How to book ‘stopovers’ along your route

Have you ever been transiting an amazing city like New York or Dubai and wished you had more than 2 hours in the terminal to stop and enjoy it? Well stopovers allow you to do just that. Simple!

NYC - A great place for a stopover
NYC – A great place for a stopover

The rules differ according to airlines, but the simplest way to plan it out is to book a ‘multi-city’.

Choose the 'Multi-City option then key in each segment one by one.
Choose the ‘Multi-City option then key in each segment one by one.

Now of course you may expect to pay a little more, especially if you are adding additional segments (individual flights) to your booking. But not necessarily. And sometimes the difference will just be marginal.

We are currently returning from the US to the UK and wanted to stop for a few days in New York City. We were already resolved to change the dates of our flights back a couple of weeks so were already going to be paying a change fee regardless. With that in mind, we called to see if we could mess with the itinerary slightly.

Our original journey looked like this:

Omaha - Chicago - London - Glasgow
Omaha – Chicago – London – Glasgow

We called American to get a price on changing our journey to have a stopover in New York. We had it almost booked, then lost signal. Called back, and the next agent looked through the (almost) changed itinerary and told us that this was, in fact, an illegal routing. Since we had already made use of a stopover on the outbound journey back in May, we would not be allowed to do the same on the return. But we lost signal again so that was the end of that. Called back a 3rd time, new agent, and he got this booked no problem:

Omaha - Chicago - La Guardia, La Guardia - Philadelphia - Glasgow
Omaha – Chicago – La Guardia, La Guardia – Philadelphia – Glasgow

We paid roughly $100 per ticket on top of the change fee to add NYC as a stopover. That saved us around $400 each booking a return from Omaha to NYC, or 12,500 miles each to do the same. AND, we also cut out transiting LHR on the return, getting the US Airways flight direct from PHL-GLA.

Thoughts on Landing

Think outside the box and book something you’re really excited about. You can normally book these multi-cities online with no issues and they will often cost hardly any more. If you do need to change a ticket and you’re calling agents, remember the old trick of hanging up and trying again. You will get different outcomes from different conversations and remember that having a good attitude and being polite can make a big difference!

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