Sponsor Message:
Travel Polls & Prefs Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Direct -VS- Non-Stop Debate Continues Again  
User currently offlineBP1 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 593 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5514 times:

(A few threads on this over the past so many years)

This past week Swiss unveiled a most unique A340 with the word "DIRECT" written on the 1960's style paint work to market the launch of their NON-STOP service from ZRH-SFO.

A few days ago, I was on a Southwest flight that was marketed as a "DIRECT" flight from Los Angeles to Indianapolis with an intermediate stop in Phoenix and no plane change at Phoenix. Upon landing a PHX and being stuck in the back looking out the window, my DIRECT flight from LAX-IND with a stop in PHX was now a change of aircraft back onto the same flight number at Phoenix because that plane I just came in on, that was to be DIRECT, was now going to DEN and MSP instead and did not have any IND segment in the flight.

Although I agree that the interpretation of "DIRECT" and "NON-STOP" in some cultures can be the same thing, but those of us experienced in this business, or experienced in flying on "DIRECT" flights that still have a change of gauge onto another aircraft at an intermediate point when we thought we were just making a stop brings this debate back.

At one point British Airways flew "DIRECT" from London to San Diego via Phoenix. The flight from London to Phoenix was non-stop but the passengers flying to San Diego were on a DIRECT flight with a stop but no change of planes at Phoenix (although they did have to clear US customs at Phoenix).

So here is the point / thought / question:

NON-STOP - You take off from point A and the next time the plane lands you are at your final destination point B. Along the way there are NO STOPS. As an example LAX-SIN on the Singapore Airlines non-stop.

DIRECT: - You take off from point A, land at point C with no change of plane and then take off again and arrive at point B.

Is the Swiss flight making a stop from ZRH-SFO on their NON-STOP yet being marketed as DIRECT flight or is this just a cultural mish mash of words? What airlines take advantage of the "direct" word to mislead customers?

What do you think?


"First To Fly The A-380" / 26 October 2007 SYD-SIN Inaugural
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23195 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5507 times:

Quoting BP1 (Thread starter):
What airlines take advantage of the "direct" word to mislead customers?

One airline that almost never does is one of the ones you called out: WN. 99 times out of 100, direct WN flights really are direct.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25838 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5477 times:

Quoting BP1 (Thread starter):
Is the Swiss flight making a stop from ZRH-SFO on their NON-STOP yet being marketed as DIRECT flight or is this just a cultural mish mash of words? What airlines take advantage of the "direct" word to mislead customers?

It's common for "direct" to be understood by the average person to mean "nonstop". A non-stop flight is always direct, but not vice versa, so I see no problem with the LX use of "direct" in that special livery.


User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2728 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5443 times:

Direct and non-Stop are the same in any honest definition. Any other use of Direct is just devious marketing. I always fly from Europe to Australia on the same flight number and aircraft, but with one stop. Non-one tries to tell me this is "direct". I would be stupid to buy such a concept, as there is no value is having to stop and re-board vs the same with a change of aircraft. I am however, happy with this arrangement, as on a 24hr journey from Europe to Oz, a stop is most welcome. I am not going to queue up for any non-stop service on the Kangaroo route!!


When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineSANFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 5542 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5366 times:

I am speaking here of the terms as used in the U.S. In other countries, things might be and probably are different.

One thing to keep in mind: a NONSTOP flight is also direct but a DIRECT flight is not always a nonstop. A DIRECT flight technically refers to a flight that you board at your originating point and you get off of that same plane at your destination; it could also be a NONSTOP flight - one that does not land anywhere else but at your destination. Or it could be a multi-stop flight on which you do not have to get off the plane.

The term NONSTOP is considered the most desirable flight between 2 points so that term is used when applicable. DIRECT is used for the less desirable flight and implies that there will be at least one stop but no change of aircraft between your origin and your destination.
And of course a CONNECTON is the least desirable and is self-explanatory.

And let's not even get into "change-of-gauge/change-of-plane" flights!

bb


User currently offlinetimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6894 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5368 times:

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 3):
Direct and non-Stop are the same in any honest definition.

If we want to be "honest", nonstop flights aren't direct either. A "direct" flight would be one where you walk out your front door and the aircraft is waiting in the street in front of your house, and you board and the plane takes off and lands and you walk down the steps to the door of your destination-- not more than... 20 meters of walking, let's say. And of course the aircraft would have to fly direct-- the street in front of your home would have to be pointed at your destination so the aircraft wouldn't have to make any turns.

That's if you want to be 100% honest. The rest of us will stick with more reasonable definitions.


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6449 posts, RR: 32
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5343 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting BP1 (Thread starter):
Although I agree that the interpretation of "DIRECT" and "NON-STOP" in some cultures can be the same thing, but those of us experienced in this business, or experienced in flying on "DIRECT" flights that still have a change of gauge onto another aircraft at an intermediate point when we thought we were just making a stop brings this debate back.

I think that the problem is that the two terms have evolved and changed in the last 20 years, when NONSTOP flights started becoming a lot more common, together with the consolidation of flights in hub operations, which started happening in the early to mid 80´s. During my childhood, the term DIRECT meant NONSTOP. The term NONSTOP was very seldom used, as it is too specific, and most flights weren´t NONSTOP. I remember flying crazy itineraries from MEX to EZE or SCL. There were no NONSTOPS, and most stopped at least twice. But there was no change of plane or flight number. So they were also called DIRECT.


User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5319 times:

Quoting SANFan (Reply 4):
a NONSTOP flight is also direct but a DIRECT flight

What about BA's nonstop flight to SNN from LCY?  


User currently offlineFLYAWA From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5298 times:

BP1 is correct that most folks outside the industry understand 'direct' to mean 'nonstop'. They have assumed for decades that the word 'direct' is industry jargon, and that they had better sound hip by saying ' I'm on the direct flight...'.

So the word 'direct' has been bastardized. Only use the word 'NONSTOP' with folks outside the business, or it will always lead to the secondary follow-up question, "Is it non-stop?".


The same goes for 'tarmac':

Wikipedia says: Tarmac (short for tarmacadam, a portmanteau for tar-penetration macadam) is a type of road surface. Tarmac refers to a material patented by Edgar Purnell Hooley in 1901. The term is also used, with varying degrees of correctness, for a variety of other materials, including tar-grouted macadam, Tarvia, bituminous surface treatments and even modern asphalt concrete

While the specific Tarmac pavement is not common in some countries today, many people use the word to refer to generic paved areas at airports, especially the airport ramp or "apron", near the terminals despite the fact that many of these areas are in fact made of concrete. The Wick Airport at Wick in Caithness, Scotland is one of the few airports that still has a real Tarmac runway.


Or, instead trying to fix the world, its best just to grin and bear it when you hear these words  



Better than most, not as good as some.
User currently offlineFLYAWA From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5268 times:

AR385 has explained the origin of 'direct' from the era of trunkline carriers and multiple stops enroute, before today's long-range fleets and hub ops. Gracias.


Better than most, not as good as some.
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25838 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5250 times:

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 3):
there is no value is having to stop and re-board vs the same with a change of aircraft. I

I wouldn't totally agree with that. Even if you have to deplane at the intermediate stop on a flight using the same aircraft all the way (often the case for cleaning etc.), your baggage stays on the aircraft, meaning less risk of checked bags going astray. You also have the same seat all the way.

Where it doesn't make a difference is when you have to clear customs at the stopover point, as on flights to Canada/USA that include a domestic sector after arrival at the first point in Canada/USA, since your checked bags also have to be cleared through customs and then reloaded. However, you still keep your seat all the way.


User currently offlineAmricanShamrok From Ireland, joined May 2008, 2965 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5202 times:

Quoting BP1 (Thread starter):
DIRECT: - You take off from point A, land at point C with no change of plane and then take off again and arrive at point B.

Even if you do have to change planes, it's still considered direct as long as you're on the same flight number. Here's some examples of long direct flights:

AI127 (HYD-BOM-FRA-ORD)
UA840 (MEL-SYD-LAX-ORD)

It's the single flight number that determines if the flight is direct or not. You may have to change aircraft 3 times or more on a trip under the same constant flight number and it's still direct.



Shannon-Chicago
User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1733 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5191 times:

Well technically, the term "direct" refers to the flight number and doesn't necessarily reflect a consistent use of equipment throughtout the entire flight.

Yesterday, for example I flew UA847 (LAX-IAD-EZE) from LAX to IAD. In Los Angeles, at the gate, the signage alternated between "Washington/Dulles" and "Buenos Aires." The LAX - IAD sector is operated with a 3-cabin 777-200 while the IAD-EZE is operated by a 3 cabin IPTE 767-300. I don't think UA advertises a non-stop flight to Buenos Aires from Los Angeles, but it makes booking easier.

I do agree that it is somewhat devious and ambiguous marketing, however to advertise "direct flight" as appearing to be non-stop. "One-stop" is a more accurate (though less desirable term.


User currently offlineluvfa From United States of America, joined May 2005, 447 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5149 times:

Quoting BP1 (Thread starter):
A few days ago, I was on a Southwest flight that was marketed as a "DIRECT" flight from Los Angeles to Indianapolis with an intermediate stop in Phoenix and no plane change at Phoenix. Upon landing a PHX and being stuck in the back looking out the window, my DIRECT flight from LAX-IND with a stop in PHX was now a change of aircraft back onto the same flight number at Phoenix because that plane I just came in on, that was to be DIRECT, was now going to DEN and MSP instead and did not have any IND segment in the flight.


Probably an unscheduled swap due to either maintenance or A/C flow issues. The flight was scheduled to be a 1 stop no change of plane.


User currently offlinetimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6894 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5149 times:

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 11):
Even if you do have to change planes, it's still considered direct as long as you're on the same flight number.

Depends who's doing the considering. Until sometime in the early? 1970s, "direct" meant no change of plane-- the OAG said so. The airlines like to think the meaning of the word has changed-- but why should it have?


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25838 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5112 times:

Quoting timz (Reply 14):
Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 11):
Even if you do have to change planes, it's still considered direct as long as you're on the same flight number.

Depends who's doing the considering. Until sometime in the early? 1970s, "direct" meant no change of plane-- the OAG said so. The airlines like to think the meaning of the word has changed-- but why should it have?

For quite a few years the IATA definition of "Direct Flight" has been the following, as agreed to by all IATA airlines:

Any flight ticketed as a single flight coupon, irrespective of whether there are enroute stops and/or changes of aircraft types.


User currently offlineBP1 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 593 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5033 times:

Understand that is the IATA version, but what about the average passenger perception. Just about every one of us on this forum understands the business. But if you ask an average flyer what the IATA definition is of "DIRECT" when that "DIRECT" flight now stops in Vancouver or Brisbane for (3) hours and changes from a 777 to 767 I don't think it would be a very pleasant answer.


"First To Fly The A-380" / 26 October 2007 SYD-SIN Inaugural
User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1733 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4982 times:

Quoting BP1 (Reply 16):

I'm not quite sure I understand what you're saying here, however, most "average" passengers, who book their own itineraries are probably aware of the stop between origin and destination in a "direct" flight. Usually, online booking sites show "one-stop" in the itineraries with the layover airport listed.

In today's world, I think the two terms get mistakenly interchanged verbatim, in conversation, rather than in practice.


User currently offlineBP1 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 593 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4942 times:

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 17):
In today's world, I think the two terms get mistakenly interchanged verbatim, in conversation, rather than in practice.

That is the point I am trying to make. So do we all just disagree on the matter and let "buyer beware" or do we as an industry really clean it up and clearly define it?

[Edited 2010-05-28 16:46:26]


"First To Fly The A-380" / 26 October 2007 SYD-SIN Inaugural
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25838 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4877 times:

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 17):
however, most "average" passengers, who book their own itineraries are probably aware of the stop between origin and destination in a "direct" flight. Usually, online booking sites show "one-stop" in the itineraries with the layover airport listed.

I agree. If this was such a big problem, governments and their consumer agencies would have taken some action by now, just like the US DOT fines airlines if they don't clearly identify at the time of booking flights operated by codeshare partners or their regional carriers.

US carriers (almost exclusively) have been operrating "change of gauge" flights with a single flight number as long as I can be remember and I seriously doubt they get many complaints over the practice.

[Edited 2010-05-28 17:28:01]

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15809 posts, RR: 27
Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4835 times:

Quoting BP1 (Thread starter):
Is the Swiss flight making a stop from ZRH-SFO on their NON-STOP yet being marketed as DIRECT flight or is this just a cultural mish mash of words?

Why shouldn't they. The flight is direct. All non-stop flights are direct, but not all direct flights are nonstop.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 1):
One airline that almost never does is one of the ones you called out: WN. 99 times out of 100, direct WN flights really are direct

   It was probably some sort of IROPS situation.

Quoting SANFan (Reply 4):
And let's not even get into "change-of-gauge/change-of-plane" flights!

United for one, does not market them as direct. Just as a connection where both segments happen to have the same flight number.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1733 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4709 times:

Quoting BP1 (Reply 18):
That is the point I am trying to make. So do we all just disagree on the matter and let "buyer beware" or do we as an industry really clean it up and clearly define it?

I don't think cleaning up is necessary. Like I said, I believe most people are aware of stops, layovers and aircraft changes in their itineraries since most are self-booked, and a travel provider would also pass on details, such as a stop-over. As long as the flight arrives at the destination at or near the published time, I don't think most people care.

In terms of cleaning up, I think the travelling public is more concerned with "fees" being added to their ticket, or how the airline markets its destination (Skybus calling Bellingham WA "Seattle" for example) than how an airline markets its flight numbers.


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6449 posts, RR: 32
Reply 22, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4557 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting FLYAWA (Reply 9):
AR385 has explained the origin of 'direct' from the era of trunkline carriers and multiple stops enroute, before today's long-range fleets and hub ops. Gracias.

De nada. Per forum rules, "you´re welcome."


User currently offlinebjorn14 From Norway, joined Feb 2010, 3611 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3968 times:

It's my experience in Europe that all non-stops are marketed as direct. It took me awhile to get used to that. I think it is a USA vs. ROW difference.


"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets87 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3963 times:

The term "Direct" is nothing but a marketing scam these days in my opinion - at least if the "Direct" flight goes through a hub. It makes sense if it's a say, HUB-ABC-DEF where ABC and DEF are smaller out-stations that could not alone support a non-stop flight to the hub city, or the plane has to stop for fuel enroute to the final destination. But these instances are less and less common.

First, more often than not, you get stuck having to change planes anyway for one reason or another. This completely eliminates the "convenience" of a "Direct" flight. I've noticed when going through ATL, that about half the time I've been on one leg of a flight that is a "Direct" flight, the passengers who are continuing on that "Direct Flight" do have to change planes.

Second, you lose frequent flyer miles on a "Direct Flight" that has a stop-over. Example: if you are on a flight from SEA to MCO that is "Direct" with a stopover in MSP, you receive the frequent-flyer miles for the great circle distance between SEA and MCO, without the stopover in MSP - 2554 miles. If you are on one flight from SEA to MSP and then another from MSP to MCO, you recevie the actual distance flown - 2709 miles. Your flight also counts as only one "Qualifying Segment", which is important to me because that's how I achieve Elite Status - through segments, not miles. A minor concern to many perhaps, but one I have noticed and avoid when I can.

Third is seat selection. If you are on both legs of a direct flight, often times you can only select seats that are open on both legs of the flight.


Quoting BP1 (Thread starter):
Is the Swiss flight making a stop from ZRH-SFO on their NON-STOP yet being marketed as DIRECT flight or is this just a cultural mish mash of words? What airlines take advantage of the "direct" word to mislead customers?

Did you see how that plane is going to be painted? I think the flight from ZRH to SFO has stop in Woodstock on the way.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Non-Stop Or Direct posted Fri Sep 10 2004 15:58:42 by Sky0000547
A330-200, 7500km Route, Non Stop posted Wed May 5 2010 20:54:28 by mulletman101
Longest Non Stop Delivery Flight posted Sun Dec 27 2009 05:11:23 by Guitarist
Questions: Transiting FCO To US Non-stop posted Fri Jan 30 2009 11:56:05 by AZNCSA4QF744ER
Home Country Vs Non-home Country Airlines posted Thu Mar 13 2008 20:12:45 by Tennis69
What Is Your All-time Favorite Non-stop Flight? posted Sun Feb 3 2008 21:42:46 by Jawed
Longest Non-stop Flight By Airline posted Tue Dec 18 2007 08:56:59 by Ogre727
Biggest City W/o International Non-stop Service posted Thu Oct 4 2007 22:03:48 by LipeGIG
Longest Non-stop Flight posted Thu Mar 8 2007 04:08:17 by Jhiller
Longest Non-stop Flight Of An A 300 And 310 posted Mon Sep 11 2006 16:57:45 by AirbusOnly