Why do one-way flights cost more than returns?

Strange ticket pricing policy by airlines

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Serenajean1
Why are one way tickets up to three times more than a round trip ticket. And can one buy a roundtrip ticket and never use the returning ticket?
lilplatinum
Because one way tickets are generally for relocations that people have to do so the airline knows you are going to have to pay it anyway. Of course you can just buy a round trip and dont use the other half - what could they do to stop you? Better yet plan the return trip for far in the future and then if you want to use that leg a year down the road you can pay a smaller amount to change the return date.

And one way tickets are generally unrestricted and more flexible.
mrjohnsoda
it depends, i think. i found it very weird but booking single tickets on bahn.de was actually cheaper than buying a return one..
anyone know why?
long-haul
Why are one way tickets up to three times more than a round trip ticket. And can one buy a roundtrip ticket and never use the returning ticket?
Air or Train tickets???
mrjohnsoda
i suppose she means air fares?
Serenajean1
Airfare
long-haul
And can one buy a roundtrip ticket and never use the returning ticket?
As long as ur visa isnt based upon ur travel dates. So, staying with an expired visa can be fun.
barbett
Maybe this press conference from Michael O'Leary (Ryanair) can shed some light on pricing.

blowjobs on flights

long-haul
Get an open ticket... No obligation to return, but can still have an option to return within an year from the onward journey.
Bumpy
That usually costs a shit-load...
long-haul
It depends from where and how u book ur tickets from. For eg, From India, its an clever option, ofcourse depends on the month and year of booking since the taxes for tickets booked in India are much cheaper than that in Europe.
Jay
Why are one way tickets up to three times more than a round trip ticket. And can one buy a roundtrip ticket and never use the returning ticket?
Probably due to several reasons:
1. One-way tickets tend to be refundable and less restricted.
2. More for business travel - as a tourist you are more likely to return back to the place you left from.
3. It stops you from returning on a competitor

Although due to competition from the low-cost carriers some flag carriers (eg BA) offer one-way short-haul flights cheaper than returns but still more than half the price of a return ticket.

If you do not use the returning ticket you would violate the terms and conditions. The airline may ignore it or charge you the difference from what it would have cost for a one-way ticket.
lilplatinum
If you do not use the returning ticket you would violate the terms and conditions. The airline may ignore it or charge you the difference from what it would have cost for a one-way ticket.
I've done this dozens of times, they can't do anything to you - how can they prove you didnt just miss your flight?
long-haul
If you do not use the returning ticket you would violate the terms and conditions. The airline may ignore it or charge you the difference from what it would have cost for a one-way ticket.
The airlines would be more than happy to sell ur seat to someone else and earn double income as almost all LONG-HAUL(yippie) flights are over booked.
Keydeck
Delta, for example, don't like you doing this...

Prohibited Ticketing Practices
Throw-away ticketing—use of discounted round-trip excursion fares for one-way travel.

In such cases where there is a violation of our Contract of Carriage, we reserve the right to:

Cancel the remainder of the itinerary and confiscate any unused flight coupons.
Refuse to board the passenger or check baggage.
Charge the passenger for the difference between the fare paid and the fare for the passenger's traveled itinerary.
But in individual cases there's really feck all they can do about it.
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