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What Are Layover, Stopover and Open Jaw Flights?


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Many instances on this planet of air journey you may hear the phrases “layover,” “stopover” and “open jaw” flight however not be fairly certain what they imply. Observe this fast information and we'll enable you arrive at an understanding of this handy journey terminology.

What's a layover?

A layover is the technical time period for what you may consider as a easy connecting flight. For instance, earlier this 12 months, I flew from Cincinnati to Boston on American Airways. As a result of there aren’t any direct flights between Cincinnati and Boston on American, I needed to make a connection. There have been a number of choices for my connection, largely in American hub airports like New York LaGuardia, Washington Nationwide or Philadelphia. I selected one in Washington (DCA).

On this case, I had solely a 31-minute layover, which made me a bit nervous. Layovers this quick are nice when the whole lot goes proper, because you stroll proper off of 1 flight and on to the following, however they don’t have a variety of room for error. Fortunately, my first flight arrived about 15 minutes early, so I had loads of time to make it to my subsequent flight.

One other word about layovers: Whereas they often contain altering gates and planes, that isn’t all the time the case. Southwest, for instance, will typically have layovers that contain no aircraft change.

In a case like this, you’ll arrive in Kansas Metropolis and look ahead to all of the departing passengers to deplane. Then you would transfer to a greater seat (this IS Southwest in any case) and await the passengers going from Kansas Metropolis to Los Angeles.

What's a stopover?

At its easiest, a stopover is solely an extended layover. Most airways outline a layover as any connection of lower than four hours on a home flight or lower than 24 hours on a global flight. Guidelines range by airline as to if and when stopovers are allowed, and it’ll typically rely on whether or not the ticket is an award ticket or a paid ticket.

Listed here are two examples of stopovers I’ve personally taken:

  • Utilizing Alaska Airways miles to fly Emirates, I booked a ticket from Singapore to Dubai (2-day stopover) to New York Metropolis.
  • On a paid ticket, I flew Newark to Lisbon (3-day stopover) earlier than persevering with on to Barcelona.

Most airways that provided free stopovers on award tickets have eradicated that perk. There are a number of (however dwindling) variety of airways that supply stopovers on award tickets:

  • Singapore Airways presents two complimentary stopovers on a round-trip ticket utilizing KrisFlyer miles.
  • Alaska Airways even presents a free stopover on ONE-WAY award tickets (see my Dubai instance above).
  • United Airways doesn't permit stopovers per se, but it surely does have the same program referred to as the Excursionist Perk.

Even when the airline whose miles you’re utilizing doesn’t permit stopovers on award flights, you’ll be able to nonetheless get a variety of worth from together with a layover of as much as 23 hours 59 minutes. For example, on the identical Singapore journey I discussed earlier, I used American Airways AAdvantage miles to ebook the outbound portion of the journey, which included a 20-hour layover in Hong Kong at no further cost. Whereas that wasn't sufficient time to see a lot of Hong Kong, it was no less than sufficient to take a quick metropolis tour, have some road meals and get a style of the town earlier than returning to the airport and boarding the connecting flight to Singapore.

What’s an open jaw flight?

An open jaw flight is 2 or extra flights in an itinerary with an “open” section within the center. The open “V” form fashioned by the outbound and return traces of journey is just like the profile of an open mouth or jaw. A easy instance could be a round-trip itinerary as follows:

  • New York to Paris.
  • Frankfurt to New York.

You begin and finish your itinerary in New York, however your European itinerary has an open jaw between Paris and Frankfurt. This itinerary doesn’t cowl your journey between these two European cities. In fact you’ll have to bodily get your self from Paris to Frankfurt, however you’re by yourself for that transportation. It might be by automotive, practice, a individually booked flight or every other mode of journey.

Open jaw itineraries don’t have to begin and finish in the identical location and aren’t restricted to solely 2 flights. Right here is one other instance of an open jaw itinerary:

  • Chicago to London.
  • London to Stockholm.
  • Copenhagen to Los Angeles.

On this itinerary you might have an open jaw between your origin and return (Chicago to Los Angeles) in addition to an open jaw in your vacation spot (Stockholm to Copenhagen). In each of these instances you would wish to rearrange your individual transportation between the 2 cities. You even have a connection (both a layover or stopover) in London.

Hopefully this information has helped you inform the distinction between a layover, a stopover and an open jaw. Good luck and pleased travels!

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