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Why is RT cheaper than OW?

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Why is RT cheaper than OW?

1. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

I'm browsing a few travel booking sites (ie travelocity) and plugged in a few sample dates for flying from Los Angeles to Frankfurt in April and May. As I'm planning a little RTW trip, I chose One-Way and was shocked at the quotes of $1800-$2500. But for RT with the same dates but with return trip, the price went down $753. As I've NEVER bought one OW ticket in my life, can someone explain to me why this is? And what do the airlines do when people don't show-up for the return trip?

2. Posted by Kathi20 (Respected Member 270 posts) 9y

When it was about getting my visa to go back to NZ (knowing I was gonna stay there) I needed a ticket to proof that I was able to leave NZ. I took a OW ticket to NZ (which was nearly the same as a TW) and a cheap as flight to Sydney, which I never used of course (and they don't do anything I mean, u don't run up, so what? ).

Later I found out that an RTW ticket would have been even cheaper and I guess this would b another option, but u'd have to talk o a travel agent about it as I'm not sure how they exactly work.

3. Posted by Kathi20 (Respected Member 270 posts) 9y

stupid example:

one chocolate bar costs 1$.
so three should cost u 3$
but there's a special 2+1 free

sometimes I think it's better not to ask why things are cheap(er),
just go for it!

4. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

For buying One Way tickets it is more expensive mainly for the purpose that most people doing one way international flights are foreign tourists and not locals. If the majority of travellers doing one way international flights were people from your own country, then one way would be half the price of a return ticket. Instead almost anyone who gets a return ticket is a person living in your country or legally working in your country, so they get the better deal than who is most likely a foreigner. Like in Asia if a local gets a taxi they'll pay a cheap price, but as soon as they see you are a foreigner you'll get the price doubled or in some cases a lot more than double. They'd just cancel your return leg and then if they've overbooked the flight which often happens, it would be given to another person.

The main reason why RTW tickets are cheaper per leg than buying all of them as one way tickets, is because when you are buying a RTW ticket you are buying in bulk so giving the company more of a profit in most cases. So say for example if you were from another country so as you could make more stops in America instead of going Frankfurt-Los Angeles and being done with it on American airline, you might be tempted to do Frankfurt-Los Angeles-Chicago-New York-Montego Bay-Miami-Mexico City all on America Airlines using a One World Explorer ticket. Then profit also goes on to the airlines partner companies as well because American doesn't do the other international flights you want like the Sydney-Tokyo flight you may want to do and the others that cover all the 360 degrees of the world. It goes without saying that American Airliens with 6 flights on American airlines like my example gives, they are going to make a considerably larger profit that selling the one flight from Frankfurt-Los Angeles, but if they didn't discount you wouldn't have dreamt about doing all those flights with American Airlines. Usually when you are on a round the world ticket you fly discount economy but on a normal ticket you'd be flying normal economy this is especially the case with American Airlines who like robbing people of frequent flyer points because others are just on RTW Economy.

Another thing that sometimes happens is that a travel agent will approach an airline and say we are going to book ......... amount of tickets through your airline this year. We expect a discount for this so what you you offer us? American airlines then returns with a deal that's 15% cheaper than normal and then you as the customer will be passed on 5% of that special. So in some cases a really big travel firm like Flight Centre will say we will be selling 10,000,000 seats on your planes this year ........ and the discount would be greater so to make sure they fill that given quota and don't need to pay back some of that discount, they'd get rid of them on RTW tickets, so that is why if you go to Flight Centre the price may well be different to if you go to another travel agent and then that price may differ to the next one you go to.

It's like the question why is it often cheaper to buy a packaged holiday than it is to buy the exact same stuff individually on a holiday? That's because of the fact the travel wholesalers (the people who build the tours that Travel agents then sell), approach say Avis and say we making a new brochure which will advertise your company and will hire you a minimum of 2,000,000 cars Australia wide over the next 12 months so we expect a cheaper price. So Avis will then give that wholesaler a price of $30 a day instead of $42 a day, which they then add 10% commission on to making it $33 a day that the eventual customer will be paying per day on that tour. So then when all the components of the tour are put together with the same sort of method, it will be quite a bit cheaper than you could get the exact same thing for assuming you did everything identical and didn't change hotels, hire car companies etc.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 2, 2007, at 2:11 PM by aharrold45 ]