An open-jaw ticket is a type of round trip airline ticket which provides the customer a return flight from a different city than he or she flew into. For example, someone could fly from New York City to Los Angeles, and then from San Francisco back to New York City. Or, someone could fly from Alberta to London, and then from London to Seattle. Many airlines offer open-jaw tickets, and it is possible to save a substantial amount of money on such tickets.
There are a number of reasons to purchase an open-jaw ticket. One common reason to buy such a ticket is a cruise, as many cruises have different starting points and ending destinations. By purchasing an open-jaw ticket, someone can meet the ship at one point, and then be able to fly home from a different point. An open-jaw ticket may also be combined with a train trip, a trek, or another form of land travel which connects two destinations.
Many people like to order open-jaw tickets because such tickets eliminate wasted time returning to a departure point. For example, someone might want to travel around Europe for the summer without making a loop, so the traveler could fly into London and out of Athens.
There are a few caveats to keep in mind when ordering an open-jaw ticket. Such tickets can become complex when they involve international routes, and some airlines may charge extra for open-jaw tickets which involve a convoluted international trip, especially when partner airlines are involved. Open-jaw tickets within Europe are the exception to this rule, as the European Union creates a situation which allows airlines to treat Europe as one country.
The cost of an open-jaw ticket is basically made by splitting the difference between two round-trip tickets. Because of this, passengers may be able to get special deals by agreeing to fly on off or unusual days, or by switching airports. Many metropolitan areas are serviced by several airports, and being flexible can reduce the cost of a ticket dramatically. For example, some airlines offer much cheaper flights into Oakland, California than they do into San Francisco, California, and thanks to public transit, traveling into one airport is not that much more challenging than using the other.
When ordering an open-jaw ticket, or any airline ticket, it is a good idea to check on any restrictions, especially fees for changing dates or arrival/departure cities.