Advantages and disadvantages of nonstop flights

There are many advantages to taking nonstop flights when traveling. In this post I review these positives, as well as the few negatives to nonstop travel itineraries.

1. The nonstop flight is shorter. Since a nonstop flight goes directly from the origin airport to the destination airport, without any intermediate stops or any connections between the two cities, it is generally the shortest path. By flying the shortest flight distance, that typically also means the shortest flight time. Further, without a connection, there is no waiting around for the intermediate flight to board making the overall trip duration less.

2. Less chance of complications. When multiple connections are involved, there is always some chance that the first flight might get delayed and arrive late, possibly causing the traveler to miss the second, connecting flight. Knowing I need to catch a connecting flight always seems to add additional stress to the first flight. With a nonstop flight, once that flight is on it’s way, you can be pretty sure the next stop is your final destination. Also, knowing my checked in bags don’t have to make a connection / less handling involved also gives additional piece of mind.

Here are some of the possible downsides of nonstop flights.

1. The airfare can be more expensive. Since many people prefer non stops, there is often more demand for these flights, which can cause the less expensive seats to sell out fast, leaving higher prices seats, and possibly raising the costs of the flight to most travelers. It can be hard to find cheap non stop flights or deals on such flight tickets due to this higher demand.

2. Fewer times and flight choices. There are often not too many nonstop flights between two cities, unless those two cities / airports are particularly busy. Thus making the nonstop flight more harder to find than a connecting flight. Also, with fewer flights, that often means less flight time choice. So if one needs to depart or arrive at a certain time of day, sometimes the nonstop flight might not fit that schedule.

3. Less choice in airline. While many airlines maintain extensive networks of airports they serve, most do not have nonstop flights between every pair of airports. Instead, they might rely on hub airports, or other connecting intermediate airports to get travelers from their starting airport to their destination airport. So, if going for a nonstop flight ticket, one has to sometimes put aside airline / frequent flyer miles preferences and go with whatever airline offers nonstops.

Despite the challenges to nonstops, I have generally found that their advantages far outweigh their disadvantages and I try to fly nonstop when possible. Still, there are many factors to weigh when choosing a flight, and informative sites such as this one can hopefully make that choice easier. Have a nice flight.

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