Some people will know a little about this. I know that many others know nothing at all, I hope this post helps all of you in some way in your future travels.
When you are travelling super duper long haul, there is only a maximum amount of distance one flight can take you due to fuel restrictions etc, so it’s very common to take a connecting flight to your destination. Sometimes these flights have 2 or more ‘transits’. A transit is basically when you remain airside at an airport in any given destination, without clearing immigration, awaiting boarding your connecting onward flight. This means you have booked the entirety of your journey on one ticket and any checked luggage will be sent through to your final destination for you, and you just need to change aircraft.
More often than not, flights with one or more transits are much cheaper than flying direct, so this is a great way to save some coins if time is on your side.
So, you may often find amazingly cheap flights that involve a connection time at an airport of over ten hours. This is often because of busy dates and limited availability on the flights with good connection times. Take note;
- This can be excruciatingly dull and you can easily spend what you saved on the flight cost actually inside the airport.
- Officially a ‘transit’ is only a transit if your connection is under 8 hours. This means you may require a transit visa for 8 hours and 10 minutes, incurring more fees.
- Anything over 24 hours will certainly require a visa, if required in your stopover destination.
So basically, if you are only considering doing a long transit to save a few pennies, I would say it’s not worth it.
BUT… There is a much better solution.
- Be flexible with your dates. Moving your outbound date by just one day could shorten your total journey time by many hours and free up availability in your perfect connecting flight.
- Abuse the situation and swap your awful long transit to a stopover!!
What is a stopover, you ask?
A stopover is a planned break in your journey. For example, say you book a flight from London- Sydney, with a transit in Dubai. Your luggage will be checked from London to Sydney and in Dubai, you change planes. What you CAN do is actually book a flight to Dubai, stay for a few days and then fly onwards to Sydney. This means you will collect your hold bags at Dubai, clear immigration, leave the airport and return to check in again for your Dubai – Sydney flight. * Please note that all ticket rules vary and whilst many airlines offer this free of charge, some will charge a small fee and there will likely be a small airport tax increase.
So, if you are flying through Dubai anyway, make the most and tick that country off your list.
Emirates via Dubai is just an example but this can work on almost ANY flight ticket with a transit.
Happy free holiday hunting!