What is a Stopover and How to Take Advantage

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We introduced a few enhancements to our deal sheet in the last week. One of the key enhancements is including whether or not an international fare allows a stopover. A stopover is an inexpensive way to travel to more destinations for less.

Sample Stopover Information

Sample Stopover Information on the new deal sheet

The fare from Los Angeles to Singapore on American allows for 2 stopovers at $100 per stopover.

What is a Stopover?

A stopover allows you to stay in a connection city for greater than 24 hours and less than the duration of your trip. In this example, it is an extra $100 plus taxes and fees per stopover.

The natural stopover for most people on this fare might be Tokyo, however, this fare also includes possible connections in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul. So it is technically possible to stopover in those cities.

How to Search for Stopover? Start with a Simple Roundtrip Search.

We like to use Matrix by ITA Software to search. We recommend you start by reading our two articles on ITA to get a good understanding on how to use it first:

We will use the great American fare from Los Angeles – Singapore for $818 as the sample itinerary. The itinerary as per the fare rules allows for 2 stopovers at $100 per stopover. To search for a stopover, you have to start your search with a simple roundtrip.

Simple Roundtrip Search

Simple Roundtrip Search

 From this, we can gauge when there’s availability:

Very good availability for a roundtrip at $818

Very good availability for a roundtrip at $818

Now, let’s pick a travel date. We are going to use November 12th – 20th.

01_stopover_1

As you can see, the fare is in Economy (Q) class for most of the trip.

2013-07-25_1b

Here are the fare calculations. As you can see, it is $215 each direction and the rest are taxes and fees.

Use Multi-City to Search for Stopover.

We know that there’s availability for the fare from November 12th – 20th. The stopover needs to be inside those travel dates.

2013-07-25_2c

It will then lead you to a flight selection screen. Here’s what we selected.

$934!

$935

We got a stopover priced out to $935. That’s $818 + $100 stopover fees + extra taxes associated with entering Japan. Here’s the fee breakdown. If it does not price out, test all possible dates for the stopover flight. We used November 18th, if that didn’t work, we would’ve gone to November 19th and so on to see if a stopover is possible between the departure and return on the itinerary. In this case, we lucked out and a stopover was available. Just because a stopover is allowed on the fare rules does not mean it actually exists.

2013-07-25_2b

As you can see, the outbound fare increased from $215 to $315. It has taken into account the extra $100 for stopover. Taxes for Japan also increased.

Booking:

Use your favorite booking site or the carrier website. Use the Multi-city or Multi-Destination feature and enter each segment individually. If it doesn’t work, find a good travel agent to book it.

2013-07-25_stopover

We used Orbitz.com to ticket.  So for about extra $120, you can visit an extra city just by taking advantage of the fare rules and playing around with ITA.

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14 Responses to "What is a Stopover and How to Take Advantage"

  1. Robert F says:

    This was a well-written tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to create it!

    Reply
  2. Johnny says:

    Great tutorial but how can I find out whether a fare allows stopovers in the first place? Thanks.

    Reply
    • TFD says:

      @Johnny, read the two ITA articles highlighted in the post. You will learn how to find the fare rules and whether or not the fare rules allows for a stopover.

      Reply
  3. Tim Hwang says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, I’ve used this site’s deal to travel once already!

    Question about stopovers: “The natural stopover for most people on this fare might be Tokyo, however, this fare also includes possible connections in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul. So it is technically possible to stopover in those cities.”

    How did you know there was a possible connection to these other cities? Can you look it in ITA or is it written somewhere?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  4. lsdourte says:

    Thank you! Will be using this guide on my next international flight

    Reply
  5. paul says:

    i have a quick question… if i book a tricket on LAN from JFK to IGU that goe sthe following route:
    JFK-SCL-GRU-IGU-GRU-SCL-JKF
    can i stay in GRU and just fly back on the return date from GRU wihtou using the leg to IGU?
    Will i get penalized or this is ok to do?

    Reply
    • The Flight Deal says:

      @Paul – if you do that, the rest of your itinerary will be cancelled. you are buying service to IGU, not GRU. the routing is irrelevant.

      Reply
  6. Nick Summy says:

    Maybe there isn’t a good answer to this, but what is the best way if you have lets say 3 layovers, such as JFK-LIM-GRU-IGU-GIG-GRU-LIM-JFK. and you want to stopover in GIG, is it best in multicity to search JFK-IGU, IGU-GIG, GIG-JFK? Or do i need to spell out the exact routing on the way back?

    Reply
  7. jack says:

    Great instructions. I just found and booked a RT JFK to Manila for 385.00 Tax included. Holy SH**T.
    Choose an itin that gave me 20 hours in Abu Dhabi so I can at least check out the city. It’s all daytime hours too. (open to any ideas for layover fun)
    Thanks a million. Used your priceline link so hopefully that will come back to you.

    Reply
  8. Wayne Harrison says:

    How do you get to the page under ” From this, we can gauge when there’s availability”?

    Reply
  9. Samantha says:

    Thanks for the information! I am wondering, if a flight has layovers already built into the low price, what is the easiest way to extend the layover to a stopover? For example, the flight from LAX to Bali that has layovers in Tokyo and Taipei. Is there a way to make those layovers become stopovers?

    Reply

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