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I am flying Germany->Singapore in April of 2017. I will be staying until September or October. I don't know the exact return date yet and probably won't know until July/August.

Should I only buy a one way ticket for now or would be it be cheaper to buy a two way ticket now and somehow specify a variable return date?

  • 2
    Can you clarify on which visa you will enter Singapore? If it's only for what is called a social visit, the immigration officer is likely to ask for your return ticket. This is something you might want to check directly with ICA ica.gov.sg/page.aspx?pageid=95 in advance. – To마SE Dec 19 '16 at 10:48
  • Step 1: See the comment from @To마SE above. Step 2: Call the airline or several airlines and speak to an agent; they will be able to more accurately provide the costs and pros/cons of each idea. I am not saying that people on this site are wrong (in fact, I think that they are quite accurate) but they are not the ones selling you the ticket. – MonkeyZeus Dec 19 '16 at 14:57
  • @problemofficer: then you can also ask the school's administration staff, they will know the answer or whom to refer you to. Also, since your stay doesn't fall within the normal academic year (August-December, January-May), it is possible that you're not going to a University under the SOLAR program, but another institution under SOLAR+. I don't know the differences, just a heads up. – To마SE Dec 20 '16 at 8:59
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There are Open Tickets for that but are generally quite expensive for the flexibility. It is easiest to buy the cheapest return-ticket which has a change fee, usually $50-$100, plus potential fare difference. A one way ticket is also possible but often countries now require passengers to have return tickets to be admitted through immigration. Not sure if this is the case for you since it depends on your nationality and Singapore ruls.

Buying two one-way tickets is also possible but often cost more than a single return ticket. In certain cases it costs the same but that depends on airline pricing. In my experience, getting two one way tickets has most often cost more than a return ticket.

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When I have been in a similar-ish situation I chose to pick the most likely date for return and a semi-flexible return ticket (one that said "non-refundable" etc but with a modest change fee anyway). Very much cheaper than two singles and the change fee would only have been about £100 (though I guessed right so did not need to pay it).

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It's probably a wash. A one way FRA-SIN in April will run you about $550 on something nice like Qatar, Etihad, etc. You may be able to get down to $450 with double connections.

Round trip with a random return date in Oct would be around $700. I'm not sure about the exact change rules, but if it were United, it'll cost you around $250 to change the date. If you want o go this route you'd have to study the fine print for every option. If the change fee is less $300, your probably better off doing the round trip.

Main advantage on the round trip @700: it included the non-stop from on Lufthansa which saves you a connection. If your departure point is not FRA, that wouldn't count.

  • Is "round trip" equal to "two way flight"? Not sure if it implies additional meaning. – problemofficer Dec 19 '16 at 0:48
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    Round trip means booking a single ticket that covers two flights: For example "FRA->SIN" and "SIN->FRA". In case you are German: "Hinflug und Rueckflug". – Hilmar Dec 19 '16 at 1:54
  • I have to admit I am surprised by the price of one-way tickets. In my experience, one-way flights used to be a lot more expensive than that, and it very rarely made sense to buy one, but I suppose times have changed... – jcaron Dec 19 '16 at 12:53

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