In this post I share examples of three of my favorite strategies when buying airline tickets: Open-Jaw Tickets, One-Way Tickets and long airport layovers with the best deals often allowing up to 24 hours or even more in a city as a transit layover. In some cases the airline offers free or near free stopovers on round trip tickets from the USA to Europe. Icelandair and WOW allow you to schedule an Iceland stopover, usually within $5 to $20 of the basic round trip fare. Even though advertised as free, there are often additional taxes associated with a stopover. TAP Portugal is another airline that allows a low additional cost stopover of 1 to 3 nights in Lisbon or Porto when you buy a round trip ticket from the USA to Europe.
In this article I look at TAP Portugal ticketing opportunities available today to show how one-way, open-jaw, overnight international transit layovers and stopover tickets allow you to see more of Europe at very little additional cost.
I get excited when I find a flight schedule with a nearly 24 hours overnight layover in Europe, where I can fly into a city for a day and sightsee in what would typically only be an airport visit to change planes.
There are far more airlines offering one-way tickets to Europe these days compared to two years ago when Norwegian Airlines started deeply discounted one-way fares between USA and Europe. The value of a one way ticket is the ability to use low fare flights as a positioning flight for a low fare deal. As a California resident, I am frequently looking for low airfare deals from Europe back to California. There are frequently round trip ticket price discounts greater than 50% when starting in Europe and flying to California compared to starting in California and flying to Europe round trip.
Open-jaw tickets are useful when you don’t want to return to the same place you departed. I find this most useful for my Europe to California tickets, so I can fly home from one city and return to Europe for my next trip arriving in a different city.
Over the past couple days I found several interesting examples of these kinds of tickets flying to Europe and flying from Europe that illustrate the kinds of possibilities available with these types of ticket itineraries.
TAP Portugal Boston of JFK to Europe One-Way Tickets
I spent some time checking out TAP Portugal’s one-way ticket offers from Boston and JFK to 17 different countries in Europe for a set price of $314 one-way and in the $200s to Lisbon or Porto, Portugal. Up to this point, Aeroflot is the only major alliance airline that regularly offers one-way fares to Europe, generally about 60% of round trip ticket price). Aeroflot requires flying to Moscow and then backtracking west to your destination. At least from Lisbon you are likely to fly farther east or north to reach your desired destination and there is no issue of needing a visa to get off the place and hang out in Portugal.
Loyalty Traveler – Fare Alert $314 one-way TAP Portugal BOS/JFK/MIA to 17 countries in Europe Sep-April 2017 (Aug 24).
TAP Portugal has been hitting Iberia this summer hard with low fares to Spain via Lisbon from Boston, New York JFK and Miami. Uniformly low fares of $314 one-way to airports across Europe with TAP Portugal is the perfect set-up for finding an open-jaw ticket.
TAP Portugal Miami MIA – Lisbon LIS – London LHR – Lisbon LIS – Miami MIA
$677 with two one-way tickets ($319 MIA-LGW, $358 LGW-MIA)
or $758 when you book round trip ticket on TAP.
TAP Portugal Miami – Lisbon LIS – London LGW
$318.31 one-way Fri November 4
This flight has a 6 hr 50 min layover in Lisbon. That is the kind of layover I dread, unless I plan to work in an airport lounge during the time. I want 4 hours or less or 18 hours or more for a layover so I don’t get too bored and tired, especially after an over-night flight. 18 hours allows enough time to get a hotel and sightsee conveniently in many cities, especially if arrival is mid-day and departure is mid-day the following day. It all depends on how much time it takes to get from airport to place you want to visit and back and I always consider hotel prices when deciding whether to book an overnight layover in my ticket.
A city like London requires about 5 hours of transit time to leave airport and get to city and plan to be back at airport in time for check-in and security. Plan on 7 to 8 hours in hotel and basically you only have whatever layover time over 12 hours for sightseeing. I have not been to Lisbon, so I don’t know specifics there.
I see other dates allow a 1 hr transit in Lisbon for same price.
Open-Jaw Itinerary for TAP Portugal round trip ticket
$685.13 round trip Miami – London LGW / Rome FCO – Miami
- Nov 4 depart Miami 18:10
- Nov 5 arrive Lisbon 6:15
- Nov 5 depart Lisbon 13:05
- Nov 5 arrive London LGW 15:40
- Nov 15 depart Rome 11:35, arrive Lisbon 13:45 (21 hr. overnight layover)
- Nov 16 depart Lisbon 11:00 am
- Nov 16 arrive Miami 15:30
This itinerary provides both an open-jaw for Rome at only $8 more than the Miami-London round trip and also gives a 21-hour overnight layover in Lisbon on the return flight home from Rome to Miami.
Lisbon overnight transit layover 13:45 – 11:00 = 21 hr. 15 min. This is a perfect layover time with arrival in Lisbon convenient for immediately checking into a hotel after 3pm and the entire evening to visit Lisbon. 11:00am means there is time to eat breakfast before heading to airport for flight back to USA.
London to Rome one-way ticket purchase is less than $50
Flights within Europe are inexpensive compared to tickets for travel around the USA.
Itinerary Recap $725 open-jaw round trip London, Rome, Lisbon
TAP Portugal $685 Miami – London LGW / Rome FCO – Miami
$685 Miami to London, Rome to Lisbon, Lisbon – Miami
$40 London LGW to Rome Norwegian Airlines (add another $25 for checked bag)
TAP Portugal allows free stopover of 1 to 3 days in Lisbon on round trip tickets
(Not sure if stopover allowed on open-jaw ticket? Might require phone call or OTA)
TAP Portugal Miami – Rome FCO with Lisbon stopover
$720.45 round trip Fri Nov 4 – Nov 15 with 3 night Lisbon stopover Nov 12-15
$720 for this stopover ticket is $44 higher than the $676 round trip ticket price MIA-Rome on TAP Portugal, but not too much more for a 3-night stopover in Lisbon added to the ticket. There may be lower fares if dates are adjusted. I check Icelandair stopover tickets for Reykjavik, Iceland regularly and finding lower ticket prices is often a case of shifting dates one or two days.
Seeing more of Europe inexpensively is often simply a matter of planning for the different kinds of tickets available when you purchase your trip to Europe.