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Feb 08

What are the differences between Open-Jaw, Layover & Stopover?

What are the differences between Open-Jaw, Layover & Stopovers?

Many casual travelers are not aware of the terms “Open-Jaw” and may have an idea bout Layover & Stopover, so as the purpose of the blog is to provide knowledge I figured I’d write a quick post explaining the little difference between each of the three travel “options”.


In simplest terms the Layover is an interim connection that you make during your flight, most often encountered when you’re not flying direct somewhere. Usually these can be encountered when you’re flying an airline that does not have a hub at your originating airport (and usually layover flights are cheaper than direct routes), so you have to fly out of your way to the hub of the airline and then proceed to your destination.


A StopOver is almost identical to a Layover except that the duration at the interim location is longer, sometimes over 24 hours. It actually depends on the airline’s policy whether they allow StopOvers or not, some airlines will actually force you to purchase 2 one-way tickets if your Layover is turning into a StopOver

  • Delta allows one StopOver on a round-trip itinerary.
  • United allows a StopOver.
  • American doesn’t allow StopOvers.
  • British Airways allows StopOvers.

A StopOver is a great way to see an interim city for “free” since you can actually leave the airport, go to a city, stay at a hotel, go sight seeing and return to the airport the next day and continue onto your final destination.


An Open-Jaw is a trip where your return itinerary does not match your arrival itinerary. Imagine that you fly from to Amsterdam to Minneapolis but return to Minneapolis from Brussels instead. Here your travel itinerary between Amsterdam and Brussels is not covered by your airline ticket and is considered “open”. Open-Jaw ticket are usually great as it allows you to see an extra location/destination for the price of a direct round-trip flight, and the difference here compared to a StopOver is that your Open Jaw doesn’t haven to be at the hub city, it could technically be in any Country, as long as you can secure your own inter-location transportation. This can actually be very lucrative in places like Europe where inter-country flights, trains or even car rentals can be found very cheaply.


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