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Buying 2 one-ways instead of a round-trip?

Buying 2 one-ways instead of a round-trip?

Old Dec 31, 19, 6:36 am
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Buying 2 one-ways instead of a round-trip?

I was searching for airfare on DL's website and I noticed that for some dates and on some routes, it was actually cheaper to purchase 2 one-ways rather than a round-trip. Anyone here notice this from time to time? I decided to book the two one-ways to save a bit of money. Are there any consequences in terms of IRROPS or anything that I can't think of when not purchasing a round-trip?
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Old Dec 31, 19, 6:43 am
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The only negative is that if you need to make a change you will need to pay the change fee for both tickets.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 6:47 am
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There my be substantial differences, but that will depend on the fare rules for your particular tickets. If refundable, it will not make any difference.

If your tickets are fairly typical non-refundable penalty fares, e.g., you pay $200 + fare difference to make a change to a domestic ticket:
1. If you need to make a change to your travel dates, e.g. push your trip by a few days, you will pay $200 per ticket. Thus, if you have two one-way tickets, the change costs $400 (+ fare difference). On one ticket, changing both segments osts $200.
2. If there are delays or cancellations resulting in a trip in vain, the ticket in question will be refunded. If on the first ticket, you are stuck with a second ticket (what would have been the return).

Thus, you really need to way the up front savings against your own risk tolerance and the cost of the underlying tickets. Thus, a $190 round-trip vs. two $80 one-ways won't matter. Change fees would "eat" both scenarios.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by tennessetom View Post
The only negative is that if you need to make a change you will need to pay the change fee for both tickets.
Not only on the change fee front, but if there is a weather waiver that impacts your trip that, you would easily be able to change a RT. On the two one-way ticket approach, changing the one outside of the waiver window may be harder to change.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
There my be substantial differences, but that will depend on the fare rules for your particular tickets. If refundable, it will not make any difference.

If your tickets are fairly typical non-refundable penalty fares, e.g., you pay $200 + fare difference to make a change to a domestic ticket:
1. If you need to make a change to your travel dates, e.g. push your trip by a few days, you will pay $200 per ticket. Thus, if you have two one-way tickets, the change costs $400 (+ fare difference). On one ticket, changing both segments osts $200.
2. If there are delays or cancellations resulting in a trip in vain, the ticket in question will be refunded. If on the first ticket, you are stuck with a second ticket (what would have been the return).

Thus, you really need to way the up front savings against your own risk tolerance and the cost of the underlying tickets. Thus, a $190 round-trip vs. two $80 one-ways won't matter. Change fees would "eat" both scenarios.
I'm so glad you posted in my thread. Since I'll be travelling to and from the Northeast, I might have to cancel the two fares and re-purchase them as a round-trip. IRROPs a high possibility given that it's winter?
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Old Dec 31, 19, 7:35 am
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There are limited cases where this should be true. Domestically, a simple A-B-A roundtrip should never cost more than two one-way's and I challenge someone to show an example. Multi-city is a different situation as the cheapest one-way fares may often only allow A-B-A routing fare combinations.

The most common case where this is true is for trips to Canada. This is because the airlines generally price one-way fares to/from Canada for the same "dollar" amount. However, if you buy as a roundtrip, both flights are priced in US dollars. While if you purchase as two one-way's, the outbound fare is priced in US dollars while the return is priced in Canadian dollars and you get a cheaper total fare due to the exchange rate. However, there are still Canadian markets where DL has roundtrip fares published and you can get a cheaper fare by purchasing the roundtrip fare if you meet the advance purchase and minimum stay requirements. For many longer haul international destinations, roundtrip fares are generally much cheaper than two one-way's as long as you meet advance purchase and minimum stay requirements. The main cases where it would not be true is if you are book short notice trips and don't meet the advance purchase requirements of the cheaper roundtrip fares. Then you can potentially get cheaper pricing as two one-way's due to differences in point-of-sale pricing from international markets.
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Last edited by xliioper; Dec 31, 19 at 7:46 am
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Old Dec 31, 19, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by tennessetom View Post
The only negative is that if you need to make a change you will need to pay the change fee for both tickets.
Numerous times I have only had to pay one change fee on 2 one-ways.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
Numerous times I have only had to pay one change fee on 2 one-ways.
Same here, but it requires a calling in, getting a competent agent (most are fine for this, but there's always the wild card), and them having to manually process a waiver to one of the PNRs. Also, they technically could enforce the double change fee if they really wanted to be a jerk that day.

On a single round-trip ticket, you're guaranteed a single change fee and for simple domestic itineraries it can all be done online. Full stop.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 1:42 pm
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I'm so glad you posted in my thread. Since I'll be travelling to and from the Northeast, I might have to cancel the two fares and re-purchase them as a round-trip. IRROPs a high possibility given that it's winter?
I don't see the problem with IRROPs since the implication that you have already used a ticket and that Delta will make good on getting you to your destination for that ticket. On the other hand the worry may be on a Weather cancelation before your trip. In that case they may offer to rebook or refund the one way fare only. Although I might expect them to offer to credit you for both tickets (not refund) if you can talk them into it.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Lomapaseo View Post
I don't see the problem with IRROPs since the implication that you have already used a ticket and that Delta will make good on getting you to your destination for that ticket. On the other hand the worry may be on a Weather cancelation before your trip. In that case they may offer to rebook or refund the one way fare only. Although I might expect them to offer to credit you for both tickets (not refund) if you can talk them into it.
My earlier post applies to this as well. On a single RT ticket, IRROPS or weather waiver will easily and without fuss be applied to the entire ticket (even if you want to just cancel the trip altogether).

On separate tickets, you'll almost always find agents who will understand your plight and treat the two tickets as one, but it requires them to manually override the system so it a) creates an extra layer of work for both pax and agent, and b) requires you to call in during a time when hold times might be longer vs. just self-servicing online. And at the end of the day, they aren't necessarily required to treat it as a single ticket, so DL could say the weather waiver is good to change/cancel your outbound but you're stuck with the return as-booked unless you pay a change fee; and you'd have no recourse other than HUCA.

TL;DR, unless the price difference is extreme or there's a very specific reason that you need to manage the tickets independently (e.g., only one direction will be expensed and your client/employer is a stickler for matching receipts), it's almost always better and easier to book simple RTs as a single ticket vs. two one-ways.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 1:57 pm
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I have often had Delta make a free change on the second separate ticket free after IROPS/waiver affected the first - change departure cities, push up/back a day, etc.

Sure, it's a touch more work on the phone, but no agent I've ever talked to has given overwhelming pushback.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 2:18 pm
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To answer the more general question posed by the OP, two OW international tickets could potentially result in some hassle if the destination country requires proof of onward travel for admission or issue of a visa, although I'm not aware of any examples of places that have a strict RT airplane ticket rule for USA passports.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
Numerous times I have only had to pay one change fee on 2 one-ways.
I book almost exclusively pairs of one way tickets and I have had the same experience. I often pay the fare difference to upgrade my tickets (company pays for Y, I pay fare difference to F) and it's much easier to work with two one ways than a round trip in my experience.

I have only ever once run into a situation where I've needed to change a ticket doing this, however the agent was able to waive the second change fee so that I would only have to pay the normal amount for a roundtrip.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 5:57 pm
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Delta is generally good about waivers and favors; I’d be more leery of the two one-ways on other carriers.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Delta is generally good about waivers and favors; I’d be more leery of the two one-ways on other carriers.
Agree, although I suspect that status helps a lot too.

BTW, I don't think I'd want to do this for business travel because I'm afraid that someone would question (at least in their minds, even if I'm not asked to provide proof) whether the two OWs are more expensive than a RT.
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