Why You Could Be Better Off Connecting Than Flying Nonstop

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For most people, nonstop flights offer a kind of convenience that is unmatched. A nonstop flight means less time in the sky (usually), less time at airports, and less overall time during the day that you have to devote to the travel experience. However, there are some benefits to a connecting itinerary. Here are some of them.

American and JetBlue
Connections are common in some markets like the US, in instances where you’re switching between two airlines like American and JetBlue, or when you’re flying to or from smaller, regional destinations.. Photo: Getty Images

Lounge access

If you are lucky to have lounge access, a connecting itinerary could be an excellent opportunity. Some very common ways to gain lounge access are through individual memberships with airlines, complimentary access through a credit card, joining a lounge program like Priority Pass, and more.

Lounge access can be a great way to get in a free meal (or snack given the current climate). If you do have flexibility with your schedule and can travel with a break in a lounge, you could be able to get some work done with complimentary WiFi and, depending on your eligibility, even a drink along with a complimentary made-to-order meal.

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Lufthansa’s First Class Lounge in Frankfurt is quite a treat during a connection. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

Some lounges also offer changing and shower rooms so you can unwind and relax a little on your journey. This would be ideal if you have an important meeting at the end of your trip and are trying to impress a potential employer or suitor.

Time to stretch your legs

For some people who have difficulty sitting still for an extended period of time, a connecting itinerary can give plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs and take a little break.

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Sitting upright in a plane for, say, 10-15 hours nonstop can be exhausting and painful. Breaking that up into, say, two six-hour flights could make the experience far better with a break in the middle. Combine with lounge access, and then you can get a real treat in the middle of your journey.

Hamad International
Taking a walk around a major airport like Doha’s Hamad Airport can be a great way to get some exercise during your journey. Photo: Getty Images

For families with small children that have a lot of energy in them, a connection may provide the opportunity to release some energy. Plenty of airports are kid-friendly or have special play areas for kids. Plus, if you do not have lounge access, you could get a chance to sneak in a small meal.

Shopping

Duty-free shopping can be a spot to get some great deals. Though usually reserved for international connecting itineraries, with some other restrictions, the duty-free shopping could be a fantastic way to get a taste of something local. If you have a layover in Bogota, Colombia, for example, you could sample some coffee and take it with you to your final destination and then back home.

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German shopping Munich Airport
Duty-free can be a fun stop on a journey. Photo: Munich Airport

Even among some chain stores, not all airport stores are the same. You may be able to get a different variety of merchandise at a different airport. There may also be some specials where you can get a discount on items if you are a transit passenger.

Airports are becoming tourist attractions

More and more, airports are turning into tourist attractions. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has a very cool little Rijksmuseum, where you can see some new artwork that you may not otherwise have a chance to check out.

Of course, there’s also the iconic Jewel at Singapore’s Changi Airport, a teaser of which is shown above. This incredible place is a sight not to miss and definitely worth a connection. In addition to great sights, there are also some shopping, dining, and kids play areas that are definitely worth stopping by. Other fun airports include Seoul Incheon, Dubai International, Munich Airport, and more.

What are your favorite advantages of a connecting itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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