Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Can you really get those very lowest transatlantic fares on open jaw travel? Can you cite specific examples?

Can you really get those very lowest transatlantic fares on open jaw travel? Can you cite specific examples?

Aug 7th, 2005, 08:26 AM
  #1  
rex
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Can you really get those very lowest transatlantic fares on open jaw travel? Can you cite specific examples?

On a different thread, an assertion was made that airlines will not allow open jaw itineraries on the very lowest fares, and I challenged the statement, almost scoffingly, because no specific city pairs (triplets?), nor specfic dates were under discussion.

But I have started thinking back at some of the very best fares I have ever gotten, and I'm pretty sure that an open jaw itinerary would NOT have been available at the low fare I got:

Columbus-Munich, March 2000 about $350
Evansville-Rome, business class, May 2001, $899
Louisville-Paris, Sep (11) 2002, about $500 (I think)
Rockford-Paris, May 2005, $199 + taxes (due to airport rebate; the ticket actually cost over $1200 before the rebate)

In all four of these cases - - very discounted (or rebated) fares, almost "fluke" promos - - would NOT have been available, by several hundred dollars, for an open jaw itinerary.

So, "our" frequent advice to plan an open jaw itinerary - - IF, a deeply discounted fare is available for that route, at your time of year - - might not be the best value. An open jaw plan can save time, but in many cases, it might be best to "make your open jaw" by purchasing a low-cost intra-Europe flight... to get you back to the gateway where you arrived, on your travel TO Europe.

Can anyone cite a specific example of an open jaw ticket purchased at sub $500 or even lower (especially winter)?

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 08:48 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,411
At the end of January, we flew Phila-London, Paris-Phila. for $300. @ on British Air. If I recall, this was only slightly more than the RT to London would have been. I think aS LONG AS THE CITIES YOU CHOOSE ARE ON THE "SALE" LIST,(stupid CAPS lock...)the prices will be equally low.

~Liz
elberko is online now  
Aug 7th, 2005, 09:14 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,135
i am one of the people who said open jaw tickets were similarly priced to RT... but i *never* said i was using the "very lowest transatlantic fares" in the first place.

my experience is flying on a normal coach ticket on British Air Seattle to London then on to 1 other city, whether that was Paris RT or Geneva Paris open jaw, similar deals.
suze is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 10:01 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,427
I think the point was made that having open-jaw tickets in and of itself does not make a ticket more expensive necessarily. I don't think anyone claimed there were special super-duper fare sales on these kinds of tickets. It just depends what the going rates are for an APEX fare at that time of year.

AS a matter of fact, I have gotten one for about $500 RT from US last year (Dulles IAD) to Seville (through London), and then back from madrid to Dulles (nonstop Madrid to EWR, then EWR to IAD).

These were the lowest fares for those general routes at that time on those carriers (BA and Continental return), the ticket price was exactly the same as buying half of each cities's RT fare. It wasn't even the same carrier on both routes.

Some people have the impression that there is some automatic add-on fare penalty for any open-jaw ticket, I think that's the problem, and there isn't.
Christina is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 10:07 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,427
oh, BTW, my open-jaw ticket was during Easter period last year, so it wasn't even the rock-bottom winter fare time of year.

I don't think there is much point in giving out travel advice to avoid open-jaw tickets because occasionally someone finds a "fluke" or unusual promotional fare that is only RT the same city pairs, or that weird Rockford airport rebate which clearly had to do with that one airport. Some people do actually value their time on a vacation, also. Wasting a lot of time from a short vacation with these intra-European flights isn't economical in terms of wasting time. Some people don't have unlimited time, perhaps others do.
Christina is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 10:16 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
The "automatic" fare premium is inherent in the fact that the carriers won't o/j their promotional tariffs. These rock-bottom one-way prices invariably stipulate that the rate is "based on round-trip travel" and frequently "no open-jaw routing allowed."

There may be occasional exceptions, but your odds of encountering one aren't very good.
Robespierre is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 10:18 AM
  #7  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,150
Hi Rex,

In Feb I booked ATL/Bordeaux-CDG/ATL for $10 more than ATL/CDG RT.

Currently, at http://airtravelcenter.com/onetrav.htm
JFK/BOD-CDG/JFK in Jan is $559, while JFK/CDG RT is $544.



ira is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 10:45 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Currently, at travelocity.com, JFK-CDG in January is $305 r/t.
Robespierre is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 11:15 AM
  #9  
rex
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
So, the exceptions DO seem to exist, as the example cityed by elberko seems to indicate. Maybe it suffices to say that they are rare, and I hear Robespierre saying (now) that they could happen. I think that the fare quoted by ira, and the counter-quote from R would affirm the notion. If $305 i available, I am guessing that it would not be comparable as an open jaw to BOD (but maybe elsewhere?)

In my experience, even if an airline (for example, USAir in my CH-MUC example) simply does not offer gateways very close together, so it might not fit an itnerary I would seek.

I have kinda forgotten what we did in May 2003... into VIE, back out of LHR. It was a very good fare, but maybe not rock bottom. I really SHOULD remember, since it was made possible by someone (here) who contributed two NWA discount certificates to me. Terrible... my amnesia!
rex is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 11:59 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,124
Just to add to the knowledge base about open-jaw tickets: I have NEVER found an open-jaw ticket to be a lower cost than a standard round trip when all the other conditions are the same (i.e., same time, same or similar destinations, etc.).

However, I have occasionally found lower round-trip fares that actually benefitted me by taking me out of the way to a place I wanted to go anyway. For instance, I have flown from the U.S. to London by way of Paris, including an overnight stay in Paris, for a lower ticket price than I could buy for the straight round trip to London.
Wayne is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 02:54 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 570
Rex: You obviously are very well traveled. I'm curious. Do you live on the east coast or in an area offering direct international flights? I live in a city that has no direct flight into Europe. Every flight over the Atlantic stops at least once in another US city. It always costs me a fortune just to get into Europe. Any suggestions for snagging decently priced tickets into any major European city?
mkdiebold is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 03:16 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,404
It was 5 years ago, but I was able to fly LAX-Frankfurt-Milan and return Venice-Frankfurt-LAX for $20 LESS than returning from Milan. Go figure.
Dayle is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 03:17 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,404
PS - that was mid-May to end of May and the airfare was $540.
Dayle is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 03:56 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 777
People who got low fares on open-jaw trips -- did you book them online? A couple of times when I have tried, I have not been able to figure out any way to do that, since all the low fares seem to assume RT. Sometimes the lowest fares do require internet booking too.
nonnafelice is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 04:47 PM
  #15  
rex
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
<<Rex: You obviously are very well traveled. I'm curious. Do you live on the east coast or in an area offering direct international flights?>>

Isn't it obvious? I cited four different airports in the midwest. I lived in Columbus, Ohio for 21 years... but all our families live in the Louisville area and we moved back there two years ago. Once only, have I ever nonstop to Europe - - my brother lives in New Jersey, and we drove there once (for a side visit with him andf his wife) and then flew on to London from JFK.

Finding good deals on flights is a function of using a LOT of "radar". The cheap flights forum of Eurotrip.com is the closest thihg to a "secret weapon" that I can tell you.

But, my original question IS not really all that gateway-dependent (and generally, this would reaffirm Robespierre's contention). I think that open jaw itineraries will often be an excellent way to put together a trip; after all, these ultra-low fares don't come along all that often. It does seem that when such deals come along, it may best not to obsess over open jaw flights (if you really want to save money)... ...and figure out how best to get back to your Europe gateway airport, to fly home.
rex is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 06:04 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 570
Sorry Rex, that I didn't pick up on the airport locations all being "other than" east coast. I too, live in the Louisville area. Will take your advice on watching eurotrip.com. Thanks!
mkdiebold is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 07:32 PM
  #17  
rex
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Great to learn that, mkd...

Jeep a look out for IN-KY-OH Fodorites' GTG number III...

See http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34465251

and

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34598144
rex is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 07:39 PM
  #18  
rex
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Whoops! Keep a look out...
rex is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 08:26 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,825
Not sure about other airlines, but I have been able to get open jaw (into Paris, out of London, or vice versa) on the cheapo fares on a couple occasions using Continental Airlines. Not sure this had anything to do with being elite with CO, as I was able to do this at least once or twice before I became elite.
Seamus is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 03:46 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 569
Yes, one of the best fares I have ever gotten. March 2004 for friend's wedding, Atl to London and Rome to Atl, on Delta, both flights nonstop, for $320.
ggnga is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:38 AM.