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jul 20

Rumor Buster: Are two one-ways cheaper than one roundtrip?

The Rumor: You can save money on flights to Las Vegas by purchasing two separate one-way tickets instead of one roundtrip ticket.

The Investigation: Using Kayak, I searched for one-way and roundtrip flights from six major cities (New York, Chicago, Seattle, Houston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles) to Las Vegas. I arbitrarily chose September 24 as the departure date and September 27th as the return date.

The Results: A dollar here and a dollar there. The costs of two one-way tickets and one roundtrip ticket to Las Vegas were almost identical for each of the six cities. The largest savings using this two-ticket technique was $3, by booking two one-way tickets from New York City. While there are certainly exceptions to every rule, this is one rule that has proven hard to break.

The Alternatives: For Vegas deals, look directly from airline websites for the cheapest fares. Remember that Southwest's fares don't show up in ticket searches by major travel agencies like Expedia. (Search directly on southwest.com for those.) Being flexible in your travel dates might do the trick, too.

The Shout-out: What are your secrets for getting cheap fares to Vegas?

—Emily Liftman

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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