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For Extended Longhaul: Direct Or N/s?  
User currently offlineWadha From United Arab Emirates, joined Mar 2000, 185 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 9 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4557 times:

I have always wondered: If you are traveling to Canada (YYZ) lets say from Doha or Dubai, which would be better in terms of adjusting and in terms of body fatique regardless of class of travel. A non stop all the way, or a connection in Amsterdam, London or Frankfurt? what would be the pros or cons for each option.

many thanks in advance for your replies.

Note to moderators: if this is the wrong forum, please feel free to move.

[Edited 2009-08-30 20:10:13]

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6543 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4525 times:

I'd rather just get it done with. YYZ-DXB is way, way better in my book than YYZ-LHR-DXB. Some people love flying...I don't, I love airplanes. Flying is a pain, no matter who you are with. I have flown Biz on CX and, while it is a great experience, I am ready to get to HKG as soon as I leave LAX...a stop in, say, ICN would just keep me from getting to my destination, to a shower...

On the other hand, I have some exceptions. For example, I just booked MCI to HKG. I booked MCI-DFW-SFO-HKG on AA/CX, though I could have done it with one less stop on UA (MCI-ORD-HKG). However, I refuse to fly those damn UA 744's no matter what class I am in...they are awful - I speak with my money (er, my companies money  Wink)

But, in general, get me there ASAP. I would rather spend 5 hours strolling the streets of Dubai than the CDG transit area.

User currently offlinePellegrine From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined Mar 2007, 2755 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4523 times:

Maybe this should be in travel polls/prefs, but I prefer a nonstop no matter where I go if I can get into economy plus/premium economy or higher class. I don't think a stop or no-stop changes the jet lag equation; but for me a nonstop gives more time to sleep appropriately, or stay up appropriately, and get to the destination quicker so that you can recover at the destination. Longest n/s flight I've been on approx 14.5 hrs transpacific.

If I was in regular economy I probably couldn't stand a flight longer than 7-8 hrs.

oh boy!!!
User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 3038 posts, RR: 30
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4508 times:

I think it really depends on the person.

Quoting Wadha (Thread starter):
A non stop all the way

Assuming you are flying nonstop from YYZ to either DXB or AUH, you would be flying a premium Middle Eastern carrier. You would be able to enjoy excellent IFE and service. Business people value their time, and would probably opt for the n/s option. You would not have to worry about possibly missing a connection, and you could get the flying over with much more quickly.

Quoting Wadha (Thread starter):
a connection in Amsterdam, London or Frankfurt

Although European airlines are nice, they can't really hold a candle to the Middle Eastern elite in most cases. Moreover, many of the European hubs are congested, crowded, confusing, and quite dilapidated (especially in comparison to YYZ and DXB). But, you do get a glimpse of European culture, which can be cool - my friend who transferred at MUC told me he really enjoyed the beer garden there - and a real chance to stretch your legs.

Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6526 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4386 times:

Quoting Wadha (Thread starter):
traveling to Canada (YYZ) lets say from Doha or Dubai, (..) A non stop all the way, or a connection in Amsterdam, London or Frankfurt?

The distance to be covered is only marginally longer on those connections. So this is no issue, even though the total travel time will be longer by a couple of hours (about 3+ hours for addditional decend, ground time and ascend - longer if the connection is longer).

Quoting Wadha (Thread starter):
what would be the pros or cons for each option.

The effect of nonstop vs. connection on one's body will vary very much with:
- age
- size (= how comfortably one can sit in the confined space of a Eco-Class seat; take myself as an example for one how can't due to height and weight)
- direction of travel (west- or eastbound); westboud travel usually is much less stressful than flying eastbound through the night.
- times of departure / arrival: Fly out after some good rest and you will arrive in better shape.
- personal habit / ability to rest / sleep on an aircraft
- personal fitness / resistance to stress factors

Some generals:
Pro: When making a connection, you easily can get some excercise for your body.
Con: A connection adds to the overall travel time.

For the route given: If total time in the a/c does not exceed approx. 13 hours, a nonstop should be an easy thing for the body to survive; anything considerably longer would add much more stress on the body.

In every travel class there are some tips to make the long flight easier on the body:

Wear comfortable clothing

Remove shoes once onboard

To my repeated experience: Do not drink beer, as it makes your feet swell; this I could not reproduce when drinking other alcohol (Champagne, wine) in quantities in combination with non-alcoholic liquids. Staying away from alcohol should be considered while onboard, but this is everybodys personal decision: some alcohol might make one sleepy, too much alcohol never is a good idea.

Keep you body hydrated; if you do not want to rely on the onboard service, bring along you own bottle of water (buy after security - or take empty bottle unscrewed through security and fill up at tap before boarding).

Eat light, but often enough to avoid being hungry for extended periods. To avoid, bring along your own extra, nutritious food.

Choose a carrier that maximizes the personal space available to you.

Wear hearing protection, as the constant drone of the air rushing along the fuselage makes one dizzy; consider to sit in the center seat-block rather than in a window seat.

If your flight leaves between morning and noon but arrives in the afternoon of the same day, sleep for not more than a few hours (2-4 hrs) onboard; this way you will be tired enough to fall asleep once in the hotel at your destination at normal local hours. After not more than 1 or two nights you should have adapted to the new time zone (depending on one's proneness to jetlag).

For the return (eastbound flight) things are totally different though:
- Eat before boarding the a/c.
- If you feel sleepy right after boarding the a/c, start sleeping right away. Attach "Do not disturb me for dinner" sticker; go for the breakfast instead. Bring along some light food for the case you wake up and are seriously hungry.
With these basic tips, a 12+ hour flight should be a easy thing to survive, but it requires some planning of things to do and bring along.
If you break the flight into two parts (i.e. make a connection, espcially westbound as this is the longer (= headwinds) flight), replenishing your body and your supplies at the stop-over point is easier.

You see: For the route mentioned there is no clear winner or looser.
Things might / will be different for other routings, though.


[Edited 2009-08-31 01:09:26]

Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6526 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4375 times:

Quoting Wadha (Thread starter):
For Extended Longhaul: Direct Or N/s?

Just came to my mind:

"N/S" = nonstop
"Direct" means to fly from A to B via C under ONLY one (1) flight number, ideally, but not necessarily, without any change of aircraft. If this is desirable, is unsure, especially if one is not allowed to deplane at the intermediary stop (= one has to stay in that long circular tube with its dry air even longer).

However, what you described as alternative in your original post is a "Connecting flight" ...

Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4342 times:

Years ago.... when I was still young and full of energy, I flew the following routing within a timespan of 48 hours: SYD-JNB-DKR-JFK-SFO. I could have flown non-stop SYD-SFO on United, but opted for more FF mileage.  crazy 



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 29516 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4322 times:

Quoting SW733 (Reply 1):
I'd rather just get it done with. YYZ-DXB is way, way better in my book than YYZ-LHR-DXB.

I agree. Nonstop is always best. Get it over with as fast as possible. Any connection is going to add at least 2 and in many cases more hours to the total travel time which just increases fatigue. It also often means the additional stress of extra security checks at the connecting point, plus twice the probablility that your baggage is going to be mishandled/damaged, or not make the connection. There's also a greater chance of delays due to weather and other operational issues.

Of course, in many cases, fares for connecting routings are cheaper than nonstops since it's considered a less desirable product, so if you're trying to cut costs, that may outweigh the advantages of a nonstop.

User currently offlineDaviation From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4280 times:

Everyone's personal nature is different, but as someone who travels EWR-TLV every year, nonstop is always better. I've heard all the arguments for stopping en route -- exercise, see the local airport, etc -- but there is simply no question for me. Each time I have made this 10-12 hours journey nonstop, I arrive at my destination with energy and a positive attitude. There is no jet lag for me. Yes, it's true that I'm tired by the end of the new day, but a good night's sleep cures everything (especially with a Merlot or an Ambien!). On the other hand, I have stopped in CDG and FRA -- each of those trips made a long journey interminable. I couldn't sleep well on either leg of the flight because I knew I would have to awaken in a few hours. CDG was hard to navigate, although the shops had beautiful displays, as I would expect in France. FRA was the most awful hub I've ever traveled through. PHL had long been my personal nemesis, but PHL was like paradise in comparison to FRA. From now on, only nonstop for me, and I don't care how much extra it costs!!

User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 3049 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4228 times:

Direct flights are always better; I hate flights with stopovers. There is a reason why direct flights cost more!!  Wink

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