One of our readers submitted the question:
“Hi Wise Flys, I have been researching tickets for our first family trip to Paris for next fall. I haven’t been able to get enough miles and points for this trip, but hopefully the next one. For Paris, this will be a cash flight. Is it better to buy a roundtrip or 2 one-ways?”
Thanks for the question, Erica.
This is an age old question in airline travel that still confuses many avid travelers to this day. Here are some of the the pros and cons of purchasing two one ways tickets over a single round-trip ticket for your next flight.
The Pros Of Purchasing Two One Ways:
- You are able to mix and match airlines for potentially better fares. For example, for your trip from New York to Paris. In my search, I discovered that British Airways has the cheapest fare going to Paris, while Air France has the cheapest fare coming back. By booking two one-way tickets, You are able to save on the overall cost of the trip.
- You are able to mix and match airline frequent flyer programs. Similar to the point above about paid fares, getting two one-way award tickets will allow you the flexibility of redeeming miles from different mileage programs.
- If you miss the outbound leg of this trip, the return journey will not be automatically canceled because the one-way ticket is considered a single, complete journey.
Paris Is One Of The Most Popular Destinations To Travel To For Americans And With Good Reason. Its An Amazing City Filled With Culture And Delicious Food.
The Cons Of Purchasing Two One Ways:
- You might have to pay two change fees if you want to completely change your entire itinerary because you are in possession of two separate journeys.
- If your inbound and outbound journeys on a paid fare are with different airlines that belong to different alliances, you will be dividing the miles earned by flying (a.k.a. “butt-in-seat” miles) between two programs instead of being able to pool it into one.
- If the outbound flight is canceled, it will render the return flight useless and you will only receive a refund for the outbound flight.
As you can see, there are some risks in booking two one-way tickets compared to a round trip. With my experience, these risks don’t outweigh the cheaper price and flexibility of purchasing two one-way tickets.
Do you prefer to buy a round trip or two one-way tickets?