Understanding stopovers and open-jaws can be important when it comes to making the most out of your award ticket. There is a unique advantage to using your points on these types of flights – so knowing what you can and can’t do could result in you getting a big win!
Stopover – A stop of 24 hours or more, either on the way to or way back from your destination.
Open-Jaw – A gap in your trip that is not connected by your ticket. Either you leave from a different airport than your destination, or return to a different airport than your original departure.
When it comes to using your award points on buying these types of tickets – you actually get stopovers for free. As opposed to when you buy with money, you normally will encounter higher costs due to this.
Different airlines allow a different number of stopovers and open-jaws for free on their award tickets. For example, United allows 1 stopover and 2 open-jaws whilst Lufthansa allows for 2 stopovers and two open-jaws.
What’s in it for you? – Where the sweet spot really comes in here is that you can basically get to see more of the world for less, with the options to hold stopovers for a long time. This means you can utilise this to your advantage when it comes to meetings and make a business trip that allows you to see more of your clients at a more economical travel cost.
What’s in it for the airline? – This is quite complex, but in simplistic terms it is where stopovers align with airlines that don’t have fuel surcharges; which is different for each airline. It is a point where flying and savings actually combine for the airline, hence why it works for them but also works for you!
The Lesson? – It can pay to look for stopovers and open-jaws on your next business trip to fit in more clients, get to more places in the world and all for less!