If you’re looking to greatly boost the value of a future award booking, why not try adding a free one-way?




What is a free one-way?

Scott Grimmer over at MileValue.com is an award booking guru and was the first person to explain how to maximize certain airline’s stopover rules to effectively add a free one-way trip onto the front-end or back-end of an award itinerary. Here’s his definition:

A free oneway is a one way trip to or from your home airport that is tacked onto another award for no extra miles. Free oneways cut your flight bill in half for a second trip without adding to the price of the first trip!

Here is a quick example:

It costs 60,000 United MileagePlus points to fly round-trip in economy from your home airport in New York to Paris. United’s award rules allow for a stopover and two open-jaws (what are those?) on international awards. However, if you only fly from New York to Paris and back, you are not taking advantage of the stopover or the open-jaws!

Here’s what you can do so you don’t waste those perks!:

Let’s say, after your Paris trip, your going to a friend’s wedding three months later in Chicago. How can you get half of that trip for free by utilizing the unused award rules from your trip to Paris? By setting your Paris trip like this:

  1. You leave from your home in New York (your origin #1)
  2. You stay in Paris for a week (your destination)
  3. You arrive back in New York and go about your life for three months (THIS IS NOW YOUR STOPOVER)
  4. You then leave for Chicago after those three months (Chicago is now your origin #2, which creates an open-jaw)
  5. You then pay for a separate one-way flight from Chicago back home to New York

Even though steps 1-3 are one trip and steps 4-5 are another, you can utilize United’s stopover and open-jaw rules to book steps 1-4 like they are all one trip. All you’re left to pay for is the second half of your Chicago trip!

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In a nutshell: Utilize your original award ticket’s stopover in your home city in order to tack on a free one-way trip somewhere else.

I know this can be a bit confusing, so make sure to check out the entire series over at MileValue.com, which will also show you how to go about booking these yourself!

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Jake is the younger, yet taller and more dashing brother between “Jake and Chad.” He’s the voice of reason behind every one of Chad’s audacious ideas, as he puts the “calculated” in “calculated risk.” He also writes songs and makes videos for the joy of the Internet. Jake is currently redeeming the millions of airline points he’s racked up through mad travel hacking techniques and is probably on a plane somewhere.