Open jaw awards are valuable because they allow you to see two cities for the price of one. You can always book American Airlines awards to include one or even two open jaws, right on aa.com.
So, what is an open jaw anyway?
An open jaw happens when the origin of one direction of an award does not match up with the destination of the other. An open jaw can take three forms, the key being that it’s never a complete round trip:
- An open jaw can be a mismatch of the destination of the outbound and the origin of the return. You fly from Houston to Atlanta, then travel by car from Atlanta to Baltimore, and finally fly from Baltimore back home to Houston.
- An open jaw can be a mismatch of the origin of the outbound and the destination of the return. You fly from Houston to Atlanta, and then fly from Atlanta to Baltimore before returning home to Houston via car.
- There can be two open jaws; one at the destination and one at the return. You fly from Houston to Atlanta, drive from Atlanta to Baltimore, fly from Baltimore to New York, and finally drive home from New York back to Houston.
An open jaw is always at an endpoint and is NOT a hole in the middle of the trip. For instance, New York to London, then continuing Paris to Johannesburg. Then returning to New York is a hole, not an open jaw.
Step-by-step booking process
Booking an open jaw on aa.com is very easy. Here are the steps.
1. On the aa.com home page, click “Advanced search” underneath the normal search function.
2. Choose the AAdvantage Award tab and multi-city bubble. Fill in your desired itinerary.
3. Choose a date for your first leg with MileSAAver award availability in the cabin you want.
4. Choose the date of your second leg. The legs do NOT have to be in the same cabin.
5. You will now be presented with multiple itineraries on each date. Choose the one that suits you best for the outbound.
7. The final screen will show the total cost of your trip in miles as well as additional fees, taxes, or fuel surcharges. If you want to confirm the booking, sign into your AAdvantage account if you haven’t already and fill out the rest of the necessary personal details.
Other Options for Booking an Open Jaw
American Airlines allows one way bookings for half the price of a roundtrip. When an airline allows that, you can always include one or two open jaws per roundtrip just by booking one way awards.
For instance, instead of booking Houston to Atlanta, Baltimore to Houston as one award as shown above, we could book each of those as a one way for the same total price.
What are the advantages of booking as a single open jaw award?
You will save a few minutes on award booking, and if you need to cancel or change the award, you will pay one cancellation/change fee instead of two.
What are the advantages of booking as two one way awards?
You can book one way when it has award space and the other way when it has award space, if both ways don’t have space at the same time.
United? Delta? Alaska? Etc?
United, Delta, Alaska, and most airlines allow one way bookings, meaning you can book an open jaw or double open jaw roundtrip as two one way awards. All three also allow open jaws to be booked as a single award online.
You can easily book an open jaw on aa.com in seven steps. Consider one for your next trip to see two cities without backtracking for your return.
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