Please sign in to post.

Direct flight or stop over?

I have always thought that a direct flight is best, especially if it is a long flight. My brother has the opposite view. He would rather have a layover where he changes planes, that way he gets to get up and walk around. I am planning a trip from Vancouver Canada to London England. Which would you pick? A 9hr 10 min direct flight or a 4hr45min flight to Montreal with a 50 min layover and then a connecting 6hr30m flight to London?

Posted by
725 posts

I’d take the direct flight. And an Ambien. The 6.5 hour flight is too short to even hope for half decent sleep.

That’s also a pretty tight connection in Montreal.

Posted by
272 posts

I would choose a direct flight. Plus a 50 min layover is not that long you would not have that much time to walk around just get off one plane and on to another.

Posted by
1300 posts

Nonstop for sure!!!!!!!!! When I plan my trips, I look for places that have nonstop flights from Chicago. The last thing I want to worry about is a missed connection or one of the flight times getting changed.

Posted by
8286 posts

Non-stop absolutely. I just want to get it over and get there as quickly and efficiently as possible. Your two choices are 9 hrs of misery vs 12 hrs of misery… easy choice for me.

Posted by
3264 posts

Your two choices are 9 hrs of misery vs 12 hrs of misery… easy choice
for me.

Plus the added chance of missing the connection; ensuring it would take even MORE time and misery to get to your destination.

If you really need to stretch your legs, just do it on the plane when they aren't doing food or beverage service.

Posted by
2708 posts

Direct! There’s too much room for error with layovers. For example, if the first flight is late and you miss your international flight, that would be a real problem. Often you’d need to wait until the next day which would cause ripple effects in your plans. Also checked bags are more likely to miss a connection than to just not be put on the correct direct flight. Then in some airports you have annoying terminal changes that make you leave security, catch a train to the international terminal and then go back through security. The most annoying part of flying - the TSA line - should only be done once. Unfortunately whoever designed certain connections at JFK does not agree!

Posted by
143 posts

Direct no question. Less fuss, faster, less room for problems/issues getting there.

Posted by
9701 posts

Joe!!! So funny! And yes, appropriate as well.

Like the others, the 50 minute transit time would bother me a LOT as would the addition of the extra flight. It's bad enough that I have to fly from Spokane to Seattle for a flight that I want the international one all in one whack.

Posted by
5572 posts

A 50 minute layover is worthless, in terms of getting up, moving around, and feeling refreshed. That's a tight connection -- assuming your first flight is on time. If the first flight is late, you will be sprinting from gate to gate, hurdling small objects, and -- if you make your connection at all -- you will flop into your seat all sweaty and stressed out. Not the way I like to start a flight.

9 hours on one plane, versus 11.5 hours spread across two planes. Not a difficult choice for me!

Posted by
2708 posts

I’ll also add that in cases where a layover is necessary, I would pay a lot more to avoid short layovers. 2 - 3 hours is ideal, longer if going through passport control or other formalities. I’ve actually chosen a 6 hour layover (ugh!) when the alternative was 1 hour (worse!). The stress of possibily missing my next flight for any minor delay, and there’s no time to take advantage of a layover by getting food or a drink. Just enough time to run through the airport. Remember international flights often board 45 minutes to an hour ahead of time. Meaning by the time you get off your first flight, your next one is boarding.

Posted by
21715 posts

I just want to get it over with. Shortest time. And, why ???, the hassle of settling into a plane twice. Direct it is. And I will pay a premium for the direct flight.

Posted by
12883 posts

My vote is for the direct flight.

I always fly from the west coast, SFO or OAK to Paris CDG, or FRA or London Gatwick or Heathrow. Unless the layover is at least hours and in Seattle, ie, those two conditions, I take the 11 hour flight non-stop to Paris or Frankfurt. Under 2 hours not worth it.

Going to London is even easier, time-wise from SFO.

Posted by
844 posts

Easy. Direct flight. A 50 minute layover would add ridiculous amounts of stress: what if the first flight is delayed? What if you miss your connection? What if the second flight is delayed? A 50 minute layover could turn into a sprint to the next gate, not a leisurely walk around. Not even worth it. Tell him to walk up and down the aisle for a while!

Posted by
1000 posts

I have to wonder if your brother is a frequent traveler. Anyone who flies more than once a year will have experienced some problem with a connection. Direct flight wins every time, unless you're chasing status thru segments.

Posted by
4457 posts

Direct flight - one less worry of missing a connection. Do get up and walk up & down the aisle at least every two hours.

Posted by
6627 posts

Unless you are at the front of the first plane, it can take 10-15 minutes just to disembark. Your international flight is likely already boarding.

Posted by
425 posts

I'd always choose direct flights if they are available. I've always been able to get up, stretch my legs and walk the aisle. There's plenty of time when the aisles are clear and you just have to be careful not to bump into people or trip on something.

Posted by
1101 posts

Make sure your brother has an aisle seat, if at all possible so that he can get up frequently to move around a bit. I try to get up every couple of hours when there is no beverage or meal service, walk to an area near bathrooms, or in the galley area at the back of the plane, and stretch my legs, calves, arms, shoulders. There are also on-line videos of exercises that one can do sitting in an airplane seat.

Posted by
618 posts

Nonstop always, if possible.

For a trip last summer, we could have used Delta miles to pay for the flights for 5 of us to Iceland, but that meant a stopover. Instead we just paid for the flights so that we could go nonstop on Icelandair. Yes it was expensive, but worth it to us.

Posted by
5260 posts

I'll join the parade, go for the nonstop. I'd do that even with a longer connection in Montreal, unless it meant saving a lot of money. Generally I try to get to Europe on the first flight and connect there, if necessary, for my ultimate destination. That way, if I miss the connection, at least I'm on the right continent. What a bummer it would be to find yourself stuck in Montreal if you couldn't make that second flight (not that there's anything wrong with Montreal...).

I'm doing it differently for an upcoming trip where I can't get a nonstop and I don't want to deal with possible Covid-related complications in a European layover airport. So I'll be flying over via Chicago and back via Philadelphia. But that's not your situation, as long as London is your final destination.

Yes, the long overnight flights are miserable, but they come to an end and you're back in the real world sooner than if you had spent more time in airports, boarding and deplaning and such.