TAKEOFFS AND LANDINGS
You don’t have to waste your time just wasting time at the airport, thanks to imaginative stopover programs
Stay Awhile Longer Inspired city stopovers mean you don’t have to waste time just wasting time
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh electrified the world with his daring 33-plus-hour nonstop flight from New York to Paris. The award-winning feat set the aviation industry on a seemingly never-ending quest for flight plans with ever-longer “legs” – skipping from origin to destination and avoiding over those pesky stopovers along the way.
While some impatient passengers are mostly looking for the fastest, most direct connections, many of the world’s airlines – and the countries they serve – have rediscovered the old fashion stopover. And with so-called ‘bleisure’ travel on the upswing, business travelers are increasingly looking forward to the delights of exploring a destination somewhere between where they came from and where they’re going.
Long layovers can be a drag, even if you get to hang out in a luxurious airport lounge. However, instead of a time-wasting inconvenience, here are some of the many transit hubs which have turned the stopover into a bonus for adventure-hungry fliers. Airlines, frequently teaming with local tourism boards, are marketing these oft-hidden gems as desirable and sometimes even free packages to boost travel to the stopover destination.
A stopover is a break in a round-trip journey that lasts over 24 hours, allowing an overnight or multi-day stay in the connecting city. Stopovers and long layovers give travelers the opportunity to explore two cities for the cost of one round-trip airfare. As an added incentive, many offer free stopover packages and tours.
FROM TOP: A view of the Northern Lights from Reykjavik; Sultanahmet Mosque in Istanbul