How to Book Open Tickets

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When it comes to travel, sometimes flexibility is key. Being able to change your travel plans at a moments notice allows for more spontaneity in your journey. Open or open-ended airline tickets, tickets that do not have a set departure date or time, are a great way to allow for flexible travel and lets you keep you options open.

Search for airlines that offer service to your desired destination. You can either search the airline's website directly, or you can use travel websites such as Expedia or Travelocity, which will give you several airline options based on your desired destination and travel dates.

Contact customer service of the airlines you would be interested flying with. The representatives for these airlines will be able to tell you whether or not they offer open-ended tickets, as not all airlines do. You can also use a travel agent to obtain this information as well. Ask for the price of open-ended tickets from the airlines that do offer them so that you can compare prices. Be aware that you will likely pay much more for an open-ended ticket than you would for a standard ticket, even as much as double. You can also book the tickets with the customer service representative or travel agent using a credit card.

Returning flights with an open ticket are on a first-come-first serve basis, depending on seat availability. There is no guarantee of boarding the return flight that you want as passengers with a confirmed reservation will have priority. You will be allowed to board only if there are seats still available on the desired flight. If not, you will need to wait for the next available flight. You can contact the airline before your desired departure date to see if seats are still available to help you better plan. If not, you will have to fly stand-by, waiting for a seat to open up.

Tips & Warnings

  • Like with any airline ticket, you can fly in and out of two different locations, but you may have to pay more for that option.
  • Open tickets tend to be more expensive in general. Before booking, you should consider alternatives, such as one-way flights, Round The World (RTW) tickets, or fixed-date tickets that can be changed for a one-time fee.

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