How to Buy an Open Ended Airline Ticket

Written by jennifer leigh
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How to Buy an Open Ended Airline Ticket
Open ended tickets are useful for travellers who do not know their exact date of return. (aeroplane image by Clarence Alford from

Open ended airline tickets exist to help travellers maintain flexibility by keeping the date of return open. These tickets come at a premium price and are subject to availability of flights, so they may not be the best choice for all travellers. Another popular choice is purchasing a ticket where the dates can be changed for an additional fee. Students and business executives travelling abroad may find an open ended ticket useful if unsure about when they want to return.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Talk to a travel agent about booking an open ended ticket. Open ended tickets are generally not available when purchasing tickets from Internet sites, so it is necessary to speak to someone about arranging one.

  2. 2

    Call the customer service department of the airline you wish to travel with. Ask her whether or not the airline offers open ended tickets to the destination you are travelling. She will be able to provide specific details on the cost and restrictions of open ended tickets.

  3. 3

    Ask your travel agent or the customer service representative about the validity of open ended tickets. Tickets are valid for a certain amount of time, usually three months, six months or one year. This means that you must use the ticket within that time or it expires.

  4. 4

    Purchase the ticket from the airline directly or through your travel agent once you have found a ticket that will work for you. Be prepared to pay additional amounts of money due to the fact that the return date is unspecified.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider buying a round trip airline ticket and paying the fee to have the return date changed.
  • Some countries require that you have a return ticket in order to enter in the first place, so make sure that this is not the case before purchasing an open ended ticket.

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