13

I heard that it was possible to purchase another plane ticket very cheaply if you were flying to the same destination within a certain period of time. Is it true? How do you do this?

  • 15
    Where did you hear this? – skifans Oct 31 '17 at 13:49
38

There used to be some tricks in this area if the airline sells significantly cheaper return tickets if the stay included a weekend. Some airlines did this on the assumption that the more price-sensitive leisure travel was more likely to include weekend stays than the less price-sensitive business travel.

Suppose you live in city A and need to be in city B on Tuesday and Wednesday of each of two consecutive weeks. The natural choice is two A to B return tickets, each outbound on Monday and inbound on Thursday of the same week. Neither includes a weekend:

Ticket 1 Outbound
Ticket 1 Inbound
Weekend
Ticket 2 Outbound
Ticket 2 Inbound

Now consider making Ticket 1 an A to B return, outbound on Monday of week 1, inbound on Thursday of week 2. Ticket 2 is a B to A return, outbound on Thursday of week 1, inbound on Monday of week 2. Each ticket has a weekend between the outbound and inbound flights:

Ticket 1 Outbound
Ticket 2 Outbound
Weekend
Ticket 2 Inbound
Ticket 1 Inbound

I think giving preference to weekend stays has become less common, so this is an obsolete technique.

  • 7
    I do this with KLM and is still possible. – davidb Oct 31 '17 at 14:59
  • 2
    This would be an even better answer if you researched a particular itinerary and gave information on the price difference. – Floris Oct 31 '17 at 15:57
  • 16
    It's a pretty generic answer befitting a pretty generic question, IMHO. – FreeMan Oct 31 '17 at 18:26
  • 4
    I believe this strategy is known as back-to-back ticketing (or nested ticketing), which the airlines have long frowned upon as it circumvents minimum stay requirements. So long as Ticket 1 and Ticket 2 are on different, non-partner airlines, however, it's non-enforceable in practice, though people do get caught in the middle. – choster Oct 31 '17 at 18:27
  • 2
    I've also seen internationally where A<->B (round-trip originating at A) and B<->A (round-trip originating at B) are quite different price due to the flights being priced in the originating country's market, even though they are exactly the same airplane and perhaps even the exact same seats. YMMV but you may be able to use this to your advantage as well. – lc. Nov 1 '17 at 5:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.