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Multi-City Itinerary, Made Easy! Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Open-Jaw Flights

Written by Tasmiah Rashid

This blog post was updated on January 25, 2022.

Whether you’re an avid traveler or someone that seldom sets foot on a plane, it’s safe to say that most trips are fairly simple—at least in terms of your designated destination(s) and the departure/arrival airports you’ll go through to get there. Fly out of one specific city and land in your destination, and then vice versa to return. But sometimes travel, like most things in life, isn’t always so straightforward. That’s when alternative measures need to be taken to make your trip go as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. For any number of reasons, if you find yourself in a situation where you may need to fly back from a different airport and city then you originally departed from, open-jaw flights are an ideal way to ensure you get where you need to, without too many extra stops to cause delays.

If you’re not sure what these flights entail or how to reserve one, here’s everything you need to know about how to book open-jaw flights.

What Are Open-Jaw Flights?

We know what you’re thinking… what in the world are open-jaw flights?! Unlike a trip to the dentist or the large, sharp-toothed shark in the movie Jaws, open-jaw flights are actually pleasant and exist to make your more complicated travel itineraries a little bit easier. The term is a more recent one, but not for long!  As this type of travel becomes more commonplace, particularly on a global scale, these types of flights are becoming easier to book and find. Whether you’re trying to fly from city to city, with just one all-encompassing booking, or you have a different departure city than where your initial flight landed, or your return destination is different from the one you flew out of, open-jaw flights allow you to mix and match origins and destinations as you please and that too, with a lot more ease than booking separate flights for each leg.

Types of Open-Jaw flights

Open-Jaw flights essentially fall into three different types:

  • Destination Open Jaw — A passenger leaves from and returns to their origin city from different places. For example, departing from New York City to London,  but on the return flight flying from Glasgow back to New York City.
  • Origin Open Jaw — A passenger leaves from one city but returns to a different destination. For example, departing from New York City to London but on the return flight flying from London to Glasgow.
  • Double Open Jaw —  A passenger has two totally separate flights. For example, departing from New York City to San Juan, but on the return flight flying from Miami to Philadelphia.

RELATED: 8 Simple Steps to Beat Jet Lag on International Flights

How to Book Open-Jaw Flights Online

If you’re using a travel agent, then the question of how to book open-jaw flights isn’t too difficult since your agent will be doing the legwork for you. But if you’re booking your own airline tickets online, finding the flights you need to match your multiple-destination trip is still pretty easy thanks to the availability of open-jaw flights.

Although booking flights from multiple cities may seem daunting, it’s much simpler than you’d think! If you’ve ever wondered what that tab that says “multi-city” at the top of your booking window was for, you’re about to find out. If you’re looking to book an open-jaw flight, that tab is your best bet to find the flights you’re looking for in one go. The multi-city option allows you to choose multiple (sometimes as many as 8) separate origin-destination pairings at a time! Not seeing the destinations you’re looking for? Try using the muli-city option through an Online Travel Agency (OTA). Since OTAs aggregate flights from numerous different airlines, you’ll have a larger pool of destinations to choose from (but remember that you this might mean you’ll have to fly on multiple different airlines).

Can Opting for an Open-Jaw Flight Save Me Money?

With so many travel websites now at the travelers’ disposal, companies take great measures to make themselves more attractive to potential customers. Such measures often include great travel availability and flexibility; more options in departure and destination locations, times and dates; great travel packages; and of course lower prices. Even if you’re not seeking out an open-jaw flight, you might want to consider one to save some money.

Many OTAs and airlines offer the option to choose “nearby airports” which means you may be flying in or out of a different airport within or in very close proximity to the city and airport you are looking to fly from or to. For example, if you’re looking for a roundtrip flight from NYC to Los Angeles and your airports of choice are JFK and LAX, respectfully, if you use the “nearby airport” option you might see a significantly lower fare for a slightly different itinerary, such as LGA to LAX, JFK to ONT, etc. Although this might entail a longer ride once you’re on the ground, you could potentially save a ton of money on your airfare in exchange.

Have we missed any details you want to know about open-jaw flights? Ask us in the comments section!

About the author

Tasmiah Rashid

In a past life, Tasmiah was either a Bollywood actress, renowned ethnographer or master chef; no questions asked. In this one, she is a shower-singing, croissant enthusiast, who also writes content for Fareportal, in that order.

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