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How Booking One-Way Flights Can Save You Money

Looking for another travel hack to save you money? We’ll show you how it’s cheap (and easy) to book one-way flight deals with Skyscanner.

Are one-way flights really cheaper?

Good question! The easy answer is yes. Gone are the days where opting for a round-trip package always saves you money in the end. With the growth of low-cost airlines, one-way flight prices have decreased in recent years. But it also depends on the type of trip you are taking and the flexibility of your travel plans. Factors such as planning the best time to book and whether you’re travelling domestic or international can have an effect. We evaluate and compare factors below to help you get the best deals on one-way flights.

Domestic vs. International flights

Travel within Canada has typically been less accessible due to historically high domestic flight costs. But domestic prices have changed drastically in the last several years. More one-way seat sales are occurring, and not just with budget airlines like Flair and Swoop. Air Canada Rouge, a subsidiary of Air Canada, offers affordable deals as well. Just make sure you check the airline’s baggage policy so you are not surprised with additional fees.

If it’s cheap international flights you are after, round-trip deals still exist. But you can also now find great bargains for one-way flights depending on the popularity of the destination and time of year.

Typically, one-way international flights to U.S. destinations like New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami are cheaper while you may get a better deal booking round-trip overseas. However, flight prices are always changing, so grabbing deals during airline seat sales or using our ‘Everywhere’ search feature, can help you score budget-friendly one-way flights to your dream destination.

Flights from Toronto to Vancouver are now going at around $150 one-way! Now, who said travel within Canada is expensive?

One-way vs. round-trip flights

It used to be that buying a round-trip ticket was the most economical choice for travellers. While this is still a common belief, the rise of discount airlines has changed the airline industry and therefore, increased the deal offerings to consumers like you.

The screenshots below are for flights from Toronto to New York City. In this case, booking two one-way flights results in a cheaper overall price than booking round-trip even with the same airline. Both trips are within the same week with a slight change on the return date. By being flexible with timing and playing around with dates, booking a one-way flight can offer a better deal than the round-trip option.

Toronto to New York One-Way

screenshot showing one-way flight Toronto to New York at $123

New York to Toronto One-Way

screenshot showing one-way flight New York to Toronto at $77

Toronto to New York Round-Trip

screenshot showing Round-trip Toronto to New York at $273

Why should I book a one-way flight?

Choosing to purchase a one-way flight has several benefits.

They can be better for last-minute travel

If you’re searching for last-minute deals and airlines haven’t filled up the route, it may be your lucky day to snag that cheap flight price.

Changing a return flight is more expensive than one-way

Emergencies happen, plans can change, and sometimes you may need to switch around your flights. Booking a one-way flight is almost like insurance in the case of needing to change your flight – the fee to change will just be cheaper for a one-way fare because you are being charged for the total price of the flight.

One-way flights provide more flexibility

More of a leisure traveller? Or perhaps you don’t want to commit to a return date? One-way flight deals are a perfect solution. It gives you the chance to plan as you go so you can stay at your destination less, longer or travel to another place that catches your eye!

*Important to note

While the Canadian passport is one of the more powerful passports in the world, it’s not always possible or recommended to travel internationally solely with one-ways. In my personal experience, several countries will not let you fly or enter unless you have a flight out of the country (either a return flight to your home country or an onward ticket to another destination). It’s always best to check the Government of Canada Travel Advice with your destination country’s entry requirements to make sure you’re prepared!

How to Book One-Way Flights on Skyscanner

Step 1: Add nearby airports and search by cheapest month

When you’re searching for the cheapest one-way flight through Skyscanner’s search engine, one travel savings tip is to add nearby airports for your departure and destination city. By doing this, you widen your search to a greater net of airports (some that service more low-carrier airlines) and therefore more flight prices. Then, just wait and watch as the best deals come through!

Insider’s Tip: You can find even more choices with the Skyscanner Flights Comparison map. This tool visually shows you the various flight prices from airports nearby.

screenshot showing skyscanner's search engine to find one-way flights and using the 'add airports nearby' and 'cheapest month' function

Step 2: Play around with the green-coloured prices

Next in the booking process is a calendar displaying various colour-coded prices that indicate price point. Green prices are your best chance at finding the cheapest deals. Play around with the various options and find a date that works best for you (and your budget).

screenshot showing calendar view in booking prices with price indication colours.

Step 3: Check the number of stops

When it comes to many one-way flights, routes that are direct or with one stopover tend to offer a cheaper fare. Airlines like WestJet, Swoop and Porter in particular offer many one-way seat sales so filtering the number of stops can help you get the cheapest price on the market.

screenshot showing cheapest price and non-stop fare for the designated route

Looking for more ways to save on travel?

Your next trip begins here! Select ‘One-Way’ in the box below, then type in your departure city and destination of choice, and get ready to find some great deals!