The ultimate open jaw ticket

The ultimate open jaw ticket

The ultimate open jaw ticket 1920 1299 Chris West

I had a request to go and do some work in Kuala Lumpur, and that meant for me it was a very easy opportunity to visit Singapore, one of my favourite cities and a place where I have a few friends that I’d love to catch up with.

I started looking at flight options and what was the best way to get there, whilst also getting the most for the money my client was willing to pay for the trip. In the end the budget was set at the cost of a Premium Economy return trip on British Airways, who were flying direct to Singapore but not Kuala Lumpur, so I would have to change either in Singapore or Hong Kong. With that budget in mind, I then went looking for other routes I could take that might be more interesting or in a better cabin for a similar price. In the end I plumped from a most unusual trip, but something I was going to very much look forward to doing. It seems that, at the time of writing in July 2023, British Airways prices have gone through the roof and I’ve already booked another two trips using mostly Qatar and one with Cathay Pacific rather than British Airways simply because they were so expensive.

Not flying from London is cheaper

When I struggled to find alternative routes or airlines to get a better flight I started searching for flights from other nearby locations. This is easily done with the Google flights search engine, you can type in a number of different cities to start from, and then destination city, with dates and the system will give you the best possible deals available. This revealed that flying Qatar from either Manchester or Paris to Singapore was going to be significantly cheaper than flying from London. Bearing in mind I was now looking at Business class flights rather than Premium Economy. It is always worth looking around Europe and other parts of the UK for flights starting from other locations as with lower taxes and often airlines pushing better deals from less busy airports you will find a good deal.

A very unusual booking

So here is the booking I made in the end…

Starting in Paris, flying with Qatar, so I have to go via Doha, to Singapore. Then on the same booking my return leg was from Kuala Lumpur, again via Doha, to Manchester. This meant I was neither starting nor finishing any part of this route from the same airports, but the price of this booking was only a few 100 pounds more than my budget, but entirely in Business Class. I did compare the cost of this route to going from Heathrow in Business Class and this booking was over 1000 pounds cheaper than the Heathrow option. So definitely worth doing.

All I had to do then was figure out all the intermediary parts. I booked a train to Paris from London, a short flight with Malaysian Airlines from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, and then a flight with BA from Manchester back to London. All of that only added up to about 150 pounds (and some Avios for the BA flight), still making it cheaper than flying Business from Heathrow and not breaking the bank.

One thing I’m very aware of with doing tricks like this is to not put yourself in a situation where it might go horribly wrong and backfire on you.

For example, with the outbound leg from Paris I planned to go to Paris the day before and drop into a hotel near the airport, then even if my train is delayed or I have to get the later train I will still be in Paris in time for my flight the next day. After that I have a few days off in Singapore and there are plenty of options for flights from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, so that’s a safe bet. Then coming home there’s not much to worry about once I get to Manchester I’m at least in the same country and there are multiple ways to get home from there if anything goes wrong. In theory I’ve covered all the major things that could go wrong by not going from my home airport.

Bottom line

If you’re flying long haul and you can’t find a good deal from somewhere like London, or a similar major international hub, try searching for flights from other airports or airports in Europe where taxes are lower, and you might find yourself getting a much better deal. Yes, that might mean you have to fork out for a short haul flight or train to get to the starting airport, but even then it could still be significantly cheaper then paying the full fare from London.

Watch out for my later reports on how these flights go.

Let’s plan your next trip…

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