Travellers can get cheap flights by booking two one-way tickets rather than a return fare, according to new research.
Data from flight booking platform Kayak shows that two one-way tickets to destinations including Tel Aviv, New Orleans and Dallas work out up to 21 per cent cheaper than booking a return.
These “hacker fares” come with one condition: that they must be booked entirely separately.
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The booking platform, which has just launched its Flight Hacker Guide, claims that a return trip to Tel Aviv when booking two separate flights is around £242; although in a test by The Independent, for a return flight from London to Tel Aviv departing on 22 February and returning on 1 March, direct flights with no-frills carrier Wizz Air cost just £230.
For flights to New Orleans and Dallas, Kayak claims these “hacker fares” come to around £507 and £524 respectively.
The cheapest deals for these cheap fares are usually found around two months in advance, according to Kayak, while December flights are up to 16 per cent cheaper.
John-Lee Saez, managing director for Kayak Europe, said: “For top destinations, we see that potential savings are often highest when booked one or two months before departure. Late planners often rush to lock in a trip, but the data shows that it can pay to slow down and be open to making one extra step.”
“People get tunnel vision when booking flights and that’s a huge mistake,” said Gilbert Ott of aviation blog God Save The Points.
“It’s always imperative to search the common tips like nearby cities and flexible dates, but also booking two one-way flights. While this is unlikely to save on transatlantic or long-haul travel, for short-haul travel within a region it can absolutely bring savings.
“Always compare two one ways versus a simple round trip. You lose nothing and stand to gain in savings.”