Take offs & Land­ings

With a lit­tle shrewd where an air­line tran­sit stop can pop

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE - By Lark Gould

Ro­manc­ing the Stopover – Tran­sit stops pop. Plus new route news.

While the world is look­ing to non-stop routes to ferry im­pa­tient pas­sen­gers those 8000plus miles across the globe in marathon sit-downs of more than 16 hours, many of the world’s air­lines have an­other great idea: the old fash­ion stopover.

Gone are the days of pud­dle jump­ing from air­port to air­port in arcs that might take three days to com­plete be­tween the US west coast and Europe or Africa. But on the come­back are days of stop­ping over in a des­ti­na­tion be­tween the one you left and the one you are go­ing to for an en­joy­able add-on to your jour­ney.

There are some ten of­fi­cial stopover des­ti­na­tions be­tween the US and third coun­tries. The lat­est is Ethiopian Air­lines, which flies non-stop from Los An­ge­les to Dublin and then, af­ter a two-hour lay­over, onto Ad­dis Ababa in a com­plete trip that can take around 20 hours for some – or a couple of months for oth­ers.

The air­line takes ad­van­tage of com­plex bi-lat­eral ne­go­ti­a­tions re­sult­ing in what’s known as “Fifth Free­dom” rights. The term stems from the nine air-rights or “free­doms” that coun­tries typ­i­cally ne­go­ti­ate in their bi­lat­eral avi­a­tion con­tracts out­lin­ing the pa­ram­e­ters of their land­ing rights. Th­ese range from straight­for­ward, one-way rights to fly from one coun­try to an­other to com­plex third coun­try oper­a­tions that may or may not stir up con­tro­versy.

The stopover is of­ten a hid­den gem for fliers and some­thing air­lines are just now be­gin­ning to mar­ket as a de­sired com­mod­ity. They are not granted but some­thing to be ne­go­ti­ated within their com­mer­cial avi­a­tion port­fo­lio and may in­volve a stopover in a third coun­try, or in the case of the “Sixth Free­dom,” a wel­comed stopover in the air­line’s home coun­try for pas­sen­gers fly­ing on­ward to some­place else.

Fifth Free­doms can be a boost for trav­el­ers try­ing to save money and squeeze in a lit­tle ex­tra travel be­tween their points A and points B – offering them ad­ven­ture and added value along cer­tain routes. Here are some ways to do it while man­ag­ing to take in some un­ex­pected won­ders.

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