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Open date Airline tickets


Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: March 6th, 2007

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  • Added on: August 10th, 2008
So I have a question about open date airline tickets, mainly where to buy them and if they have the specific kind I'm looking for.

My sister is going to the Netherlands in September to be an Au pair and needs a bit of flexibility on her return date since nothing has been agreed to concretely concerning her return date. The family agreed to a year but whether that means one school year or one calendar year neither are sure of.

We have looked for dates up to the end of May of 2009 but we plan on taking a trip to Italy once her stay in Holland is over and since we haven't even begun to think of dates yet for that trip we don't want to buy a set date ticket for her return and then have to pay upwards of 500 dollars to change the date on an airline ticket. The family has been generous enough to offer to pay for the ticket and have asked that the ticket be round-trip (because they don't want to have to pay for two tickets) and has agreed that the open return date is the best for everyone since like I said no concrete return date has been set by either party.

I have looked around the RTW tickets but I'm not quite sure that's exactly what we're looking for. Any help would be appreciated Smile TIA Big Grin

PS. She's flying into Brussels, Belgium since that is a closer airport than Amsterdam to the family.


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 177
Joined: May 9th, 2008

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  • Added on: August 10th, 2008
An open return ticket is usually a full coach class fare, and the ticket still needs to be used within a year of its issue date; so technically it's not a whole lot cheaper than two one-way tickets, except that once the ticket is issued, your fuel surcharges, which are enveloped into the taxes, don't go up. Any airline or travel agent will sell you an open return ticket; even if you want to fly into Brussels, but return from Italy.

For compariosn, you may want to check the fare for a discounted return ticket, but be careful, the lowest priced ones are usually only good for travel within 30 - 90 days. (Because you can only book flights up to a maximum of 11 months out from date of making the reservation, you don't get a whole year validity on it.) Then check what the change fee is for that ticket. Now, you may potentially pay more than just the change fee for changing the return date - the same fare class as your ticket must be available at the time you want to make the change for the new travel date, or you also pay the difference in fare at the time of change.

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