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List of Airline Stopover & Routing Rules

Decided to redo this post as it’s been over a year and there are a few things to add/update. JAL like many airlines in Asia is complicated. 7 stopovers is an over simplification. Since I published this list last year, a few blogs have scraped that info and simply said that JAL allows 7 stopovers, but don’t explain under what context. So I need to go back and explain a bit more about this. OneWorld tickets allow 7 stopovers.

Here it is, a basic list of airline stopover rules (with extended routing rules below):

United 1 stopover and 2 open-jaws Roundtrips
US Airways 1 stopover or 1 open-jaw Roundtrips
America n/a
Lufthansa 2 stopovers and 2 open-jaws Roundtrips
Air Canada 2 stopovers Roundtrips
or 1 stopover and 1 open-jaw Roundtrips
Delta n/a
Alaska 1 stopover Oneways
Malaysia 5 stopovers /w OneWorld Roundtrips
0 stopovers /w a single partner Roundtrips
1 stopover /w Malaysia Roundtrips
Singapore 1 stopover and 1 open-jaw Roundtrips
Flying Blue 1 stopover and 1 open-jaw Roundtrips
Air Berlin 1 stopover (on two region award) Oneways
2 stopovers (on three region award) Oneways
2 to 7 stopovers on multiple OneWorld partners
Asia Miles 4 stopovers Roundtrips
ANA 0 Stopover

1 stopover if departing from Japan.

7 stopovers on generous Round-The-World Award Chart

Roundtrips
JAL 7 stopovers /w OneWorld Oneways
2 stopovers /w JAL Oneways
Alitalia 1 stopover Roundtrips
Asiana 7 stopovers Roundtrips
LAN 1 stopover or 1 open-jaw Roundtrips
Thai Airways 1 stopover and 1 open-jaw Roundtrips

 

Generally Related Resources:

Routing rules and even more specific stopover rules are too complex to do in a chart form so I’ll mostly summarize and link out. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that many airlines only allow open-jaws at specific points in the journey. For example Lufthansa and United both allow stopovers and open-jaws. BUT, you can’t apply an open-jaw on the spot that’s technically the stopover, and it must be applied to the “destination”. Which is tricky and unique enough, but they even define “destination” differently. United’s destination is solely based on region, and Lufthansa’s is more based on the furthest point in the journey (I think). All that to say, routing rules can get complex and I don’t even have a full post going into the minutia of Lufthansa, because no one would care. So I’ll try to keep it short and simple.

 

United Routing Rules

There’s so much that has been written, and so much more that could be written. So this will be the longest section for the airline rules.

General Rules:

  • 1 stopover and two open-jaws.
  • Open-jaws can not be applied to “stopover”.
  • You can book oneway awards but are not allowed a stopover on oneways. Stopovers can only be applied to roundtrips.
  • Routes are mainly limited by regions and sometimes by the number of connections. (Details for region and connections limits are here: The Complete Guide To United Routing Rules).
  • United’s pricing is based on the region of the “destination”, which is decided by a ranking of regions. When touching two regions, it decides the price based on this region ranking. This can be a way to save miles (see United Stopover Secrets).

More reading:

 

American Airlines Routing Rules

  • AA limits flights by total miles flown, or the Maximum Permitted Mileage (MPM).
  • MPM is unique to each route. In order to find the MPM limit, you can use experflyer.com to find it for your specific route.
  • You can generally go over the MPM by 25%. So we say, MPM + 25%.
  • Stopovers are no longer allowed with AA miles.

For getting around AA’s lack of stopovers read:

 

Lufthansa Miles and More Routing Rules

  • Lufthansa rules are mostly based on “regions” you fly to.
  • If you touch three regions at any point in time in your journey, the price is increased to a premium “Three Region Award” price of 100k/185k/290k miles for roundtrips.
  • Two stopovers and two open-jaws are allowed.
  • Open-jaw [likely] will not be applied to a stopover but can be applied to destination and point of origin.
  • Destination is defined by point of turn around. Aka, the furthest place you fly to.
  • Flights coded as a singular flight that touches a third region (i.e. Singapore’s flight to the US that has a layover in Tokyo) may be an exception to the “Three Region Award” premium price.

 

ANA Routing Rules

  • ANA is completely priced based on the total number of miles flown. You can fly as much as you want.
  • 8 Segment limit for awards on ANA.
  • 16 segment limi on Star Alliance partners.
  • For flights on ANA the award chart (here) is a little better but the fuel surcharges are higher.
  • ANA’s program is switching away from a distance based program to a region based program in April.

Read more:

 

JAL Routing Rules

  • An open-jaw counts as a stopover, but you are still limited to one.
  • Oneways are allowed.
  • OneWorld flights are limited to 8 segments and 7 stopovers.
  • Awards that include partners outside of Star alliance (Emirates, Bangkok Airways, Air France, China Eastern,) are limited to 2 stopovers and 4 segments.
  • Flights on JAL are limited to 3 segments each way and two stopovers.
  • Prices are completely based on flying. Other than segment limits you can fly as much as you want, and you just pay for it.

Read more:

 

Singapore Airlines Routing Rules

  • Singapore Airlines has two award charts.
  • Singapore Airlines’ Star Alliance Award Chart:
  • One stopover is permitted on Star Alliance Roundtrips.
  • For flights on Singapore Airlines, the award chart can be viewed here.
  • Awards on Singapore itself get 1 stopover on a roundtrip for saver awards.
  • Non-saver awards get 1 stopover per direction.

Read more:

 

Malaysia Airlines Routing Rules

  • Malaysia Airlines has three prices for awards depending on what airline you use your miles with.

Read more:

 

 

Related Posts:

12 Comments

  1. Thank you for compiling this!

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading!
      Drew

      Reply
  2. Based on these charts, if I am traveling from Europe to South America and need a week stopover in US, JAL might be best.

    What happens if I open jaw to another region, e.g., Europe to SAm to NAm

    Reply
    • Well, with JAL open-jaw distances get counted in the price. So you’re best bet is to try to book it at a oneway in that case. Can always call and price it out first.

      Reply
  3. Hi Drew,

    Thanks for updating this. do you have updated guide to stopover and routing rules for US Airways now? i assume its all the same just substitute the Star Alliance words for One World and everything else is the same..? as well as biz from NA to north asia being 110k instead of the old 90k. i’m def going for first class since its only 10k more..

    the last post i could find is the following. can you tell me if there is an updated version for post AA merger. thanks!
    http://travelisfree.com/2013/07/09/complete-guide-to-stopovers-with-us-airways/

    Reply
    • Yea, US Airways is the same in stopovers and the award chart has been updated in a few areas.
      But routing rules has traditionally been without rules in terms of what the agents will book.

      Reply
  4. Drew – Remember how you used to send out monthly Newsletters? (last one was October 😉 )
    Can you please please please share your ANA award secret you talked about in a previous post in this months Newsletter? You might as well, the current award chart is going away soon. :)

    Reply
  5. Hi Drew,
    Thanks for all the information that you share. I would very much appreciate your input on a one way award that I am trying to put together using United miles: DXB-VIE-ZRH-BOS. I would like to get to DXB from BLR. Is that possible at all? The easiest would be BLR-BKK-DXB (BKK is only a connection, but I am not sure if this is “allowed”… Any thoughts/suggestions?
    Thanks!
    RP

    Reply
  6. Correction on your chart: America should be American.

    Reply
    • You need to fingerbang yourself…. hard….

      Reply
  7. Drew – I’m voraciously reading through your various guides/resources, so thank you very much for putting what must be an insane amount of time in researching everything!

    Couldn’t find your email, so I figure I should ask your advice here. I’m based in Houston but will need to do the following in the 12 months: Amsterdam-Houston and Houston-Tokyo-Houston (+ probably a side trip to Seoul).

    Normally, I’d book everything separately but are there any savings to be had if I were to attempt to use stopovers/open-jaws, e.g. AMS-IAH(stopover)-NRT(destination) if doing one-way (and then would use something else to come back) or, if must do a RT, AMS-IAH(stopover)-NRT(destination)-IAH(stopover)-AMS/LHR/CDG/etc.? (This would be in Y or J; in addition to airline miles with typical programs have SPG, Amex, Chase UR.)

    This is a three-region award (right?) so I get a feeling your answer would be “even if possible, would be too expensive due to surcharges” but maybe not :)

    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
  8. We want to fly from NY to Lima, Peru, drop my mother-in-law off to visit with her sister; the plan would be that the two of us would go to Rio and take a cruise to Chile. Then, we would like to fly back to Lima, stay for several days and fly back to NY. We have thousands of AMEX Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Barclay Arrival Rewards and wonder about the best creative way to utilize them regarding the best bang for the buck, so we don’t use them up… Any suggestions?

    Reply

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