What is an Open-Jaw Ticket?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

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.

An open-jaw ticket allows for a passenger to return from a different airport than their trip originated.
An open-jaw ticket allows for a passenger to return from a different airport than their trip originated.

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.

Air passengers who are booking an open-jaw ticket should investigate any applicable restrictions or fees.
Air passengers who are booking an open-jaw ticket should investigate any applicable restrictions or fees.

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.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


If you are looking to make an epic around the world trip, there are multi-continent open-jaw tickets that are available for sale.

Often these tickets will give you option of different cities to fly from and fairly flexible schedules.

Plus, the tickets are usually good for 6-months to a year, so you have lots of time to make the most of your ticket.

These tickets off you a lot of savings from purchasing several one-way tickets and to find a place that sells them you can just search for around the world tickets online.

If you're a student, there is a good chance your local student travel shop will have good discounts available for you.


Open-jaw tickets are one of the best options if you are going to be traveling for a long time and would like to have more flexibility from where you are going and coming from.

Be aware though that these tickets can have a markup on them and end up being more expensive than if you had just bought to one-way tickets at a discount. Always shop around.

Also, if you are considering an open-jaw ticket, make sure you read your ticket terms closely. Some airlines will only let you fly out on certain days of the week, or at certain times. There can be financial penalties if you need to use the ticket outside of their schedule.

Post your comments
Forgot password?