One way vs. round trip sticker shock!

Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 07:19 AM
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One way vs. round trip sticker shock!

We are flying from the Eastern U.S. to the U.K. in May and I've been trying to find the best price to fly from Newark or Philadelphia into London, then from Glasgow or Edinburgh back to the U.S. BA will take us from Heathrow back to Philly, but we have to get a flight from Scotland to Heathrow and then another flight home. I thought, "Okay, I'll see if I can get a one way from Scotland to the U.S.," so we can avoid having to get back to London from Scotland. Continental does have a flight from Scotland to Newark, but I got extreme sticker shock - $1,300 one way vs. $650 RT from Phil-London-Phil on British Air. Is this normal? Why would a one-way ticket cost almost double a round trip ticket?

As you can tell - I don't get out much!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 07:45 AM
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Most major airlines do not sell discount one-way tickets. One-way tickets are sold to mostly business people paying full-fare coach, which is often double or more than double the price of most discount tickets leisure travellers buy.

However, many airlines do sell discount "open-jaw" tickets, so you can fly PHL-LHR and then GLA/EDI-PHL for the same, or just above the price of a regular roundtrip.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 11:47 AM
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If you're booking online, open jaw is usually referred to as multi-city or something similar, depending on the airline. If you don't see something that in the fare search box, there may be a choice like "other search options" that will take you there.

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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 11:54 AM
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For arbitrary May dates I'm seeing around US$505 coach for Newark-London (LGW) then Edinburgh-Newark openjaws on Continental. Use the "multiple destinations" or "advanced search" tab on CO's website - piece of cake.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 11:57 AM
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The high cost of one-way flights causes some people to buy a round-trip for less, then just miss the return flight. Frequent fliers who do this risk sanctions, but the occasional flier is thought to be able to do it with impunity.

A better option, I think, is the open-jaw ticket, but that is an old term that I have never seen on a booking web site. Most commonly the phrase now is multiple destination tickets. On the continental web site, for example, the default value is for round trip bookings, but if you click on multiple destinations, you are taken to a page where you can put in all your dates and destinations, and often get a decent fare. I think this is the best way to handle this; some people buy the legs of their journey independently, but if you do that and a flight is delayed so you miss a connection, the next airline while have no mercy on you.

One gripe I have with Continental is that their web site doesn't do a particularly good job of finding flights on their partner airlines; they do a much better job if you call. However, other sites like expedia and travelocity seem to handle multiple destination queries well.

Good luck finding a good fare. This might be a little early for the best prices for a May flight, but the occasional sale does come up.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 03:31 PM
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While a open-jaw does sound like the best option for this trip, you can always check a travel agent for a consolidator one-way fare... these are less rather than more than the round-trips. However, you will likely need an agent in the US for the one departing the US and another agent in the UK for a ticket departing from the UK... and I think you are best with the open-jaw anyway.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 07:50 AM
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>an agent in the US for the one departing the US and another agent in the UK for a ticket departing from the UK

Not quite true. US agents and consolidators can handle the entire transaction.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 06:53 AM
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Try Orbitz.com....use multi destination and they will give you a table listing the lowest fares by airline or by mylti cartiers.

For the most part, I don't book with Orbitz if there is 1 carrier listed.

I would suspect in this case, they will give you the routing home via London but there might be a non stop combination meeting your needs and then you can either book with Orbitz or with the airline directly.
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