plane ticket for exchange student

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May 22, 2019
My son will be an exchange student in Sweden for the 2019-2020 academic year. Should we buy him a one-way ticket (most likely from Newark to Stockholm) or an open-ended one (if there is such a thing anymore)? He will return in mid-June 2020, most likely, unless he wants to travel a bit after the program ends. I've checked fares and I saw some OK one-way options on Expedia and STA (he needs to get an international student identity card to get STA fares, which isn't a problem though I'm not sure how useful it will be for other purposes).

Complicating matters is that the rest of us (two adults, one teenager) plan to travel with him to Stockholm and then return home without him from Copenhagen, so we also need three multicity tickets, but all four of us should be on the same outbound flight. We're going over during the last week in July, and the three of us will head home August 10 at the latest.

Is this something I can accomplish myself online, or am I better off calling an airline (SAS and/or Icelandair) or STA directly?

Thanks very much for any advice you can offer.

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
One way. They no longer sell open jaw tickets. Do NOT use an OTA- book directly with the airline. If their are any problems you add a layer of problems getting it fixed with the OTA and airline pointing fingers at each other.

Call the airline or a travel agent. And make sure you have everyone’s passport in front of you before you buy tickets. You must book the tickets e a try as the names on the passport reads - you can’t do name changes on a ticket after 24 hours.
Mar 17, 2015
Many years ago, the STA card was great for many discounts. I don't think we actually had to have one, just our student IDs worked most of the time. It was great for hotels, museums (if you went on a non-free day), other venues, etc. Of course, this was 16 years ago, so you may have your son check with others who have utilized it more recently.
Mar 29, 2016
As far as multi-city tickets go, you may want to settle in for a solid block of time and explore all options. Google flights has many options to play what-if's. Intra-Europe flights are often pretty cheap and may present a better value than multi-city fares. There is also the option of trains to travel to different cities. You just want to make sure that connection times and such do not put you at risk. You will have no protection with a missed flight on different tickets at a connection.
Sometimes it's cheaper to buy a round trip and throw away the return.


Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
Maui Hawaii
To echo Neil's excellent advice--BOOK DIRECTLY with the airline or use a travel agent. You can search on Expedia, Orbitz, Google flights, but book directly with the airline. Booking three of you to Stockholm and back from Copenhagen is very simple to do on the airline websites. Then book your son on the same outbound flight. If his proposed return date is less than 330 days from your outbound flight you could book his return date. The return flight date can be changed later, but the change will incur a change fee as well as a potential increase in fare. If you can find a good oneway fare to Stockholm it might be less expensive to grab it even if you are not all on the same flight or even same day. He should be able to travel on his own if he is spending a year abroad. You cannot buy an RT ticket from late July 2019 to early July 2020 because of the 330-day rule.

Make sure that all of the passports are valid for 6 months after your proposed return, esp for your student son. If not, renew them ASAP. Then book flights with all of the passports in front of you so the names on the tickets are the same as on the passports. Make sure any middle name on the passports is on the ticket. Conversely, if there is no middle mane or just a middle initial on the passports, make sure the ticket reflects the passport name.
Likes: Lilyb