This blog became famous because I was the first to articulate how to book free oneways on United and US Airways awards.
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!
American Airlines killed free oneways on its awards last week by nixing all free stopovers because free oneways always rely on a free stopover at your home airport.
What’s the current state of free oneways with major frequent flyer programs?
If you get confused during this post, please read my Introduction to Free Oneways.
Free oneways are impossible on awards booked with American Airlines miles. Free oneways always rely on a free stopover at your home airport, and American has eliminated the chance to take any free stopovers on awards.
Free oneways are impossible on awards booked with Avios. Every flight on an Avios award has a mileage cost (determined exclusively by its distance and the cabin you book.) If every flight has a cost, there’s no way to get one for free as a free oneway.
Free oneways are possible on both domestic and international Delta awards.
You can have one free oneway either BEFORE your main roundtrip award TO your home airport or AFTER your main roundtrip award FROM your home airport.
Delta’s routing rules on domestic awards basically only allow you to fly routings that would be valid on paid tickets. On international awards, you can fly any routing that is under the maximum permitted mileage for city pair.
For explanations of the technical terms in the last paragraph and for full details on Delta free oneways, see Master Thread: Free Oneways on Delta Awards.
Free oneways are possible on both international United awards and awards between the mainland and Hawaii. Free oneways are not possible on awards wholly within the mainland United States and Canada.
You can either have a free oneway BEFORE your main roundtrip award TO your home airport or AFTER your main roundtrip award FROM your home airport.
United’s routing rules are pretty lenient for free oneways. You can do some amazing backtracking. You can also do “cheap oneways” where you fly the extra leg to a distant land and pay far fewer miles than you “should.”
For full details, see Master Thread: Free Oneways on United Awards.
Free oneways are possible only on international US Airways awards.
US Airways only allows one stopover OR one open jaw on awards, and you ordinarily need both on a free oneway. Because of this limitation, free oneways are only possible on US Airways awards:
- before your main roundtrip award
- to your home airport
- with a corresponding dummy leg(s) to where the free oneway began
- after the main award
- within 24 hours of landing at your home airport
That might sound a little more complicated than it is. Check out Master Thread: Free Oneways on US Airways Awards for an easy explanation.
While American killed its free oneways last week, and free oneways have never been possible with Avios, free oneways are still possible on awards booked with Delta, United, and US Airways miles.