Do you know the difference between a non-stop and connecting flight? What if we throw a direct flight into the mix? These three little terms are more important than you might think. Booking the right flight could mean shaving hours off of your journey or dollars off or your bottom line, which is why we're taking the mystery out of non-stop, direct and connecting flights.
- Ideal for: Busy travellers
- Price Range: The highest
Non-stop flights are exactly as they sound: a flight that goes from one destination to another without stopping.
These flights have a single flight number and are often the most sought-after for business travellers who value their time. They're always the fastest to arrive at their final destination. With no stopovers, no matter how short, they won't be affected by unexpected airport delays after takeoff.
While great for business travellers that need to get from one place to the next without issue, they are also generally the most expensive flights.
- Ideal for: Travellers that have more time, but still appreciate a quicker flight
- Price Range: Moderate to high
The term ‘direct’ is often used interchangeably with 'non-stop' when talking about flights, as many people think they’re the same thing. They’re not.
Direct flights also have only one flight number, but they're different from non-stop flights in that they stop at least once en route to their final destination to pick up or drop off passengers. Direct flights can add up to an hour to your total flight time every time they stop, so they're not ideal for those in a hurry.
If time isn't as much of an issue, direct flights can be a rewarding option in that they can be cheaper than non-stop flights. This isn't always the case, though, so be sure to keep your eye on your price range. If given the option between a non-stop and direct flight for approximately the same price, opt for the non-stop flight.
- Ideal for: International travellers, or those that value cheaper fares over shorter routes.
- Price Range: The lowest
If you book a connecting flight, it means that you will not only make a stop en route to your final destination, but you’ll have to disembark your plane to get on a new plane. They usually have more than one flight number and will generally come with a layover.
Connecting flights are usually not the most sought-after for business travellers that place a high value on their time. Not only will you be spending extra time in the airport due to landing, disembarking and layovers, but these flights can be influenced by unexpected airport or weather delays.
Connecting flights are often the only choice for international travellers though. Just keep in mind, when flying internationally, book a flight that allows at least two hours between connecting flights to ensure enough time to navigate the airport.
The big benefit of connecting flights is the potential to save money. They're always less expensive than direct and non-stop flights – a definite plus for travellers that don’t mind taking a little extra time in their journey. Plus, increasingly lavish airports and lounges mean that a little layover time isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Though the term 'direct' is used interchangeably with 'non-stop', the two are different. In a direct flight, you do not change planes and you have only one flight number. Unlike the non-stop flight, the plane makes a stop en route to the final destination for refueling and picking up and dropping off passengers.What is direct flight and connecting flight? ›
Despite having a stop, direct flights are called "direct" because their flight numbers do not change (even if the plane does). Connecting flights will always have two (or more) different flight numbers.Which is better direct or nonstop flights? ›
Both options will get you to the destination printed on your ticket on a single airplane, but a direct flight could take much longer than a nonstop one. That's because direct flights can actually stop at multiple airports along their route, so long as the flight number stays the same.What is the difference between a stop and connecting flight? ›
If you book a connecting flight, it means that you will not only make a stop en route to your final destination, but you'll have to disembark your plane to get on a new plane. They usually have more than one flight number and will generally come with a layover.What are the two types of connecting flights? ›
There are two different types of connecting flights. There are those that are included as one route on your ticket and scheduled by the airline or OTA, and then there those which you plan yourself and book separately, known as self-connecting flights.Do I have to check in again for a connecting flight? ›
In most cases, you'll receive your boarding pass for your connecting flight already when you check in for your first flight. This means you don't have to check in again for your next flight.Do I have to go through security again for connecting flight? ›
In cases where the connecting flight is one another airline or another terminal, passengers must go through a security and baggage check once again before you get on board the connecting flight to reach your destination.Is a direct flight always nonstop? ›
Though the term 'direct' is used interchangeably with 'non-stop', the two are different. In a direct flight, you do not change planes and you have only one flight number. Unlike the non-stop flight, the plane makes a stop en route to the final destination for refueling and picking up and dropping off passengers.Which nonstop flight takes the longest? ›
What is the longest flight in the world by distance? The longest flight in the world by distance is New York (JFK) to Singapore (SIN) on Singapore Airlines clocking in at 9,537 miles.Does a direct flight make stops? ›
A direct flight is from one airport to another, but includes stops in one or more cities along the way. The flight number or aircraft and your boarding pass remain the same, however, until the final destination is reached.
Connecting flights are flights which require passengers to leave the plane and board a different aircraft in order to reach their final destination.What are the disadvantages of connecting flights? ›
CON: Missing the connecting flight - flights can be delayed or boarding time can change (totally unexpected) and it's out of your control. If you have multiple flights to catch before reaching you destination — this will impact you drastically, aka the butterfly effect.Why are non-stop flights more expensive? ›
It all goes back to supply and demand. Most travelers want to take the nonstop flight as it means getting there quicker and with less chance of disruption. That demand ultimately pushes prices higher.Do flights wait for connecting passengers? ›
Do connecting flights wait for delayed passengers? No, if your first flight is delayed and you won't make it in time to catch your connecting flight, the plane won't wait for you.What is an example of a non-stop flight? ›
Examples of Non-Stop Flights
The one exception to that are one-stop flights where the airline doesn't have the rights to transport passengers on just one segment of the flight. Here are a few non-stop flights: British Airways 2 from New York JFK to London City. Air France 279 from Tokyo Haneda to Paris CDG.
A direct flight makes at least one intermediate stop along the way to its final destination, but has only one flight number. For example, if you choose a direct flight between New York and Houston you'd fly on one plane the whole way to Houston.Is your luggage automatically transferred on connecting flights? ›
When layover flights are booked with the same airline, your baggage will be automatically transferred through to your final destination. However, if the two flights are with different airlines, you may have to claim and re-check your baggage during your layover.What happens if I miss my connecting flight with the same airline? ›
Missing a Connection with the Same Airline
If you miss your connection booked with the same airline that your were on for your first flight, and the issue is due to a delayed take off or anything else that's in the hands of your airline, it's the airline's responsibility to rebook you on the next available flight.
Two hours. Mayers recommends two hours as a standard buffer between flights to be safe. This gives you a cushion in case things go wrong during your journey. You'll definitely want at least a two-hour window if you've booked a “hacker fare,” as opposed to flying with the same airline your entire trip.What is the procedure for connecting flights? ›
When arriving at the connecting airport all you have to do is to go to your next gate and wait for the next plane, your next flight. There might be a security check in the terminal at the connecting airport. But mostly you don't have to do anything about your luggage. It's being taken care of by the airport personnel.
For a trip that includes one or more connection, we'll check bags to the final destination on your ticket. You'll need to go to baggage claim and re-check your bags if: You chose to have a layover. You make a connection that involves an overnight stay.
Non-stop flights behave exactly as they sound; you'll fly straight from one airport to another, with no stops along the way. Direct flights, on the other hand, aren't quite as convenient. While the flight number doesn't change, the term “direct” means the plane may make one or more stops along its route.How far can a plane fly nonstop? ›
This depends on the size of the plane, its efficiency, and how fast it's flying. A modern Boeing 747 can fly about 15,000 km (9,500 miles) when it's flying at 900 kmh (550 mph). This means it can fly non stop for almost 16 hours!How long can a plane fly nonstop? ›
Theoretically, it could fly longer because all commercial planes land with a regulated diversion and reserve fuel and never with zero fuel. As such, the answer is that it could stay more than 20 hours in the air before running out of fuel.What's the shortest flight? ›
The Loganair Westray to Papa Westray route is the shortest scheduled passenger flight in the world. Flights on the route are scheduled for one and a half minutes, and actual flying time is closer to one minute. The record for the fastest flight is 53 seconds.What is the shortest flight of all time? ›
Island hopping: Loganair flight LM711 is acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the world's shortest scheduled passenger flight for its below two-minute connection between two Scottish islands.Do pilots sleep on long flights? ›
Aviation regulators set the total hours pilots fly and how much sleep they must get between flights. During ultra-long-haul flights, pilots sleep in special cabins, which passengers can't access.Can I leave the airport during a layover? ›
During domestic layovers, you are free to leave the airport. If your domestic layover is longer than one hour, you should expect to receive two boarding permits. If you want to check out local points of interest, make sure you get your second boarding pass and print it out before you leave.How do I know if my flight is direct? ›
A direct flight refers to a flight between two cities that carries a single flight number. While non-stop flights are indeed direct in their nature, such flights can also involve one or more stops en route to their final destination.Can we go out of airport during layover? ›
The short answer is yes. It is possible to exit and reenter the airport. Whether or not you should depends on a range of factors, including if you're traveling internationally or domestically and how much time you have between flights.
While the minimum connection times for domestic flights are relatively short (usually between 30 minutes and two hours, according to AirTreks), they're much longer for international flights (anywhere between one all the way up to three hours). The reason for this is simple.Do flights ever get cheaper the day of? ›
Specifically, plane tickets usually don't get cheaper closer to the departure date. Instead, flights tend to be the most inexpensive when you book between four months and three weeks before your departure date.What are the advantages of non-stop flight? ›
- Time savings and uninterrupted flying. ...
- Less risk of losing your baggage. ...
- No risk of missing connecting flights. ...
- Arrive faster at your destination. ...
- Fuel-stop savings.
What happens with checked luggage on a layover? For domestic layovers, your checked luggage will be tagged to your final destination, so there's nothing for you to do while on your layover. Your bags will get taken off the first flight and loaded onto the second flight.Is 1.5 hours enough for connecting flight? ›
For international layover flights booked on one airline, two hours is often recommended to make your connection. For international flights on different airlines, the connection time will need to be even greater as you may have to change terminals between the two flights.What is the difference between a transit flight and a direct flight? ›
A direct flight is identified by a unique flight number. A transit flight, with a connection, has two distinct flight numbers. A flight that is not direct, or "connecting flight", involves a change of aircraft.What is an example of a connecting flight? ›
Connecting flights are also referred to as “connections.” For example, I recently flew from Mexico City to NYC, with a connection in Miami, FL. This means I took one flight from Mexico City to Miami, had a layover, and then continued to take a flight from Miami to NYC, thereby getting me to my home.What are the people that direct planes at airport? ›
The duties of an aircraft marshaller focus on guiding planes at an airport. In this job, you signal the pilots in an airplane, directing them to a gate and positioning the airplane so it can connect to an air bridge or ramp. You may also drive a vehicle to lead the plane to the gate or out to the runway.What is considered a direct flight? ›
A direct flight in the aviation industry is any flight between two points by an airline with no change in flight numbers, which may include one or more stops at an intermediate point(s). A stop may either be to get new passengers (or allow some to disembark) or a technical stop over (i.e., for refuelling).What is considered a connecting flight? ›
A connecting flight or transit flight is to reach the final destination through two or more flights, namely, traveling without any direct flights.
While they may sound very similar, non-stop and direct flights are, in fact, not exactly the same. Indeed, while, as the name suggests, non-stop services will fly between two cities without other stops, direct flights may have them.Why are direct flights more expensive than connecting flights? ›
It all goes back to supply and demand. Most travelers want to take the nonstop flight as it means getting there quicker and with less chance of disruption. That demand ultimately pushes prices higher.Are direct flights more expensive than connecting flights? ›
Are connecting flights more expensive? Connecting flights are generally not more expensive than direct ones. In fact, they are generally cheaper as some passengers may wish to pay more in order to get to their destination quicker with a direct flight.Do you stay on the plane for a layover? ›
Do you stay on the plane for a layover? In most cases, you'll have to switch to another plane, but sometimes (rarely) if the plane you are on is continuing to your next destination, you'll stay in your seat.Does a connecting flight mean you change planes? ›
A ""connection" by definition means your board a different flight--which means different flight number and aircraft. A "plane change" is where you physically change planes.. It IS possible to stay with the same flight number BUT still be required to change planes en-route-- commonly called "thru" or "direct" service.Can you get off the plane during a connecting flight? ›
If you have an excessive layover time you may be wondering: Can I leave the airport between connecting flights? The short answer is yes. It is possible to exit and reenter the airport.What is the difference between a stop and a connection? ›
'Connection' means you will have to get off and change the plane, while 'stop' means you may have to get off (sometimes not, remain in the cabin and wait. It depends on the regulations of the airport), do the transit procedure and go back to the same plane.