Round Trip Cheaper Than One Way Fare?


#1

Hi,

I searched fares on United from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles, USA. Anyway for economy the round trip is quoted at roughly $1,100 and one way is around $1,800. This doesn’t make sense to me. Am I reading it wrong or is there a reason?

Thanks!


#2

No you are reading it correctly. In most cases one way fares in the US are more than round trip. One exception I can think of us Southwest.


#3

Just a difference in demand.


#4

So is $1,100 the fare each way for the round trip bringing the total to $2,200 or is $1,100 the overall fare?


#5

If you want to go with a round-trip fare, it’s 1800. If you want to go one-way, each way, it’s 1100 x 2. Round-trip locks you in to your departure and return dates. If you want to change your return, for example, it will more than likely cost you $150 plus any difference in fare. So, if for any reason, your return date is in question, you may want to go with a one way over and the same on the return. But then, of course, the fares can change. Oh… same change rules apply to the one-way fare as apply to the round-trip, too.


#6

Round trip flights have, since almost the beginning of the airline industry, been cheaper than twice the one way fare.

Most common in the years prior to the 1960’s was a 10% discount on the round trip (and there was only 1 fare per class/per route, not a dozen and a half!).

Another great thing that fares use to have was free stopovers. If you were flying, for example, from SFO to JFK via STL, you could stop off at STL for a few days and then continue your journey with no additional fare charged. This great practice seems to have gone away beginning in the latter part of the 1960’s.


#7

There still are free stopovers on most international routes.