OPEN-JAW TICKETSIs it time to use your frequent flyer miles, or a cheap fare you’ve found to head out of town. Vegas, you say?? But you’d be broke if you stayed THERE a whole week. You’d like to do Vegas, for 2 days AND another city? Use a STOPOVER or OPEN-JAW.
Most airline tickets say you must leave a stopover point, i.e. change planes and get out of town within 4 hours of arrival (24 hours for international itineraries). Some fares (with stopovers)allow you to stopover for longer periods on your way to or returning from a different city.
For example, most United airlines fares allow you to stopover in Denver for $55.61, spend a couple days and then go on to your other destination. US Airways allows for cheap stopovers in Vegas.
Most airlines allow stopovers at their hubs and YES there are free or cheap stopovers on international tickets as well.
We always try for a stopover on the west coast when heading to Hawaii. We fly from our east coast home to San Francisco, spend a day or two and then on to Hawaii. Two cities for the price of one, and it breaks up the long flight.
The key is to ask the airline about stopovers, the fare difference and the rules.
Most frequent flyer award tickets also allow a free stopover.
OPEN JAW TICKETS
Simply put, fly from city A (Grand Rapids) to city B, (Los Angeles) drive to city C (San Francisco) and return from city C (SF) to city A (Grand Rapids).
This is an example of an open jaw ticket. The airlines price it like a round trip ticket A to B divided by 2, and round trip C to A divided by 2, and then add the 2 halves.
Again, 2 cities for the price of 1, and in our example, a beautiful drive up the California Coast on US 1 through Big Sur and past Monterey to San Francisco.
Open jaw tickets are available for international destinations also. Fly to London, bum around Europe and fly home from Rome on one open jaw ticket.
Most frequent flyer award tickets allow for a free stopper OR open jaw on domestic tickets.
International award tickets typically allow a free stopover AND an open jaw.
Check with your airline and see 2 cities for the price of one.
Please note: American Airlines domestic award tickets currently allow for BOTH a stopover and open jaw. This is the best domestic award ticket around today.