one way ticket to go back home from your destination

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Brave Heart

Senior Member
Japan, Japanese
Hi all,

I understand that "a return ticket" in BE is equivalent to "a round-trip ticket" in AE.

My question is: In AE, can "a return ticket" be used to describe a one-way ticket to go back home from your destination? If not, is there such term to describe that thought?

In BE, as well, is there such term?

Thanks. :)
  • teragram

    New Member
    USA (Chicago); English
    As an American, I'm pretty sure I would understand what you were trying to say if you used that phrase.


    Senior Member
    United States
    Say I live in Los Angeles and I take the train to San Diego. A return ticket would be one that gets me from San Diego back to Los Angeles. However, you would only ask for a return ticket when buying your ticket from LA to San Diego. If you asked for a return ticket once in San Diego, the ticket person would not know where you would like to return to. Therefore, most people would probably just say a one-way ticket from San Diego to LA.


    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    I would ask for a "one-way ticket from X to Y." If you told me you wanted a return ticket, I would probably give you a round-trip ticket. Both terms are synonymous in North America, at least in my world.


    Senior Member

    As a US native, a return ticket could be interpreted as either the return leg of a round-trip ticket or the one-way ticket returning the traveler to the point of origin. If I was in doubt, I'd simply ask the traveler for further clarification. Either way, it is used only for the return segment of the person's travel and would not be automatically understood to include the outbound segment of a round-trip ticket. For instance, a person may drive from city A to city B and then fly back to city A. His return ticket would be a one-way ticket. If one doesn't buy a round-trip ticket and flies both directions, they he buys two one-way tickets. The distinction is mostly of a monetary difference. Round-trip tickets are supposed to be less expensive than purchasing two one-way tickets. There are exceptions to this occasionally.


    Member Emeritus
    British English
    I don't think that perhaps Brave Heart is talking about buying tickets, but rather to express an idea of returning, in a similar manner to the expression 'you've got a one-way ticket to nowhere', meaning you're not going anywhere.

    In that case, having used the first leg of your round-trip ticket, metaphorically, the remaining half is effectively a one-way ticket.


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Brave Heart- If in real life, you needed a ticket home from the US, you should say, "I need a one-way ticket home to ..... and there will be no possible misunderstanding or further conversation to clarify.
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