EY FCO-BNE in J from ~$4,200 return

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I spotted this deal on a German blog, and it also comes up on a Google Flights search.

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Works for various dates. The main catch is that it appears you can only book it through certain OTAs, and not directly on the Etihad website. This could come with its own downsides. YMMV.

The flights are with Etihad from FCO to MEL via AUH, then a connecting MEL-BNE flight operated by VA.
 
Interestingly, the OTAs are pricing VA319 instead of the EY*VA codeshare EY6652.
EY*VA codeshares are generally very similarly priced but it looks like the fare class that the J ticket is priced into is not available anymore for this itinerary - and EY prices it into the next fare class.
 
If I book this one, and on the way to Aus I dont take the MEL - BNE segment, will they cancel my return ticket to Europe? And will I have to fly from MEL to BNE just to fly back BNE to MEL?
 
If I book this one, and on the way to Aus I dont take the MEL - BNE segment, will they cancel my return ticket to Europe? And will I have to fly from MEL to BNE just to fly back BNE to MEL?
Yes, they'll cancel remaining ticket if you don't fly any one of the sectors before the final one. You would need to get back to BNE to start the return itinerary.
 
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