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I'm looking to book a flight from Lima, Peru to Rio De Janero, Brazil (or possibly Sao Paulo), but I only want a one-way flight, as I will be flying to Paris when I leave Brazil. The cheapest I can find on the common U.S.-centric sites (Kayak, Orbitz, etc) seems to be to buy a round-trip ticket on TAM or LAN (which seem to be the same thing) for roughly US$470.

If I look for a one-way ticket, for the exact same flight, I pay nearly double the round-trip price.

Are there any tricks to finding a cheaper one-way flight when flying in South America? Are there regional airlines, or better prices that aren't searched by the U.S.-based aggregate sites? Or any trick I can use to buy only half of a round-trip ticket from one of these airlines? Or is my best bet to buy the round-trip ticket, but just not use the return portion of my ticket?

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Isn't cheapest very season dependent (for air travel at least)? So to make this question answerable you would have to provide a time slot when you want to fly. However, this might make the question too specific, risking closure. –  Bart Arondson Jun 1 '13 at 22:32
    
@BartArondson: The price of the cheapest ticket is certainly seasonal. I'm not sure if that means the cheapest option is seasonal (that would suggest that only some tickets are affected by seasonal pricing). But if it matters, my hope is to fly in Aug or Sept of this year. –  Flimzy Jun 2 '13 at 0:59
    
@Flimzy if you allow me i can call the airlines here on Peru and check if there is a good price or discount ;) –  Washu Jun 4 '13 at 20:51
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@Washu: I'd be very greatful :) That might even be worth a bounty bonus. –  Flimzy Jun 4 '13 at 20:59
    
@Flimzy sorry for the late response... been struggling with work. Only prices i have found are around 340-380$, and mostly depends on the date of the flight. I will keep searching... –  Washu Jun 12 '13 at 20:37
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

First, I'm going to offer a generic solution that I still think will solve your problem.

There are a couple of paid services, Flightfox and Darjeelin (there's a referral link in my profile). You pay a small amount, set a price you want to beat, and their experts will find you something cheaper. If they can't, you lose nothing (I've had them fail once and I got my money back). But they've also saved me tons. (disclaimer, I sometimes compete on their site as one of the experts).

Secondly, and this will actually address the issue with one-way flights in South America - it's worth noting that it's fairly common in South America to find return flights for far less than one-way flights. My friend, flying from La Paz (Bolivia) to Santiago de Chile was going to buy a one-way, then saw the price of a return was about half. So he bought the return and just didn't use the second segment. So yes, you can do that. Check if it's possible to cancel the return leg for a refund, although I suspect that's unlikely - but at the least, it's still cheaper than the one-way ;)

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@Flimzy nice, I like it. I think that could certainly be of use to future readers. I can't delete your comments any more (not a mod) but I'll flag this thread for the mods to clean up. –  Mark Mayo Jun 19 '13 at 2:01
    
@Flimzy yeah, didn't run in the election :) Note your three new moderators. well, two new, one old. –  Mark Mayo Jun 19 '13 at 3:21
    
Just an FYI, the FlightFox link in your profile is generating 404 errors at the moment. Stale link? –  Flimzy Feb 8 at 18:03
    
@Flimzy thanks, they've just this week redone how they do flights (changed from experts to consultants) so I'm waiting to see what happens. –  Mark Mayo Feb 8 at 18:05
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