A direct flight is not a nonstop flight, but it will get you there. Many people think nonstop and direct flights are interchangeable terms, but there are travel differences between the two. A nonstop flight is as its name suggests, you fly from one airport to your destination without stopping. A direct flight, on the other hand, makes at least one stop along the way.
The way it happens most of the time is that passengers traveling on direct flights make a stop at a midpoint airport and remain seated on the plane while some passengers exit and others get on board. Many discount airlines offer direct flight service as a condition of the lower airfare.
Major airlines usually offer both. Typically, the air carrier will charge a premium for the convenience of a nonstop flight. They will offer a lower fare if you are willing to take a direct flight which may mean you may or may not have to change planes.
Many air travelers accept the inconvenience of a direct flight in exchange of the lower fare. But, travelers beware. There are considerations to factor in before you decide the true worth of those dollars saved. First, ask yourself if the inconvenience is worth it?
The risks of a missed connection are a consideration. Anything can happen before the airplane leaves the gate. Mechanical failures, very very commonplace, provide the number one reason for customer complaints about airline delays. Let’s take the scenario of a direct flight which begins with a mechanical delay. Your flight is delayed an hour due to a mechanical problem with the airplane. Your scheduled connection time in Cincinnati is thirty-five minutes. So when your flight does finally leave, you have missed your connection and the next flight to Boston is two hours away.
Does that sound like fun? Of course not, but you opted for the lower direct flight fare. This is why major airlines usually charge a premium for the convenience of a nonstop flight which is the quickest way for you to travel by air from origin point A to destination B.
The second direct flight risk is the one of lost luggage. It is highly probable that you luggage will arrive with you when you travel nonstop of if you experience no delays with your direct travel ticket. However, the efficient correct transfer of luggage becomes risky when your schedule goes awry and rerouting becomes necessary.
The third risk is cost. Are you really saving that much money to override the risks? Each stop you make means additional airport taxes are tacked on to the cost of your ticket. Compare the difference between the PFC tax charges you incur and convenience against the costs of a nonstop flight.
Direct flights get you there, but what does it cost?