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Travel Tip: What Is an Open Jaw Airline Ticket?

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Airport signsThere are a few options out there for planning multi-city travel. The best bet is to book an open jaw airline ticket.

Online, your best bet is the multi-city option. It lets you book more complicated itineraries, and it generally costs less than purchasing separate round-trip tickets.

But with more complex schedules, or if you’re using award miles, things get a little trickier. Say you want to fly into one city, and then return home from a different city. That could constitute two one-way tickets. Or it could qualify for an “open jaw” fare.

To qualify, the “open” part of the journey, where you’re not flying, has to be a shorter distance than the shortest flight leg. So, for example, you could fly from LAX to LaGuardia, and Boston back to LAX and get an open jaw airline ticket because the distance between New York and Boston is shorter than the flight distance. Confused yet?

Don’t forget to ask your airline about stopover flights. In many cases, you can use your rewards to fly from point A to point B, but spend a couple of days in another city along the way … at no extra charge.

Find more ways to book the right ticket in our Airlines & Airports section.

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