Home travel Know the Real Difference Between a Direct Flight and Nonstop Flight

Know the Real Difference Between a Direct Flight and Nonstop Flight

Difference Between a Direct Flight and Nonstop Flight
Source: Freepik

If you have thought that a direct flight is the same as a nonstop flight, then you are not alone. In aviation, the two terms are often used interchangeably, but the fact is that they vary in meaning. So, what is the actual difference between a direct flight and nonstop flight? Continue reading to find out how they are different from each other. 

What does a nonstop flight mean?

A nonstop flight, as the name suggests, takes you from Point A to Point B without stopping along the way. For example, when you take a nonstop flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru, the flight takes off at San Francisco Airport and will only touch the ground at your destination, which is Bengaluru Airport. 

What is a direct flight?

On the other hand, a direct flight also flies directly from the origin airport to the destination airport, but it includes one or more intermediate stops, either to refuel the aircraft or to allow certain passengers to disembark and others to board the flight (very rarely, when the local regulations call for it, you might be asked to get off the plane with your carry on but you will later get back to your assigned seat in the same plane). This would increase the total journey time by one hour or so when you take a direct flight. 

However, your flight number is not going to change, whether you take a direct or nonstop flight as you would not be changing the aircraft, which is common when you have a layover (a different case altogether).    

What is the difference between a direct flight and nonstop flight?

As you can now make out, a direct flight is different from a nonstop flight in that the former makes a short stop en route to the destination while the latter flies nonstop (without any stopover). 

Most of the flights available today are either nonstop or connecting flights. But, if you go back to a time when aviation was at its early stages of development, aircraft were not as fuel-efficient as they are now. So, back then, it was essential for a long-haul plane to make at least one stopover and get refueled to enable itself to fly on the direct route. And with the advancement of technology over years, flights with no actual stops came to be known as nonstop flights, making them different from direct flights.  

So, what difference does this make to a passenger?

Both direct flights and nonstop flights can get you to your destination faster than a connecting flight and with fewer inconveniences (you don’t have to worry about baggage loss during transfer, short/insufficient or long layover, connecting flight delay, etc.), but if you are pressed for time and couldn’t afford even the slightest delay of an hour (or more), then a nonstop flight is the right choice for you. Most business travelers prefer nonstop flights to direct flights for this very reason. 

As for the ticket prices, direct flights are cheaper than nonstop flights. So, if you don’t mind the extra travel time of one or two hours, then opting for a direct flight can save a few bucks. You can still get to your destination without having to change planes. 

Whether you are looking for direct or nonstop flights, rest assured that Indian Eagle has the best deals on international flights to India from USA. Book your tickets now in advance to save a great deal on flight tickets. Hurry up!


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