Open Jaw and Why You Want to Know About It


When traveling “Open-Jaw” it means that you travel to or from more than one location.

The reason you want to do this is it often is less expensive than flying roundtrip and it also allows you to travel to more then one destination without having to return to where you started. Big plus!

Are you confused yet? Okay let me give you an example. You are looking at flying to Europe. (Now this can be done domestically too, but it was more fun to think about traveling to Europe.)

  • Option 1 – a standard roundtrip flight – San Francisco to Paris
  • Option 2 – an Open Jaw roundtrip flight – San Francisco to Copenhagen, return from Paris to San Francisco

Note: you can also return to another city, say Los Angeles. This would be a “double open jaw.” San Francisco to Copenhagen, Paris to Los Angeles

Just this morning I did the following search (these are actual flights I could have booked) –

  • Option 1 – San Francisco (SFO) round trip to Paris depart 6/1, return 6/11
    American Airlines $1,329
  • Option 2 – SFO to Copenhagen 6/1, return Paris to SFO 6/11
    American Airlines $1,123

It turned out that it was less expensive to fly to Copenhagen and return from Paris then if you bought a roundtrip ticket to/from SFO to Paris.

You do need to do some research in that if I had done SFO to London, with return Paris to SFO it would have cost me more then a round trip to Paris. But it still may be worth it so that you do not have to retrace your steps.

Once you arrive in Europe you can find very low fares to fly between European cities. Trains are also a nice alternative. Keep in mind this can also be an option if you are renting a car from some car companies.

To find these fares on your own you want to select the “multi-city” search option. On some airline websites you need to go to the “advanced search” to find the multi-city booking page.

Flying using “open jaw” allows you the freedom to start and end your holiday in a different location, even in different countries. So take that trip you were planning to Paris, but go to Copenhagen first. You just made your trip that much more exciting.

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