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People are always complaining to me that they don’t have the money to travel. That flights are too expensive. People are too expensive. Life it’s just meh. But what if I told you there was a way to have a marvelous time travelling, seeing multiple destinations and it can actually save you money. Which leaves you with more funds to spend on fun things like coffee in your new found destination. Open jaw travel is that one travel hack that no one wants you to know about. The airlines don’t want you to participate in and travel agents…well many of them that I’ve dealt with haven’t had two clues of where to find shoes mind you cheap flights. I’m a generous kinda lady so here’s my top budget saving hacks for the budding traveller.

Open Jaw Flights

Now this isn’t an open your jaw and see what flies in. Open jaw tickets refers to when you book, with one airline, into a city and out of another. Now these open jaw flights aren’t against airline terms and conditions to book. It’s just that airlines like to fill their airplane up one way and have it full on it’s way back to base. Which makes sense in a booking system kinda way. The stock standard return flight is easy to book, easy to issue a ticket and it’s nice and neat. But nice and neat isn’t always the cheapest option for you, the passenger. 
 

There are 3 types of Open Jaw Tickets

Destination open-jaw, where a you fly from one city to another, but your return is to the original city from a different place. This is the type of open jaw ticket that we purchase. It’s great because you get to arrange your travel inbetween amazing cities but come home to your base. This works great for people like us who have a base. 
 
For example, depart Melbourne to Christchurch, but on the return trip fly from Auckland to Melbourne.
 

Origin open-jaw, when you leave from one city to another but returns to a different city all together. These tickets are great for digital nomads who are moving between different locations.

For example, flying from London to Fort Dallas, but returning from Fort Dallas to Manchester.
 
Double open-jaw, where two totally separate fares exist. I don’t particularly find these fares to be cheaper, as you are effectively booking two separate tickets. 
For example, flying from Paris to New York, but on the return trip flying from Boston to Amsterdam.
 
Things to note about open jaw tickets – using different airports in the same city is not considered open-jaw. So flying from say Heathrow to New York returning New York to Gatwick isn’t an open-jaw ticket. As both airports are considered to be within the city of London. 

Who uses open-jaw tickets?

Traditionally it was people on cruises who would unknowingly use open-jaw tickets. As cruises tend to depart from city a and finish at city b, with a whole lot of places in between. Also if you are planning on taking an organised tour, that only goes one way, you might consider using an open-jaw ticket for your flights. 

Why use an open-jaw ticket?

An open-jaw ticket can save you a considerable amount of money. These tickets can also give you some very unique flight options. For instance our first trip to Europe was open-jaw as we flew from Melbourne to Prague (via Malaysia and Amsterdam but these were only airport transits) and returned Amsterdam to Melbourne. All with Malaysia Airlines. Rather than fly return into/out of Amsterdam we got to see a fabulous city, Prague, and saved over $600AU between us. Meaning we could live it large in Prague and Munich for the first two weeks of our trip.
 
In recent times we’ve used open-jaw flights to get to South America and Jean’s latest trip to Europe for TBEX. It was over $2300 AU to fly return to Prague, but a detour and a few days stop over in Vienna and a cheap train ticket to Ostrava saved me $500AU. By using these tickets you not only save the monies but you can also add a few more stamps to your passport.
 

How to book an open-jaw ticket?

It’s so simple you’ll wonder why you haven’t done this earlier.
 
Go to your preferred airline desktop website (note most airlines don’t have this function on their mobile sites). Click on the Multi-city or Multi-destination button.
 
Enter your origin, destination, date for one leg.
Enter you departure city, origin and date for the return leg home.
 
That’s it. So simple your pumpkin spice latte could do it. 

Open-jaw tickets are a flexible and relatively inexpensive way of flying, as such tickets are priced as round-trip fares, which are almost always less expensive than purchasing two one-way flights between the destinations visited.

Have you use an open-jaw ticket before? Let me know in the comments below.

Jeanette

Jeanette

Founder, Principal Blogger & Coffee Drinker

Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.

This simple hack  will save you a lot of money before you leave home

19 Comments

  1. I just booked my first open jaw to Spain and you’re right – we def saved money!

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  2. OMG that makes so much sense!! I’ve always heard people talking about open jaw, but I never knew what it meant!

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    • Funnily enough me too 😛

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  3. I’ve definitely done this a few times, especially for road trips flying into one city and out of another. It does usually work out to be cheaper!

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  4. I’m always forgetting to check open jaw tickets when I’m doing price comparisons on flights – hopefully now I’ll remember!!

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  5. I used to be a travel agent and I’ve never heard of open jaw tickets before. Thanks for sharing- I’ll have to try this in the future!

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  6. Wooow! I absolutely loved all the tips mentioned here! Defo going to apply these for my upcoming travel. Thank you!

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  7. This is so good to know! I had no idea and have never even heard of the term open jaw flights. Will definitely keep this in mind during our travels in the next few months

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  8. I had never heard of this term before either, but I just about always do this. I prefer to book one way tickets as I’m putting a trip together. It definitely opens up your options and you can save a ton of money.

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  9. Crazy how I’ve never heard about this term before! I mean, I’ve heard about the concept, but never had a name to put to it. I’m planning some big trips over to Europe for the fall and have been trying to figure out flights from the US. I can’t wait to start trying one of the Open Jaw Ticket methods! Thanks for being such a giving person and sharing this tip!!

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    • SO many people are saying the same thing!

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  10. I use this tip a lot actually! I love flying int one airport, doing some land travel while I’m there, and flying home from another airport. It’s a great way to see more of a place than to just stick to one city!

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    • Me too 😀

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  11. I have tried these several times, but in the end, I think this is not too much for me, I think I become too comfortable for doing this. But either way, it is a great tip on how to save money and it is good that more people will know about it

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    • Do you mean it doesn’t save you much money?

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  12. I pride myself on finding cheap flights all the time but I have never heard about open jaw flights, I sear! So happy to find this post and learn something new today. This information is so valuable, thank you!

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  13. Great post full of really helpful tips, I’m going to try booking a open-jaw ticket for my next trip now so thankyou for sharing

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  14. Thanks for sharing this great information.i had no idea about what an open jaw ticket is. This was really helpful

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  15. Wow- I didn’t know about this at all. So informative! I can see why airlines don’t want you to know about it!!

    Reply

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