UA: Two one-way vs one round trip

Old Mar 6, 15, 5:09 pm
  #1  
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UA: Two one-way vs one round trip

United starts to charge more for two one-way trip tickets than for one round trip ticket. I need to book two one-way tickets from/to LGA to DEN because I will need to charge differently the expenses for two portions of my trip. I have just found that United charges $190 for one-way trips LGA/DEN and DEN/LGA for April 13 and April 25 correspondingly. The round trip for exactly the same dates costs $220. The one-way tickets are much more expensive than from major competitors. I spoke to a United customer service representation today. He said that the United policy is to encourage purchasing round-trip tickets. I thought that this policy is gone many years ago. In my case, I am not sure now if extra $160 is worth of some premium amenities that I have with United.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:18 pm
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See if they can take a split payment (old UA could).

If not, can you book on one card, and charge back differently?

While UA's fare structure is not cooperating well with your limitations, it's also not as much a UA issue as it is an accounting issue.

For example, if you can charge the whole thing to a single corporate card and attribute half to each client in your company's billing system, this issue may be moot.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Alexei Pankin View Post
I need to book two one-way tickets from/to LGA to DEN because I will need to charge differently the expenses for two portions of my trip. I have just found that United charges $190 for one-way trips LGA/DEN and DEN/LGA for April 13 and April 25 correspondingly. The round trip for exactly the same dates costs $220.

...

In my case, I am not sure now if extra $160 is worth of some premium amenities that I have with United.
It costs $30 more according to your math I believe, not $160
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:23 pm
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$190 each way x 2 = $380
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
It costs $30 more according to your math I believe, not $160
I think my calculations are correct:

$190*2=$380
$380-$220=$160
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:27 pm
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2 * 190 (each OW) is 160 more than 220 (RT)

Originally Posted by Alexei Pankin View Post
I thought that this policy is gone many years ago.
They made no such change systemwide. In select markets they'll price one ways equal to half an RT, typically where they face LCC competition with OW pricing.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:28 pm
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This is perfectly normal behavior that used to be completely standard but is now generally limited to international destinations and hubs. Indeed, the individual one-ways can often be more expensive than the entire round trip. Such is airfare.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Alexei Pankin View Post
I think my calculations are correct:

$190*2=$380
$380-$220=$160
The way you have it worded implies that you can write off the $190 to one of the expense accounts. Since the R/T ticket costs you $220, you write off the $190 and so your premium amenities cost you $30, not $160
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Alexei Pankin View Post
He said that the United policy is to encourage purchasing round-trip tickets. I thought that this policy is gone many years ago.
Depends on the market. Where it can United will do its best to maximize revenue and that often means pricing one way fares higher.

Are any of those other competitors offering cheaper one-way fares doing so with a non-stop flight? If not are you willing to pay for that convenience and time saved??
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
The way you have it worded implies that you can write off the $190 to one of the expense accounts. Since the R/T ticket costs you $220, you write off the $190 and so your premium amenities cost you $30, not $160
I think I need separate receipts that will show individual ticket costs.

Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Depends on the market. Where it can United will do its best to maximize revenue and that often means pricing one way fares higher.

Are any of those other competitors offering cheaper one-way fares doing so with a non-stop flight? If not are you willing to pay for that convenience and time saved??
Delta one-way tickets are $115 and are approximately 50% of the round trip tickets.

Originally Posted by Alexei Pankin View Post
Delta one-way tickets are $115 and are approximately 50% of the round trip tickets.
I forgot to mention that Delta flights are also non-stop flights. The only difference for me is my United gold status, which is handy when I have extra luggage. However, extra $160 for free bags is way too expensive.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 6, 15 at 5:51 pm Reason: merging comsecutive posts by same member
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Alexei Pankin View Post
I thought that this policy is gone many years ago.
While most travel within North America is priced on a one-way basis, this does not mean that carriers cannot file special round-trip fares. In this case, UA has a $200 round trip fare on LGA-DEN. It books into N class which is UA's lowest class, effective for outbound travel from 06MAR to 30APR, AP of 21 days, min stay of Sunday, max stay 30 days. I would say they are trying to sell off some extra seats to leisure travellers on that market.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 6:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Alexei Pankin View Post
I think I need separate receipts that will show individual ticket costs.
I have been able to provide scans/PDFs of the same receipt in two separate invoices, clearly commenting that half of trip is being invoiced since it was cheaper to book RT than separate One-way tickets. Have you explored that possibility?
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Old Mar 6, 15, 7:18 pm
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What if you were able to show a full breakdown of the price, with separate fares in each direction?

Try reproducing your itinerary in ITA Matrix. This will show base fare in each direction separately. Then it will just be a matter of splitting the taxes/fees...since the base fare in both directions is the same, it should be a matter of splitting them 50/50.
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Old Mar 7, 15, 9:50 am
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Bill the client an extra hour for fooling around with such nonsense.

If it's the company you work for, get your manager to buy into the most economical way to travel and bill and let s/he make the call.
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Old Mar 7, 15, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by LaserSailor View Post
Bill the client an extra hour for fooling around with such nonsense.


The customer should be billed because the OP wants to put personal airline affinity first? I'd be pretty pissed were I that client.
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