The difference between non-stop and direct flights

With news that popular Canadian airline WestJet is finally heading into the trans-Atlantic market, many Canucks were excited about a new option to get to Europe. Lost in the headlines however, was one key piece of information: how the flights actually work.

You see, WestJet plans to offer non-stop flights between St. John’s and Dublin, Ireland. There will also be direct flights from Toronto. But the key here is that there is a huge difference between ‘direct’ flights and ‘non-stop’ flights.

more plane wing

Non-stop flights are when you take off from Airport A and land at Airport B, aka no muss no fuss. But in a direct flight, while you will still start and end at the same destinations as the non-stop option, the plane will make a landing in-between, even though you don’t get off the plane. For example, you fly from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico direct to Edmonton, Canada, but make a landing in Calgary where half of the passengers will get off, before continuing to Edmonton.

This is super important to keep in mind during trip planning, as these stops mean you’re stuck on a plane even longer.

In other words, WestJet’s new European offering might not be the best option for anyone farther west than Toronto, as the time it will take to connect to St. John’s before flying across the Atlantic could add hours on to your trip, compared to the non-stop options offered by airlines like KLM and Air Canada.

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  1. November 20, 2013

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    […] The difference between non-stop and direct flights […]

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