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It’s easy to think a direct flight and a nonstop flight are the same thing, but they're far from it.
Nonstop is simple: You go straight to your destination, no stops made.
If you’re flying on a direct flight, you’ll stay on the same plane and make at least one stop. Stops can take up to an hour while some passengers leave and others board.
Pros of flying nonstop
The main perk of nonstop flights is you spend the least amount of time in the air as possible.
Additionally, you will never have to worry about weather delays in the stop city or cities.
The con: They can be more expensive than direct flights.
» Learn more: The best day to book a flight and other airfare tips
Pros of flying direct
While they aren’t as convenient as nonstop flights, they still have their perks. For instance, at 5 feet, 4 inches tall, I’m happy to not have to change planes and try to get my carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment twice.
You’ll rarely get to a smaller town nonstop from a major city without a connection. Since the flight is direct, you’ll never miss your connection if the flight is late.
Another cool bonus of a direct flight is you can pick up a friend in another city along the way. This is great for friends now living in different parts of the country.
If you have a choice between a nonstop and a direct flight to the same location, the direct flight could also be a better option if the price is lower, you have accrued frequent flyer miles and are close to a free ticket or the departure time is more realistic for you.
How to maximize your rewards
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Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: 5 tips to find a cheap flight How to get started with frequent flyer programs This strategy is how I started earning major travel rewards