momondo

First of all, to make sure that the multi-city option was not going to cost more I did a separate search for the following flights:

SGN – LHR (return)
BER – LHR (one-way)

I didn’t want to back-track to London, but if the difference was a few hundred dollars then I would have taken it. As it turned out I wasn’t making any great savings by doing this, so I stuck with my multi-city plan. I was travelling between London and Berlin by a combination of bus and other flights, so I didn’t need to search for that section.

Momondo multi-city

With the Momondo multi-city option they show results for practically every flight. Some of them are so ridiculous that only someone with lots of time and who is wanting to save every penny would take these flights.

Flight times ranged from 14h 40m to 84h 50m using up to three airlines. A three-day trip is not something I would consider, but I like that you at least get to see these options.

Stops and airlines

The search results also alert me that there are cheaper flights from nearby airports. In this case there was a cheaper flight if I arrived at London Gatwick. I wanted to arrive at Heathrow, so I ignored this.

Nearby airports

With so many choices the best thing to do is to use the filters to weed out the undesirable flights.

For myself, I don’t want to start my day with a 6am flight, so I knocked out early morning flights by using the “Time of day” filter. I’m not a fan of arriving in a city at midnight either, so I filter my arrival times.

Time of day

From there I started deselecting airlines in the Airlines filter. I usually fly low cost airlines within Asia, but for this flight I wanted full-service airlines where I could check my bags through to the final destination. The options of using two low cost airlines in three flights would have meant checking in at three different airports, which is definitely not worth the savings. So in this case I deselected airlines like AirAsia, Jetstar, and easyJet.

By now the search results have been whittled down to a much more reasonable list of flights that I would consider taking. At first I didn’t find a flight at the price range I wanted, or with suitable times, so I checked the results over several days. While I was waiting for a suitable flight I also checked some other European cities I shortlisted as arrival cities, including flights to Amsterdam, Paris, and Frankfurt.

In the end I went with a combination of Star Alliance airlines which looked like this:

SGN – SIN: Singapore Airlines
SIN – ZRH: SWISS
ZRH – LHR: SWISS

TXL – FRA: Lufthansa
FRA – SIN: Lufthansa
SIN – SGN: Singapore Airlines

SWISS at LHR

My luggage was checked through on all flights, and the connecting times were short, keeping the travel time down. I also collecting points with my United account.

Overall I was pleased with my final flight selection which saved me a backtrack to London if I had gone with a direct flight.


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