Are direct or indirect flights best?

In an ideal world, a direct non-stop flight is definitely the way to go. One check-in and you’re gone.

However, the growth of discount airlines means that in many cases an indirect route is considerably cheaper and can also offer you a lot more choice in the way of departure times. The downsides are that you generally need to collect your bags and check-in for the second flight and you run the risk of a delay on the first flight knocking you off the second one.

The bags sure are a hassle but if you’re travelling light, it’s a manageable one. Where you do need to be careful about is the time between arriving from the first flight and departing on the second one which needs to allow for delays. You could go with the minimum time between flights in a terminal but are better to add an hour or two (possibly more at peak times) to be sure of making the connection. Actually, at peak times I’d be inclined not to risk it if the second airline is a discount one (“normal” airlines will let you go on the next flight, discount ones will sell you another ticket).

Funnily enough you seem to get these flights cheaper. So, for example, my flight next week is around £70 for a direct non-stop one vs £50 for the two stage one. Not only that, but the £70 flight gets me here after midnight whereas the two stager gets me here for teatime which is always a lot easier on the system.

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