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Are one-way flights always a horrible idea?

I'm traveling with my family to Copenhagen in June, and we're looking into flights. There is a one-way flight that costs far less than any other flight I've seen. I found it on Hipmunk, and it's from Orbitz. When I do the same search on Hipmunk using their multi-city feature (we're flying open jaw), the same flight does not come up. Using the multi-city feature, the next least expensive flight is $600 more than the one-way. Everything I read online says to not, under any circumstances, book one-way. Are there exceptions? This might be a stupid question, but I want to make sure that I'm not missing something. Thanks.

Posted by
1244 posts

Hi Jessica. One way flight is fine if it fits in with your overall travel plan and itinerary. The only caution is against buying a one way and thinking 'I'll buy the return leg later'. Make sense?

Posted by
4637 posts

Sometimes one way is cheaper more than twice than roundtrip and sometimes round trip is cheaper than one way. Example: last summer I needed one way trip Prague to St. Petersburg, Russia. But round trip was cheaper than one way. So I bought roundtrip. I was never able to find any rules about pricing flights.

Posted by
3203 posts

Before you commit to a one-way flight outbound, check the price of the one-way flight home.

Posted by
4066 posts

The international airlines think a round trip is what the majority of their customers will buy. Certainly they also sell the flights separately, often but not always at much higher rates, remembering to multiply the cost by two to get back home. The no-frills airlines price each flight separately, like Southwest in the US. Orbitz and other multi-airline sites are travel agents and may combine airlines for more complicated itineraries, so that the outbound and return trips are separate but the total cost is competitive. The risk there, while low, is that the airlines involved may not co-operate to check baggage all the way through, or take responsibility for delays. Yes, it is complicated, but that is the D.I.Y. tradeoff for cheaper travel.

Posted by
34 posts

I think we've decided to go with a slightly more expensive multi-city option and stay with the same airline the whole time. This is a great resource. I appreciate your help.