Tips on Getting Open-Ended Air Fare During a Business Trip


An open-ended airline ticket is essentially a no-restricts flight ticket that you can purchase when you really need a ticket yet don’t know your departure date, your arrival date, or both. They can be purchased as round trip or one-way tickets. The reason that many business travelers purchase them is because requirements for many work visas require the presentation of a round-trip airline ticket; a solution for that situation when you don’t yet know the dates of your travel is to buy an open-ended ticket.


Many other reasons prompt business professionals to buy open-ended tickets as well. Some business trips are carefully structured and orchestrated with exact business lunches, meetings, and conference calls penciled in from the start. However, as most business travelers know, the unexpected can happen at the most inopportune moment. Sometimes it happens at just the right time, too. No matter the reason that you need flexibility in your travels, sometimes you need to have open-ended air fare for some business trips.


Before you attempt to book the fare, be clear on what it is that you really need. Open-ended airline tickets will not be cheaper than other types of airline tickets. In fact, the cheaper tickets can be found by being flexible with when you need to fly but also being willing to buy non-refundable tickets for specific dates that are available from the airline. Having said that, buying open-ended air fare is often the solution when you need to be able to leave at any time and are not sure of dates or times.


Since most airlines that cater to business class travelers do offer some form of open fair sales, first look at the companies that fly to the cities where you need to travel to and from. Search the company’s frequently asked questions page to see if open air fares are mentioned. If not, call the company’s customer service to make sure that they do offer this type of plane ticket.



Look at the fine print of any offer for open-ended air fare. Compare the difference between restricted and unrestricted tickets; the terms and conditions of both will vary greatly depending on the airline. Both types are usually good for a year from the date of purchase. Unrestricted tickets are typically refundable if they are not used, whereas restricted tickets are usually not. Restricted tickets are often much cheaper.


Next, do a bit of comparison shopping to find the best price; this can be one of the more costly ways of traveling if you buy impulsively. Make sure to pinpoint as exact a time period for your travels a possible. The wider the time frame, the more expensive the ticket may be. Also, you may want to compare the potential prices of last-minute airline tickets to and from your destinations with the open-ended air fare. While this would present some more hassle at the last minute, it sometimes does present savings.


If you are short on time, or if you can’t find a satisfactory price, consult a a travel agent who specializes in business travel; most companies already have a preferred travel agent so seek the advice of one you have done business with before if possible. When a travel agency has specialized or worked extensively with open-ended fair, several benefits (such as a cheaper price) can be passed on to the traveler. Also, if you are planning multiple trips or rather complicated tickets, it will save you a lot of time and hassle to enlist the help of a travel agent.