5 Reasons to Take a Connecting Flight over a Non-Stop

Next time you shop at FareCompare, try this: Once you see the fares to your destination, be sure to look at the upper left of the FareCompare page where it says “Stops.” A quick glance will show how  connecting flights can often save you money.

LISTEN: Airfare expert Rick Seaney has a bonus reason and it’s a good one.

5 Reasons to Fly with Connections

1. It’s cheaper

Let’s be clear: Connecting flights are usually cheaper than non-stops, often significantly cheaper but not always. Some quick examples for routes we priced for October flights.

Los Angeles – Dallas

  • Non-stop, $261
  • CHEAPER: One-stop, $185

New York – San Francisco

  • Non-stop, $417
  • CHEAPER: One-stop, $322

Chicago – Dallas

  • One-stop, $193
  • CHEAPER: Non-stop, $159

Whoops! Well, it’s like we said, this doesn’t always work so it’s another reason to always compare airfare prices. It’s the one way to be certain of getting the best available deal every time you shop.

2. You get another reason to save

Every stop can mean a chance for something to go wrong with checked-bags (though in fairness, the number of lost bags is very small). But why take a chance? A carry-on stays with you, and the bag that stays with you is the bag that cannot get lost.

3. You may be able to squeeze in another city

Airline rules vary on this but some allow 24-hour long stop-overs on long-haul flights particularly when traveling overseas. Check the rules on your airline’s website to see if you can work in some bonus sightseeing.

4. Kids might need a break

Only you know your children, so only you can say if they’d be better off on one uninterrupted trip or if they’d benefit from a break. If the latter, you should know that more and more airports offer more and more kid-friendly play areas and fun things to do (Parenting has a great list). A connecting flight can also be a way to work in a meal break since domestic economy flights only offer for-purchase food which may not appeal to little ones.

5. Adults might need a break

Do you have any idea what kinds of services are available in today’s airports? Quick-spas offer everything from mini-massages to manicures; other airports boast eclectic art exhibits (including very strange murals at Denver International). Got a stopover in Europe? Check out Amsterdam’s casino. Layover in Singapore? Don’t miss the Zen gardens and live butterfly habitat. Sometimes it’s nice to arrive refreshed.

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Published: August 13, 2014