Should you get separate tickets or a round trip ticket / combined ticket?

One question that a number of travelers including myself have faced is if they should get a separate ticket or a round trip ticket.

For simple trips, at time round trip tickets are cheaper - but gone are the days that the round trip ticket is consistently the cheapest option.

There are still rare cases where they are cheaper, for instance say a direct flight from San Jose to Tokyo - but in many other cases, particularly if you want to city hop, they are not worth it for a number of reasons.

  • Multi city searches on other travel websites that get you one combined ticket have really poor prices.
  • The searches at times just fail for these tickets, and we're not talking about some random company here, we are talking about well known names like Expedia.
  • You have to circle back around to the same city, and so there are less opportunities to see new places.
  • At times, a combined ticket limits your flexibility. Let's say you are going from Home -> Vacation city 1 -> Vacation City 2 -> Vacation city 3 -> Vacation city 1 -> Home. If you want to replace some cheap legs of your trip ( which are say in the range of 20-50$ per leg ) by an alternative plan, you can't use the last leg return ticket. This has happened to me multiple times. If you get a la carte tickets, the tickets are so cheap you can just pursue an alternative plan by not taking the flight and booking separate tickets.
So all in all, the moment your trip becomes complex, separate tickets lose their value and utility. We have considered one pricing optimization where we automatically introduce a round trip flight in your trip when it would make it cheaper, though don't do so yet since it would primarily just help users going from City 1 -> City 2 -> City 1, which isn't a use case we are focused on.

Presto Trip uses single city tickets because this unbundling allows us to piece to together more complex trips at cheaper prices.

Comments