Flying is the safest and most efficient way of traveling. But, there are people that will use this transport to get in the fastest way possible to the destination and others that will agree on traveling and exploring more but paying less.
For you to be able to choose the right way of flying, the one that works best for you, before you start searching those incredible offers on Google Flights, or Kayak get to know the main differences between the flights to make the most of your travel and budget.
A non-stop flight will take you from one airport to another without making any stops on other airports whatsoever. If you want to take just one flight that won’t make any kind of stops on the way then you should buy yourself a non – stop flight ticket. This is the fastest way you can fly from one place to another and reach the desired destination, but most expensive too.
A direct flight is any flight that flies from one point to another and makes stops on the way, but without any changes in the flight number. Despite the name, you won’t be flying directly to the other destination, but the airplane will make a stop in other cities before the final stop. Although it may have at least one stop on other airports while reaching the final destination, with this flight you won’t have to change your airline ticket or boarding pass. Most of the time when the airplane makes its stop at the midpoint airport, if that’s not your stop or city where you’re heading to, you can remain in your seat while some of the passengers will be leaving the plane and others, new may come on board. It works just the same as any other public transport, such as a train or bus.
The flight will remain its route with the same flight number, even though sometimes, depending on a circumstances passengers might be asked to step out the airplane. However, the airplane can make a stop for technical reasons as well. Direct flights with stops tend to be longer but cheaper than the non-stop flights. So, if you don’t mind traveling long hours, your direct flight can save on your budget.
Connecting flights are two or more flights on one same itinerary. When you have more flights and airports to change until you reach the final destination, from one city to another you’ll probably be purchasing tickets with connecting flights, or in other words, you’ll have a multi-stop itinerary. A connecting flight will require a separate boarding pass for every flight. If your flights were booked with the same airline company or partnering airlines you’ll get all of your boarding passes when checking in for your first flight. With these flights, you’ll have at least one layover stop in between cities to change planes.
So, let’s just assume you are starting your journey. You’ll be flying from point A to another airport or point B. Here you’ll get off the plane and wait for your connection or other flight that will take you to another city or point C and so on.
When you have a connecting flight and have to stay in the airport, city or the place for at least a half an hour but no longer than 24 hours for international (four hours for domestic) flights before taking the next flight that’s called a layover. Which can be overnight or during daytime hours. But, if your flight connection requires you to stay overnight or take a longer break from your itinerary at the destination (more than previously explained hours) from where you’ll take your next flight that’s called a stopover.
If you decide on purchasing an airline ticket that will include a layover in some city on the way, that can be up to 24 hours and then extend it to a stopover, you’ll get a chance to explore one more place, and to see two cities with a price of one while paying even less than buying a direct ticket. Every airline has different rules about stopovers. But, even if you have a layover, with something less than 24 hours available, it would be just enough time to leave the airport for a few hours and see the city center or the nightlife, instead of sitting in boredom and waiting for your next flight.
You can take advantage of spending a few more vacation days too in a destination where you have flown for free. Simply put, on your way home you’ll stop by to see Reykjavik for a day. If you are flying over the Atlantic with Icelandair, for example, you can make a stopover in Iceland, for up to seven days at no additional cost to your airline ticket. Depending on where are you traveling to, always check on the airlines to see if they may offer free stopovers. Like for example, you can discover more about the Portugal stopovers here or see how to experience Dubai on a stopover here.
The itinerary of these connecting flights in one route can be done by the airline company, an online travel agent or you can make yourself your own schedule when you’ll book every flight separately. Consider it as an extra destination at no cost. When making your own plan for finding stopovers, use a search engine such as Airwander or Skyscanner.
Since the airlines will usually offer those flight tickets with long layovers at low-cost you’ll definitely save more money but not time. The fact is that you’ll pay less, and in return not only you’ll be traveling way more hours, but you’ll also have to make more effort on finding those deals as well.
To some people, this may look like a very difficult task while others may find hacking those best airfares as quite an enjoyable thing and moreover would gladly take the advantage of exploring new destinations on the way. That’s why some travelers may see a great opportunity in the flight connections, a way to save on their budget and a chance to explore some city, while others may think of them as a nightmare or in other words a disruption in their travels.