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Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

noosa
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327 posts
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Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

Singapore Airlines is currently offering early bird return flights for 2014 from Brisbane/ Australia to Europe for around $1500. As we would like to go via the Maldives on the way over, I just wanted to book the return flight from Zurich to Brisbane. Turns out this one way flight is $500 more? I just don't get this? What websites are the best to check on complicated routes, like mine?

Thank you!

Fredericia, Denmark
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1. Re: Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

E.g. Kayak, skyscanner and http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Portland, Oregon
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for Air Travel
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2. Re: Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

To answer the question directly, one ways are usually flown by business travelers or people with the money to do that. So the airlines price one ways high as they're generally not flown by vacationers saving up for a (round trip) holiday and so they extract maximum revenue. That in turn, to an extent, allows them to offer cheaper flights to people who book holidays (round trips) well in advance with no change plans. Yes, some people who aren't on business or rich need one ways get stung, but that's the reason why airlines do it.

So that's why they do that. As to can you get a cheaper one way, possibly. Contact a reputable full service travel agent. They may have access to "consolidator" fares, that are unpublished and not available directly from the airlines. They're made available for packages, including cruises (where one ways are needed) and combination flight/hotel deals. It may be a long shot, and you may need to book some sort of combi deal with a hotel, but you may get a cheaper one way.

Sites like kayak may also bring up these consolidator fares for flights only as "secret airline" offers (as they're unpublished fares they can't reveal the airline). Though if you see one of these, go to the full service agent first and see if they can book it for you.

Good luck.

Edited: 13 October 2013, 09:41
Liverpool, UK
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3. Re: Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

You could also consider an open jaw ticket which is outbound to one location, returning from another.

UK
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4. Re: Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

To expand upon Toms message, use the multi city option on the airlines website rather than booking multiple one way flights.

Salisbury, United...
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5. Re: Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

Looking at Kayak there are flights for your routing from about £1500 with Emirates in May.

noosa
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327 posts
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6. Re: Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

Thank you all for the very useful links. I even found a one way flight with Singapore Airline now, that is $150 cheaper than the return one. Air Asia has some great deals ATM from KL to Male for around $140, but only valid till March next year. We are travelling August/ September. Hopefully they will extend this sale. Then I will probably book a low cost charter from Male. Either Condor to Frankfurt or Edelweiss to Zurich. So excited. I love travelling.

Bingley, United...
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7. Re: Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

One way fares tend to be fully flexible & fully refundable so you can change or cancel the ticket at minimal cost. Cheap return tickets are non-flexible & non-refundable so you decide not to fly you lose everything

Hong Kong, China
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8. Re: Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

Try www.skyscanners.com you may get raw good deal. Return tickets are more profitable to airliners compare to one way ticket. This is no brainer

9. Re: Why are one way flights more expensive then return flights?

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