An introduction to stopovers and open jaws — The Factors Man

There are lots of methods to profit from your hard-earned journey rewards. And in relation to redeeming airline miles, using stopovers and open-jaw award tickets can just do that. With choose loyalty packages, this may help you go to a number of locations for the worth of 1.

Nonetheless, understanding the complexities of stopovers and open jaws may be overwhelming. So at this time, we’ll outline stopovers and open jaws to provide the context you could start looking for these award tickets.

What’s a stopover?

Of the 2 phrases, this one is extra simple. Put merely, a stopover is while you cease in a metropolis for a longer-than-normal time en path to a vacation spot. This prolonged connection time is what differentiates a stopover from a layover, the place you join in a hub airport (and by no means depart the airport) earlier than persevering with in your journey.

That mentioned, the size of time to qualify as a stopover vs. a layover can fluctuate, relying on the route. For worldwide award tickets, nonetheless, the overall rule of thumb is that any connection lasting no less than 24 hours is a stopover, whereas something lower than 24 hours is taken into account a connection.

In practicality, this provides you the chance to fly right into a metropolis, keep for a couple of days, after which proceed to your final vacation spot — like this instance from Houston (IAH) to Istanbul (IST) through Frankfurt (FRA). Should you simply had a connection in Frankfurt, you’d keep within the airport for 2 or three hours. Nonetheless, in the event you spent 4 days there, it is a stopover.

On this itinerary, the stopover could be at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) for greater than 24 hours. GCMAP.COM

Sadly, not all packages enable these on award tickets. Air Canada Aeroplan, Alaska Airways Mileage Plan and Air France-KLM Flying Blue are among the many packages that enable for stopovers — although every program has its personal phrases and circumstances for stopovers. As well as, you might must name to guide one (as is the case with Flying Blue), and there are sometimes airline or routing restrictions as properly.

Associated: Fast Factors: See two cities for the worth of 1 with stopovers

What’s an open jaw?

No, an open jaw just isn’t a visit to the dentist in relation to award tickets. As an alternative, the time period comes from how the flight path appears on a map.

Right here’s an instance. Let’s say you’d prefer to guide an award ticket from San Francisco (SFO) to London-Heathrow (LHR). An open jaw would help you return from one other airport, say Madrid (MAD).

Join our each day e-newsletter


A double-open jaw goes additional and returns to a different airport, like flying again to Los Angeles (LAX) as an alternative of SFO. Typically, you may additionally hear this known as two dangling legs.


You might guide the above routing as two one-way award tickets, however you then’d probably must pay two change or cancellation charges if you could alter your journey.

No matter whether or not you could have one (or two) open jaws, it is as much as you to “fill” that open jaw as a way to take the return flight. For some vacationers, this implies paying for a separate, one-way ticket — probably on a low-cost service that is not available utilizing miles. Different occasions, it could contain a special type of transportation, like a prepare or bus.

Instance of a visit with a stopover and open jaw

To point out you the extent of what is doable, let’s undergo an instance of an award journey with each a stopover and an open jaw.

With United MileagePlus, a round-trip, financial system award flight from the U.S. to Europe is usually 60,000 miles on the saver degree. Nonetheless, United’s Excursionist Perk means that you can add a free stopover inside Europe. Then, as a result of this system permits an open jaw, you possibly can add a number of cities for the worth of 1.

On this instance, you possibly can fly from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to London-Heathrow (LHR) and cease for 3 days. Then, you proceed from London to Frankfurt. From there you possibly can discover Germany at your leisure earlier than ending up in Munich (MUC) on your flight again to Chicago.

And the worth? The identical 60,000 miles you’d pay for a easy, round-trip award ticket from Chicago to Munich.


That is simply an instance of what you are able to do with most of these award tickets.

Learn extra: The entire information to maximizing stopovers and open jaws on award tickets

Backside line

Should you’re acquainted with stopovers and open jaws, you would possibly be capable to add one other vacation spot to your award ticket for few, if any, further miles. As at all times, we suggest confirming award charges and house earlier than transferring your bank card factors.

Associated studying:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button