It seems there are so many things we need to know when it comes to flying. What can you take on a plane now? That’s changed over the years. What about luggage? What’s considered a “carry-on”? I’ve seen people bring on napsacks bigger than what can fit in the “carry-on” cage they have at the front before you board. So, do you know the difference between a “direct flight” and “nonstop flight”? There’s actually a difference between them, and knowing what it is can help you make better choices when booking travel.
A nonstop flight doesn’t make any stops between its origin and its destination. This type of flight has become more common over time as technological advancements have decreased the need for refueling stops. Nonstop flights will generally be the most expensive options and appear at the top of search results.
A direct flight, on the other hand, has one flight number but may make one or more planned stops on the way to its destination. Direct flights stop at intermediate points to let passengers get off or on the plane, or for technical needs like refueling.
For example, a direct flight from New York to Sydney might stop in Los Angeles but keep the same flight number for both segments of the journey. Direct flights are usually less expensive than nonstop flights but more expensive than connecting flights. They also tend to rank between nonstop and connecting flights on travel search engines. You usually don’t need to get off the plane until you reach your destination if you’re on a direct flight that makes a stop, but sometimes a plane change is required. Such a trip can still be called a direct flight because the flight number doesn’t change.
If a flight that normally takes three hours is listed for much longer, that’s a good tip-off that your flight is not nonstop. To avoid confusion or travel mishaps, pay attention to the fine print when booking future flights.