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Open Flight Tickets to India

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chit Chat' started by Gyan, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Gyan

    Gyan New Member

    I wanted to know about open flight tickets to India, as I am going India soon and I know a lot of people who get open flight tickets to India. I am just guessing, but I think that open ticket means that you can change your return date without any cost or a minimal cost...is that correct?

    Please advise what I have to say or do when making my flight booking.
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Gyan. Welcome to the forum!

    There are different names for this type of ticket, open flight, open air or open ended. In simple terms, this type of ticket, allows passengers to select a predetermined first flight date while the return date is flexible. As compared to other airline tickets, this is the most flexible option. But when it comes to price, this is also the most expensive. Thus, only use this type of ticket if you have the money to spare.

    An open-flight ticket can also be divided into two more types, restricted and unrestricted. A restricted, open-flight ticket has a fixed return flight for a surcharge. Thus, you must set a predetermined return schedule but you can always change if it the need arises. An unrestricted, open-flight ticket doesn't have a fixed return schedule and it is truly flexible in the sense that you can set your return date at whichever date you'd like. Usually though, you are given only up to a year of allowance from your date of departure, to use this type of ticket.

    Thus, an open-flight ticket is more suitable for:
    • Those who have a lot of time in their hands, thereby maximising the ticket's return date allowance.
    • Those who are spending months time in a destination.
    • Those who have enough money to spare, as this ticket is the most expensive type of ticket, comparing it to one-way tickets or two-way tickets.
    • Business travellers who need to spend some time abroad and are not sure when they will be returning in their home country.
    • Those who travel around the world, in fact, there are round the world tickets as well, which has open-ended return dates too. But that's another topic.
    Despite the advantage of being able to choose your return date, there are also some disadvantages to this type of ticket. So before going ahead and booking one, read through these:
    • It is costly, whether it's the restricted type or the unrestricted type.
    • Not a lot of airlines offer them nowadays, except for the above mentioned round the world tickets or multi-segment tickets.
    • This ticket cannot be purchased online, which is quite the norm these days. Thus, you have to go through a travel agent or an airline office to buy this ticket. Since it cannot be booked online, you also cannot print your boarding pass through the internet and thus, you need a paper ticket for this type of booking. The same goes for booking your return ticket, you must book it through the travel agent or an airline office.
    • If you are ready to book the return date, you might find that it isn't really as flexible as noted to be. This is because there might not be an available flight for you and so you have to wait until the schedule opens up for you.
    • Usually, open-flight tickets have different allowances, some allow up to 3 months of booking your return ticket, while others allow up to 12 months of booking your return ticket. The truth is though, not many countries allow tourists to stay longer than three months. For example, citizens of Germany, can only stay up to 30 days in India. So booking an open-flight with a 12-month validity might just be not necessary.
    Your other option would be just buying a two-way ticket and changing your return date if necessary. Of course, you have to pay for the changing fee as well as the price difference between the old fare and the new fare still. But it's still considerably cheaper than buying an open-flight ticket. I cannot recommend a one-way ticket, since you usually need to show a return ticket when in another country.

    I hope this helps you.
     

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