“Open Jaw” is a term more preferred by travelers than surfers which describes any flight where you essentially squeeze two destinations into one round trip ticket. The term open jaw is not important but the strategy behind it can stretch a vacation for the better, wherever you are traveling and regardless of whether you are paying or using miles. For those of us whose vacation days and money are precious this is an incredible tool to squeeze two vacations into one! No shark bites included (hopefully). 

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Simply put, an “Open Jaw” is a ticket where you depart from Point A, arrive at Point B, depart from Point C and return to Point A. Despite there being an A,B and C you are simply creating a round trip ticket where you end up where you originated (home). We have already covered combining cabins and one way flights to stretch your miles and now we will combine destinations to take your money a step further. 

Example: I depart New York destined for London. I return from Rome destined for New York. It’s a round trip ticket but the legs are not mirror images. To get from London to Rome I simply book a one way ticket for half the miles or money. 

a large circular city with statues

For someone who doesn’t get much vacation time, how awesome would it be to see London and Rome (or any two cities) in the same trip without having to back track? If you booked a simple round trip from New York to London you would have to book an additional round trip flight from London to Rome within that time frame to see both cities creating four total flight segments. This is time and money being spent on transit and not tea or tagliatelle. Using “Open Jaw” you simply need to book a one way ticket from London to Rome to position yourself for the trip home; saving money, time and creating only three total segments. Even the smallest mileage balances can usually take care of a one way short haul flight. Being able to snag a free flight with miles means you are truly booking one round trip ticket.

Sample Itinerary WITHOUT Open Jaw 

January 1: New York to London (Ticket A)

January 5: London to Rome (Ticket B)

January 9: Rome to London. (Ticket B)

January 13: London to New York. (Ticket A) 

a city with a river and a clock tower

Sample Itinerary WITH Open Jaw

January 1: New York to London (Ticket A)

January 7: London to Rome (separately booked one way ticket) (Ticket B)

January 13th: Rome to New York. (Ticket A)

Though flying can be fun, the point of traveling is exploring destinations. By using “open jaw” ticketing you avoid an entire extra day of traveling and an extra segment which means more time exploring your destinations! The great thing about “open jaw” is that it can be applied to any trip, anywhere in the world. Going to California? Why not “open jaw” Los Angeles and San Francisco? Will you take advantage of this technique? If this is elementary to you, check out using allowed stopovers to squeeze multiple destinations into one round trip.  

Helpful? Need More Hep? Get in Touch: GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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