Why Does a One Way Ticket Cost More Than a Round Trip Ticket?

(Last Updated On: March 18, 2019)
What Is A One Way Ticket?

A one way ticket is a type of ticket that allows the respective passenger to travel to their destination only and it does not consider the returning. In simple words, it considers the one-way travel either it is on an aircraft, a train, a bus, or any other mode of travel without a return trip.

What Is A Round Trip Ticket?

On the other side, a round trip ticket is that type of ticket which allows a person to travel to a place or destination and also consider the return back to the place which the traveler left. Hence this ticket considers the whole journey i.e. going to a place and the returning too (usually over the same route). It is quite profitable for the passengers as compared to one way airline ticket.

Difference Between A One Way Trip And A Round Trip:

one way
Reasons Why There Is A Difference Between Both The Tickets:

Well, it is always difficult to predict the airfares, but some loosely defined rules have made it a little easier to make travel plans. But on comparing round trip vs one way tickets, it can be understood that why are one way flights more expensive! If you are getting two flights for less than the price of one, then airlines must have relatively solid reasons for pricing flights this way. And some of those reasons are discussed below:

  • Business Travelers Pay More:

It is a fact that the business travelers’ airfare is round-trip most of the time as they almost always purchased by a corporate travel department. They generally focused to avail the most convenient flying times each way rather than the lowest cost. Airlines have little incentive to offer lower round-trip prices as long as it is for the non-discount round-trip airfare.

  • One-Way Airfare is Inconvenient for Airlines Too:

Airlines have a more convenient for their scheduling system when the travelers fly round-trip or book round trip tickets. In case of one-way flights where the passengers need to purchase another ticket for the return journey, the airlines find it quite difficult to make airplane staffing decisions and set flight schedules ahead of time.

  • One-Way Airfare Eliminates The Scheduling Problems:

Passengers with the one-way ticket can easily take advantage of the lower round-trip fares by simply discarding the unused ticket portion. Although, this thing is against airline ticketing rules yet it is quite common among passengers and they almost never punished.

On the part of the airline, they can easily adjust flight schedules without losing money whether the passenger decides to book a one-way return or not. They do so by managing the situation when a passenger purchases a one-way ticket at a higher price than the cost of half of the same round-trip journey.

  • One-Way Airfare is More Convenient for Passengers:

In case, the passenger is not sure about his/her returning, then purchasing a one way ticket is more appropriate. Since the airline can’t be sure about using these for the return trip of the passengers, that’s why their one-way tickets are more expensive in order to recoup the potential losses of you as a return passenger. Passengers just end up by paying more for the convenience of deciding at your leisure exactly.

How To Buy Cheap Tickets OR Tips To Buy Cheap Tickets:

To avail perfect airfares in your budget, you just need to follow the few tips regarding booking cheapest air tickets. It will help you to know how to buy cheap tickets. This includes stuff like

  • Keep your searches top secret
  • Use the best flight search engines
  • Identify the cheapest day to fly out
  • Befriend budget airlines
All You Need to Know While Buying One-Way Airline Tickets:

There are times when you fly to somewhere and have no exact idea when you will be coming back. In such a case, if you buy one-way airfare, then will be the most stupid thing. After all, there is always an option to purchase a return ticket later.

Do take into account the growing popularity of discount airlines and airfares and the increased competition between legacy carriers. This is the reason why round-trip airfare is frequently cheaper than a one-way ticket. There are a few drawbacks which the passenger must be aware of. Following are some of them:

  • Role Of Your Destination:

In case, you are purchasing a ticket to a domestic destination (No Return):

For this, the one-way ticket is almost always cheaper. Passengers can easily get the advantage from US-based discount airlines like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue which offer one-way fares for under $100.

On the other side, for Europe or Asia, it is often cheaper to buy a round-trip ticket, especially if you prefer to fly with the major US carriers.

  • Airlines Encourage Round-Trip:

It is a fact that one-way bookings are a headache for the airline too as these disrupt the overall flying schedules. Hence, the airline itself discourages passengers from booking for one way. That’s also one of the reasons that the one-way flights are almost always significantly more expensive. The prices for one-way tickets are always high because these are frequently purchased by business class travelers on multi-leg trips.

  • Throwaway Ticketing:

Throwaway Ticketing: It is a type of practice in which passengers used to purchase a round-trip ticket and throw away the unneeded portion to get a one-way trip at a round-trip price. Eventually, it proves much cheaper and is very common among frequent flyers.

Airline ticketing rules do prohibit the act of throwaway ticketing. In case, a passenger fails to use the first portion and show up only for the return flight, then the airline changes huge penalties from the respective passenger. It can also deny boarding.

  • Try To Be Flexible:

Being flexible will help the passengers keep the price down in case of purchasing the one-way ticket.

For an instant, a one-way flight leaving at 10 am will be more expensive than the first flight of the day flying at 4 or 5 am. Managing the days can also prove helpful like if you fly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; you can save more.

Searching of multiple travel sites can be helpful but keep in mind that most travel sites do not post fares for discount carriers, so visit those sites individually.

Steps For Using a Roundtrip Ticket to Go One Way:

It is the most common activity among the passengers to purchase the less expensive round-trip fare and simply do not use the return portion. Doing so can be easy but it contains certain restrictions that can add considerable complications to the process.

HOW TO DO SO?
  • STEP 1: Contact the Airline (before arrival)

First of all, contact the airline before the day of the flight and do modify the round-trip ticket for one-way usage. Most of the airlines modify a round-trip fare to allow one-way use but some airlines may charge a penalty or fee for this service.

  • STEP 2: Use the ticket for the outbound flight

Your flight accommodation will not change as it is based on the one-way or round-trip status of your ticket. Hence you can check-in at the airport and board the plane under normal flight procedures on the day of flight arrival.

  • STEP 3: Contact the Airline (after reaching your destination)

If you get failed to negotiate with the airline in Step 1, then contact the airline later and ask for a change to your return date is a good option. You can ask for a refund on the unused portion of your ticket. You can disregard this step in the case; you are unconcerned with a refund or change to your return-trip ticket.

  • STEP 4: Contact the Airline (ready to return)

In case, you negotiate a change to the return portion of your ticket with the airline, then verify the change and check-in at the airport for your updated return flight. But you may need to purchase a new ticket for your return flight if you are not able to negotiate a change.

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