Frequently Asked Questions: Direct Flights vs Connecting Flights

Direct flights versus connecting flights

UPDATE: Don’t get too excited yet, but on the 20th of November 2018 the Spanish Supreme Court ruled that an airline can’t cancel your ticket if you miss a flight! Often called travelling out of sequence, the court ruled that a passenger can travel on all or only some sectors of a flight ticket. This is considered a massive win for passengers and travel agents who have long been left at the mercy of airlines. But don’t recommend that travellers use a ticket out of sequence any time soon, as this ruling hasn’t resulted in an official Iberian policy change yet and definitely isn’t applicable on other airlines. So all the reasons for not travelling out of sequence, as set out below, are still applicable. It might take a while, if ever, for other airlines to start changing their policies in accordance. Courts in other countries could also rule differently, although this case does set a positive precedent.

With the prospects of a New Year looming, we thought now is as good a time as ever to shake things up a little! We’re introducing a new blog series to ensure that the content we’re creating is always fresh and relevant to you – our travel agents. With various degrees of experience in the industry, ensuring we’re catering to all of your needs it our top priority. So whether you’re new to the industry or consider yourself an industry vet, we hope you’ll enjoy and possibly learn something from our new monthly series where we answer questions that only a travel agent would have an answer to.

To kick off the series, we’re starting with one of the most frequently asked questions. Explaining this can be a little tricky, so we hope our detailed answer will help you satisfy all your client questions regarding this subject.

“Why are direct flights so expensive? Can’t I just skip out on my connecting flight, thus converting a stop-over flight into a direct flight?”

Direct flights are considered a premium airline service and due to the convenience of a shorter travel time they are in high demand. Unfortunately when flights are in high demand, the airfare increases. Saving all that time is a luxury and often travellers will be willing to spend a little bit more for the added convenience!

But what if you wanted to, for example, travel to Dubai with Emirates and taking an Emirates flight to Rome works out slightly cheaper than taking a direct Emirates flight to Dubai. Could you skip out on the connecting flight to Rome and spend all your time in Dubai?

Unfortunately airlines have wised up and will not allow this exploit. The moment a passenger misses a flight, they will cancel all the other flight sectors on the same ticket as the presumption is that the passenger no longer requires these flights. So in the example above, the passenger would be stranded in Dubai with no return flight.

This is why it is so problematic should a passenger miss a connecting flight. Airlines have very strict rules as to when they can endorse the rest of the sectors and they will likely require the passenger to book another flight to the final destination, at the travellers cost. Once flights have been cancelled, it becomes an even greater challenge to get them reinstated and in some cases it might not even be possible.

So in short, skipping out on a connecting might cost you more with the added risk of not being able to catch a return flight on your chosen date.

Should you have any other questions that we can help you answer, please pop them in the comment section below this post. You might see it answered in a future edition of this series!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *