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Virgin America's amazingly soothing lighting system
[Photo via Johnny Vulkan/Flickr]

So according to David Grossman at USA Today, it’s actually cheaper to buy two one-way plane tickets than a round-trip flight.  It seems crazy since it pretty much goes against what most people are taught about booking air travel, but the man’s on to something.

This past week, DL and I decided to abandon our original plan to drive to Vegas in October and fly instead. After trying every combination of flight times, airlines and coupon codes on every travel site that I could think of, I too made the surprising realization that I would save more money with two one-way tickets than a round-trip flight (of course, this was also made possible because of good timing and a coupon):

  • Flight #1: Virgin America is having a sale right now FYI. I booked one of the price-slashed flights and added a 20% off promo code from Banana Republic (I’d share it, but it’s one-time use only coupon). TOTAL, including tax & fees: $41.30
  • Flight #2: United isn’t having a sale, but the price was right on Priceline. (Memo to self, avoid flights on Sundays ’cause they’re outrageously expensive!) TOTAL, including tax & fees: $79.60
  • Hypothetical Round Trip Flight: Let’s say, I bought a round trip ticket from Virgin America. TOTAL, including tax & fees: about $135.00 (I can’t remember the exact number at the time and those flights have already jumped in price.)
  • TOTAL SAVINGS: Over $15.00…in Vegas lingo, that could be a buffet breakfast at the Bellagio.

W00T! W00T! W00T!