Airline Stopover and Open-Jaw [Infographic]

Many airlines allow a stopover on their award tickets. This is a unique advantage to using miles and points, as a stopover (a layover with an unlimited amount of time) does not increase the price of an award ticket. This essentially gives two destinations.

The concept is a little confusing for newbies but we made an infographic to help.

This infographic will go over:

  • What is a stopover?
  • What is an open-jaw?
  • What are the uses?
  • What are the different mileage programs’ rules for stopovers and open-jaws?

introduction to airline alliances

An infographic by Drew and Caroline at Travel is Free

Want this infographic on your site? Copy and Paste the Code Below




Stopovers and open-jaws can be as long as you want assuming the tickets are still bookable. Meaning, tickets are often only bookable a year or so in advance. If you’re hoping to stopover for longer than that, it’s just not possible. Although, airlines may be able to change some details, like dates of travel, for a free.

Want to learn more about stopovers? Here are some great posts:

and of course, the self-proclaimed, best post ever:

Related Posts:


  1. Thank you!! Your content is always so helpful, the recent infographics have been great!! Any suggestions on finding the spots where stopovers would be appropriate?? Booking an award flight on DL for AUS-DXB, my searches show connections in ATL. Can’t seem to find anyway to keep it the same price stopping through LHR or CDG. Anyway, if you need a rainy day topic some day, I’d love to see how to find stopover cities. Thanks again!!

    • For the most part, it’s just cities that aren’t crazy out of the way. Layovers and stopovers aren’t the same thing. You may need to book a stopover over the phone though.

    • Delta only allows Open Jaw now

    • Hello,

      I’ve read some of your articles and they have been very helpful. I’m still having trouble figuring out what can of flight I can book with my miles. I have about 150,000 miles. I’m trying to book the following and I’m guessing stopover will not work and only open-jaw is applicable in this situation.

      Cairo to Manchester, England on 9/11/2016 (Turkish Airlines business 30,000)
      Manchester to Hong Kong on 10/14/2016 (Lufthansa1st leg, then Air China 2nd/3rd flight)
      Hong Kong to Manchester on 11/7/2016 (Air China 1st,2nd flight, then Lufthansa 3rd flight)

      So far I’ve been able to get this all to 145,000 miles and all flying business class saver award ticket. I just don’t know if there is a way to do this flight with lower miles? I feel like I’m being ticketed for each way and that I’m not benefiting from a stopover or an open-jaw type of ticket.

      Any advise you have would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you.

  2. I love infographics in general (I’m a professional data nerd…), so they’re a great addition to your always-interesting site.

    Not a critique, just a question / pointing out:
    Is AA missing on purpose, or other reason?

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks, glad they’re up to a professional data nerd’s standards. 😀
      AA no longer allows stopovers. :'(

  3. This one is great. Do you plan to consolidate infographics somewhere on your site for easy access? It would be a great resource to link people to.

    Also, where’s AA? Don’t they still allow one Open Jaw? Then there’s ANA with their 3(4) stops.

    • I do plan on making it easier eventually, once we have more up. For now you can go to:

      AA no longer allows stopovers, but you can book oneways. So technically any two oneways can be an open-jaw RT ticket.

  4. Same question as J. Clifton, does AA still allow stopovers? I’m trying to fly from the east coast to Southeast Asia, but couldn’t get AA website to show award tickets for me.

    • AA does not allow stopovers. I think they used to allow one at the “North American gateway city,” but that went away. I think they allow an open jaw, but I guess it doesn’t matter much because you could always book two one-ways.

    • Exactly.

  5. Adore the copy paste help for the info graphic.

    • Thanks, I think…

  6. Drew you do great articles and analysis. I like supporting you when I can. But there are not many links in your credit card karma and for some cards, they may not be the best available offers. Can you please add more types of cards and best sign ups.

    • I have zero control.

  7. Hello!


    I am trying to go to London, Cairo, and BKK, from MIA

    Any idea if this can be done with United with a single award ticket?

    Thank you!

  8. I have been teaching math and traveling on my own dime for years. How can l get paid to travel? Can l guide people on trips? How do l start this??


Leave a Reply to Drew Macomber Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

We have spent the majority of our marriage traveling full time, living out of hotels.   All the while, we list our expenses publicly, budgeting $25,000 a year for our nomadic life while still staying in mostly 4 or 5 star hotels across ~20 countries a year.
Go to About Me to learn more.