I need to book flights that leave on July 9 and return on either July 15 or July 19 - the return date depends on whether I am accepted to a certain conference or not. I will know this only months from now. I can wait with the booking until then, but the tickets might be more expensive. I can also book a two-way ticket with a modification penalty, but then I will have to pay the price difference in addition to the modification penalty, which creates uncertainty in my planning.
My main goal is to ensure that I know in advance the exact flight expenses, with no surprises due to increasing prices. So, I thought of the following scheme:
- Buy two two-way tickets: one from 9/7 to 15/7 and another one from 9/7 to 19/7. Each such ticket has a pre-specified cancellation fee.
- Once I know the return date, I just cancel the other ticket and pay the cancellation fee.
While this scheme might be more expensive than paying the price difference, it might also be cheaper, and it gives me a known, risk-free price.
My question is: is this possible? One travelling agent told me it is impossible to do with the same airline, since they do not allow overlapping bookings for the same person. But what if I buy the two tickets from different airlines? Is this possible then?